Our Featured Volunteer of the Month is Melissa Trenbirth!

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Melissa contributes so much to Lancers and does it in such a humble way. She often works behind the scenes and so this month, we are paying her the credit she is certainly due! Melissa is one of our longstanding riders (27 years to be exact) as she has been at Lancers since 1990! She started riding as a child in New York and her family moved to Nova Scotia when she was around 10. One summer in NS, she even had her own horse! Like many other riders, she took a break from riding throughout university. When she graduated from her teaching degree in 1989, she was substitute teaching in Halifax and decided to get back into riding. She had always wanted to return to the saddle but was just too busy. Since she hadn’t ridden for so long, Melissa decided to enroll in the adult beginner course in 1990. From there, she went straight into our adult ride and has been riding at Lancers ever since. Remarkably, she has only had three breaks from riding, two for when she was pregnant with both her children (they were born in the winter and she returned to riding the following Septembers), and the other from an injury! Melissa noted she rode Freddie early on in both of her pregnancies because he took care of her.

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Over these many years, Melissa has served Lancers in many different capacities. She has served as a Board member, she used to do publicity for Lancers, and would help with the Downtown Horse Show. She also readily participated in more day-to-day (but hugely important tasks!) like helping with fundraisers, canteens, clean-up days, BBQs, night hay, painting, Musical Ride, and many random jobs at horse shows and events. She has even done the odd snowstorm feed and she most certainly recommends Christmas night hay to anyone. “There’s something so special about it”, she added. Most recently, Melissa organised this year’s Christmas party silent auction and will be also doing so for our upcoming Wine and Cheese event. For Melissa, volunteering at Lancers is so special because there is such a huge reward in immediately seeing how your contributions support the organisation. She elaborated that while with other volunteer efforts you can’t always see the difference it makes, “at Lancers you can paint something and walk past often or when you feed the horses, you can see that importance. You are supporting both the riders and the animals. You can see where your efforts go and you can see the connectedness of Lancers”.

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We are very fortunate that Melissa has chosen to spend much of her time at Lancers. Over the last ten years she has certainly spent a lot of time at the stables as her daughter Claire also became a rider at Lancers (and is currently in Ride 1 and is an instructor). It is so clear to see the magic as both mother and daughter share the same love of riding (and the same horse, Maggie - but we’ll get back to that). Melissa fondly recalled the times when she used to bring Claire down to the stables: “I used to bring her down in her little snowsuit and would carry her around and show her the horses as she got older.” As a child, Claire soon indicated that she wanted to ride and while Melissa told her that she didn’t have to ride “just because Mummy does”. Claire was steadfast in her decision and look at her now!

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When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Melissa easily answered, “Lancers is about the love of horses and it shows. Our horses’ well-being is the top priority and as a small organisation, it is a community where people know each other and there is a comfort in working and socialising together”. Her favourite memories of Lancers include those very proud moments of watching her daughter and so many talented young riders in Musical Ride, competitions, and lessons develop their skills and confidence. Melissa herself has certainly been continuing to hone her skills. Melissa and Claire have had Maggie for a year now and Melissa has enjoyed the learning experience of riding a young horse and the challenge of getting to know a horse so well. While Claire is off to university next year, Melissa will keep riding Maggie at Lancers. When we asked where Melissa sees herself going in the future she quipped “the Olympics!” and then quickly added the softer, less joking thought that “maybe far, far down the road, [she’ll] be bringing a grandchild to the barn”. Until then, Melissa will continue her professional life and perhaps sneak in a trip back to Greece. She also intends to continue her other hobbies of “jogging – slowly” and her love/hate relationship with home renovation. Well, Melissa, we hope you keep volunteering at Lancers on that list because we truly do benefit from all of your skills and enthusiasm. We are fortunate to have you as a Lancer and we can’t wait for another twenty-seven years!

Our Featured Junior Rider of the Month is Caroline Fernandez!

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Just as one might expect to see at a school, there can historically be a sense that the youngest riders are timid around the eldest riders but Caroline exhibits the complete opposite. All the young riders at Lancers adore Caroline and she helps bridge any gap between younger and older riders by helping the young riders feel welcome and strongly connected to the Lancer family. Caroline rarely comes home from a horse show without significant winnings and has steadily moved up in the ranks over the years. Despite her success in the show ring, she knows how difficult this sport is and continues to work hard, is humble about her success, and encourages others around her to work hard too. Even with being involved in so many things at Lancers, Caroline is really strongly focused on becoming a more accomplished rider. She regularly takes private lessons and clinics and it’s an honour to take her to horse shows in the rest of the province where she can represent Lancers’ training so well being our top competitor. She even shares her horse with her Mum who rides him numerous times a week!

