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Rural lake life gains new equestrian experience at SD New Horizons Ranch

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Sarah Fields, center, and her son escort a Clydesdale horse into the ranch’s stable to warm up.

The lake is a diverse area. Right in the center, you’ll find a hub of commerce and plenty of events and places to socialize year-round. For those who only come to visit during the summer, though, it may not be as well known that there is a whole world of farmland just off the highway. Sarah Fields opened her new horse training ranch, SD New Horizons Ranch, earlier this year and hopes to expose more people to the rural side of the lake. 

Fields’ ranch offers lessons for beginner to advanced riders. Horsemanship is at the center of the training, teaching a rider how to understand their horse. Before getting on the saddle and riding, Fields goes through how to care for the horse and how to even equip the saddle in the first place. 

“I teach everything from cleaning stalls to daily chores,” Fields said. “If they want to own a horse, these are the things you’ll need to know.”

For those already experienced with these fundamentals, Fields offers advanced lessons on maneuvers and body control. The goal is to help any owner become comfortable with their horse and understand the full scope of what it means to be an owner. She says that once the foundation of training has been established, any discipline of horse riding can be learned. 

Horses at SD New Horizons Ranch enjoy the sunlight on a cold day.

Fields allows for anyone to bring in their horse to train on-site, and also has eight horses available for anyone to take lessons with. 

In 2022, Fields will head to Arkansas to take part in a prestigious horse-training program led by Clinton Anderson. Anderson has been featured in a number of magazine articles on horse training and is well known in the field. Once certified through this program, Fields hopes to take her training to the next level and draw in people from all over the country. 

Originally from Savannah, MO, Fields graduated out of high school with an EMT. She planned to go into the field of Oculoplastics (eye surgery) and continue on with her healthcare experience. While studying in this field, Fields taught lessons as a side gig in Kansas City on the weekends. Her fiancee Derek would later convince Fields to move down to the lake and commit to horse training full time. 

Now, Fields wants to bring a new spotlight to the more rural areas of the lake. Being a few miles off of US54 and the main roads of the lake, she feels that what she offers may not be known to those coming to visit the area. Pulling in that crowd is a goal for her moving deeper into 2021, even if the locals have already filled up the ranch’s waiting list. 

“We want people coming through the area to know that there is a whole other side to the lake,” Fields said. 

The ranch is equipped with an indoor and outdoor training facility on 20 acres of pasture. Lessons are offered Monday through Saturday. Organized trail rides are not currently offered. Lessons cost $35 an hour, or $140 for a weekly lesson during a month’s time. Larger and smaller horses are available for adults and kids, respectively. The ranch is open year-round. 

SD New Horizons Ranch is located at 1494 Franklin Dr., Linn Creek.