In 1950, Tommy Mayes bought the Rockin’ M ranch in rural Lake Highlands, far from the hustle and bustle of the City. Nearly 50 years later, the ranch is owned and operated by Tommy’s grandson Michael Mayes and his wife, Ann. Now surrounded on all sides by subdivisions, apartments and shopping centers, this neighborhood fixture is still rockin’ along.

The Mayes took over the Rockin’ M in 1988. Through the years, the property – located near the intersection of Fair Oaks and Walnut Hill – had fallen into disrepair. They put some money into it and fixed it up.

Originally, the Rockin’ M was used only to stable horses, but the Mayes decided to diversify the business and began offering riding lessons.

Riding instructor Becky Brown teaches the English riding art of dressage to 80 students of all ages. The riders are taught to guide the horse through different movements and gaits and to jump over obstacles. Dressage is a discipline requiring teamwork between horse and rider developed through long hours of practice, she says. Brown stables 19 horses there for the lessons.

Students at the Rockin’ M participate in many area riding competitions. Last year, several students participated in the Junior Young Rider Dressage Championship in Shawnee, Okla.

“We also put on our HON horse show once a year as a fund-raiser for the barn. The kids organize and run the whole show,” Ann Mayes says. This event features both dressage and western riding events, and ribbons and trophies are awarded to the winner.

For information, call Ann Mayes or Becky Brown at 214-341-3535.