Chesterfield residents don't have to drive far to secure some the finest horse-related training, boarding, sales, leasing and summer camps in the Midwest.
Kennedy Farms Equestrian Center in Chesterfield accommodates all types of riders, whether the goals are for athletic, recreational or social purposes. The center's staff especially is helpful for serious students and horse lovers striving to compete and win.
First Love of Horses
The "Pony Pals" program at Kennedy Farms introduces children ages 4 to 8 years old to the world of ponies.
Sessions include equine-related activities, stable safety, horsemanship and basic riding lessons. Instructors teach skills to develop lifelong confidence in children, says the center's president and owner, Micaela Kennedy.
She says a typical Pony Pals program starts with a Pony Salon, during which children tour the farm, meet their pony, and learn how to groom and brush it. The second week of the program combines riding and playing pony trivia games.
"The third week consists of a Pony Spa, where kids can pamper the ponies with a bubble bath. It's lots of hands-on fun!" says Micaela, who herself has more than 30 years of riding experience.
The children can create special treats for the ponies and learn how to safely feed them. Pony Pals participants also receive a themed T-shirt.
Dreaming of Horse Summer Camp?
Beginner camp sessions at the Kennedy Farms Equestrian Center are designed for students with no riding experience as well as beginner/limited/novice riders who have skills that may include walking, trotting, cantering and jumping small cross rails or fences.
Intermediate and advanced camp sessions are designed for students who are able to walk, trot and canter with confidence and are able to jump small courses. Students are divided into groups within each camp based on their experience and riding ability. All students are taught horse safety and care and learn the proper methods for grooming, tacking, leading and mounting horses.
Students also learn the gaits important to English Riding, proper position and balance, the correct use of posting diagonals and how to ride in the two-point position.
Micaela says an emphasis is placed on establishing a balanced and secure seat, instilling confidence and laying a foundation for further development. Students with greater skill levels then apply their knowledge to jumping cross rails and low fences.
Other Kennedy Farms activities include lectures, instructional videos, games, and arts and crafts. All instruction is tailored to each camper’s existing skills and knowledge. Intermediate and advanced campers work to refine the skills they already have through work without stirrups and in the two-point position. More advanced topics of horse care and barn management also are covered. Intermediate and advanced campers are expected to know how to tack, untack and groom their own horses.
Seeking a Platform for Equestrian Sport?
The lesson program at Kennedy Farms is designed to enable riders to set individual goals and to progress at their own rate, Micaela says.
"We provide the opportunity to accomplish your goals at any level and the adaptability to cater to your changing objectives. Harmony exists throughout the Kennedy Farms’ community as riders from every level are encouraged to participate in their own programs while at the same time supporting each other with enthusiasm and knowledge sharing," she says.
New riders at Kennedy Farms take an evaluation lesson to assess riders' goals and skill levels and to design a lesson program suited to that particular rider.
"Each student is unique, and we pride ourselves on helping individual riders develop to the level they seek at a pace they find comfortable," she says.
Kennedy Farms' lesson programs start with recreational riders for once or twice a week and people who ride as a social or physical fitness program. For very serious-minded riders who can dedicate the time to gaining show-related recognition, the designations span beginners and novice to intermediate and advanced.
Micaela says her philosophy of teaching sportsmanship and horsemanship, rather than simply to ride a horse, has enabled her students to compete on the A circuit throughout the nation. Her training program stresses teamwork and safety, as well as a competitive attitude.
1122 Deep Forest Drive, Chesterfield, Missouri, 636.532.7274, KennedyFarms.com