When I was 10, growing up in Chicago, my sisters were embarrassed to walk to school with me. The fact that I ‘galloped’ all the way on my imaginary horse was more than they could take.
I galloped anyway, fueling my cowgirl dreams with visits to the library. I read every horse book they had, especially the Black Stallion book series by Walter Farley.
At 45, I finally signed up for a four week series of lessons, learning to saddle, groom and ride. I have a powerful memory of walking to the corral, leading the horse, and feeling like that kid again. Well, life goes on, and I never did own a horse, but now I get to revisit my childhood dream right here in Columbia Station. And so can you.
Researching where I could find ponies for my Unicorn Portrait Sessions, I discovered Pony Tales Farm and Rescue.
Westlake native, Loraine Schaeffner has loved and owned horses since she was a kid. She and her husband Bill own and operate Pony Tales, a registered 501C corporation, dedicated to passing on their love of horses to a new generation, and taking in and caring for ponies that have been neglected.
You may have seen them at countless neighborhood events and festivals, in Rocky River, Westlake and others, as well as bringing their ponies to local school groups and nursing homes.
With their Pony camp, children from 2-12 can experience the fun of pony rides at this family farm in Columbia Station. Getting up close and petting and brushing the ponies, then riding them is a fun adventure for the little ones. The older kids learn how to groom, saddle, mount and dismount properly and use the reins . They may even get a sing a long with Cowboy Bill.
Children and adults love to visit the goats, bunnies and chickens at the farm.
It is a perfect way to introduce kids to these wonderful animals, possible fueling their dreams, while teaching them responsibility and animal care.
You can sign up for pony camp by calling Lorainne at 440-891-9992 or through the Westlake and Rocky River Rec Centers.
Oh, and when I posted images of me on the horse, my sisters asked if I ‘galloped’ all the way home.
PS: If you are interested in our magical Unicorn Portrait Session, give Katie at call at 703-304-3779. I offer them through October.