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Horse For Sale | Young Riders

Posted By: JR

Unless you talk to young people involved in local programs you might think equestrian living is slowly fading away with all the horse for sale signs becoming a permanent fixture of the local landscape.

The commitment among the youth to the sport of riding and their love for their horses provide a different sign of the future. Young girls filled the stables and riding rings practicing their skills on a recent day at Mary-Go-Round Equestrian Center on Dixboro in South Lyon as owner Mary Roskens watched them ride in the 70-foot-by-120-foot indoor arena.

“It’s something that takes my mind off things and it helps me a lot,” explains Ashlyn Umbarger, a 13-year-old from Brighton, who has been riding for six years. “If something happens at school, I can come here and forget about it and have fun.”

She practices three days a week all year long and partially owns the horse she rides, named Asher. Half leases and leases are available for varying rates at Mary-Go-Round. Some of the riders own their horses and board and take lessons at Mary-Go-Round.

The commitment in time and money is well worth it for her mom, Becky Umbarger.

“They love it,” she said. “It keeps them out of trouble.”

The young people also learn a sense of responsibility, Umbarger added, explaining that Rosekens shows her riding students how to care for their horses and the barn.

Arianna Edmonds, 15, a sophomore on the South Lyon High School equestrian team, practices two or three hours daily throughout the year. Her family has been involved in the area’s equestrian community for decades and riding is simply a way of life for her, she explained.

“Horses run deep in this community,” said Roskens who has been giving lessons for more than 25 years. While the horse track business has diminished, the stables offering lessons and programs have flourished.

EQUESTRIAN LIFESTYLE

No one knows the equestrian lifestyle more than Lisa Pollack, head coach for the Novi High School varsity equestrian team and coach of the Novi junior team. She started riding when she was a young girl and her three daughters, Gabrielle, 20; Whitney, 18 and Sarah, 12, are all riders. Like most sports, Pollack said, horse riding takes year round dedication in time and money. The eight girls on her high school team, she said, take at least one riding lesson a week. Even during the summer they need to practice. South Lyon High School and South Lyon East High School also have teams on average of between 15 and 20 students. A lot more may be interested, but may have waited too long before signing up.

“You can’t get on a horse two months before and do the equestrian team,” Pollack said. “The girls are riding and taking lessons all year long even though the team is riding for three weeks.”

Roskens said she was lost when she was teenager and “God put horses in my life,” she said.

“I think horses are an excellent way to develop the right values in kids,” she added. “Horses are pure beings and they’re not catty. If you treat them right and you work with them consistently, you will progress. I believe in positive reinforcement training for the kids and the horses. To set them up for success and reward them. They will work to succeed and please you. It’s so gratifying to see that with the horses and the kids. When you do positive time on a horse you get positive results from it. As opposed to instant gratification in this highly technical age. Horses teach you to go outside yourself and connect with another being.”

Riding horses is such a good activity for people of all ages, she said.

“It combines physical exercise with emotional connection and teaches you how to communicate and partner with another being in a positive way,” she added.

Samantha Ansara, 16, of Novi High School Equestrian Team member explained her passion for riding simply, “because, I’ve always liked horses.”

SPIRITUAL SIDE

“I think the horse industry has been here a long time and it’s changing its face a little,” Roskens said. “For me there’s a spiritual side to it. Kids are searching for something. I feel God has given them this place to show the positive effects to kids.”

Dainius Skiotys, of Farmington Hills, watches in the stables as his daughter, Katrina, 9, rides. She started riding when she was four.

“My daughter has gained a ton of confidence and sense of responsibility,” he said. “She has to take care of that horse. You have to be one with the horse.”

Mary-Go-Round offers boarding, training and lessons and camps for hunters, jumpers, dressage and western. Lessons are offered for any age rider in private, semi-private and groups. Lesson and lease horses and ponies are available. Roskens has been specializing in pony training recently. There are also five-day riding intensive camps preparing students for competition in English, western, saddleseat, jumping, bareback, gaming, showmanship and trail riding. Mary-Go-Round is currently accepting new clients for lessons, boarding, and beginner camp.

Mary-Go-Round Equestrian Center is located at 7595 Dixboro Road in South Lyon (Between 5 Mile and 6 Mile roads). For more information, contact Mary Roskens at (248) 880-9447 or mary@marygoroundstables.com .

dandreassi@hometownlife.com (248) 437-2011, ext. 262.

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