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Caroline has been riding for eight years. She began the Beginner Junior Course at the age of nine and has been riding at Lancers ever since. Caroline has been in ride 1 for the past two-and-a-half years and she was just granted the Kenny Irving award for the top junior rider at Lancers - for the second year in a row! From her start until the beginner course until now, Caroline has developed and grown as a rider but also in terms of her well-rounded horsemanship skills. This year she even joined the Lancers team as an NCCP certified instructor. Since September she has been teaching rides 5, 10, and the junior beginner course on Saturday mornings.

Caroline’s many years of involvement in “extra-curricular” activities at Lancers certainly contributed to her strengths. She has worked as a stablehand, a barn monitor, and a full-time Lancers March Break and summer camp counsellor. This summer she was also a Leader-in-Training at our “sleep-away” rural camp, Salmon River and is the current Junior Executive President. She has volunteered her time in many activities at Lancers including hay and shavings deliveries, night hay, canteens, and clean-up days. Caroline joined the recently reopened Lancer Pony Club, has completed rider levels, and rode in the Musical Ride for six years, two of which she was the 1-1 leader.

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At Lancers, Caroline also got her start in showing. She began in on-property training shows and then progressed to showing all the Lancer ponies including Buddy, Punkin, Owen, and Tootsie! Tootsie, Caroline proclaimed, is her favourite Lancer horse because she likes her pony sassiness. The Caroline-Tootsie team made their revival this summer at the Downtown Horse Show (photographic evidence below). While Tootsie is Caroline’s favourite Lancer horse, her favourite horse of all time is her own, Jakey. Caroline was fortunate to purchase Jakey three years ago and bring him to Lancers. She now competes with Jakey in the jumper ring with numerous championships in the 1.15 division.

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As Caroline heads off to university next autumn, she hopes to be able to bring Jakey with her (we’re just not sure if she’ll have space in her dorm room). She would love to continue riding and has the goal of qualifying for 1.20 junior jumpers at the Royal Winter Fair next year and the CET Medal. She hopes to achieve her rider level 8 this year. While her time at Lancers as a junior rider may be coming to a close, we know Caroline will become a dedicated Lancer alumna and will be back next year for her Christmas alumni ride on Tootsie!

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When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Caroline was quick to note that she loves how much of a family it is and that everyone is connected even though people are of different ages. “The horses are really amazing here and it’s a really great place for learning everything that goes along with riding and taking care of horses”, Caroline added. She has valued the opportunity to gain a level of responsibility of taking care of horses. Although Caroline says she probably won’t miss the stack of red polo shirts in her drawer, she will miss Lancers when she graduates. She will miss the Lancer horses, all her friends, teaching the youngest riders, being able to walk from home to see her horse, and most definitely, sitting on the ledge and cuddling Jakey as he puts his head on her lap.

As Caroline soaks up her last year at Lancers, she can already see how her time here has shaped her life. On one hand, she said that she doesn’t know if she would have ever been able to be as involved with horses if she hadn’t had Lancers. On the other hand, Caroline’s love of biology and her experiences with horse healthcare has inspired her to pursue a university education in sciences for the long-term goal of entering into pre-med or pre-vet. Whether Caroline ultimately ends up working with human or horse patients, we know that she will bring the same caring compassion in which she currently shows at Lancers with both the horses, her students, and her fellow riders.

Our Featured Horse of the Month is Jake!

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Jake is well into his twenties which makes him our oldest and our smallest pony at just 12 hands high. He is a black Newfoundland pony cross who has been a fixture in our lesson program as well as in HALTR since well before his time here. Jake came to replace another “Jake” who looked suspiciously the same! His show name is “Child’s Play” and he has just the right amount of naughtiness to teach children how to handle a pony but is otherwise practically perfect in every way. He is a character being turned out with the rest of the big horses. He may be small but he thinks he is just as big as they are and likes to show it off!

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Jake does it all. He has mastered the beginner course program and beginner camps and HALTR couldn’t live without him. Many riders have had their first canter, jump, and many other firsts on Jake! He is an amazing confidence builder. Jake is often the first horse that children learn to body clip on because he is so good. In past years, he has always been the caboose, bringing up the rear of our Musical Ride!  He still jumps around a 2-foot course with ease and took our first group of Pony Clubbers to their Prince Philip Games and acted like he had been doing it his whole life. The old Jake used to pull a cart with Santa in it to visit the Saint Vincent nursing home every Christmas; the new Jake no longer pulls a cart but he still makes his rounds as our Christmas Pony!

Our Featured Adult Rider of the Month of November is Victoria Bell!

Victoria is one of our newer faces at Lancers but even in her short time with us, she has quickly become someone that many of us know as she chooses to spend so much of her time with us! Victoria is our adult rider of the month because she has already become a committed member of the Lancer community through volunteering, her positive attitude towards returning to riding, and her sportsmanship.

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Victoria grew up in Montreal and rode as a youth between the ages of eight and sixteen. She rode regularly, went to horse camp, and was very involved with Pony Club! Life then took her to Toronto and then, twelve years ago, to Halifax when her and her husband wanted to relocate and find a great place to raise their children. With the vision that “coastal would be cool”, they chose Halifax! In Halifax, Victoria used to teach yoga and was very fit and active until a motorcycle accident put a halt to it all and she couldn’t teach yoga anymore. This all led Victoria to think about returning to riding, a physical activity that would actually enjoy doing! After thinking about it for a while but assuming that the waitlist at Lancers would be astronomically long, one day in the summer she drove down Bell road and decided she might as well put her name on the waitlist and give it a shot! This worked because we were able to get her into a new adult ride in September! Victoria joined A4 and not long after, quickly wanted to step up her riding game and so also joined A2 so she could ride twice a week. While she hasn’t completely found a favourite Lancer horse yet, she is equally fond of Bud, Alice, and even Chevy because he is very, very sweet. She also has a self-proclaimed sweet spot for Valour, one of the police horses, because he is “very handsome”.

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In those three months, Victoria has really come to marvel at the fact that there is a horse stable in downtown Halifax and loves the fact that she lives two minutes away! In that time, we have really enjoyed getting to know Victoria and were quick to benefit from her volunteerism. She has already been volunteering every Friday afternoon as a lead and side-walker with HALTR, our therapeutic riding program. She has also been very supportive of our Chase the Ace fundraiser and ensures she always buys her weekly tickets! In addition to contributing her time, we appreciate the very positive attitude Victoria has taken to returning to the saddle after a number of years off. Riding can be an intimidating sport, especially as a returning adult rider, but we are so happy that Lancers can facilitate Victoria’s return to riding (we are also quite impressed with her riding skills considering the break she took)! One of the core principals of Victoria’s attitude (which she embodies perhaps without even knowing it) is sportsmanship. She is encouraging and helpful to her ride peers.

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While we’re enjoying having Victoria around, it seems that Victoria is equally enjoying Lancers, particularly, seeing all the junior riders learning to take care of the horses. She elaborated by explaining that it is so great to see the group that rides before her on Mondays (ride 9). “They are very young but they are grooming, hopping on stools, picking up big hooves - they are feisty gals and there is no fear”, she said. Victoria is also a great proponent of Pony Club as it is really good for young people to learn responsibility. There are those riders who are happy when their horse is out in the ride before them so they don’t have to groom and tack up but then there are other kids who are so interested in learning and they bring their notebooks and just want to learn everything about horses. For them, it isn’t just all about the riding - it’s the grooming, taking care of the horses, teaching them responsibility and sportsmanship in a good way. Victoria particularly loved watching the children in the Halloween fun show. “The costumes”, she said, “were the cutest things I’ve ever seen!”

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Victoria’s children will be graduating from high school next year so she will be able to travel more but she would definitely like horses to be part of her life. The best part of riding, according to her, is that you have to be totally focused; you can’t be thinking about your to-do lists as it takes your full concentration. For Victoria, it isn’t just about riding but about grooming and just being around them. In the ring, however, Victoria would like to learn to jump again and perhaps even one day do lease or buy a horse! Until then, Victoria will continue her love of riding motorcycles and baking. She is actually a professional Boulanger and in the future, would like to volunteer to teach children with disabilities to cook! We are so excited to have Victoria continue to hone her riding skills and for all that, she will continue to bring to the Lancer community. And thank you, Victoria, for getting back in the saddle! 
#FeatureFriday

Our Featured Volunteer of the Month is Kathleen Bowman!

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Although many don’t get the chance to see it, every Wednesday and Friday morning Kathleen is at the stables volunteering with our stablehands. She helps with morning muck out, turn out, and other miscellaneous tasks that need doing around the barn! Kathleen is one of our adult riders and we always appreciate her contribution to Lancers.

