Off Park Lane, you’ll find 300 acres of land that seem particularly bucolic when compared to the rest of Dallas. This is home to Park Lane Equestrian Center, where many girls in our neighborhood learn about horsemanship.
Several trainers offer lessons at the center. Katherine Breunig Andrews, owner of CatchRide Academy, is one of them. Children as young as 4 years old saddle up at CatchRide. New equestrians take private lessons until their instructor feels they are advanced enough for group classes. Students who become serious about riding often join CatchRide’s competitive team.
Tassi Reppas, a former Preston Hollow resident who volunteers at the academy, says horseback riding helps children build self confidence.
“There’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with it,” she says. “There’s the whole issue of trust. You have to trust your partner. The horse is your partner. That partnership, for personal growth, is amazing.”
Reppas’ 13 year old daughter, Maro, trains at CatchRide under the direction of Porsha McLaren. She and her Welsh Cob pony, Frappuccino, have placed in several local competitions. In August, they will head to Kentucky for the United States Pony Finals. CatchRide has built a solid local following and is now interested in developing its national reputation.
Reppas thinks people are attracted to the academy because it’s conveniently located and horses are inherently appealing.
“There’s just something about horses that is so magical,” Reppas says. “Just being around them is soothing and calming.”