Laura Fischer doesn’t have a memory without a horse in it.
Her mother, Becky, introduced her daughter to horses when she was about 5 years old.
And for years, Laura Fischer even competed in reining events — a western riding competition in which riders guide their horses through a precise pattern of circles, spins and stops. She became an American Ranch Horse Association world champion in the class of 14-18 youth horsemanship at age 16.
“Mom did a lot to make sure that I was able to do what she wasn’t able to do,” said Laura Fischer, who’s now 29. “She worked a full-time job; she sewed my (horse) show outfits; she worked her butt off to make sure I had all the opportunities to learn about horses.”
The Fischers, a Daviess County farm family, also raise cattle and grow crops such as tobacco.
Becky Fischer said her husband, Kenny, has always preferred cattle over horses but it was his love for his daughter that has allowed them to build a stable of 11 stock-type horses, which are kept in a converted cattle barn. The horses range in age from 2 to 22 years old.
“In my husband’s mind, cows make money and horses eat money,” said Becky Fischer, adding that the horses will go through about 250 pounds of feed per week.
So Becky and Laura Fischer have shared the duties of feeding and watering the horses — one usually taking the morning chores and the other coming in the evening.
“You have to put them first; it’s like having another kid because they can’t do things for themselves,” said Becky Fischer about the care that goes into horses. “...We don’t take family vacations anymore.”
In 2017, the mother-daughter team turned their passion for horses into a niche agribusiness they call LHF Horse-Rides LLC.
Becky Fischer said the idea of guided trail horse rides came about because the family was looking to diversify for when the day comes to give up growing tobacco.
“I had been praying that God show us a way to diversify,” Becky Fischer said. “Tobacco is going out and we’re probably only going to do tobacco, at the most, another year or two. ...We’re not making a beaucoup of money (with the trail rides) but we’re doing something we love. We feel like we were led (by God) to do this. We make no bones about (the fact) that this is a faith-based business.”
The Fischers are about to begin their third season of providing horseback-guided trail rides at their farm.
“We ride on 283 acres,” Becky Fischer said. “...When you get out on the trail, it’s God’s country out there. It’s just beautiful and relaxing.”
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 30, they will host a free open barn day in which visitors can ride a horse inside a corral, “paint” a pony and meet the horses whose names are Nekoda, Buddy, Rosie Rey, Carter, Stella, Dundee, Rango, Snowflake, Niña, Cayenne and Sassy.
“It’s just so people can see what we do here,” Becky Fischer said.
They’ll start scheduling rides in late March and go through December as long the weather cooperates. The guided rides start at $30 for one hour and $50 for two hours. Riders must be at least 8 years old.
“We lost a lot of riding time last year because of rain and (the weather) being too hot,” Laura Fischer said.
Becky Fischer also works daily as a lunchroom employee at Daviess County High School, but she’s already counting down the days for when she can devote more time to the guided trail horse ride venture.
“I have three years left in the school system before I can retire,” Becky Fischer said. “I’m really looking forward to doing this full-time.”