Jack Iden with Tveria: "It's not just an animal to ride on. It's part of the family."
Jewish horsemanship in Metamora
runs the gamut from enthusiast to
serious business operator.
Special to The Jewish News
FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 1989
t's a pleasant drive to
Metamora, nestled in the
rolling green hills of
southern Lapeer Country.
The countryside is dotted
with dairy farms, lush
pastures and horse stables
and farms with names like
"The Silver Saddle," "Taleria" and
Though it's only 45 minutes from
Detroit, as lifestyles go it's a world
away. This is horse country, what used
to be the stomping, or riding grounds
for the wealthy socialites of Grosse
Pointe. Metamora still boasts a hunt
club, and when driving the country
roads one must take care to yield the
right of way to horse and rider.
Down a winding dirt road and
across a rickety wooden bridge bare-
ly large enough for a small car, at the
intersection of two of these unpaved
pathways, lies a large rambling farm-
house. It's obvious this house is a lit-
tle different from its neighbors. Tack-
ed to the front doorpost is a mezzuzah.
This is the country home of Troy
developer Stanley Frankel and his
wife Judy, a catering director, which
they share with Missy, Jet and Prince
Knox — their horses.
By their own admission, the
Frankels are just horse hobbyists.
They own and ride for pleasure,
though with the help of hired hands
they are actively involved in the care
and feeding of the mare and two
geldirigs. They just dabble, but the
Frankels share a common thread of
passionate, self-taught horsemanship
with others who consider horses a
Leon Silber is one of those dyed-
in-the-wool horsemen. Silber, 55, is a
counselor and physical education in-
structor at Page Middle School in the
Lamphere school district. He bought
his first horse in 1965 and has worked
a farm in Leonard, in northern
Oakland County, for the last 18 years.
He says it's in the blood to be a
horseman, and he believes he must
have had "a horse trader in my past."
Frankel agrees. "Even though
we're urbanites, I must be the direct
descendent of a zayde who had a
pushcart and a horse."
Jack and Shirlee Iden of West
Bloomfield own a farm in Grand
Blanc but board their Arabian horses
at Silber's farm. Though their
daughter, a horse breeder and trainer
in Israel, got them involved in horses
in a serious way, the Idens liked
horses early on. Shirlee Iden rode
when she was young, as did Stanley
Frankel. Silber was training to be a
jockey while still in high school.
The Idens, the Frankels and
Silber take horsemanship down three
different paths. For the Frankels it's
a pleasurable escape. For the Idens,
horses are an enjoyable side business.