The Origins of Broad Reach Farm
When Broad Reach Farm was opened in 2004, the concept of a boarding farm strictly for retired horses was relatively unknown. Although I had ridden and owned horses all my life, it was only in the early 1990’s that I began to learn about issues surrounding geriatic horses. For ten years I had been coping with health and maintenance issues for my 20 year old eventing horse and my sons’ 30+ year old Shetland pony, experimenting with various feed, turnout, medication and supplement regimes to keep them in optimum health. After the untimely and sudden death of my mare (most likely due to a stroke or aneurism) I began to ride a friend’s newly transitioning show jumper as she recovered from EPN. This lovely mare had just been moved to a more relaxed training barn near me from her show barn in Westchester County, and as I had just had my fifth child it was a perfect match: we both needed long, slow miles in the saddle to regain our condition. During the months of riding her it became clear that she would not be returning to the show ring, and I had lots of time to contemplate the ideal environment for this beloved horse. Ultimately, she was moved to a retirement farm in Pennsylvania where her owner was pleased with her care, yet saddened that the distance prohibited routine contact. Thus, the idea of a retirement farm of my own, here in Columbia County, was spawned.
The Jennings children with our riding horses in 2004.
When my mare had died in 1997 and I had sold off my young horses to concentrate on my children, we decided to tear down the ancient barn on the property and build a new one. In 2004 we set to work to construct a barn designed for retired horses. Some of the features of the new barn would be barred yet open side walls to provide air flow and contact with herd mates, while giving horses personal security in their stalls, Dutch doors opening to paddocks to maximize turn out in bad weather, a ventilated loft for warmth in winter and coolness in summer, oak board fencing and a variety of paddock sizes for optimum turn-out for various health conditions.
The original barn at Broad Reach Farm in 2004.
Written by the owner and manager of Broad Reach Farm, Katherine Jennings.