Author: Schyler Norton
I live so close, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually been here, I said to Amanda Calistro when she gave me a tour of the Buffalo Equestrian Center. She gets that a lot. On Monday I spoke to Amanda, who is executive director and head riding instructor at the Buffalo Equestrian Center or BEC. BEC is located on Amherst Street off of Delaware. From the front, it’s clear that it’s a big space, but it’s deceptive, because trust me it’s huge. BEC was originally built in 1922 as “The Buffalo Saddle and Bridle Club” to be used as an indoor polo arena. Today it is one of the largest indoor riding arenas in the nation, at one point it was used an an aircraft hangar, that’s how big it is. It is also one of only three barns in the country to be located in a metropolitan area.
Today it is one of the largest indoor riding arenas in the nation, at one point it was used an an aircraft hangar, that’s how big it is.
Buffalo Equestrian Center has 23 horses. All horses are donated as therapeutic horses, and if accepted into the barn they are used for therapy and regular lessons. You can learn to ride at any age because BEC offers lessons from ages 6 to adult. There are also home and away horse shows offered for people that take lessons. In the summer there is a three week camp for ages 6-14 and one week of 5 year old camp.
It is also one of only three barns in the country to be located in a metropolitan area.
There is another facet of Buffalo Equestrian Center, which is the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center or BTRC. They provide therapeutic riding for mental, physical, and emotional disabilities for ages 6-18. After applying to be in the program, the riding instructors will meet with a child and their parents to figure out if therapeutic riding would be beneficial. If they decide yes, there is another step before their sessions begin, they come in and ride the mechanical horse to see if they are comfortable with the simulation horse. If the child is comfortable, he or she will have lessons on Mondays from May-November.
BTRC is hosting a benefit in September where all of the proceeds go to the program, this September will be the 76th. BTRC also does other fundraisers for scholarships for the program to make it affordable for everyone.
This year is especially exciting for the BEC because this March they will be hosting IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) zones. This is the second show on the way to nationals for middle and high school kids. BEC will be hosting teams from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The show is three days long from March 24th to the 26th. Teams can have anywhere from 7 to 30 kids. Mark your calendars so you can head on over and cheer on the Buffalo Equestrian Center team!
Buffalo Equestrian Center
950 Amherst Street | Buffalo, NY 14216 | (716) 877-9295
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