Ride a Horse

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Willow Oak Farm Riding School was founded in 1999 as a summer camp; today, it’s ideal for first-time riders or for those getting back in the saddle again.
“When people first visit the farm, they always remark on the positive energy,” owner Patty Moreland says. “They say the horses are smiling.” The riding school, located on 80 acres off of Mays Chapel Road, is south of the Rocky River and downtown Pittsboro.

When Patty retired from teaching a few years ago, she passed the lesson program and boarding operations on to her daughter, Vanessa Moreland, who now teaches riders ages 8 and older on the farm’s most experienced horses – the school is home to 25 horses total – and also leads weekly group lessons and trail rides. Vanessa teaches the foundations of most riding disciplines to English and Western riders alike under the farm’s covered arena.

“We believe in safety and correct classical riding,” Patty says. “All horses are trained in classical dressage at all levels. Our school horses were once our own private horses and as they matured, we passed them on to the school. I enjoy the serenity and beauty of the farm, and it has become a sanctuary for both humans and animals.”

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Chatham Mag Intern

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