Monday, December 22, 2014

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Farm That Holds Prominent Horse Shows Opening Doors for Lessons

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The exclusive Old Salem Farm, located an hour from Manhattan, is opening its doors to the public for lessons for the first time. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Want to get a jump on summer? How about learning some equestrian skills like the pros at Old Salem Farm, the New York State location for some prominent horse shows.

"Northeast is always been pretty deep-rooted in tradition, as far as involvement with horses," says Frank Madden of Old Salem Farm. "A lot of people who you'll see show here this spring are also the same people that you'll see showing in Palm Beach during the winter circuit.

Located in North Salem, an hour's drive or train from Manhattan, this exclusive farm, for the first time ever, is opening its polished barn doors to the public for lessons.

"This is actually teaching the riders how to make the horses trot, canter, learn to jump," says assistant trainer Heather Hays. "So anything that goes along with what you would need to know to jump a horse around a course of eight to 15 jumps, we will teach you here."

The Old Salem Farm Riding Academy offers a package of four lessons for $375, or eight for $700, for riders as young as six years old.

Besides show horses, North Salem is also known for breeding up-and-comers on the culinary scene.

Executive Chef Beck Bolender of the popular 121 Restaurant grew up on a working horse farm, but opted instead for training at the Michelin-starred Jean Georges in Manhattan.

"The city is a lot of hustle and bustle, and it's very relaxed here, no matter where you go," Bolender says. "The atmosphere, even in this restaurant, is just very relaxed. There's no pressure like New York City."

Most everyone seems to agree. It makes a lot of horse-sense to trot up to North Salem for a breath of fresh air getaway.

As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP