Story by Jeff Gard/Total Sports Quinte
There’s a family-like atmosphere surrounding Miron Valley Stable and Riding School when it comes to staff and students.
That’s not surprising given the mother-daughter team of Cori and Kelsey Miron leading the way.
“I’m hoping my daughter, when I retire, will take over,” said Cori, owner and instructor, who bought the farm from her parents a year ago. “She’s fourth generation on the farm, I’m third.”
Daughter Kelsey is the head coach and horse trainer and relishes the bond with her mother. She has spent her entire life around horses; feeding, caring for, training and competing.
“I got to watch her kind of build the business because I was very young when it happened so it’s really cool to see how everything has changed and keeps getting bigger and bigger,” she said.
Their love of horses runs deep and they enjoy sharing that passion with new riders.
“I have loved horses since the day I put my eyes on them. I grew up with them my entire life. My dad had Standardbreds for racing,” Cori said, adding that Santa Claus brought her and her two sisters a pony for Christmas one year. “It was just a non-stop passion.”
Cori has mostly moved away from teaching and now has a focus on maintenance such as checking fences and horses, ordering enough hay for the year, watering the horses and maintenance work on tractors, 4-wheelers and horse trailers.
Kelsey attends clinics, lessons and horse shows to learn more to enhance her knowledge as well as to bring more to her coaching. She started 13 years ago teaching private lessons and taking students to local horse shows and has now completed her Rider Level 8 through Ontario Equestrian and is working on becoming a competitive coach.
She loves “teaching the kids and being able to develop a rider and see progress.”
Make no mistake, though, riders of all ages are welcome. Kelsey’s show team averages around 20 to 25 students at different levels of riding from just trotting around over poles to jumping big fences. Her youngest student on the team is 10 years old and the oldest is 51. Many adults start riding or reconnect with it after their kids have grown up.
Located just minutes from downtown Trenton, services offered include riding lessons for English, Dressage, Hunter (jumping) as well as Therapeutic Riding Lessons.
All beginners go through Miron Valley’s Saturday lesson program first before entering into weekly lessons until they know how to ride and have good general knowledge of the stable.
“Saturday’s the students are fully supervised by a worker to learn the basics of handling a horse/pony. Getting them safely out of their fields, through the gates and into the barn. Then going through all the grooming tools, where each horse has their own, learning the proper techniques of tacking up and the students are then passed onto the instructor for their lesson.,” Cori said,
Miron Valley’s riding lessons and programs focus on safety and communication both on the ground and under saddle. They strive for a team atmosphere amongst students with well-structured lessons and a hands-on approach that brings the beginner to a comfortable level of confidence with their horse or pony.
Children as young as eight are welcomed and programs are tailored to meet the ability of each individual.
Benefits of riding lessons include improving fitness, memory, balance, control and overall well-being. In group lessons, students learn off each other and gain partnership skills. There’s a good variety of lessons available.
“If you come in and you don’t want to jump, you don’t have to,” Kelsey said. “There’s other directions or you can just take dressage lessons or flat lessons.”
Therapy Riding is also very important at Miron Valley and lessons are available for people with disabilities, depression or autism.
Cori’s background, in addition to riding and handling horses, was as a Developmental Service Worker. Horses and riding achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social behavioural and educational skills in people with disabilities.
“I didn’t think I’d ever get back to working with anyone with special needs, but here we are 13 years later,” Cori said. “They’re an absolute joy to work with and they’re always so happy when they get around the horses. All of our therapeutic lessons are done during the day when the barn is extremely quiet so it’s just them and the horse.”
There are two indoor arenas, including a smaller one where the beginners learn and it’s also used for some private bookings and small groups. It’s also where the therapy program sessions are held.
“It’s a cozier atmosphere. It’s just really bright, like a greenhouse. They’re called coveralls and this one is an original coverall,” Cori said. “They’re just very light, bright looking.”
A larger indoor arena – 80 x 200 – was constructed about four years ago and is where all the jumping lessons are held.
“The very large one we put in is the biggest indoor arena in the Quinte West area,” Cori said.
In addition, there are three outdoor arenas, including a huge one put in last spring that is 150 x 200.
“It’s great for training horses and students that are on Kelsey’s show team going off property because off property at the horse shows, the rings are large, just as big or bigger,” Cori noted.
Miron Valley hosts its in-house shows for its students to learn.
“We have enough students that fill it so we don’t bring in outside people. This year we’re trying to host more than we have in the past just because a lot of kids have taken a liking to it,” Kelsey said. “It’s a really good learning experience because they’re in their comfort zone staying here. There’s lots of help if they need it, but still learning the correct things to do when you do go to a horse show or what’s expected of you when you step into the show ring.” Riders who are ready do go off property.
“We support local barns and we just do schooling shows for right now,” Kelsey added. Cori noted there’s some people who join and eventually want to own their own horse.
“They want to come in and learn everything from the daily care right through to basic medical care and obviously the handling and riding,” she said. Great friendships can be made at the barn.
In general, anyone can benefit from spending time with horses.
“Being around horses is like a natural antidepressant for many, many people. Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant for sure. Horses just put you in a state of mind…very soothing. Everything that’s going on in your life just goes away when you’re with a horse.”
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