(Second from left) Donna Antonucci, City Councilwoman Cindy Bass and Dr. Nancy Peter, with her horse, Cheyenne, are seen in the Monastery Stables in West Mt. Airy, where the event will take place on Oct. 5. Antonucci and Peter are both board members of the Boarders and Stewards of the Monastery.

by Nancy Peter

Have you ever wondered why there are so many horses and riders in the Wissahickon Valley? Or where the horses live and who owns them? Are you interested in learning the difference between a bay, a paint, a pinto, a chestnut and a buckskin? Would you like to know how and why horses are different from ponies? And would you enjoy learning more about horse care, horse nutrition, horseback riding and the rich connection between horses and history in Fairmount Park?

All are welcome to visit the Monastery Stables in West Mt. Airy on Saturday, Oct. 5, for an afternoon of horseback riding demonstrations, barn tours, book readings, opportunities to meet and greet the horses and more.

Supported by a generous grant from the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, “Horses and History” is a free event that will take place from 1 to 5 p.m., rain or shine, at the Monastery Stables, 1000 Kitchens Ln.

The day’s events will include English and Western riding demonstrations, tours of the stalls, feed rooms, locker rooms and tack rooms; horse and pony carriage driving demonstrations, a bake sale to benefit the barn and the opportunity to meet and pet horses such as Bubbles, Cheyenne, Johnny, Ren and Nemo. In addition, David Contosta, Coauthor of “Metropolitan Paradise,” will discuss the history of (and horses in) the Wissahickon.

For additional details or information, visit the Monastery Stables website at MonasteryStables.org, or email Nancy.Peter@verizon.net. Nancy Peter, Ed.D, is the director of the McKinney Center for STEM Education in Philadelphia and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She will read from and sign copies of her book, “Twenty Horses,” at the Oct. 5 event at Monastery Stables.

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