Rocky Ridge Stables opened its doors to the public last weekend for its first “trade days” event.
Attendance was low, but owner Jason Rohr said he expects more visitors at future “trade days” events, which will be held monthly at the stables on Stonecrest Mountain.
Rohr said he and his wife Sarah got involved with horses because of their three children, Jason, Whitney and Abigail.
“My daughter (Whitney) was born with scoliosis, and she was in surgery for 13-and-a-half hours,” Rohr said. “When she come out of surgery, she said, ‘I want a horse.’”
The family boards four horses and a pony at Rocky Ridge, and one of them, Magnum, a 19-year-old Arabian horse, is his daughter’s therapy horse.
“He’s not broke to ride,” Rohr said, petting the horse. “Basically, he is her therapy horse. When she has her down days, and she’s hurting and she don’t want to be around nobody, she can come to this horse and he’ll lay down or do anything she wants to do, and he’s never been trained for it.”
He said they named the stables Rocky Ridge because they got off to a “rocky start.”
“It’s actually is kind of funny,” he said. “Where the rocky come from, was because everything was a rocky start.”
They live at East Point, and he said they don’t have enough room to board their horses there. They were initially at Thunder Ridge, he said, then after that facility closed, they moved to the equine center, where they stayed about a year before issues with the prior lease came up. They were afraid the center would close and they wouldn’t be able to keep their horses, so they decided to submit a proposal to run the stables themselves.
Rohr said he and his wife have several plans to improve the stables. He said their priority is to give local children something to do.
He talked about having a monthly “kids night” with outdoor movies at the stables.
“I look at it a little different that a lot of other people. A lot of other people want just to have the horse show and stuff for a man and lady to come and do,” Rohr said. “I want something that the kids can come and do. I’m from Johnson County, and there’s nothing for kids to do, other than maybe go to the movies, and that’s it. So, when we have the shows, at intermission, we’ll have something for the kids, whether it be a stick-horse race, a foot race. It’ll probably be both. We’re going to try to do something for them.”
The equine center offers 188 stalls for horse boarding, with one barn specifically fitted for racehorses.
Rohr said the riding rings at Rocky Ridge Stables will be open and free to public.
“The rings are open for anybody to ride at any time,” he said.
The business rents its facilities for weddings and birthday parties and it also offers on-site camping, with 25 electric campsites and on-site showers available.
The equine center has hosted regular horse shows for years, but Rohr said he and his wife will host those events, instead of leasing the facility out to other groups. He said tentative plans are to host shows on the first and third weekend of the month, starting this spring, as well as monthly trade shows.
Rohr said he and his wife are also working out details to provide trail ride events and/or horse rentals for people who want to ride horses on the neighboring Sugarcamp Mountain Trails.
Rohr said the office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the week. For questions about shows and events, call, (606) 886-2285, or visit the Rocky Ridge Stables on Facebook.