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Kathleen has been riding at Lancers for over three and a half years, ever since she started university at Dalhousie. She has been riding in Toronto since she was nine years old. She currently rides in our A1 group and enjoys being in the saddle. Her favourite horse is Oliver but Chevy is a close second. Now that Kathleen is in her fourth year at university, her schedule became a bit clearer and she began volunteering with us every week! It is great to see her dedication and she is always so willing to help with any task.

When asked about her favourite memory of Lancers, Kathleen said that it was the first stable to give her the opportunity to ride a police horse (Valour) which was an “incredible experience”. Further, Kathleen explained what she enjoys most about Lancers: “I love the sense of community as well as the incredible quality of horses here. Riders are expected to help out in the barn before and after their ride, which really encourages good horsemanship. The riders in each ride all know each other, which I think is amazing”.

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While Kathleen will be finishing up her undergraduate degree this year, she has been working hard to pursue her dreams to be a veterinarian. Her top choice of vet school is University College Dublin! Ideally, Kathleen would like to be a vet at a mixed practice clinic where she can work with horses as well as dogs. She noted though that horses will always be a part of her life, no matter where she is in the world. Kathleen has plenty of volunteer experience but her time at Lancers is unique. She explained, “I love the physical work of volunteering at Lancers (I love fitness!) as well as the familiar pleasant smell of the barn and horses when I first walk in. Lancers has a much lower-stress environment compared to most volunteer opportunities I've had - vet clinics tend to have more people hurrying around to get stuff done before the next house/farm call or before the next client comes in. I also really enjoyed that the horses at Lancers all know me and are calm around me, compared to the way horses or dogs or cats react when I'm with a vet in the clinic or out on a farm visit”.

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 When not riding, studying, or volunteering, Kathleen loves to exercise and do fitness classes like step and boxing classes. She also loves to read and joked that she has probably pretty much memorised the Harry Potter books by now!

Well, Kathleen, we know that you will soon be off following your dreams. We are very excited to see all of your hard work and dedication to animal care come to fruition.

Our Featured Junior Rider of the Month is Jill Ryan!

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Jill is one of our Ride 1 riders whose presence around the barn can’t be missed with her friendly, sarcastic manner full of cheeky wit. Jill has been riding for seven years and has spent her whole riding career at Lancers. She came to a Lancers camp when she was eight years old and started in the beginner junior course when she was nine. She also rides in the 3x program!  

 Over the years, Jill has been involved in many Lancer extra-curricular activities. She has been in the Musical Ride for five years, the past two of which she has been a leader, has been the Secretary for the Junior Executive for the past two years, and this year, was a Leader-in-Training at Salmon River camp. Jill has earned her Equine Canada Rider Level 7, participates in a lot of on and off-property shows as well as clinics. She works as a barn monitor and a stablehand and also volunteers for night hay and clean-up days. In fact, any free time that Jill has is spent at the barn. She is always willing to help out! There is a running joke amongst her peers though about how far she lives outside the city (even though it is only 25 minutes). She often takes the bus to and from the barn which always shows her commitment to her riding.

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Like most of our riders, Jill found it tricky to just choose one favourite horse but she decided on Oliver and Rockette (they are neck and neck, apparently). Jill explained that they have distinct personalities and they are both very fun to ride! Her other choices were Alice and Tootsie, and former Lancer horses, Peter, Buddy, Norman, Freddie, and Babe! Jill’s favourite thing about Lancers is that you can make so many friends- including the horses. She loves hanging out with the horses and thinking up show names for them. “They are really big teddy bears”, she added!

In that vein, one could be reminded of the saying, “horses will never break your heart, only your bones”. Jill certainly has broken some bones; she broke her leg falling off Peter when jumping and has broken some toes in her time (and even a concussion has befallen Jill). Beyond any injuries, Jill said that she “can’t imagine what kind of person [she] would be without it”. She explained, “it has changed my character for the better and it has helped me become a person that I am proud of”. Jill’s priority is always to improve her skills in any way, shape, or form.

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Jill has had many great memories of Lancers including last year at Salmon River camp when Giquau got loose and the riders had to “saddle-club it” and take the bomb proof horses and hunt for him in the woods! Competing at the Atlantic Fall Fair had been a dream of Jill’s since she was a kid and she will always treasure the memory of having the special opportunity of being able to complete and perform the Musical Ride at the fair in 2016. Jill particularly liked the dog and horse relay class and watching all the riders in the Hunter Classic and guessing their scores with Angie and the gang. This year was also highlighted by participating in the Paul Halpern clinic and showing Peter in the 2’ class at the Downtown Horse Show.

