If you choose to stay in New England year round, there can be a lot of trade offs for seasonal availability of activities. In the winter, we turn our sites from ocean waterfront activities to mountain side snowbound adventures. Lost in the shuffle can be our favorite in between past times. One of my favorites I usually have to bid adieu to is horseback riding. The snow covered trails are often left until the spring flowers begin to appear again, depending on how hardy the breed of horse and trails men. So, it was with great delight that I discovered the heated indoor riding arena at Windkist Equestrian Centre in North Andover.
Their indoor heated arena (air conditioned too in the summer heat) is ample in size: 72 feet by 180 feet. It is as modern as it is vast with crushed rubber/sand footing perfect for riding and jumping. Skylights in the arena make for a nice natural light element, something we all often miss in the indoor world of winter. The viewing room is comfortable and convenient and a second indoor arena is also in the works.
Lessons, practice runs and clinics are all available whether you are looking to train, hunt or jump.
And should you have a horse of your own to board, Windkist may be the perfect location to be sure your long haired friend is well cared for. There barn has 41 stalls, making for great company amongst the horse with a dedicated staff to groom and care for each one. There are also shedded and open outdoor paddock space to allow for some open play and free movement outside of their riding time.
And when the weather does turn warmer, the opportunities expand immensely. There is a weekly summer horsemanship program for youths 6 -16 to learn to walk, trot, canter and jump a horse. The Centre also boasts two outdoor arenas, an outdoor cross country jumping course, and miles of outside trails along surrounding Harold Parker State Forest.
It is a wonderful opportunity to feel like you are back on the ranch if the chance to be on the warm open range are just not in your schedule just now. Even in New England, we can appreciate the glory and open spirit of the equestrian life.
Windkist Equestrian Centre is located at 125 Windkist Farm Road, North Andover 978.688.7662