Local equestrian's business is her passion

By Bruce Sims independent@gulfcoastnewspapers.com
Posted 7/9/13

ROSINTON, Alabama — Equestrian riding is both a sport and a business for Adria Lehmann, who resides at Sunset Run Farms in Rosinton.

“I’ve been jumping horse since shortly after I learned to ride at age 5,” she said. “Besides going to …

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Local equestrian's business is her passion


ROSINTON, Alabama — Equestrian riding is both a sport and a business for Adria Lehmann, who resides at Sunset Run Farms in Rosinton.

“I’ve been jumping horse since shortly after I learned to ride at age 5,” she said. “Besides going to different equestrian events I now train horses, teach lessons in riding, and even sell the occasional horse to other show jumpers. I’m often called on to do horse appraisals.”

Lehmann is one of the few certified horse appraisers in Alabama. What that means is if she says a horse is worth a certain amount of money, then both the buyer and seller can pretty much figure that’s the horse’s worth.

“My next step is to become a certified trainer, and from there to possibly pursue a bachelor’s degree in business,” she said. “I’m only 24, but all my life I’ve had certain goals I wanted to accomplish.”

One of those goals is to become a member of the United States Equestrian team that participates in the Olympics. To have a chance at that, she said, she would have to be invited to some international events so that she could build up the required number of points.

“A lot of those riders are atop million dollar horses,” she said. “My personal horse, Bajo del Sol, or Under the Sun, is a horse that I feel is just as good as some of the others I’ve seen. He has the blue ribbons from shows I’ve ridden him in to back it up, and he didn’t cost a million.”

Next to Bajo’s stall is a thoroughbred that once raced on the track.

“He sold for $100,000 as a yearling,” she said, “but once his racing days were over the owners sold him to a slaughterhouse for $100. He was rescued by an organization over in Ocala, Fla., which is a big thoroughbred raising area.”

The owner of the rescue organization called Lehmann and explained the situation. She hooked up her horse trailer and went and got him.

“Once we put some meat on his bones and got him fit, we began to use him to teach riding lessons,” she said. “He adjusted to it like he’d been doing it all his life, and the kids loved him. I think that love is what he thrives on, and we make sure to give him all he can stand around here.”

A typical day for Lehmann is to get up, have breakfast, and then head to the barn where she mucks out each stall. Then calling the horses in, she feeds and waters each one of them.

“After that I do my paperwork, return emails, and make numerous phone calls,” she said. “I may work between 12 and 14 hours a day, but to be honest it’s more like caring for friends.” I’ve heard it said that if you do what you love then work becomes play.”

Due to the heat the horses stay out at night and in the barn during the day unless they are being exercised or used for lessons.

“I try to do one or two lessons in the morning and two or three in the afternoon each day,” she said. “When the horses are through with their workouts, we wash and shampoo each one before leading them to their stalls to dry out. One of the things they like as a treat is Guinness beer.”

The beer helps with anhydrases, which is a sweat disorder. At jumping events Lehmann gives her horses a special German-made form of Gatorade.

Over in another pasture is her stud, whose fees garner quite a pretty penny due to his pedigree.

“My problem is that I don’t have a stud facility, or I could handle more business for him,” she said.

When it comes to traveling Lehmann goes to events in Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. She tries to make each trip a mini-vacation.

“I’ve been gaining some experience by hosting my own events,” she said. “Recently, we had an event here at the farm where over 50 horses and riders showed off their skills.”

Word of that kind of experience has made its way around the horse world, as Lehmann was asked by a lady in Atlanta to come over and put together events at her farm.

Although she knows she still has a way to go, Lehmann has almost two decades of experience as a rider, teacher, and horsewoman who is fluent in the language and ways of the horse world.

“This is the type challenge I enjoy,” she said. “I freely admit to being ambitious, but I know I must achieve my goals, one step at a time in order to finally make it to the big time.”

To reach Lehmann for more information you may contact her at sunsetrunfarms@yahoo.com.