By Meredith Poston, Staff Writer for The Island Connection
Pulling up to the main entrance gates, the majestically picturesque Kiawah River Stables is a sight to behold. Located on Johns Island at 3561 Legareville Road, gravel trails wind through wide, well-manicured fields that are spotted with live oaks and lush vegetation. Walking up to the main stable house I was greeted by several friendly farm dogs and Emily Hertz Chadwell, Head Trainer and Manager of the Stables. Donning tan jodhpurs and a wide-brimmed riding helmet, Chadwell looked the epitome of a professional Equestrian; her incredible experience and expertise are what make her a riding aficionado ideal for manning Charleston’s newest premier riding stables. Kiawah River Stables was purchased in June of 2016 by Paul Mashni, Chief Executive Officer of the PEM Real Estate Group, LLC., located out of Arizona. A lover of Kiawah Island and the surrounding islands, Mashni saw the potential for revitalizing the farm and turning it into a place that locals and visitors alike could enjoy. “While the property has a rich agricultural history dating back many years, the farm as it is today was established in 2016. It is a custom combination of multiple parcels of land, all with historical significance to the area, and it is our goal to continue that rich culture with a focus on creating a tranquil, relaxing, family-friendly environment,” remarks Mashni. Boarding and competitive training are the primary services offered by the facility, with basic lessons and drop-ins for vacationers interested in a leisurely ride also offered as an option.
The farm’s 80 acres boast two large ponds and sits overlooking the banks of the Kiawah River and Kiawah Island. Settled amongst the equestrian landscape of grazing horses and traditional farm fencing is a large pen filled with myriad of jump obstacles of varying size and type to accommodate riders of all levels. Chadwell’s decades of experience in personal training and equestrian competition is perfect for the position of trainer; her knowledge in competitive jumping, equitation, dressage, and show hunters is what led her to become the head of the verdantly ideal Kiawah River Stables this summer, after joining the team in February.
“Kiawah River Stables is a wonderful place to work and train. It’s beautiful, peaceful, relaxing; everyone here is friendly and supportive and the horses thrive in that atmosphere,” observes Chadwell. “Their happiness at the farm carries over into their training and tends to enhance their performance at home and at the shows.” Chadwell, was so enchanted with the property that she and her husband and two young stepsons moved onto the Kiawah River Stables property this fall.
The move assured that staff is on hand 24/7, should a horse – or cow, as there are several black cattle kept by Mashni on the property – be in need of after-hours care. Growing up on a Vermont farm and learning to ride at the early age of 3 years old, Chadwell’s passion and know-how is profound. She stresses the importance of good horsemanship to all riders, and her ability to lead riders of all levels is what helps make the stables a perfect spot, regardless of experience. The stables homes a number of horses, including the beautiful, docile 20-year-old Rowan, who goes by the name Timepiece when showing. Rowan and similar horses boarded at the facility are ideal for beginners and riders who have stepped away from equestrian sport and are interested in revisiting it. There are also many horses at the stables that are best for intermediate and expert riders. Sweet smells of hay and soft horse sounds resonate throughout the well-kept and constructed stable stalls. Monthly boarding cost include stable maintenance, daily grooming, essential veterinary care, and many other basics, such as deworming all horses boarded at the stables. Kiawah River Stables is currently offering specials to new boarders, with the first month of boarding offered as a complimentary bonus for joining with a twelvemonth boarding contract. Additionally, the stables is offering discounted rates for lessons and training packages. With its sumptuous riding paths and rings and incredibly knowledgeable staff, the Kiawah River Stables is a perfect spot for horse enthusiasts of all levels and akin to traditional Johns Island pastures and farms, a warm and welcomed spot of tranquility.