Who says horseback riding is for jocks and the extremely wealthy? We’re here to tell you this sport is for the whole family. Pure Horse Play, one of the newest equestrian centers located just outside Atlanta, recently invited a small group of lifestyle bloggers and press to a signature sunset picnic. We met its owner, Michelle Phillips, who introduced us to the stars of the stable: Bree Z (breed: Tennessee Walker), Velvet (breed: Appendix), Big Mama and Mystic (breed: Arabian Thoroughbred), and Sky, Hollywood and Greystone (breed: Quarter Horse).
“Initially this was just a way for me to spend time with my daughters as they were getting older. Eventually people saw what we were doing and started to ask how they could learn as well,” Phillips says of founding Pure Horse Play, a family business, which she runs with her daughters: Jayla, Jordyn and Brittany. “The next thing I knew we were in the horse business.”
Pure Horse Play’s Sunset Picnic was hosted by lifestyle blogger Oh! Nikka Shae and guests were allowed to pet each horse as well as learn important facts about their breed, background and personality before engaging in a training circle where we were given a tutorial on how to ride properly. “I feel that it is very important that our guests get the opportunity to learn a little about riding a horse from day one. We want you to learn and feel what it’s like to be on horse. This is not just a follow-the-leader trail ride,” Phillips explained.
Phillips stresses horseback riding is a treat for the whole family, especially kids. “We know that riding and caring for horses is therapy for children and adults. We have seen a difference in students when they start at Pure Horse Play compared to after a few lessons. It really teaches responsibility and allows children to connect on a level they aren’t often exposed to today.” Also, she explained how many children with disabilities and even autistic children have shown great progress when exposed to horses.
The family-owned facility offers several packages that include everything from horseback riding, equestrian teams and summer camps, corporate team building and employee appreciation, to romantic sunset picnics for couples.
Following the tutorial, guests were escorted to the riding trail. At the end of the riding trail, we simulated the Sunset Picnic experience complete with a picnic tables covered with candles, a basket full of desserts and a bottle wine.
The evening concluded with Phillips inviting guests to return for the facilities 1st annual Independence Day Concert. The family-friendly event will feature kid’s games, music, fireworks and horseback riding.