From Our Editors
Head instructor Sandra Middleton cares for neglected and unwanted horses at Paddle Stone Equestrian Center and trains young riders to ride and respect the animals. Since the ranch’s inception in 2000, instructors have introduced beginners as young as 4 years old to horseback riding and helped intermediate riders along the path to mastery through private and group lessons. As hooves beat staccato time, riders learn hunter/jumper techniques, a classic style pioneered by English fox hunters. Western lessons introduce methods developed by cowboys, who needed to stay near steers during long rides or the scary parts of Jurassic Park. The center is home to more than one dozen equines, allowing each pupil to ride a well-rested mount before learning the subtleties of proper handling and care when not in the saddle. Once a student has demonstrated the ability to trot, the center encourages him or her to travel to shows for further improvement.