From the moment you arrive at Canterlane Farm in Winston-Salem, NC, you have a feeling of being in the country and of peace. Rolling pastures, horses grazing and a beautiful barn are just the beginning of the great riding and horse experience that awaits you. Owner Jennifer Clauss is living out her love and passion for horses and riding with Canterlane Farm. “My journey here is one that I hoped would happen, but from where I started, growing up in Syracuse, NY, finding my way to Winston-Salem by way of MBA School at Wake Forest University and then working for Hanesbrands for 15 years, owning a riding stable was a dream. Leaving the corporate world and buying this farm was a leap of faith, but one I’m loving, especially with the history this place has,” said Jennifer.
A Little Piece of the Past
In the 1960s and ‘70s, Cedar Hollow Farm was located where Canterlane Farm is now. Girls and women in the area would come and take riding lessons. “Sarah and Bill Morgan were the owners of Cedar Hollow, originally larger than the current 22 acres, with a massive barn for 50 horses and hay storage above the barn area. In 1987 there was a terrible and tragic fire and the barn burned, killing several horses. The Morgans’ son rebuilt the barn that is here now, and when I bought the farm, I upgraded the barn floors and the pasture fencing. Since all the work at the farm and barn rests on me, right now, I try to make sure that the barn is as efficient and organized as it can be. I’ve been very fortunate that my father, Karl Clauss, the venture capitalist in this business, has supported me; I’m the brawn here, but I am living my dream,” Jennifer laughed. Although Canterlane Farm is what Jennifer has always wanted to do, her time in marketing helped her prepare for this role.
Setting Yourself Apart Begins with Letting People Know You Are Different
“I learned in my jobs in marketing the importance of a ‘brand’ and how to be a brand, and that’s what I am doing at Canterlane Farm. When people think of my farm and riding stables, I want them to have a certain picture in their mind of a clean, well-kept facility with horses that are well cared for, surrounded by lush green pastures, riding rings…a place of peace and respite in a hectic world,” stated Jennifer. Less than five minutes from Hanes Mall and Clemmons, NC, location is one thing that sets Canterlane Farm apart.
“After 15 years in the corporate world, I know that time away from the office is rare, so if you want to spend that time riding your horse, you need a place that you can call ahead, and they can have your horse ready to go when you arrive. Our head trainer is Anne Morgan, and she teaches traditional hunt seat style riding, which many will know as the style of the fox hunts in England. We don’t hunt fox, but we have the natural jumping obstacles to practice on. Not everyone is interested in jumping though, and that is fine. We try and tailor the experience that someone wants with a horse. We are a small enough stable to individualize the horse experience. I look at my business from the perspective that I had when I was a boarder or the customer. I know what I wanted and expected, and so I made those needs and expectations my focus. If your horse needs vet attention, I can set that up, or if the farrier needs to come by, I can make those calls, so when you are here with your horse, it’s all about what you want to get out of that time,” Jennifer said. Another aspect of Canterlane Farm is the importance of horsemanship.
“Our students are taught the proper way to care for a horse, safety in the barn and riding, and how to tack a horse. Building a relationship with a horse is not all about riding; the time you spend caring for it builds trust, and we think that is very important to impart to our students. Along with our riding lessons, we are offering a ‘horse experience,’ where if you’ve always wanted to be around horses, but maybe either you didn’t have the opportunity or maybe you were scared, you can come here and just spend time with horses, caring for them, and should you want to take the step to riding, we can help you there, too,” commented Jennifer.
With her home on the farm, Jennifer and her 13-year-old daughter basically live at work, but Jennifer likes it that way. “I am fortunate to share this passion with my daughter, who is learning that there is more to the horse business than just riding, and since we live on the farm, I keep any eye on the horses and know everything that goes on. I think it is important to make boarders and students comfortable where they ride, and we have a friendly, family atmosphere for as far as you want to go in your horse experience,” Jennifer stated.
Canterlane Farms is located at 2946 Canter Lane, Winston-Salem, NC. For more information call Jennifer at 336-509-2954 or visit CanterlaneFarm.com for a list of services.