While not at the barn, Jill is very involved in the Nova Scotia Secondary School Students’ Association, particularly the participating in the Inclusion Committee. She also works as a swimming instructor at the wave pool and is training to be a life guard. In her future, Jill is aiming to go to university at Dalhousie and to pursue a career in the medical field. She hopes to have her own horse one day so she can have a special connection with one particular horse.

Well, Jill, we are fortunate to have you and we can’t wait to have many more great times with you in our company!  

Our Featured Horse of the Month is Chevy!

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The first thing people will notice about Chevy is that he has, without a doubt, the sweetest face. Chevy is another one of our Clyde-crosses and he is eleven years old. He is bay with a star and a snip.

While his show name is Road Trip, his nickname among the kids is Brick. It suits him well because he can be tough to work with or get through to at times. But sooner or later, riders who persist with him will learn to mold that brick and inevitably fall for this very sweet natured horse. He really is very sweet! Furthermore, riders are sometimes taught to use the wall of an arena to reinforce their natural aids when the horse is not listening but Chevy has learned to use the wall to reinforce his will when his rider isn’t listening to him.

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While he might not be the easiest horse to ride, he is quite bomb proof which is a great asset for a horse living in the city. While not much seems to bother Chevy, he does get very nervous every time the farrier visits. From the first day we had him, farrier visits have caused some anxiety in him and our farriers have worked out a special routine for him to help him feel more comfortable and he doesn’t even wear shoes!

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Under the show name, Road trip, Chevy has competed in the hunter ring up to 2’9” and is a favourite amongst our adult riders for dressage work. He has been in the Musical Ride and most recently, at our Halloween show, he tied for first place in the jumper ring. Who knew he had such speed! 
#FeatureFriday

Our Featured Adult Rider of the Month is Zrinka Vranjes!

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On September 19, 1996, Zrinka arrived in Halifax by plane. Three days later she was walking around Halifax with her husband and was surprised when she saw horses in the city. She had ridden horses in Croatia so decided she should enroll at Lancers. For the first 2-3 months, she started out riding in an evening adult ride. It was there that she met Lynn who became her fellow riding buddy for the next twenty years! Zrinka chuckled when she thought back to these early days because she said she didn't speak much English. Without knowing what the instructor was saying, she would peak at other riders and try to do the same thing.

Zrinka has therefore been riding at Lancers for twenty-one years and the only break she had was when her daughter Tara was born in July 1997. The riding gene seems to be in the family as Tara started riding at Lancers when she was 7. Tara also continued a long stretch as a Lancer and rode throughout all her junior years and "aged-out" in ride 1 when she graduated high school.

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Soon enough, Zrinka joined the Friday morning ride and has been in that ride for many years now. Over these years, she has dedicated herself to Lancers and has done many jobs along the way. She again chuckled when she recalled that her first act of volunteerism at Lancers was at the Downtown Horse Show, possibly in 1998. The riding ring was across the road and because she didn't have much English, Zrinka decided to take a wheelbarrow and pick up all the horse manure left on the road. She said, "it was a messy job but I loved it". While Tara was a junior rider, Zrinka (with Lynn) helped run many of the Saturday canteens. She was also a board member for two terms, did night hay, some on-site shows, and did barn clean-up days. Zrinka has participated in everything but is slowing down now that she is working full-time. Yet, one particularly special memory was when she and Tara came to the barn in a snowstorm to do night hay. "It was just so peaceful, beautiful, you had the horses, the atmosphere in the barn – I can't even describe it to you". It is a moment we should all try to pause to take in.

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Zrinka's favourite horses are Bud and Inga although she said her heart is really with Cash, a former Lancer horse from many moons ago. When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, she quickly responded, "the community spirit; I love the spirit of the people who ride horses at Lancers". She added, "Lancers has become my second family – Lynn, Tamzen, Barb, Peter, Helga – everyone". It is wonderful to hear that Zrinka values Lancers and particularly that she hopes that Lancers will stay for many more years and that everyone can work to keep that spirit and love of horses so that Lancers, the tradition, and special place, won't disappear. In the same vein, we greatly value Zrinka who always comes into the barn like a happy and feisty burst of wind. In the future, Zrinka intends to sit on a horse for as long as she can! "If I can sit, I will sit", is her motto. We look forward to having her at Lancers for many more years...."until she is 104". #FeatureFriday

Our Featured Volunteer of the month is Andrea Andriopoulos!

