It is a dream come true for Diane Quigley as she prepares to reopen a beloved horse farm in Amherst.
Quigley will be taking over Hunterfield Horse Farm for horse boarding and riding lessons starting on Nov. 15. The 28-acre farm has an indoor arena and a 13 stall barn, and offers professional instruction along with a summer camp program.
“I can’t even believe it,” Quigley said. “This is like my dream property.”
She is leaving her ownership of Lil Folks Daycare in Merrimack, which she has been running for over 11 years, in order to live out a lifelong passion in Amherst. This will be her family’s new home in December.
This new business venture is a mix of working with the horses she loves, while still serving as a teacher to a younger generation. This equine enthusiast has been around horses since she was three-years-old and has owned horses in New Hampshire since moving here about eight years ago.
It all started when she got a stuffed horse when she was a child, and now owns three of her own horses. Leaving her daycare was a tough decision, but her new business venture is the best of both worlds.
“With horses and kids, I have had a passion to work with them forever. I love watching the kids learn and teaching them something that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. Also, once my mother gave me a stuffed horse as a child that was it. Ever since then I did not play with barbies. To get to work with kids and horses is mind blowing.”
Quigley is also involved in rescue efforts for horses and small animals, on top of her lessons.
Cinderella Riding Academy at Hunterfield Horse Farm will offer a fun learning experience at a very reasonable rate compared to other programs, said Quigley. Lessons start at $20 an hour with her summer camp costing $175 per week, and each child will get a fun and comprehensive experience.
A dollar made from every lesson will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of the previous owners, Liz and Matt Esmiol. Liz Esmiol had to close down the farm last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which she has now recovered from.
“She was well respected and a lot of people are coming back to the farm because of the work she did. The place was perfect and I know she could have run it for years.”
The name of the farm has been kept the same in honor of the hard work and dedication of the previous owner, who is moving out of state in order to be closer to family.
This excited mother and business owner could hardly contain her joy as she talked about her plans for the farm and the new journey that will come after moving to the property.
“I get to actually enjoy going to work. I am so excited, can’t even believe it myself.”
Find out more about Hunterfield Horse Farm before it opens at hunterfieldhorsefarm.com.