“We originally wanted to start out with just our own horses but then we had so many people asking about how to ride. And I love to teach, so then we started teaching people how to ride,” Renae Van Zomeren commented.
Over the years, they have grown a family of riders at Timber Hills Farm, along with their own two daughters. The Van Zomerens have had people from all over the Midwest, teaming up with Timber Hills Farm to learn how to ride for competitions. And they also teach beginners how to ride horses.
“We teach people how to be safe and how to have fun with the horse but we also teach them how to control the animal and I think that’s where the safety comes in and where the fun comes in. For those who want to ride and compete, we help them gain skills, poise and empathy for the horses and that gives them so many skills in one. It’s fun to watch them develop, ” Renae Van Zomeren said.
2013 was an especially exciting year for Timber Hills Farm as both of the Van Zomeren girls excelled in their respective competitions. Nadine Van Zomeren had the highest score in the World Cup trials, gaining her a spot to compete in the International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup competition, and Avis Van Zomeren competed in the American Royal competition for performance riders and placed 4th.
Since graduation from Pella Community High School last May, Nadine Van Zomeren trained a few hours every day for the World Cup trials. Equestrian riding is described as “ballet on horses” where riders are judged on their horsemanship. The position of the riders’ legs, the way they carry their shoulders and their poise are all taken into consideration for an equestrian horse riding competition. She even signed up for track at Pella Community High School to strengthen her legs for riding and became a fairly good runner as well.