Group of people in blue shirts sitting on blue deck chairs in front of wood paneling

Building Community at Lakeside Equine Estate

Entering Lakeside Equine Estate feels like stepping into a Jane Austen novel. Located beside Morse Reservoir, the estate is surrounded by open fields and clusters of wildflowers. In every direction, horses run freely within the many fenced enclosures.

This picturesque, family-run estate is managed by Tiffany Lunsford, whose family has owned the property for 30 years. Lunsford’s love for horses is equally long-standing.

Two women with horses in a stable
Lakeside Equine Estates staff (photo by Ron Wise)

“My parents met in high school, showing against each other, so I always had quarter horses growing up,” says Lunsford. “I think a lot of my drive and my hard-work ethic came from all my experience with horses.”

Lunsford hopes to share these experiences through a wide variety of lessons offered at the estate, catering to all ages and skill levels. In addition to the four staff members specializing in different disciplines, the estate allows students to bring in outside trainers. This flexibility creates limitless opportunities for growth.

Beyond developing skills, working with horses carries benefits for students’ emotional and psychological health.

“I think there’s something to be said about the mental health aspect of it, like fresh air and having a good connection,” says Lunsford. She emphasizes the importance of youth mental health in equestrian training.

“When kids are out here riding, they’re not on their phones or social media,” she says. “They tend to build pretty lasting friendships. Sometimes just giving them some responsibility and some freedom [raises] their self-worth and confidence, which filters into a lot of things in life.”

Another major concern is the mental well-being of the animals themselves. The estate houses horses of all sizes, ages and specialties, though each has one thing in common – they are remarkably well cared for. Lunsford says this “elevated level of care” is what attracts most of their clients.

“We really manage our horses’ mental health,” says Lunsford. “I treat them all as if they’re athletes, whether they are high-level show horses that cost $100,000 or something that someone paid $1,500 for. They all get the same level of care.”

The estate even houses a facility for accommodating rehab horses. Among them is Luke, a towering, dark-brown horse. On one leg, he wears a cast that must be changed every two days.

“We took him in with a 30-minute notice,” says Lunsford.

Each horse including Luke receives exceptional care. Even benefits like red-light therapy and chiropractic care are available for the animals.

Beyond horses, the people themselves are equally important.

“It’s funny because they come here for horses, but you can get to know people in other aspects,” says Lunsford. “I think we’re building a really great community where people can come, learn and grow.”

Community and support are pillars of every part of Lakeside Equine Estate, from the family that runs it to the horses and people who join them.

Sprawling horse farm
Lakeside Equine Estate aerial photo (photo by Ron Wise)

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