Welcome to Little Lake County’s 12 Shops of Christmas! Each day for 12 days we will feature a wonderful local retailer as a way of encouraging our community to shop local this holiday season.
When you buy local you are making an investment in yourself and your community. Learn more about these unique shops by doing business close to home.
Many children (and even some adults!) ask Santa for a horse for Christmas; the good news is you don’t have to settle and give them a stuffed horse this year. You can deliver! Whether it is in the form of riding lessons, gift certificates, a horsemanship class or even boarding a real horse, Millennium Farm has you covered this Christmas to make all of your horse lover’s dreams come true.
If you have ever driven down Hawley Street in Mundelein, I am sure that you have passed Millennium Farm a million times without even realizing. The farm is snuggled right in the middle of the Steeple Chase neighborhood; you can even see part of it from Hawley Street!
While it is not the biggest barn you will ever go to, the owner Sue Leverick, assures me it is one of the most family friendly ones. Just walking in the barn I immediately felt welcome. As I was leaving at around 3:00 p.m. a bunch of girls who had just gotten off school were all walking in together and laughing. Millennium Farm also has holiday parties throughout the year, movie nights at the theater, and camps during summer. Sue told me that many of the girls even ask their parents to drop them off on the weekends and they will just hang out at the barn all day with the other girls and do their homework there.
Another great thing about Millennium Farm is the temperature. While the weather in Lake County keeps getting colder and colder (ugh!), the barn at Millennium Farm is always kept around 50 degrees. The barn is fully heated, so you do not need to wait until spring to start lessons; you can ride all year round here. I visited on a chilly fall day, and I was completely comfortable everywhere in the barn in a thin sweatshirt and jeans.
Riders can start lessons as early as age five at Millennium Farm. However, they also have riders going up into their seventies in age. Anyone who loves horses can ride here. The staff teaches English-style horseback riding, and students will have opportunities to compete in horse shows if they would like to show off their riding skills. Unique about Millennium Farm, the riding program is on that offers riders instruction on horsemanship and the care of horses to ensure that riders are well rounded. The farm also offers very popular horsemanship classes focusing on the care of horses throughout the year for riders wanting to learn more .
Millennium Farm has availability in its horsemanship class on December 23. The class runs 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and covers barn and horse safety, general care, bathing, feeding, grooming, as well as vet care and anatomy. The horsemanship class is $75 and includes a voucher for a free private riding lesson ($50 value) to use within the next three months.
To ensure safety, beginning riders are only given 30-minute, one-on-one lessons at Millennium Farm so as to be certain that they have the instructors full attention at all times. Lessons are also taught by certified instructors. Owner Sue Leverick is a USHJA Certified Instructor; she is also CPR certified. Her daughter Katie also teaches lessons and is a professional rider. Lessons are available daily, and the farm has evening hours as well. That gives you a lot of options to pick what will work best with your family’s schedule. There is no pressure to commit to a certain amount of time for lessons either. You can purchase them individually or in a package.
The whole time I was at the stable, I heard multiple times about safety. Millennium Farm wants both the rider and the horse to be safe the entire time. ALL riders wear a helmet at all times. Riders who are just starting out do not have to purchase their own helmets because they can borrow one of the stable’s. The trainers match the right horse up to the riders ability. All of their horses are friendly (and slow!) school horses. As I was walking through the barn with my three-year-old son they were all sticking their heads out of the stalls to say hi to us. The staff told me that most beginning riders start off riding Snickers, a slow and gentle horse. My three year old son got to pet Snickers and has been talking about him all day long. Apparently Snickers is very popular with all of the children.
If you already know your equestrian enthusiast is going to pursue riding for a long time, you may consider buying a horse and boarding it at Millennium Farm. The farm offers affordable boarding for the horse and fully cares for it as well at its facility.
Millennium Farm is offering a few holiday specials for our readers: Buy one private riding lesson for $25 ($50 value) and Buy 3 lessons for $100 ($150 value)
So giddy up and get that dream Christmas gift for your horse lover!