I grew up riding horses, and jumped at the chance to tune up my skills with a lesson at Touch of Class Riding School in Aberdeen.
Pulling into the driveway leading to Compass Farm, I realized I was in a thoroughbred sanctuary. Theresa Crowther, owner of the school, has 10 thoroughbreds and six ponies. While she spent most of her equine career working with racehorses, she’s been teaching English riding for almost 10 years.
The riding school offers lessons, summer camps, birthday parties and the chance to earn Scout badges. For those who take their riding seriously, Crowther can help with competitions and has worked with some of the same students for nearly a decade.
But don’t let that intimidate you if you’re thinking you just want to have fun. The farm has both indoor and outdoor rings and two trails. And Crowther is happy to teach people of any level. She helps riders attain their own personal goals.
“We teach whoever wants to come ride,” says Crowther, who trained racehorses at Fair Hill and Delaware Park for 15 years. “Everybody does their limit. They work at their own pace. I only put people on horses they’re going to be comfortable on.”
Crowther had me trotting, cantering and jumping Ginny, a dark bay beauty, during my one-hour lesson. I forgot how much of a workout jumping was, and my legs paid the price the next day.
I’ll be returning to Touch of Class to take more lessons and attempt to conquer the jumps again. But that’s after my legs stop hurting, of course.
Group lesson: $35/1 hour or $25/30 min.
Semiprivate lesson: $45/1 hour
Private lesson: $50/1 hour