While most Vermonters are looking at seed catalogues anticipating the Snowdrops and Crocuses of early Spring, at Reinbow Riding we are anticipating a brand-new season of being outside surrounded by nature and horses. With that comes a deep satisfaction and sense of pride as you watch the joy emerge on the faces of children and adults as they learn to communicate with horses and gain a sense of accomplishment. As one of our volunteers recently said, “I think this is what heaven is like!”.
On the other hand, it’s much simpler for our horses. They are anticipating the appearance of that first blade of green grass, a romp in wide open spaces and the comradeship they get with their human partners.
Our years spent at Beaver Meadow Farm in Shrewsbury allowed us to grow, and with growing pains comes the potential to offer more opportunities to our communities. So, before we can get to the actual fun, our winter days are full of work developing programs, seeking funding, and planning new things. Over the past 2 years with the assistance of community members, volunteers, and our hosts at Stonewall Farm, Reinbow Riding now has a large riding/teaching ring, sided by a shady viewing pavilion and a handicap-accessible ramp for mounting. Open meadows grace the hillside for short rides outside the ring, and our first section of forest trails afford riders a chance to explore nature.
Our new setting at Stone Wall Farm in Belmont, generously provided by farm owners Alexandra Yuster and Faith Tempest, promises to provide for our growing community. The rolling pastures, ambling walls and panoramic views are inspiring and the “Farmway” that will take our students from barn to riding ring brings one back to how Vermonters worked with the natural borders and carved a living out of such a daunting landscape. Our sensory trail will be new and improved, encouraging our students to move beyond their comfort zones while being monitored by our vigilant instructors and volunteers.
On the horizon is building a “Sensory Trail”. Simply put, a Sensory Trail is a learning experience for the senses, the mind, and the body and encourages our riders to move beyond their comfort zones while being monitored by our vigilant instructors and volunteers. The Trail provides a learning environment for riders of various abilities and challenges using both the natural world around us and man-made stations and activities to fully engage each rider. These trails are a vital part of therapeutic horsemanship programs and provide individuals with new and unusual experiences all designed to enrich their lives.
No strangers to Vermont, Alexandra Yuster and Faith Tempest discovered the beauty and tranquility of Belmont when they bought a house in the village as a home base in 2001, somewhere to come home to while living overseas as development workers. Work soon landed them in NYC, allowing them to visit more frequently and giving them the chance to discover and be welcomed by Mount Holly’s vibrant community. . In 2014 they were fortunate enough to be able to buy Stone Wall Farm, a farm on a hill they had driven by many times, and it is now their permanent home!
Alex and Faith’s dedication to preserving the old bones of the farm has entailed many enhancements to barns, fields and house. Early records list the property, under the name M. Tarbell, a family of road naming prominence apparently, as early as the 1800s. In fact, the Tarbell name can be found throughout Belmont.
The property switched purposes throughout the years but always stayed true to keeping animals as part of the landscape. The old milking parlor still stands in the main barn as a reminder of the past. Admiring another key historical feature, they decided to name it Stone Wall Farm.
Alex’s love of horses wove its way through many years of her life creating the foundation and understanding of what the calm sensibility of a horse does for a human. Her journey with horses spanned the globe as she sought out horse communities as far reaching as Moldova and Zimbabwe circling back to the woods of Belmont where she found our Director, Mary Jane Osborne. The prospect of breathing new life into Stone Wall Farm by making it the home of Reinbow Riding was just a spark back then that ignited into the work that has transpired over the past year.
Although not an avid horse person, Faith joins Alex with their continued commitment to improving the lives of others and being active members of their community. For them, inviting Reinbow Riding onto and into their lives was a natural extension of what they were achieving throughout the world. In their words – Giving people an opportunity to grow and learn. To experience the joys of nature, animals and beautiful surroundings – and particularly those who might otherwise be deprived of these things.
For additional information and participant paperwork click on 2022 rider registration paperwork below.