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Andrea Andriopoulos has been involved at Lancers since 2008 when her daughter Sophia started riding here. In the early years, Andrea would volunteer for canteen and night hay, and would help out whenever she was asked! In more recent years, she has taken a more active role. She has taken a lead role in the Christmas Party/Silent Auction, the Wine and Cheese event, and most recently, as the Treasurer for the Lancers Pony Club. While some people might know Andrea as Sophia’s mum, she often works behind the scenes with her contributions so it is the due time she had the recognition that she deserves!

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Even though Andrea isn’t a rider, her favourite Lancers horses are Bud and Rupert! When asked what Andrea enjoys most about Lancers, she replied, “it is a family. We all come together for the horses. When you look at Lancers you see community”. Andrea highlighted some of the ways that Lancers relies on volunteer work: “we have volunteers who work, come in to feed the cats, who repair the barn, who feed the horses night hay (including all major holidays), who cheer for all riders, who set up and tear down events, sell at canteens, fundraise, and whatever needs to be done when asked. All of this is done with a sense of Lancer pride. We know that we are here for the horses and it is an honour and a privilege to be a part of such a caring and loving group of people”.

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While she has many fond memories from Lancers, one that stands out for her was this year’s Musical Ride performance on the Garrison Grounds. Of course, she was proud of the accomplishment of Lancers being the opening act for the RCMP Musical Ride but for Andrea, that wasn’t the treasured memory. Rather, her favourite memory of Lancers happened just before the riders were about to perform. A large group of volunteers worked tirelessly to put the finishing touches on by brushing and painting the hooves of each horse. She even witnessed mothers stop the traffic on Bell road with a glance and a raised arm to allow the horses and riders to safely cross the street. This act, which could seem like a small part of the Musical Ride, really illustrated all the hard work that volunteers, including Andrea, give to Lancers.

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We are very fortunate that Andrea offers her time to us here at Lancers. The horses and riding programs certainly benefit from it. While not volunteering at Lancers, Andrea is a yoga teacher and an active mother to two girls, Alexa and Sophia. The experience of being a mother has taught her to be open to whatever life has to offer! 
#FeatureFriday

Our Featured Horse of the Month is Rupert!

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Rupert is our featured horse of the month because he is such a character! The thing about him that stands out the most is his big personality. He is almost the class clown of the bunch. He is a fourteen-year-old bay, French Canadian cross and while small in stature, (standing at approximately 15.1), he is big in athleticism. Rupert always stands tall with his head held high and has therefore earned himself the show name King Rupert.

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He arrived at Lancers in 2016, when he not only quickly adapted to the life of a school horse and living in the city but he seemed to thrive on the extra attention. He only gets to go out with the mares though because he doesn’t get along with geldings!

Rupert is not really an easy ride. He has a really huge stride and loves to jump. His riders always have to work to make sure they don’t leave strides out between the jumps. He is notoriously bouncy and wiggly but he always seems to win the hearts of those who stick it through and figure him out. He gives people a hard time in a way that keeps them coming back for more. 

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You can always count on seeing Rupert as part of the Lancer gang when we take our horses to off-property shows, showing in the jumper ring. He excels in the low jumpers and has even brought home first place ribbons for some of our riders. He has taught several riders to transition from the hunter ring to the jumper ring. This year he joined the Musical Ride for the first time.

He is a barn favourite amongst many juniors and adults including one of our volunteer photographers, Julie, so we always have an excellent array of photos of Rupert! 
 

Our Featured Junior Rider of the Month is Julia Corsten!

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Julia is eleven-years-old and has been riding at Lancers for three years. She is in ride 5 and also rides in the three times a week program. While Julia may still be one of our smallest riders at the barn, don’t let her pint-size fool you as she is an extremely capable rider for her age and size! Her favourite horses are Alice and Tootsie. This year Julia started attending off-property horse shows and she did amazingly well! At her first off-property show (the Windsor Mega show) she rode Alice and came first place out of twenty horses in the cross rail division. Julia is also a Lancer Pony Club member and took part in the Pony Club quiz and the Prince Philip Games.

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Julia has spent some time at Saddlewood, a summer riding camp in Bethany, Ontario and in her spare time at Lancers, she can often be found with her fellow riding mates jumping over jumps on foot without horses. In fact, Julia’s whole ride is always around the barn together and it is great to see such tight-knit friendships growing here at Lancers.

