Monday, June 4, 2007

The original all terrain vehicle

There were no symptoms, so they brought the disease to her.

The daughter had reached the age of 12 without feeling one way or the other about horses. So one sunny Saturday, they drove out to River Falls to a riding stable, put her on a tall skittish appaloosa, and the rest was history. Her notebooks quickly proliferated with sketches of horse heads , the book shelf strained under the weight of Black Beauty and National Velvet knockoffs, and she started a whisper campaign to move the family to Montana.

Kinni Valley stables, run by the Lowe family of River Falls, has been a community landmark for almost 40 years, thriving on the natural affection between girl and horse. The modest tin sheds and crushed gravel driveway don't give up much of the story; you have to put $23 down for an hour long ride through rolling riverbottoms. And if you're lucky, afterward you can pull up a stump with Tom Lowe, the original proprietor, and get your ear talked off about horses, stirrups, the National Reining Horse Association, and the River Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Kinni Valley Stables, (715) 426-1321,