Siesta Key & Equestrian Paradise? Absolutely!

Posted by Paul Parr on January 31st, 2009

Every now and then Nann and I look out our front windows and see the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Mounted Division’s sheriff patrol riding along the beach. How neat to see these graceful animals work their way through groups of people and along the shore line of Siesta Key Public Beach. You can’t help but feel like it’s you on the horse and the invigoration of this momentary thought brings a smile to your face and a rigid straightening of your back, but suddenly you are back to reality, still smiling though realizing you’re not riding horseback along the beach. Incredible as it may sound, visitors to Siesta Key have very quick access to two rather unique equestrian experiences.

Thirty minutes away from your beachfront penthouse condo on Siesta Key is Rosaire’s Riding Academy and Pony Rides. Miss Ellian Rosaire’s Academy, which is just past Interstate 75 off of Palmer Road and caters to every age group with pony rides for the youngsters, along with riding lessons for everyone. Miss Ellian is a lifelong equestrienne, an award-winning trainer and performer, who has dedicated her life to horses, riding, training and teaching. Whether you wish to ride English style—dressage, huntseat—or Western—trail, barrel racing—you will receive patient and clear instruction in the correct, balanced form of riding.

Magnificent Trio: Nugget, Topaz, and Anacacho. Photo: Gail Shumway

This close location to Siesta Key with the facilities and properties available to experience horseback riding in the sunny and pleasant Florida weather is a treat to anyone who has a fondness for these large majestic animals that move so gracefully with or without a rider aboard. An afternoon pony ride for a respite from the beach is a great way to balance your Florida holiday. Better yet is a day at horse camp to immerse the vacationing student in a learning experience that will be the talk of their class when they return to school. This is a wonderful way to keep smiles on the faces of kids who need a break from the midday sun of the white sands of Siesta Key beach and it a great break in the day for mom and dad too.

In a recent article in our local Pelican Press was a fascinating story about a second unique equestrian experience that is also close to Siesta Key, the Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallion Ranch in Myakka City and just an hour drive from Siesta Key. Rachel Brown Hackney writes in her Roaming Column in the Pelican Press and in her Siesta Key Pelican Press Blog about this ranch and her incredible experience of taking riding lessons on these rare Lipizzan Stallions, which you can also do. The story of these stallions that were founded in the 16th century and saved from possible extinction from an advancing Russian army by General Patton in WW II is captivating and also recounted in a Walt Disney Movie called “Miracle of the White Stallions”.

Colonel Herrmann, joined by two subsequent generations of Herrmann’s, created an American renaissance of Classical equitation’s. His family maintains this 200 acre ranch in Florida to ensure the propagation of this extraordinary breed. When you visit you can see first hand the all “Airs Above the Ground”, originally outlined by Xenophon the Greek, derived from defensive horsemanship created for war and predated the birth of Christ by some 400 years. These spectacular leaps and plunges were originally meant for use by mounted riders to inspire terror in the hearts of foot soldiers.
Obviously to see these horses in person as they perform for you at the ranch in Florida is an experience that you will not soon forget. Now imagine doing what Rachel did and writes about in her article. If you have some horseback riding in your past and would like to experience a new plateau in horseback riding then sign up for riding lessons at the ranch on these magnificent stallions and have instructor Heather Meyer reacquaint you with your past horseback riding experiences on these 21st century models of Lipizzans that have their genesis dating back to the 16th century. Just think, they have been around much longer then a Ford and are still going strong.

In our activity page about Siesta Key we mention that Herrmann’s Royale Lipizzan Ranch not only provides the above entertainment and lessons, but will also make their ranch available for your wedding. We have known for quite sometime how special many couples find our beautiful Siesta Key Beach for this very important day in their lives, but now, just imagine having your wedding hosted at place as unique and different as the Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Ranch. No matter which venue you choose as newly weds for your wedding, your honeymoon stay at Parr’s Beachfront Penthouse Condo at Sunset Royale will pretty much guarantee a perfect marriage. Visit our website at and review the features of our special condo on Siesta Key as well as a wealth of information on Siesta Key, Sarasota and many fun and interesting things to do and see while visiting Siesta Key.

Wedding at Herrmann's Royal Lipizzon Ranch
Wedding at Herrmann's Royal Lipizzan Stallion Ranch