 She (and her parents) were a great help at Spruce up the Barn Day in the spring and at the Downtown Horse Show. She is always very helpful around the barn and never says no when asked to help. She sometimes even helps with the junior beginner course on Saturdays.

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In the future, we’re sure that Julia hopes to have a long and successful show career ahead of her. She is such a hard worker and is so dedicated and determined to succeed in this sport. Thank you, Julia, for being such a committed Lancer. We look forward to having you at Lancers for many more years!

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Our Featured Staff Member of the Month is Charlotte Grace

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Charlotte does it all - no really, somehow she manages to juggle university, riding twice a week (J rides), volunteering, and working at Lancers as a barn monitor, stablehand, and this year, an instructor! She does it all to the highest standard and encourages others to do the same. While Charlotte could very well be selected as rider or volunteer of the month, we wanted to feature her as our staff member because she adds so much to Lancers in her all of her roles. After years of stablehanding and barn monitoring, we are so happy that Charlotte decided to complete all the training and prerequisites to become a certified NCCP instructor through Equestrian Canada and is able to join our roster of highly qualified instructors!

Charlotte has been riding at Lancers since 2001. She started in the City Rec program in 1999 and then had to wait two years to get into the Junior Beginner Course which she finally started in 2001. Because she had been building riding experience elsewhere during those two years, she was put in Ride 8 after the Beginner Course. She worked her way up to ride 1 and then continued to ride throughout university.

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Charlotte certainly knows the ropes. She has been stablehanding for the past 12 years and barn monitoring for the past ten. That’s why when we needed to draft a Barn Monitor instruction sheet and a Rider Duty sheet, we went straight to Charlotte (who did it in her own volunteered time). We asked Charlotte how Lancers compares to other places she has worked and she easily said that Lancers is probably the happiest place. She added, “most of my co-workers are equine so they are very easy to get along with but the barn is also the most enjoyable. I have worked in offices and customer service and all of that has shown me that what I want to do is work with horses”. On that note, Charlotte agreed that what she enjoys most about Lancers are the horses: “they are all so special and they teach us something”.

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When asked who her favourite horse was, Charlotte said that Bobbi, Rupert, and Rockette are her favourite but she also has a soft spot for Jacob. She also mentioned though that she has a special relationship with horses who have been here since Charlotte was a child. “I have known Punkin and Simba since the day they came”, she added. While looking to the past, Charlotte offered up her favourite memory of Lancers (of which there are many). In ride 3, she was riding Victor at a 3-foot fence and fell off and onto the jump but she landed with one leg on either side of the rail. The rail didn’t fall down so her legs were just dangling and she couldn’t get down until the rail eventually fell. Of this she mentioned, “the sport is so humbling and to do it with your friends, is great”. Lancers also brought Charlotte one of her dearest friends, Jacqueline and they have been friends now for ten years.

Lancers has taught Charlotte “discipline and time management and above all, that hard work is rewarded”. And work hard, she does. That is something so special about Charlotte; she is always putting 1000% into all of her roles and that certainly includes ensuring all the riders during her barn monitor shift have completed all their tasks to the highest standard. In her lessons, this translates into Charlotte ensuring that all of her riders have their shirts tucked in, their horses nicely groomed, and their on time and ready to work!

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Since Charlotte has been around Lancers for many years, we asked her a fact about Lancers that some might not know. She wanted to point out to the new riders that our riding ring actually used to be across the street (that’s where she grew up riding). For every lesson they had to cross the street (which means that Halifax no longer gets the sound of hooves on the pavement but also is less of a traffic slowdown)! Also, Bud’s stall used to be for the city’s only police horse and it used to have a small pasture attached so he could go in and out all day as he pleased. A fun fact about Charlotte is that she originally went to school to become an actress and do music but she can’t actually read music! That certainly makes sense because we just love her bellowing and pleasant voice that is so commanding (and means you can always find her in the stables).

Charlotte you are quite nearly omnipresent. Thank you, Charlotte for always giving so much to Lancers and sharing your passion for horses. Your attention to detail means that we always know that both horses and riders are in the best of hands! 
#featurefriday

Our Featured Adult Rider of the Month is Kim Good!

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It was certainly a great day when we heard that Kim Good was joining Lancers. Kim has been around Lancers for the past five years as the mother of Kate who currently is in ride two. Kim has been riding since she was ten and even had her own horses but had been on a ten year hiatus and had, as she said, been “living vicariously through her daughter’s riding”. That was until someone encouraged her to get back in the saddle because it was crazy thinking that she couldn’t ride and could only watch her daughter ride. So, in the autumn of 2016, Kim started riding at Lancers! She now rides in A3.

