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April 23, 2004
Vol. 45 No. 21

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Silverado offers alternative activity

Happy Horse
The Crusader/Walter Fowler
HAPPY HORSE - A Silverado Farm's horse frolics in a field on a horse farm. Silverado Farms is the newest horseback riding facility in the Susquehanna Valley, located in Winfield. The farm offers lessons for both beginning and advanced riders.
The moment you arrive at Silverado Farms, you will feel right at home.

Several dogs will scurry over to greet you and smother you with kisses, and Jonathan Mitchell, the owner of the farm, will give you a wholesome greeting.

On a perfect day, the clear blue sky helps to create the most picturesque horse farm.

The farm, which is nestled in the back roads of Winfield, sits amid 30 acres of land, with several large red barns and horses grazing in the pasture.

Silverado is the newest horseback riding facility to make its premiere in the Susquehanna Valley.

Located just 10 minutes outside of Susquehanna's campus, Silverado is one of only three horseback riding farms in Central Pennsylvania.

It joins Summer Breeze Stables, which is based out of Milton, and Fox View Farms, which is located in Lewisburg. According to Mitchell, Silverado has been running since the fall of 2003.

He said his business will not be official, however, until the paperwork is completed.

Although Silverado is new in the area and has not yet advertised, word is spreading quickly about the farm. Mitchell currently has 15 total riders per week, but is capable of accommodating around 40 riders per week.

Private, group and family lessons for both beginning and advanced riders are available by scheduling an appointment. The cost is $25 for an hour and $15 for a half-hour.

Mitchell welcomes beginning riders ages seven and above. Typically, he said that 70 to 75 percent of his clients are beginners.

No matter what level, beginning, intermediate or advanced, Silverado offers personalized service to its customers.

"I am with the student the entire time," Mitchell said.

In addition to horseback riding lessons, Silverado offers boarding for horses, as well as training for show or trail horses.

With 15 horses and an indoor riding ring, Silverado has many compelling features.

Silverado's large ring is spacious enough to allow more than one person to ride at the same time. In addition, it gives riders a chance to continue taking lessons even in inclement weather.

Mitchell's interests in horses can be traced back to his childhood.

"I started riding when I was 12 years old, I have just always liked horses. My parents got me riding lessons for my one birthday, and I have been riding ever since," he said.

Following after his love for horses, Mitchell attended college at the University of Findlay in Ohio where he majored in equestrian studies for one year.

After leaving college, Mitchell landed a job with a trainer in State College for the next three years.

It was while shadowing this trainer that Mitchell decided to return to his home roots and open his own horseback riding business.

"I have been working with horses for 14 years," he said. "I have assisted in training some of the top horse shows."

For more information, e-mail Jonathan Mitchell at jonnycool12@hotmail.com.

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