By LINDSAY OLIVIER
SAUNDERSTOWN – Located off Route 1 is 57 acres of pristine landscaping where horse lovers can come and observe the four-legged animals and learn how to ride them.
Formally Freedom Horse Farm, the property has now been taken over by new owners who are feverishly working to erase the past and bring a positive outlook to the once ragged land.
“After the two previous owners, this location was left a mess. They drove it into the ground,” said owner and President Nancy Pottish. “Many of the horses were treated poorly which left a bad taste in locals’ mouths. We’re gradually fixing it up and really starting to get this location familiar in the community again.”
Horse riding has been a part of Pottish’s life since she was a young girl but after falling away from it for a small period of timne, Pottish was eager to back into sport after becoming friends with trainer Lynn Dafoe, who at the time was training in Exeter.
“The years of not riding, I felt I had no identity,” she said. “There’s a partnership you have with the horse that’s hard to explain. A connection that only you and the horse understand. You’re working with a soul that trusts you.”
When Pottish found out the former Freedom Horse farm was for sale, she and her husband jumped at the chance and brought along Dafoe as a trainer.
The farm consists of four barns, two outdoor rings, one indoor ring and currently boards 14 horses.
As a way to spread the word about what the horse farm offers and to increase their client lists, the farm will have a Barn Opening Party to show off the newly renovated grounds on May 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those in attendance will be able to tour the property and meet both the staff and horses. They will also have hourly tours throughout the day and training and lesson demonstrations will be held.
Dafoe has been an international trainer for close to 30 years, recently training in Israel.
“There could be so many things going on in my life, both positive and negative, but the minute I get on my horse, nothing else matters,” she said. “I started teaching because I wanted others to experience what I did.”
But it’s not all fun and games. It’s a never-ending job taking care of horses but onsite barn manager and trainer Marissa Wolk says she wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
“They need to be fed two to three times a day and their stalls needs to be cleaned daily,” she said. “I also need to be very aware of their behaviors so I can catch if their getting sick.”
In addition to caring for them all day, since she lives on the premises, she conducts night checks.
Laura, now 21 years old, began riding at when she was eight. She describes herself as not overly social and finds training and spending time with her horse, Kai, the most important thing.
For more information on Morning Star Horse Farm, visit www.morningstarhorseri.com