Reconnecting with a childhood passion and the challenge of figuring out how to get a more than 1,000-pound creature to cooperate with you. These are just two of the many reasons Caroline Cohen decided to start riding at Chastain Horse Park (CHP).
“My friend Liz has a horse at CHP, and she knew I rode informally as a child,” says Cohen, who lives in Buckhead. “I came to watch Liz ride a few times, and she suggested I take lessons again. I started riding again in the summer of 2014 to learn proper equitation with the goal of competing as an adult amateur in hunter/jumper shows. I’ve loved every moment!”
Cohen enjoyed a 14-year career in marketing and special events and currently volunteers for Cumberland Academy of Georgia and Chastain Horse Park, while working alongside her husband as an ambassador for Pürminerals cosmetics. She started taking lessons twice a week for a couple of months, and now rides five days and takes lessons twice each week with her horse, Maximus, an American Warmblood and Paint, which she purchased a few months ago and boards at CHP.
“CHP is perfect because of its convenient location in the heart of Buckhead and the excellent trainers, but it’s also great to know you’re supporting a nonprofit organization while enjoying a unique and exciting sport,” she adds. Lessons are available to anyone 6 or older, beginner to advanced. CHP, which reopened in 1999 with a brand-new facility, also offers horse boarding, leasing, pony birthday parties and volunteer opportunities.
“In one way or another, all riders contribute to the success of our therapeutic programs, which provide riding services to children and adults with special needs,” says Karen Kogon, executive director at CHP. “We’d be lost without them.”
Chastain Horse Park
4371 Powers Ferry Road
WORD OF ADVICE:
Cohen advises riding newbies to be prepared to work hard. “There’s more physical and mental work to be done by the rider than you might expect; you are constantly learning how to communicate with your horse,” she says. “For example, there are days when Maximus and I are a great team, and we jump beautifully. Then there are days where he gets lazy and I have to work extra hard to keep him motivated, or days I’m not on my game. It can be exhilarating or exhausting—every day is different.”
NEARBY BITE: Head over to the neighborhood “barn and grill” known as Horseradish Grill for comfort food favorites like crab cakes and fried green tomatoes to satisfy your post-riding hunger.
4320 Powers Ferry Road N.W.
PHOTO: SARA HANNA