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Backing the Right Horse

by Gina Gallucci-White & photos by Turner Photography

Windy Rock Equine

Windy Rock Equine gives potential equestrians an opportunity they may not otherwise have.

After a hard day of work, Erik Stottlemyer loves coming home to his Clear Spring-based horse facility Windy Rock Equine, Inc. “There is nothing in the world like coming up the driveway and cresting the hill and then there is this beautiful scenery and the horses,” he says. “It’s just picturesque. I can’t believe it’s where I live.”

Erik grew up on a horse farm in Mount Airy. “It started out as just a hobby and it ended up being much more,” he says. Purchasing the 45-acre property around 10 years ago, Erik, who is a business partner with Adventure Park USA in New Market, has worked to grow the facility over the past three years, adding a lighted outdoor riding arena, boarding facilities, and trails for riding close to the C&O Canal. The facility is “something I am passionate about,” he says. “There is nothing in the world like seeing [the facility] just grow organically. It’s been a lot of work. When I bought the farm, it was 45 acres of brush, shrub, and garbage. I have cleared all but [10] acres and we have planted grass.” The facility can board up to 30 horses and currently has between 16 and 18. Erik says boarders like his facility because it is secluded with a relaxed atmosphere.

The facility does not specialize in one particular horse breed. “That’s what’s nice about our farm,” Erik says. “Versatility is something I wanted to see. From the get-go, we embraced all breeds. I really wanted to be known as a versatile facility.” Some of the horses at the farm range from a miniature pony to quarter horses to thoroughbreds.

Lessons for English and/or Western styles are also offered for riders ranging from beginners to intermediates to advanced. Krista Healy-Schaefer serves as a barn manager and started a lessons program at the facility in November 2012. “I’ve been working with horses since I was super little,” she says. “I’ve had horses all my life.” Teaching since 1999, she also does on-site training for horses. “I’ve enjoyed seeing the kids and horses improve and seeing what the kids can learn from each horse,” she says. “The growth process — that is really enjoyable to watch.”

With years spent in 4-H Club, Krista suggested the facility become certified to be a part of the program because there are not many clubs in the Clear Spring area. Gaining official certification in January, the facility’s program has around 10 members ranging in age from 5 to 18 years old. “We love working with kids,” Erik says. “We really enjoy that.” Each monthly session they learn about a part of farm life, whether it’s grooming, horse care, or grounds keeping. “We are geared toward having a very nice harmonious environment and being able to educate people on horses, and trying to give them an opportunity they may not have,” she says.

Erik came up with the name Windy Rock from the land’s location. He was fencing in the 45-acre property when a friend jokingly said, “You should have built a quarry, not a horse farm.” The property also has a gentle wind that rolls through off the mountains and across the valley. Thus the name “Windy Rock” was born. “When people come to my farm, typically, they don’t leave because they just fall in love with it,” Erik says. “We are like a big family.”

Drop by for a visit. The picturesque grounds at Windy Rock and the friendly personnel are sure to make it worth the trip. While offering boarding services for horses, they also offer lessons and can even host birthday parties.

Windy Rock Equine, Inc.
12324 St. Paul Rd.
Clear Spring, MD
www.windyrockequine.com
240.357.6752

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