Horse in a stall
• Photo by Molly Montag

Stables, Training Barns Honored For Marketing & Outreach Efforts

Horse operations in Maryland, Indiana and Illinois were recently named winners of the Time To Ride Challenge. The nationwide program recognizes stables and horse businesses that implement programs to encourage newcomers to meet horses.

A program of the American Horse Council Marketing Alliance, the 2018 Time To Ride Challenge was open June 1 – November 15.  Barns competed in three divisions:  Small (11 or fewer lesson horses); Large (12 or more lesson horses); and Non-Profit.

Participating barns must have helped introduce people to horses at the grassroots level by encouraging barns to invite newcomers to meet horses one-on-one. Barns that entered the Challenge can win cash prizes for attracting the most newcomers.

“The time and effort our Challenge hosts put into this program is remarkable,” said Molly O’Brien, Time To Ride Program Manager.  “Their dedication to bringing horses and people together is very inspiring.”

The Small Division winner is Miracle Stables of Grabill, Indiana. Blue Heron Riding Academy of Chandler, Indiana placed second, and Misfit Stable of Salmon, Idaho came in third.

Lynn Coulter, of Miracle Stables, said staff there never dreamed they would win, but kept working toward their goal.

“Now that we’ve made it to the end we have huge thank you’s to all our friends and family that helped,” Coulter said. “Also, a huge thanks to our horses who were so gracious throughout this process.”

In the Large Division, first place was earned by Nova Quarter Horses of Mokena, Illinois, with YMCA of the Ozarks Triangle Y Ranch in second place.

“Participating in the Time to Ride Challenge over the last few years has been such an experience for not only us but for all the riders we have sparked a passion in,” said Lorri Ebeling of Nova Quarter Horses. “We are truly thankful for all the people that put the time and hard work into making this win happen as well as all the new riders that have come through our doors.”

The Non-Profit Division was won by Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program of Port Deposit, Maryland. Dreamcatcher Ranch & Rescue of Clermont, Florida placed second, with M&M Acres of Lockport, Illinois taking third.

Alison Wheatley from Non-Profit Division second place winner Dreamcatcher Ranch & Rescue said she and others with the program felt blessed to be able to share their facility with the community, as well as people who stopped in while on vacation.

“Your challenge helps us to get so much more recognition than we can alone and spread the word about the work we do as a rescue facility and a sanctuary as well as providing a safe, educational and fun place for the public to enjoy to help offset the costs of the rescue horses,” Wheatley said.

In total, the 2018 Challenge introduced close to 18,000 non-horsey people to horses, bringing the five-year Challenge total to over 132,000 newcomers.


Time To Ride is managed and funded by the American Horse Council Marketing Alliance. To learn more, visit, email [email protected], or call (512) 591-7811.

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