Dream it, believe it, and achieve it! That is the motto of Amy Prechter, owner of Cedar Ridge Equine in Bozeman, a full-service horse facility. Amy herself has been on the back of a horse since she was 4 years old living in Grass Valley, California, and credits her father Ed with getting her started.
“We raised Morgans,” she explained. “So I’ve always been around horses and when I first started college in California, I was already teaching riding lessons and helping out with camps. I knew I’d never finish school if I stayed there because I was so involved with those things, so I came to MSU to finish my degree.”
But after just a few months, Amy says she knew “I just couldn’t be without a horse” and so Cedar Ridge came into being. It’s made up of ten acres and includes a large indoor arena, several barns, and enough horses for all of the riders, of all ages. But there is a very strict policy on boarding your horses, Amy explained. “I don’t want any of them ignored, and so we have a program called dedicated riders and if you are boarding your horse here you have to commit to six riding lessons each month.”
In addition to the dedicated riders, Cedar Ridge also offers year-round classes and clinics in basic horsemanship, English riding, Western riding, Western Dressage, speed events, halter and showmanship, barrel and pole clinics, and a stable hand program. The summer camps include youth, beginner, and advanced and run from June through August. Currently, 90% of the horses are provided by the facility and Amy says she has kids of all ages from five years old up to college-aged and with all levels of skill.
But it’s not all about riding and competitions. “That’s why the stable hand program is so important,” she explained. “They learn that with a horse also comes responsibility and focus.” Youngsters in this program will do everything from mucking out stalls to repairing fences while learning all about the equipment that comes with a horse. They even help out with the petting zoo and the garden.
“We host workshops for 4-H and the scouts,” Amy said. “I’m currently the leader of the Gallatin Gallopers 4-H club and the Horseless Horse Project geared towards working with those that aren’t able to own their own horse.” And Cedar Ridge has even hosted focus workshops for soccer teams!”
In addition to all that, Amy is certified with EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) which, in simple terms, is a form of using horses to help promote mental health and well-being. She also has participated in working with young people from Eagle Mount in Bozeman which offers individuals with physical disabilities the opportunity to experience adventures such as horseback riding.
With no lack of things to keep her busy, she still has the time to host an upcoming fun event with local artist Allison McGee called “ride and paint.” This will be held in August and features an afternoon of riding followed by appetizers, beverages, and a guided horse-themed painting lesson with McGee.
Finally, we’d like to introduce Ed, the newest addition to the family at Cedar Ridge. The foal was not only named after the famous “Mr. Ed” but also Amy’s father Ed, who passed away this spring. “Dad would have loved that,” she said. “And trust me we have high hopes for Ed!”
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Handling and care include cleaning stalls so be prepared to get your hands dirty.
Item one crafting and journaling are done outside, whenever possible, on the grass under a canopy of beautiful trees.
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There are a lot more than horses for the kids to learn about at Cedar Ridge Equine. They learn to care for all sorts of livestock, including ponies, cattle, pigs, goats, chickens and there are several barn cats strolling about.
Learning to care for the horses is just as important as learning to ride them. Grooming, feeding graining and properly putting Tack on a horse are taught at camp as well.
They are waiting for you.