Lynn Almond has been giving horseback riding lessons in her backyard since she was in high school. Now, that yard is about 15 acres.
The Friendswood native owns Bay Area Equestrian Center in Pearland, where she aims to “build champions in life” through the business’ various programs.
“We see so many good things happen to our riders,” Almond said. “That’s really the core philosophy of our program: that we positively impact people’s lives through horses.”
Almond began teaching neighborhood kids how to ride horses in her parents’ backyard. She continued to give lessons throughout high school and returned home from Texas A&M University every weekend to teach as well.
After graduating with an animal science degree, Almond worked at a large-animal veterinarian’s office while still training horses and giving riding lessons on the side. With encouragement from her parents, Almond decided to pursue her own venture.
“After I got out of college, I kept saying, ‘Until I figure out what I want to do when I grow up, I’m just going to keep doing this,’” she said. “My parents said, ‘Why don’t you figure out how to make a living in the horse business? That is what you love.’”
The dream of BAEC started to take shape when construction began on the facility in fall 1994. The site—which opened in May 1995—includes pastures, riding trails, a shop, an outdoor riding arena and also an enclosed one. Almond said having a weather-independent facility for riders was crucial so lessons would never have to be canceled.
BAEC offers horseback riding lessons to participants of all skill levels. Courses begin with a one-on-one lesson to establish the basics of safety and control around horses. Once those skills are mastered, riders are put into a class setting. About 200 students take lessons each week, and each session is 75 minutes long.
In addition, the center offers boarding services—which include grooming and feeding—and training for those interested in competitive shows. BAEC also offers camps during spring break and summer as well as birthday parties.
Almond said she hopes to offer supplemental tips and videos online in the future.
“We really stress the positive things that horses can do for people in life,” Almond said. “The disciplines that these riders can learn every day can just make everybody better people in life.”