Monday, June 13, 2016

India: Galloping in a solo saddle

Ratheesh Sundaram photo
NewIndianExpress.com - Full Article

Babu Kunnumpuram’s 15-acre lush green farmhouse in Vaniyampara, 100 km from Kochi, is hardly a noticeable one. But behind his modest house, a muddy road leads to open land enveloped by huge trees, where a stable that houses five horses stands. This is Stallion’s Valley Horse Riding Academy, Kerala’s only horse riding school. Babu leads us inside where the steeds of Kathiawari and Marwari breed, sourced from Bengaluru and Mysuru, stand ready to gallop.

Today, the academy is trotting towards a makeover. Babu has sought the Kerala government’s permission to start Green Farm, a tourist resort which will be equipped with adventure rides, trekking, a rifle-shooting course, walk-in aviary of exotic birds and pets, forest and hill camping, a homestay for horses and dormitary facility. The permission is likely to come next month.

“We will develop the academy into a huge tourist destination. The inspection team will be here next week. Some people are willing to invest and a management consultant has been roped in,” says 31-year-old Babu.

It all began in 2010 when Babu bought an English Breed from Mysuru for `50,000. “I learnt riding on my own, but when the prospect of starting a school popped up, I sought the help of Nharoth Ali, a US-trained professional rider currently involved with the Qatar Equestrian Federation. Just like driving, there are certain principles that we need to adhere to while riding a horse,” he says...

Read more here:
http://www.newindianexpress.com/magazine/Galloping-in-a-solo-saddle/2016/06/11/article3474344.ece2