The Mom here…I bet you didn’t know that right here in Manhattan, there is a place that feels exactly like you are in Upstate New York! There is a barn, big shady trees, grass…and…HORSES! That you can RIDE! Even if you have absolutely no experience. Yes, kids, it’s true, and Dr. George Blair, who owns and operates the NYC Riding Academy located at One Ward’s Island, NYC was generous enough to sit down for an exclusive Interview with Kids’ News NYC .
KN: How long has the NYC Riding Academy been here?
GB: It has been here for 30 years. It used to be a garbage dump. We cleaned it up, painted, and saw our vision become a reality. We are the last riding facility in Manhattan.
KN: Do the horses like it there?
GB: They LOVE it here because they don’t have to do a lot of work. Kids are lighter than adults, and that’s who usually rides them!
KN: How many horses are here?
GB: We have 6 horses: Misty, Brownie, CJ, Cheyanne, Rosie, and Magic.
KN: Which is your favorite horse and why?
GB: I love them all! That’s like asking a mom which child she likes best! You can’t do it.
KN: What do the horses eat?
GB: They eat hay, alfalfa, grain…and for treats they have carrots and apples. They LOVE Wasa crisp bread!
KN: Where do the horses go in the winter?
GB: We have a horse farm in Summit, NY and we take them there from November to May.
KN: How fast do the horses go?
GB: They have four speeds: Walk, Trot, Cantor, Gallup. These are not race horses, they are all older and can just enjoy themselves now.
KN: Who can come to ride them?
GB: Anyone can! We are a non-profit organization that primarily serves students who are economically disadvantaged. We have a summer camp, too. Right now we have the 7 and an half year old twins Nicole and Rafaella who have been with us since they were five, and we also have 12 year old Erika. You can learn more than riding, you actually take care of the horses along with us. This is a place for everyone, even if they just want to stop by and say hi!