When Sudie Fairall and her mother, Carol Simpson, started Iron Horse Stables in 2013, they wanted to create a place for people to ride and grow.
For seven years, the family owned and operated business has offered a wide variety of group and private lessons in horsemanship and riding, as well as summer programs for children.
After years of successfully creating a place for people to ride, the time has come for Iron Horse Stables to grow — to an additional location just minutes from the UWF main campus at 9995 Holsberry Road in Pensacola.
“When I say it is a family owned and operated business, I mean family,” Fairall said. “My brother Alan Ferritto has built all our barns and facilities in Cantonment and he will help with any other projects at the new facility.”
With the spiderwebs knocked out of the rafters, a fresh coat of paint and a host of upgrades later, the new location is set to open Tuesday.
“Along with our Cantonment barn manager Hannah Thames, we, and all of my fantastic extended family members, have the place looking great,” Fairall said.
If you’ve ever thought about hopping in the saddle yourself and giving it a try, Iron Horse Stables offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced English and Western private and group lessons.
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The difference between English and Western riding involve the type of saddle and how you hold the reins. English saddles are lighter and smaller, giving the rider closer contact with the horse, while holding a rein in each hand. Western saddles are heavier, and you have to hold the reins with one hand, freeing your other hand.
But no matter your age, preferred riding method, or skill level, Iron Horse Stables offer classes for everyone.
“We have riders as young as 4 years old,” Fairall said. “It’s amazing what horseback riding can do for kids.”
Each horse is handpicked for each rider and trained to be gentle and patient as you learn. It’s important each rider is paired up with the right horse, ensuring a tight bond as you learn.
For Fairall, it’s the tight bonds she’s formed with families that have helped her and her family get here.
“Thank you for supporting us for the past seven years,” Fairall said. “We have some of the best families on the planet. If I didn’t have these families, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
A tentative open house celebration is planned for Sept. 12. For more information, visit iron-horse-stables.com or call 850-982-0954.
Kalyn Wolfe is a freelance columnist for the News Journal. Send new business tips to [email protected]