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Arabian Horse | City Dwellers Have An Option For Horses

Posted By: JR

Set among 60 acres of lush pastures and quiet wooded trailsabout 15 miles outside of Edwardsville lies Shepherd Hills ArabianHorse Farm, where horses and their owners will find an idyllicplace to board, ride and just enjoy each other’s company.

The farm is owned and operated by husband and wife team Jeff Heinzland Karen VanAnrooy, who started Shepherd Hills a decade ago withjust seven stalls. Back then, the plan was simply to create a placeto house their own growing family of Arabian horses. Years ofboarding gave them a good idea of what they liked and what theydidn’t. Eventually, they realized that there was a gap in themarket for a place that offered both state-of-the-art boardingfacilities coupled with an intimate, personal touch which providedowners with complete peace of mind.

The farm now boasts 33 stalls spread over two barns equipped withgrooming and wash areas, two tack rooms with heat and airconditioning, an impressive 60 foot by 120 foot indoor arena andindoor round pen. Currently, the farm is home to 27 horses ofvarying breeds.

The name may say Arabian Horse Farm but Shepherd Hills is happy toopen its doors to horses of all types.

“All of our barns were built by Morton Buildings and areinsulated,” said Heinzl. “The feed room is insulated and has ahumidity-controlled fan to keep the grain fresh. It’s completelymouse proof and the concrete aisles, which we like, keep the dustdown … so we just took a lot of the ideas we had from otherplaces we had been to and incorporated it into this.”

Additionally, VanAnrooy is a qualified veterinarian and is on staffat the Edwardsville Pet Hospital.

Owners who choose to board with Shepherd Hills have the option ofhaving their horse trained by the on staff trainer, Ted Webber.They also have 10 large pastures for the horses to graze in dailyand 50 acres of trails to ride through.

“We offer a full-care boarding facility. We don’t do self-care.Everything we take care of. The stalls are fully cleaned 365 days ayear and we only use Purina feed. Basically, the only thing youhave to do is come out and enjoy your horse,” said Heinzl. “We’vegot some people who just come out here to groom and ride theirhorse a little bit and some that are dedicated trail riders. Andthen you’ve got some who, like us, show their horses. So, a varietyof people.”

Lynn Dermody, barn manager, said the farm has regular visits fromthe farrier and they manage each horse’s vaccination and wormingschedules and feeding.

“My most important thing everyday is the care and safety of theequine. One of the things that I think is really beneficial is thefeeding. They all have their own individual feeding plan andthey’re all fed in their stalls, which allows us to monitor theirhealth and well-being.”

She said they do not store the hay above the horses, which cancontribute to breathing problems and be a fire hazard.

“It’s made a better environment for everybody that way. A lot ofsafety issues went into designing it,” said Heinzl. “Once they’vebeen here two to three months, (owners) notice. When they comehere, their horse looks good and doesn’t have any injuries.”

The farm also grows 90 percent of its own hay, something that helpskeep costs down and ensures the hay is never moldy and always ingood condition. Heinzl said they use between 3,000 and 4,000 balesof hay per year.

Owners also have the option of getting involved with the showcircuit, something Heinzl and VanAnrooy are big believers in.

“What I’ve seen at the shows that, I think, is really neat is thekids are given responsibility. I’ve just seen the kids really get alot out of that,” said Heinzl.

Transportation to and from shows is provided. The farm alsoprovides plenty of socials and hayrides throughout the year foreverybody to get to know each other and spend some time together.Heinzl is an enthusiastic cook making chilis and barbecuing foreverybody. Many happy owners on the Shepherd Hills website describethe farm as being like a family.

The cost to board a horse at Shepherd Hills Arabian Horse Farm is$310 per month for a full-care in the smaller barn, which has sevenstalls, or $410 per month for full-care in the large barn.

There is no difference in service between the barns, just the sizeof the facilities and proximity to the indoor arena. There is anextra $50 fee for an additional turn out.

Lessons with Trainer Ted Webber cost $30 per hour and package dealsare available.

Additionally, people interested riding lessons may “rent” one ofthe farm’s horses for $10 per day plus the additional lesson fee of$30 per hour.

Shepherd Hills Arabian Horse Farm is located at 13112 Heritage Lanein Pocahontas. For more information, call 675-3792, email sharabians@agtelco.com or visit www.shepherdhillsarabians.com .

2012 The Edwardsville Intelligencer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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