In this series I am sharing locally owned, family friendly, small businesses. I’ll be sharing businesses that my family has loved for years; businesses that we’ve recently fallen in love with; and businesses that we want to share with all of you. If you are a small business owner or know of an awesome small business that I should feature, please let me know!
Earlier this summer, Kim Newell read the feature post that I wrote on Clapping Hands Farm and contacted me about featuring her horsemanship program. I am so glad that she did, because my oldest boy loves horses and was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn to care for and ride the ever gentle Penny.
I asked Kim to tell me a little bit about herself, her story, and her horsemanship program at Oak Lane Farm in Pittsboro, NC. She says:
My father was a veterinarian; he instilled the love of animals in me. I got my first pony when I was two years old and began riding lessons at age three. I spent 14 years with my trainer and then went on to train my own show horses at age 17. I had an extremely successful juvenile career; winning many local, state, and national titles. My most proud moment in these years was winning a Reserve World Championship on a horse (Dandy) that I had raised and trained myself. Dandy was with me for 28 years.
With the help of my father, I built a training stable at age 18 and embraced on a professional career of training American Saddlebred Show Horses and teaching students to ride and to show these magnificent animals. During those 40+ years, I developed horses that became world champions, riders that have become world champions, and trainers that have gone on to win multiple world championships.
I am retired from the show world and now enjoy trail riding for my own pleasure and sharing the joy of horsemanship for pleasure with new riders. I am so enjoying teaching my students how to care for, handle, ride, and love horses. I focus on teaching safety, skill, and fun.
In following my father’s path, I have a varied collection of pets. At this time I have 4 horses, 8 chickens, 4 dogs, 4 cats, 2 ducks, and 3 rabbits on our farm. I have always loved to rescue and rehab animals in need. I have rehabbed countless horses, dogs, and cats over the years as well as bottle raising a deer, a raccoon, wild bunnies, and 4 squirrels. My most recent rescue is a three-legged cat who was slated for euthanasia. She is a love and sleeps in my bed with me.
Last but not least, I have a wonderful 13 year old son, Alex, who is a great help on the farm and with the lessons.
We have been thrilled with Kim’s riding lessons. She is a wonderful instructor, very patient and kind. Her love for the animals is infectious. Each lesson begins and ends with time spent caring for the horse; grooming and petting her and building a relationship. We had one week where for some reason, my son did not want to get on the horse. He refused to even get out of the car for most of his lesson time. Kim waited patiently and when he finally stepped out of the car, she offered to let him feed her some carrots. So we spent that lesson, just petting Penny and feeding her carrots. And that was ok. The next week he was back to his normal self, and ready to ride. Kim has students as young as 3 years old and all the way to up to adults. I can highly recommend her as a loving, patient, wonderful horsemanship instructor here in Pittsboro, NC.