By Carol Kinsley

What can you learn from a horse? Many valuable and important lessons, according to Mollie Esterson, owner/president of Singletree Stables Riding School in Seaford. Her parents established the school in 1970 and Esterson joined them in 1976 after completing her education at Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center in West Virginia. 

“Riding is a physical activity which improves fitness, strength, flexibility and endurance — not just physical strength, but mental, emotional and moral strength as well. Good riding and horsemanship both require consideration for others. Riders learn that there are no shortcuts to doing something right.” 

Riding teaches in a way that classroom lectures cannot, Esterson continued. “Riding is a pleasant and enjoyable way to build character — values such as respect, compassion, empathy, responsibility, honesty, integrity, focus and follow-through.” 

Whether teaching youngsters or adults, Esterson has observed that riders learn to take responsibility for their own actions and for the consequences of those actions. 

Riders learn to be attentive and observant. They learn the importance of having and using safety equipment and safety practices. 

Horsemanship isn’t limited to horses — the attitudes and habits of a horseman can be applied throughout life. Learning to care for horses properly means learning how to take responsibility for another being that is completely dependent on them for its care. Whether the ride was enjoyable or frustrating, when it’s over, the horse’s needs must be met. 

In addition to private and group lessons, Esterson offers special programs for youth groups, senior centers and church groups. Business owners and professionals find riding experiences are great for team building. 

Esterson can be reached through her website,, or by calling 302-629-4971. Singletree Stables is located at 22237 Esterson Ln., Seaford.