Did You Know?
The Riding Centre Classes Continue!
In Her Own Words—Director Carolyn Bailey
When Governor DeWine ordered a series of shut-downs in Ohio mid-March, The Riding Centre had just completed two weeks of our 12-week lesson series. Our horses thought this unexpected break was grand! Green grass, no students, life was good! No riding lessons, however, does not mean no work at a barn. We still had twice daily feedings, stalls to be cleaned, and farrier and veterinarian appointments to keep. Our wonderful staﬀ didn’t miss a beat. Their dedication to the Centre and the horses they love and care for was always a priority for each of them.
As the state started to open up, and we began thinking about how students could safely ride horses again, we made one of the hardest and saddest decisions we’ve had to make in a long time—for the ﬁrst time in over 50 years, we would not be holding any summer camps, one of our most beloved programs. Instead of summer camps, we started in mid-June with smaller groups of our more experienced riders in 45-minute lessons.
Another big change has been that students no longer tack up their horses. To limit the time riders are at the barn, the instructor and assistants ready the horses and then care for them afterwards. This is an unhappy change for all, because the kids enjoy this time with their sweet horses as much as they enjoy the riding.
We are lucky to be outside, as there is less chance of spreading COVID-19 than there is indoors, but regardless, students and instructors wear masks when riders are in the arena. Luckily, riding is naturally a physically distant sport, and after each ride we sanitize the tack as best we can. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) do not have any information on sanitizing leather, so we came up with our own cleaning solution. Our tack has never looked so good!
As fall quickly approaches, we will take a break in August to see how schools plan to reopen. Our hope is to be back to a full schedule with students of all levels, but along with being as careful as possible, we’ve also learned we have to remain ﬂexible. We, along with so many others, are doing the best we can during this unprecedented time.
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To learn more: theridingcentre.org