Gini Quade began riding horses when she was about 4 years old. Now a wife and mother of three, the Bluffton woman spends her days teaching others about the majestic creatures.
As owners of Above Standard Equestrian on Hilton Head Island, Quade and her husband, Tim, spend countless hours working at the barn, caring for the animals, and teaching young and old all about the equestrian way of life. The company is located at 200 Jonesville Rd., in The Paddocks.
“It’s a labor of love for sure,” Gini said. “But we love it.”
Gini, who majored in equestrian studies in college, with an emphasis in teaching and training, teaches private and group riding lessons to children and adults. She has taught a 2 1/2 year old, an 80-year-old, and just about every age in between.
Gini also offers beginner, advanced and intermediate camps for children and adults. Summer camps will begin in June, and the Quades are considering offering camps over spring break as well.
Tim offers a camp of his own called “Farm Life with Mr. Tim,” where children and adults get to milk goats, and make cheese and ice cream. They collect eggs from the chicken coop and start their own little vegetable plants.
“It’s really neat,” Gini said. “We found that so many kids don’t know where their food comes from anymore.”
In addition to riding lessons and camps, the Quades offer horse training, boarding and fox hunts. They currently have nine of their own horses, another for sale, and 11 boarders on the nine-acre farm.
Gini said most of the time when people go for riding lessons, the horses are tacked up and ready to go when they arrive, and after the lesson, someone takes the horse from them.
Gini’s students groom the horses, pick their feet and tack them up before lessons. After the lessons, they cool out the horses, groom them again, put blankets on them, feed the animals and clean all the equipment.
“I think they really need to understand what goes into caring for these large animals,” Gini said. “A lot of responsibility goes into it.”
She says the children really love it, though. They even enjoy cleaning up the manure.
“They’re so excited when they do it on their own,” Gini said. “They just love being out here.”
For more information about lessons or camps, call 843-812-4225 or visit www.abovestandardequestrian.com find them on Facebook.
Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.