Horseback Riding near Smithfield, NC

By Jessica Mozo on May 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Curcio

Thanks to an abundance of horse farms and riding schools‚ horseback riding has become a popular hobby among Johnston County residents.

Promise Land Farms

Creekside Equestrian Center in Smithfield has been offering riding lessons for seven years on a 134-acre farm with a 22-stall barn and indoor riding arena. Owner Natalie Killebrew is certified by the American Riding Instructors Association and has been training horses since the age of 14.

“I grew up loving horses and children‚ so I decided to put them to gether and offer riding lessons‚” Killebrew says.

Her mother‚ Pam‚ is also a riding instructor at Creekside Equestrian Center‚ and they offer boarding and horse-training services as well.

“We have about 35 students and an active show team‚ so we travel at least twice a month to shows in Raleigh‚ Greensboro and South Carolina‚” Killebrew says.

Some of Killebrew’s students own their horses‚ and others use Killebrew’s horses for weekly lessons. She believes riding has valuable benefits.

“Number one‚ it teaches responsibility. It’s not just about riding; we also instruct them on taking care of the animal‚” Killebrew explains. “It’s also a sport‚ so they have to be athletic to compete. That helps kids stay healthy and involved.”

Triple J Farms

Triple J Farms in Kenly also offers riding instruction to about 15 clients on a 50-acre farm with a 12-stall barn.

“The farm has been passed down for generations‚ and we’ve had horses all my life‚” says JoAnna Hinnant‚ riding instructor at Triple J Farms. “There are between 25 and 30 horses running here all the time.”

In addition to offering riding lessons‚ Triple J Farms hosts a summer riding camp every year in June.

Both instructors agree horseback riding has gained momentum in Johnston County in recent years.

“It has really grown in Johnston County‚” Killebrew says. “Children feel relaxed at our facility because of the family atmosphere. They do it for enjoyment. It’s something they look forward to.”

Read about more fun activities in Smithfield, NC.

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