Up and running at a gallop

After its sudden move from Moshav Shoresh to its new home in Yad Hashmona, King David Stables is once again thriving.

Horses 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Horses 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
King David Stables, a riding school and facility for the past 30 years, is up and running – again. Several months ago, the stables – with some 25 horses and millions of shekels in specialized equipment – were forced to move almost overnight from their home of the past seven years at Moshav Shoresh when negotiations to renew their contract unexpectedly broke down.
“It was an unbelievable challenge to surmount,” says Anthony Lipschitz, who, together with his son, Arik, owns the stables. “But we managed and are now stronger than ever. It was not something we wanted, but it gave us an opportunity to regroup, rethink and, ultimately, make things better.
The stables are now ensconced on a beautiful property made available by Moshav Yad Hashmona, which is shadier and more appropriate than their former locale. The views are stunning and new trails have been blazed through the Judean Hills, offering vistas of the coastal plain as well as trips through the endless kilometers of pine and cypress forests in the area.
Yad Hashmona is a small collective built by Finnish Christians in memory of the eight Jews who were deported from Finland to Hitler’s death camps. It is quiet and pastoral. The buildings are made of indigenous stone and wood, a perfect setting for the equestrian facility to which it is now home.
“I cannot begin to tell you what wonderful people these are and how they have welcomed and accepted us,” says Lipschitz. “There is a great energy here,” which is evident as one sits at a wooden picnic table watching Arik give riding lessons to a group of youngsters, while others go about their daily tasks of feeding the horses and ponies, cleaning stalls and raking the floors of the three riding rings. These have been constructed as classrooms for the teaching of the Lipschitzes’ unique style of basic natural horsemanship in which, according to Anthony, “the horse works for you because it wants to, not because it has to.”
Over the years, thousands of people – young and not-so-young – have taken lessons at King David Stables. For many of them, riding has proven to be very therapeutic.
“We have had children here with acute behavioral problems who all educators had given up hope on,” says Lipschitz. “The change in them never ceases to amaze me. Kids have gone from here to become officers in the army and have completed their matriculation exams when all others had given up hope that they would ever be able to do so.
“There is something magical in the relationship between horses and humans, if one has the key to unlock it – which we have,” he says.
Recently, Anthony spent several months in Durban, South Africa, furthering his knowledge of therapeutic martial arts. Incorporating the synergy between horse riding and martial arts, the riding school now offers equestrian Tai Chi and Qi Gong, which combine facets of these gentle martial arts with the rhythm of a horse, resulting in an experience that is different and amazingly effective. The result, says Lipschitz, is lower blood pressure, less tension, better posture and balance, increased agility and the strengthening of one’s entire body. “A one-hour lesson,” he says, “makes you feel healthier, less stressed and stronger in ways no other exercises can.”
This year, as every year, King David Stables will again be offering its nationally respected summer camp for youngsters ages six to 15, which offers, in addition to riding lessons, archery, lassoing, trail riding and lots of fun.
Superbus route 185 stops directly in front of the facility, which makes access easy. Despite their hurried move, King David Stables is not only back up and running, but off to a new start at a galloping pace. •