Aiken Riding Vacation: Improve your riding, train with instructors from U.S. Equestrian Team

From Feb. 25-March 13, 2017 eight riders made the trek down to Horse Heaven, aka Aiken, SC. Netherwood Acres’ team—Kristen Smith, Jenny Adrion and Alex Price—did an awesome job of getting the horses down there and back, shipping them from one location to another, making all arrangements for lessons and schooling sessions, and absolutely guaranteeing that all the riders had an incredible time.

The trip spanned two weeks, giving riders the option of staying the first week, the second week or the whole time. We schooled in dressage, stadium and cross country and took lessons from Ryan Wood, Mark Thompson, Lellie Ward, Allison Springer and U.S. Olympian Boyd Martin.

One huge advantage of going to Aiken with Netherwood Acres is that the horses are stabled at Lellie Ward’s Paradise Farm, with everything in the eventing world right there: impeccably manicured facilities including stadium ring, dressage ring and challenging 110-acre cross country course with natural obstacles and a water complex for all levels of riders. Hotel accommodations are conveniently located a short drive from the stables and local amenities.

For eventers, Aiken is THE place to go in the winter to train because of the weather, footing and number of places to school and compete. It has become a magnet for all those who want to take lessons, school, fox hunt, compete and take advantage of the high level of expertise that is there through the winter and early spring.

And rest assured, the Netherwood crew makes sure there’s just as much fun to be had off the horse as on. Aiken has incredible restaurants, boutiques and tack shops amidst picturesque oak tree-lined streets.

Reservations for the 2018 trip will open in September 2017. The dates will be similar to the last trip, from the end of February to the beginning of March. It’s a wonderful break from New York snow and ice, you’ll improve your riding by huge leaps and bounds and you’ll have the time of your life. Join us!

ML Ball has attended the Netherwood Acres Aiken Riding Vacation for the last 4 years on her horse, Grimaldi. She is a marketing and advertising professional in the greater New York City area.

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