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Drama-Free Riding in North Salem

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Ashley Yozzo was searching for a horse barn to rent when she came across an ideal stable on Bloomer Road. She had no sooner moved in when the owner came along and said, “I’ve decided to sell this property.”

“My parents said, ‘Here’s the down payment,’” said Yozzo, and Summit Farm was born.  "I had no idea how I’d pay the first month’s mortgage.” That was almost eight years ago. One of the first things she did was to organize an after-school riding program for Pequenakonck School children.

“We specialize in hands-on teaching,” Yozzo explained. “The kids learn the responsibility of being around horses and caring for them. We’re family-friendly and we have all kinds of riding. You can come once a week or every day. You can go to shows or ride in the ring or go out on the trails. Whatever you like. We have 16 horses that we use for lessons.

“Last week I took a grandfather and his granddaughter out on the trails. He hadn’t been on a horse in 30 years. What we share here is our love of horses.”

People around Summit Farm also share a love of other animals. There is a sheep named Puff plus two outdoor cats, Cali and Dale, and two indoor cats, Oreo and Taz.

Trainer Kimberly Hill, who grew up among horses in Maryland, said, “This is as close to what we have there as I’ve found around here. I think of it as a drama-free zone. That’s rare in this industry and in this area. No one is pushed. You can come and just walk your horse for an hour. Every Thursday we have Ladies’ Night from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.”

Summit Farm’s eight-week summer riding camp starts on June 25. A typical day includes a one-hour group lesson, training in grooming, tacking, horse care and basic barn management, equine related arts, crafts and games. For more information visit the Summit Farm website .

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