From Our Editors
As the sun rises over Fancy Hill Farm, LLC, a European–style barn casts its shadow across a meadow filled with grazing horses. This rustic scene suits the farm’s owner, Mandy Patchen, who has seen enough equestrian pomp in her career on the Maryland show circuit. In the past two decades, Mandy earned respect as a highly decorated rider—she even rode a horse that was ranked third in the entire country. She draws on this experience as she introduces new riders to her lifelong passion during lessons on the farm’s historic property.
Mandy and her fellow instructors believe that riding must begin with an appreciation for the fundamentals of horsemanship. They help students as young as 4 develop basic skills in the hunter-jumper style, teaching them how to saddle up, trot, and change the horse’s oil. Youngsters aged 8–14 can participate in one of the farm’s camps, which include lessons as well as guest speakers and an end-of-session riding demonstration.