You live in Kentucky but haven’t been on a horse in years? Or ever? No need to be embarrassed, and no one needs to know, because area riding schools are here to help you get back in the saddle again.
About a half-hour from downtown Louisville is a particularly pretty and peaceful oasis known as Louisville Equestrian Center. Located on Mount Washington Road in Taylorsville. Owner Betsy Webb opened the center in 2009. As a full-service equestrian center, there are tack rooms and offices, indoor and outdoor show rings, and a barn with 78 stalls so there’s plenty of room available for boarding horses. There are about 60 horses on the farm at any given time.
On the people side, Louisville Equestrian Center’s camps and riding lessons for kids and adults are tailored for everyone from first-time beginners to horse enthusiasts and those who are serious competitors.
“I am a horse person. I have been doing this professionally 30 years,” says Betsy. She has loved horses all her life. She is certified by the American Riding Instructors Association and is ARIA’s only Level III certified instructor in Kentucky. Betsy and her team offer individual riding lessons and they work with competitive show riders and their American Saddlebred horses.
Kids as young as 4 years old can learn to ride horses at LEC. During the Pony Princess Camp they just might be wearing a tutu while sitting atop a patient horse whose saddle is decked out in glitter stickers! This is one example of Betsy’s focus on fun at Louisville Equestrian Center. There are summer camps for older kids, and those who are kids at heart have access to all kinds of outdoor activities like trail riding. “We are hands-on. It is all about enjoying the horses,” says Betsy.
Owner Scott Marrillia established Razor Creek Stables in 1999 on 30 acres on Old Heady Road. The hunter/jumper facility has a country club atmosphere and the staff has a focus on private riding lessons, training and showing. Riding students show on a monthly basis.
Nikki Peterson is the barn manager and has been teaching at Razor Creek since 2014. She is a certified trainer through the United States Hunter Jumper Association. “Horse showing provides the opportunity to show off what you’ve learned with some friendly competition as well as self-improvement throughout each show and through the season,” says Nikki.
Razor Creek has 32 horse stalls, a large indoor arena with a viewing room, a full kitchen and an outdoor arena with a patio. For children, the private one-hour riding lessons teach independence and responsibility. The young students are not only learning how to ride a horse but how to care for their horse also. With supervision, of course. “They learn how to articulate what they want from their horse on and off the ground, and are making lifelong friends of all ages through their barn family,” Nikki says.
As for adults, taking horse riding lessons at Razor Creek Stables can be a way to learn a new sport or bring a childhood dream to fruition. “Or coming back into riding after starting a family or simply an outlet away from work,” Nikki says. “It’s also one heck of a workout if you hate the gym.”