Beth Kelly has owned horses and competed successfully at top hunter shows, but this summer she experienced riding in a whole new way. Beth, 70, of Solon, shared her riding and lesson time with her 12-year-old granddaughter, Molly, a novice rider, when the two joined the new Chagrin Valley Farms Membership Program. The program offers riders an option between standard weekly riding lessons and the daily responsibility of owning horses.
Beth (aboard Chagrin Valley Farms’ Catcher) and Molly (aboard Iris), rode two or three times a week in lessons with CVF Instructor, Heidi D’Angelo, and unstructured free-rides. “When Molly started she was still a beginner with little control. Now she can walk, trot and canter and has a great position. She has started jumping and is thinking about doing a little competition too,” said Beth.
Membership offered them the chance to ride the same horses consistently with only a monthly commitment, as well as other benefits. When Molly’s original horse, Ralphie, developed a minor abscess in his hoof and couldn’t be ridden, Chagrin Valley Farms substituted her mount with another so she could keep riding.
Beth’s time in the saddle with Molly has been priceless. “I was horse crazy all my life but didn’t ride much as a kid. It’s fun to see Molly riding and benefiting from riding as a healthy growth experience where you have to put the animal first and care about another living thing. Although our membership ended with summer, I think Molly will continue to ride in lessons going forward,” said Beth, who also plans to keep riding on her own time as long as possible.