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Newsomes share love of horses

COLERAIN- For any child looking to broaden his or her horizons, a Colerain couple has just the ticket, or saddle.

Charles and Leah Newsome, owners of Oak Down Stables, are in their second year of hosting a youth camp that has turned their love of horses into a summer funfest for children.

&uot;We try to pass our joy of horseback riding on to these children,&uot; Leah said. &uot;It really gives them something different to do during the summer.&uot;

Leah, a life-long music teacher in Plymouth, is a hands-on instructor, who along with husband of 18 years, Charles, operate the summer enrichment camp on 210 acres of land off Nowell Farm Road in Colerain.

&uot;We are hoping to expand our services to trail riding and boarding,&uot; Leah said. &uot;We have a professional jockey who serves as a riding instructor.&uot;

The jockey Leah is speaking of is Ellen Rice of Pennsylvania who is a former horse groomer as well.

Leah and Charles along with stable-hands Jessica Howerton and Harold Tull groom and maintain the seven horses they have on site.

The Newsomes started advertising their camp by way of flyers at various schools in the region.

Parents now bring their children from as far away as Gatesville, as Rene Winslow did.

Winslow bought her children Trey and Elise to the camp after hearing about it from a friend.

Linda Harrell of White’s Cross, said it was a school flyer that caught her attention.

Harrell, who brought grandchildren Duke and Cody to the camp for the first time, has six horses at her own home.

She says the kids still love coming.

&uot;It’s such a positive experience,&uot; Harrell said. &uot;We can’t wait to get back.&uot;

Children who attend the camp get instruction on mounting, tying saddle knots, cleaning equipment, riding and grooming.

The camp is three days a week, runs for three hours and costs $50 per child.

Each child learns how to mount a horse, and gets individual time riding in the various

Children ages five and up are welcome to participate in the camp.

The Newsomes, both Colerain natives, also have a pond that camp attendees get to fish in between riding stations.

Neighbor Marquita Moore supervises the children while they are fishing in the one-acre catch and release pond that has its fair share of bass and brim.

For information or to schedule trail riding call 356-4130 or visit www.oakdownstables.com