WADESVILLE - Rusty-Horse Stables is a dream come true for owners Jim and Becky Dines.
The 94-acre farm/stables in Wadesville, which has been in the business of raising horses since 1998, recently began boarding, leasing, training horses, giving riding lessons and, for the past couple of years, has offered a summer horse camp for kids.
With a 23-stall horse stable and lighted outdoor arena, Becky Dines said the couple wants to share their love of horses with everyone.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Bayley Collins of Belpre shows off her skills during summer horse camp.
"This has been my dream. I have loved horses ever since I was a kid. To do this, you really have to like it, and I do enjoy it. My husband grew up like a city boy, but he liked the idea. We started talking about it about 10 years ago. We used to drive by this farm everyday on the way to work. The property was so beautiful, but in order to do this, we had to sell the farm we had because it wasn't easily accessible for commercial traffic. We sold it and bought this farm, built the stables and built another house," she said.
While Dines mans the fences and hay his wife takes care of the barns and horses. They employ six helpers.
Becky Dines said the stables started last year offering one week of horse camp, and this year expanded it two weeks as interest grew.
If You Go
For more information on Rusty-Horse Stables go to www.rusty-horse.com or call 304-863-8762.
The stables are at 4735 Wadesville Road. To get there turn off onto West Virginia 68 just past Lubeck, then turn left onto Wadesville Road.
"We divided it by age. The first week was younger kids, ages 7-10 and the second week was 10-13," she said. "For the most part, most of the kids have ridden before, but we did have one girl with her first experience with a horse. She's doing wonderfully," Becky Dines said.
Grooming, tacking and safety are all part of the training.
"At Rusty-Horse Stables we follow natural horsemanship methods," she said. "Safety is a big issue. Horses are large animals and you have to treat them with respect," she said.
The campers are given the opportunity to try out English and Western styles so the kids can experience both types of saddles.
"We get to feed and ride the horses and take care of them," said Victoria Knight of North Carolina. Knight said she learned how to ride at the stables two years ago. "My most favorite thing is just being with the horses."
Twelve-year-old Bayley Collins of Belpre was guiding her horses around like an an old pro.
"I've been coming out to Rusty-Horse Stables for about two years now. I like the horses and making new friends during the camp," Collins said.
Makayla Mayberry has been coming to the camp for about two years as well.
"I had ridden one time before coming out here. I really like riding the horses and going fast. I've learned a lot at camp," she said.
Mary Knight drives all the way from North Carolina annually for the camp.
"My girls talk about it all year. They can't wait to come," she said.