Legacy Saddlebreds is an established American Saddlebred Equestrian Facility, with 50 acres of lush, beautiful pasture tucked away in a setting that’s convenient to reach, but far enough away from city life to be slightly magical.
The real magic takes place within the walls of this beautiful facility. Riders young and old learn to ride and care for horses through the instruction by the Legacy team who give their heart and soul to every day they gather at the barn to inspire yet another budding horse enthusiast.
“We are lucky enough to have been able to make our passion our career, and can share that passion and watch it spark and grow in the riders and families that are a part of our Barn Family,” maintains Sondra Warren, Assistant Manager of the Riding Academy, and also a riding instructor.
Known for offering the most advanced riding opportunities in the region, Legacy Saddlebreds, LLC, opened its facility in Winston-Salem in 2014. Success has come easily, as the show teams have earned multiple regional, national, and world titles, and their immensely popular Youth Club has raised over $5,000 for multiple charities, while organizing other community service projects and volunteering for shows and open houses at the stables. In 2017 they were named Youth Club of the Year.
The primary mission and driving force behind Legacy’s growth over the past three years, however, has been to provide a safe, warm, family-friendly environment for riders of all ages, explains Sondra.
“No matter what their riders’ journey with horses is, or what their goals, the Legacy Saddlebreds’ staff strives to offer top-quality instruction, customer service, and a rewarding experience for everyone that walks through our doors!” she says. Legacy’s nationally acclaimed riding instructors have decades of teaching experience between them, and the 40-plus, much-loved lesson horses are selected for their ability to provide a safe riding lesson, while also challenging the riders in order to progress in their skills. Their first-class facilities are beautiful: The Academy Barn features two indoor climate-controlled riding arenas, comfortable viewing lounge with a sound system and video surveillance, offices, and an on-site apparel shop. The indoor heated arenas allow lessons to be offered seven days a week year-round.
“Our top priority is safety,” declares Sondra, and the stables were built with that in mind. “The state-of-the-art facility does offer comfort for the families to watch the lessons, but it also removes as many distractions from the lesson as possible, so the horse, rider, and instructor can completely focus.”
Part of Legacy’s facilities have been transformed into dream settings for special events, as it has also become one of the Piedmont Triad’s top wedding venues. From weddings to corporate functions, parties, and more, they can host any size gathering in the picturesque countryside of Winston-Salem. With indoor space for over 800 guests, Legacy Stables & Events is an ideal location for conferences and gatherings of all kinds.
Good for the Soul
If you’re searching for even more reasons to perhaps “get back” into riding, consider this: Horseback riding has many benefits other than just learning how to handle a horse, and it is also an amazing workout. Here you can attend an adult clinic every year where a guest instructor comes out and works with riders, offering a different perspective on their skill levels. For first-time riders or those who have taken some time off (a few months or even a few years!), muscles you never realized you had will be sore after a good lesson. Other benefits include practice in critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills, as it’s just you and a 1,000-pound animal with a definite mind of its own! Parents find that lessons and activities also teach a sense of responsibility and how to properly care for an animal, not to mention the proven therapeutic effects that riders of all ages experience.
“Riding instills confidence and a unique self-awareness, as your body tells the horse what to do,” says Mallory Giebink, Riding Instructor at Legacy. “We start teaching at three years of age, and it’s amazing to see a three-year-old control a 1,000-pound animal while keeping a huge smile on their face! Priceless!”
It’s no secret that horseback riding is a wonderful sport for children and teens who may not excel at a conventional team sport, such as soccer or basketball. But for children who enjoy the team aspect of competition, Legacy also has opportunities with their Academy Team. Summer camps are also available for various age groups and skill levels, as well as a winter break camp between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. In 2018, they also introduced a Riding Series for Adults and Homeschooled Children, and this month they will kick-off a new Adult Fall Introductory Riding Series with three different scheduling options. During the five-week period, participants learn riding and horse basics, while making some fantastic new friends.
Nicolette Anderson, another Riding Instructor at Legacy, explains that many adults ride at the stables, some who used to ride as children and are anxious to dust off their riding skills, and others who have always wished to ride a horse, but never had the opportunity. They even host a regular group of women who steal away from stressful corporate jobs to come out to the barn, allowing a much-needed escape to reconnect and also get in a good workout. Several pairs of mothers and daughters are also frequent riders—making the most of a great bonding experience over a shared passion!
“Absolutely anyone can be part of our barn family,” assures Jeanine Lovell, Riding Academy Manager and Head Riding Instructor, emphasizing there is something for everyone, including kids, teens, parents, high-level competitors, those who compete occasionally, and those who just want to enjoy the company of the horses. The staff is especially proud of the Ambassador Program—a working student program that allows teenagers and adults to work at the barn, learning horse care and facility maintenance.
“It’s great for teenagers to learn about time management, responsibility, accountability, professionalism, and other skills that will guide them as they venture into the workforce,” recommends Jeanine. “It teaches them how to conduct themselves around customers and treat everyone with respect, as they represent Legacy as an ambassador.”
Discover your own passion for horses—or renew a childhood hobby—by joining the fun and fellowship at Legacy Saddlebreds. Visit their beautiful stables at 4151 Thomasville Road, Winston-Salem, call them at 336-529-6760, or learn more about their lessons, camps, and clinics at Legacysaddlebreds.com. If you’re planning a wedding or other special event, be sure to visit legacystablesandevents.com or call 336-293-7159, to see how easy it is to plan an unforgettable event in this truly perfect setting!