Stace's Places: The Crossogue Equestrian Center
I know I’ve mentioned Crossogue and my riding experience in different posts, but since it was really so special and amazing, this post will be dedicated to Crossogue and my riding experience specifically.
When I arrived, I was greeted by Mark and Sophie who run the business and guesthouse respectively, along with a few other guests and about 70 horses. The farm caters to kids and adults with a focus on cross-country riding (natural jumps like logs and fences in a big field). The other business at Crossogue is breeding and training race horses to compete in steeple chasing (3-mile races filled with large 4-foot jumps throughout, think of a marathon type of endurance but for horses).
Sophie is in charge of the cooking and not just the three daily meals – she is a master baker and every time I step foot in the kitchen, there is a new treat on the counter waiting to be eaten. In fact, we celebrated Easter together and she prepared the feast for all of the guests, herself included.
In addition to the delicious food (complemented by the 100+ varieties of homemade jam by Mark’s mother – my favorites were the strawberry champagne and the berry (can’t remember what type) and Guinness), there was something special about mealtime. Guests from all over the world would come together three times a day to fuel up, chill out and try to communicate over the common love for horses. Throughout my stay, two young French girls – Adelaide and Chloe – became my adopted little sisters, often communicating in Spanish when we didn’t know the right words in French or English. Also, a mother and son and two other girls from Italy joined later in my trip. It was a challenge, but a very interesting one, to communicate with everyone and learn about their cultures. Chloe even made a French yogurt cake for us one evening – tre bien!
I didn’t get to ride with the other instructor Nole, but I did get to joke around with him quite a bit… the ultimate joker and smart ass, and an overall nice and fun guy.