So thinking about horse riding this summer? Got what it takes?
Here is a check list from the Federation of Black Cowboys to help you:
- Have the right attitude
- Must be able to relax
- Have respect for the horse
- Be discipline
- Gain the horse’s trust
Federation member CeCe Valcin says horses are “very sensitive”.
The 26 acres Cedar Lane Stables, at Howard Beach, Queens is where the Federation calls home.
Valcin says children and adults are taught how to become familiar with the horse to gain its trust. And once the horse is comfortable with you ‘they will take care of you’. Because, “they do not forget nothing.”
To make this point, Valcin says one of their horse does not allow any man to touch him, because it was abuse by a male owner – before coming to Cedar Lane. A horse is not going to let you ‘man-handle’ it, says trainer Haris Parrish. Once you are on the back of a horse, its whole rhythm flows with you. So his advice is, “leave your attitude at the gate.”
For $13, you can have a four-hour tour of the stable, which includes horse riding. But private riding lessons range from $45 for half-hour to $60 an hour. Groups are also welcome. So put a visit on your school or church calendar, to hold a camp-out, barbecue or even a wedding at the stables.
To date, “it’s been very, very good,” according to Valcin. Children and adults from Queens, Brooklyn, Manhanttan, Long Island and the Bronx have come to learn the finer points of horse riding and grooming.
Also if you have a horse and looking for a home, the Federation provides boarding services for $165 per month – this includes security and water. They board 49 horses between 12 and 35-years-old for its 30 members and the public. The Federation itself only owns a pony.
This stable is sprawled on South Conduit Avenue and Linden Boulevard going to JFK Airport. Displayed on its white picket fence are the names of famous black cowboys and girls, like Stagecoach Mary and the black infantry Buffalo Soldiers. Barns and converted shipping containers as stables are mixed with open picnic areas. On a hot day you may find some geese in the ponds, but if it is 90 degrees and above you will not see horses walking. Nevertheless, several large tables and chairs under tall trees provide some shade.
So, if horse riding is really your gold, join now, and the Olympic Equestrian events July 28-31, at Greenwich Park in London, will mean so much more to you.