UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - The first indications that you're nearing Brian Westbrook's other place of business are the yellow road signs that warn of horse, deer and tractor crossings.

These are country roads in suburban Washington, and as you wind your way around them, you eventually come upon a rickety wooden address post that lets you know you have arrived at "WESTBROOK FARM."

Hang a left, drive past some fenced farm animals, through some woods, and you eventually arrive at a clearing where the Eagles star running back goes to escape from his high-profile job in the NFL. This is Westbrook's horse farm, where he boards 25 equines, including three of his own.

On this hot July 11 afternoon, Westbrook is saddled atop Jo Jo, a 10-year-old gelding so well-behaved that he's not even shaken when an overweight invited guest climbs aboard.

"About two years ago, I went down to my buddy's house . . . and we went on this nice, long trail ride," Westbrook said. "I really enjoyed myself. It was so peaceful. It was actually during the season. I enjoyed it so much that the next day I called my real estate agent and told her to try to find me a nice horse farm - a piece of property where I could put some horses for myself. It just so happened that this place was on the market, and it was already an established boarding facility. It just worked out well for me."

According to Prince George's County assessment records recorded on April 13, 2007, Westbrook purchased the property for $985,000.

"I had ridden a horse before, but not by myself," Westbrook said. "Most of the time you go to a place where they do horse riding, and they make you follow in a line and you don't have any real control of your horse. Your horse is just following the horse in front of you. When I went on a ride with my buddy, I was allowed to do whatever I wanted to do. A lot of people don't realize how relaxing it is to just get back on those trails. You relax and talk. You can be back there three or four hours without even knowing it."

In addition to Jo Jo, Westbrook owns a 10-year-old gelding named Hawk and a 15-year-old gelding named Sonny.

"I'm attached to my horses," he said. "You treat them like pets, but they know they have a job to do, and they do it well. I probably get out here three or four times a week to ride."

Westbrook said he hasn't had any teammates join him, but he's tried.

"Buck [running back Correll Buckhalter] always wants to come down, but he never makes it," Westbrook said. "Tra Thomas was going to bring his son down, but he hasn't made it, either."

Plenty of people from the surrounding area, however, do board their horses at Westbrook Farm.

"It is a business," Westbrook said. "You won't get rich owning a boarding facility like this, but I enjoy doing it. It's more a labor of love. When people get off work, they come out and relieve some of the stress. We have some show horses here, and you'll see kids come out and do some jumping and things like that."

What does the future hold for Westbrook Farm?

"We have more horses coming," Westbrook said. "I think we'll continue to make this grow into the place that I want it to be. But I do like the way it is right now. We have some less-fortunate kids who come out here and ride. I lived 25 to 30 minutes away from here when I was a kid, and I didn't know they had horse farms out here. It's one of those things that if you don't look, you'll never find something.

"A lot of kids in the inner city and some even in the suburbs have never seen a horse."