A Jump Above Equestrian Center Opens in Chester
December 1, 2022 by Ann Wishart

Like most lifelong equestrians, Erika Reschke has to pause and look back to determine when she turned the corner from being a rider to being a professional horsewoman.

Like most lifelong equestrians, Erika Reschke has to pause and look back to determine when she turned the corner from being a rider to being a professional horsewoman.

Sitting in the lounge of A Jump Above Equestrian Center, she recalled teaching her first beginner lessons when she was 15 or 16 years old at Hinckley Equestrian Center.

“One pony and two kids was where it all started,” she said.

A Jump Above, formerly Summer Wind Stables on Chillicothe Road in Chester Township, is where Erika’s teaching and training career has led her and her husband, Ryan Reschke, 34, their two children and Erika’s parents.

Erika, 28, formed her business, Reschke Equestrian LLC, in the Medina area six years ago and relocated her hunter-jumper operation several times until the couple went online and saw Summer Wind was for sale.

Shifting from one barn to another is not uncommon among trainers and, in Erika’s case, was necessary.

“We just kept growing,” she said, adding especially in the last two years, she found her skills and talents were in demand.

“COVID came along and business exploded,” Erika said.

Parents saw riding as an outdoor experience that got kids away from the computer and out of the house for good, fun-filled exercise. Although the pandemic may have eased off for now, once youth were exposed to the enthralling world of horses, Erika hasn’t seen much decline in interest.

“It’s just going to keep growing,” she said, noting she teaches many private, semi-private and group lessons every week, usually using her string of 10 lesson horses. Student ages range from 5 years old to women in their 70s.

“I had a couple of ladies who just want to get back into it,” Erika said, adding she is qualified to teach beginner riders all the way to advanced levels.

In August, the couple moved Reschke Equestrian LLC to the 8-plus acres, took over the operation and started updating the facility formerly operated by Clay and Conni Lawrence. It includes an indoor arena, outdoor ring and multiple pastures.

“We’ve taken over their legacy and put our own spin on it,” Ryan said. “We’ve done a lot so far.”

Besides general maintenance and projects like brush-hogging about eight 8 of pastures, Ryan handles the boarding end of the business while also working as the director of event technology at several hotels in the Cleveland area.

Finding time for family can be challenging but, fortunately, Erika’s parents, Kim and Eric Swanson, are quite involved in the venture.

Eric helps with the maintenance and Kim runs the Saddle Up Tack and Gift Shop on the property.

They help with their grandchildren, Easton, 6, and Kayden Laine, 18 months, Erika said.

A Jump Above is occupied almost 24/7, since Erika and Ryan occupy the house at the front of the farm.

“I would never do this and not live on site,” Erika said.

The barn has 22 stalls, 20 of which are occupied, leaving room for a couple more boarders. The Reschkes have two employees and some students who help take care of the horses and Erika has three horses in training — one of which was a surprise.

“I rescued this mare and thought she was just big-boned,” she said, laughing at herself. Seven months ago, her project mare presented her with a little bay colt who appears to have inherited his mother’s thoroughbred breeding, and no one, except perhaps the mare, knows who the father is, Erika said.

Adding to the barn’s activity level was a clinic by grand prix pro Linda Radigan and two camp days for youth over the Thanksgiving break. More camp days are planned in December, Ryan said.

While the move to Chester at the end of the summer meant missing much of the area show circuit, Erika has plans to take students and horses to the local shows that start up in the spring.

For more information on A Jump Above Equestrian Center, visit www.facebook.com/reschkeequestrian.