Monday, November 19, 2018

High Hill Farm: Multi-Disciplined Approaches to Reconnect with Nature

by Sheila Julson

In recent years, publications including The Guardian, Psychology Today and National Geographic, have all reported how spending time in the great outdoors can improve both physical and mental wellness. High Hill Farm, a sport horse community located just 15 minutes from downtown Oklahoma City, is a multi-disciplined equestrian facility that marries a serene outdoor refuge with an array of activities. Equestrian competitors, as well as those just seeking a peaceful getaway, have found solstice at the spacious grounds featuring trail riding and obstacles, as well as an outdoor venue with three separate options to choose from.

Joe and Kathi Porter founded the 80-acre High Hill Farm 14 years ago with a vision to create a community of like-minded horse lovers. They continually bring in nationally accredited trainers and coaches to lead specialty equestrian clinics throughout the year. Schooling shows and exhibitions designed for beginners can help new riders learn and get comfortable with the discipline. Accomplished equestrians find that the facility accommodates all of their training needs. The covered arena accommodates the riders and horses, keeping them safe and comfortable in all weather conditions.

While some people might think of horseback riding as a solo activity consisting of just a human and his or her horse, High Hill Farm strives to create a community connection that is sometimes lost at other venues. Horse lovers can share their skills and love of equestrian life with other people. Because the High Hill Farm equestrian community practices different disciplines, they have the ability to train for classical dressage, Western dressage, Polo League, trail riding and multiple obstacles. There are also 3 miles of trails for casual riding or conditioning of horses, and a pond. The facility accommodates overnight and day boarding. A new outdoor arena is under construction presently, adding an arena venue for lease as well.

Being a sport horse community, they help prepare riders and horses for competition. For those that don’t wish to compete, professional trainers at High Hill Farm also teach in the disciplines of basic riding. Once people get basic riding lessons and build confidence, they can then follow their hearts into various disciplines of riding.

The covered venue allows guests to stay cool and dry in a 150 by 200 foot arena with a 70 by 20 foot outdoor warmup ring, barns and multiple stalls. There is also a sound system and a cozy meeting room. The green grassy field is a spacious area for parties and events. The space is essentially a blank canvas that can be customized for specific event needs.

The High Hill Farm sport horse community has frequently heard from people seeking clean, open environments that allow them to get a healthy dose of fresh air. The Porters felt that opening their grounds to share with others would help give people the chance to experience the great outdoors.

Porter is a rider herself. “I often hear my coaches and fellow riders say, ‘You have to ride every step—where are your legs? How is your posture? How are you handling the bit? Be clear in your aids.’ These words are meaningful to me in my riding, but more so, in my life’s journey, and I have adopted these life aids, as well,” she states. “Walk every step with a full heart to share, give more than you receive, accept more than you judge and give meaning to the blessings you have been given.”

Location: 13800 NE 234th St., Luther. For more information, call 405-830-8401 or visit hhfEquestrianCommunity.com.

Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.

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