Enid Ford Jones '58
I had four years riding at Madeira, 1954-1958, under instructors Gaines and Barclay. They gave me the basis for a love of equestrian activities that I have maintained throughout the years.
After Madeira, I continued riding until I finished college, then other things took precedence in my life. Several years after college, I moved to New York City where, in the beginning, my association with horses was limited. Then I discovered that I qualified to take part in a new training session for volunteers sponsored by the Mounted Unit of the New York City Police Department. After a rigorous time spent in the Police Academy classroom and in the ring riding the police horses, I graduated and was ready for mounted patrol duty in Central Park. My tour was generally twice a week -- one night, one weekend day. Our main objective was to deter crime in the Park, by being mounted we were extremely visible to any would be criminals. I continued with this interesting and rewarding program for 10 years.
My divorce final, I decided it was time to leave the City and look for a property in the country where I could keep a horse. In Connecticut, I found the perfect place, a 1730 farmhouse with a two stall barn and small paddock. I had barely settled in, with one horse in the paddock, when my new neighbor asked me if I gave riding lessons; she wanted her young daughter to learn the basics. With that, I was on my way as a riding instructor. Not only did I teach on my own property, after the addition of another horse, but also at a well-known riding establishment in the area. Another equestrian activity at this time was my involvement with the Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Program. There I was a Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the young adult session. This was a most satisfying time, a time to watch handicapped children and young adults come out of their shell, and for a brief moment take control of their own lives.
I stayed in Connecticut for 14 years and then, after a brief detour, returned to my "southern land." Although now retired, I still have my own horse and continue to ride for pleasure. A nice canter on the beach is so good for the soul. Anything equestrian is so much a part of my life. My Connecticut friend is still riding at the age of 94; I hope I will be so lucky.