The New York Equestrian Center in West Hempstead is believed to be the last privately owned horse ranch in the Town of Hempstead. It is operated by the Castellan family, who live on the property. After paying $1 million for the land in 1995, it took them two years to clean up and restore the buildings, which were falling apart inside due to water damage after lying vacant for more than 20 years. The work included de-shingling roofs.
The 6 1/2 acre facility includes seven horses; stables; an indoor riding ring; an outdoor jumping arena; large paddocks; five acres of trails through woods and bridle paths across open fields. The center offers interactive lessons with horses vocationally for all ages (beginners to advanced riders), college interns as well as professional horse trainers from around the world
Built as a dairy farm in the 1930s, the land functioned as a horse farm up to 1968. From 1969-1977 it had been an illegal commercial dump site used by all of Long Island until discovered and closed by law enforcement officers. A new owner purchased the property in 1977 and planned on building mansions on the site, but after his plans were rejected, he left it abandoned for almost three decades until its purchase for $1 million by the Castellan family.
The center has hosted numerous community events like Easter egg hunts; Halloween parties; fall festivals; summer concerts; dinners for police advocates (local police department awarded them with appreciation proclamation); children birthday parties; educational programs about horses; horseshoe pitching contests; air rifle target practice competitions; rollerblade skate night; Easter brunch with pony rides for children.
The New York Equestrian Center is now well known within the community as a peaceful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors with your family. The barn is also available for rent on weekends for birthday parties, weddings receptions or other celebrations.
The New York Equestrian Center offers lessons and classes for every age and experience level. They offer classes for children, teenagers and adults of all ages groups to keep up with their skills or train new ones. Their classes range from basic to advanced, depending on the rider’s skill level. They also offer lessons that teach people how to ride horses as well as care for them properly. The classes include full care; weekend camp; summer camp; junior program; summer sessions; fall/winter sessions; spring sessions; individual classes.
Their programs are aimed at teaching children lifelong skills like responsibility, leadership, teamwork, confidence, and self-esteem through caring interaction with horses in a safe environment.
The New York Equestrian Center in West Hempstead, New York offers various programs throughout the year. They include summer classes; school programs; holiday classes; therapeutic riding lessons. Each program is designed to fit the needs of individual students, whether they are beginners or more advanced riders.
During the fall season, classes begin with an orientation for new members, including a special talk about horse safety and handling techniques. The instructor guides children in caring for their horses daily through grooming, feeding and tacking up before leading them out into one of the outdoor arenas for either flatwork (such as walk/trot) or jumping lessons.
The New York Equestrian Center offers classes that combine basic horsemanship skills – like grooming and tacking – with activities that challenge students’ knowledge of horses while having fun learning about them.
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