While a Lancer parent, she volunteered at horse shows and night hay (and has acted as Kate’s groom many times). Now as a Lancer rider, Kim has spearheaded the restoration of the Lancer Pony Club (which was originally the second oldest Pony Club in Canada). Everyone is so happy to have the Lancer Pony Club back and that is in large part thanks to Kim who is our District Commissioner. Kim holds Pony Club close to her heart; she started riding at the Fredericton Pony Club as a child and has been a Pony Clubber all her life. People might not know but Kim has her B certificate and even her instructor level 1 certificate. Kim noted that “Pony Club allows her to relive her youth” and that “it is great to see the kids pushing themselves and being internally motivated!”

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For Kim, it is the sense of community that makes Lancers special (this is becoming a theme…and we swear we don’t goad our riders into commenting on this)! Kim explains that “it is a nice community, everyone works together and helps and of course, I love the horses”. Kim’s current favourite horse is Oliver and she likes him because he is “adjustable and does what he is supposed to do”. She hopes that (she doesn’t fall off!) and she can keep riding and one day take semi-private lessons with Kate. For Kim, sharing her love of horses with her daughter at Lancers is incredibly special: “it is something that we can share - at an age where teenagers can sometime become distant from their parents, I love that she gets in the car and tells me who she rode and everything that happened”. Kim’s favourite memory from Lancers is when Kate won the 2’6” division last year at the Downtown Horse Show.

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When not riding or with Kate at the barn, Kim is busy renovating her house and tries to sneak in time for quilting (because it is a good reminder that there is more to life than work). Thank you, Kim, for showing other adults that getting back into riding can be fun and rewarding. Lancers and particularly, the Lancer Pony Club are fortunate to have you!

Our Featured Volunteer of the Month is Lynn Knapp!

Lynn is quite simply the barn sweetheart. She is unbelievably kind, positive, and enthusiastic. You can always tell how much she loves it here because her face always lights up when she talks about Lancers.

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Lynn has now been riding at Lancers for twenty-five years. She started riding at the age of twenty-nine when she first got married. In fact, she and her husband, Rob, enrolled in the Lancer adult beginner course together. Rob’s allergies eventually got the better of him and he had to stop riding but Lynn kept on! When she had children she moved to into the Friday morning ride and has never left! She said, “it is such a privilege to be in that ride”.

Growing up in a horse-environment had an impact on Lynn. Her father was a harness race fan so she spent three nights a week at the race track. She always wanted to learn to ride and be around horses. Fast forward twenty years she and Rob were out for a walk one day and they came across the barn and walked in. They couldn’t believe that stables existed in the centre of Halifax. Lynn recalls, “I didn’t know much about this place but I knew I wanted to be a part of it”. And so she did - in a very big way.

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Lynn became deeply involved with volunteering at Lancers about ten years ago when her daughter Emma attended a Lancers summer course and then started the Junior Beginner Course (and graduated from Ride 1 last year)! Over the years, Lynn has been involved with many things. She is both a current and past board member, she used to organise and run the Saturday canteen, has helped with the Musical Ride, and has always been involved in fundraising efforts and events like the Open House. Lynn is also our recycling fairy; every week she collects all the recyclables from the barn and takes them to the depot so that the deposit money goes to Lancers (so don’t forget to drop off your bottles to the barn)! Volunteering has strengthened Lynn’s relationships with the kids and parents, particularly during her four or five years doing the canteen - she knew ever rider!

When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Lynn quickly replied that it’s the time spent with the horses and with the people she rides with. “I can’t describe why I love Lancers so much”, she said, “I think it’s a wonderful organisation and I think it’s great to be involved in something that you think of so highly. The friendships I have made have been so important to me”. Comparing her Lancers volunteer work with other experiences, Lynn appreciates that under Angie you’re always thanked. “Lancers never forgets to thank you for what you do”, she added.

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In the future, Lynn hopes to continue riding for the rest of her life and she hopes that she can still help where she can! Hopefully, she can keep riding her current favourite horses Oliver and Rainey (credit also to her past favourite horses Pumba and Phyllis). She will definitely be looking forward to her Friday morning ride on Halloween because she is always surprised by the creativity of her fellow riders! When not at the barn or volunteering with Lancers, Lynn enjoys Zumba fitness, scuba diving, and more recently, African drumming! Lynn ended her little interview by saying that she was thrilled to be chosen this month because she just loves the initiative and she loves to read each feature every week!

Well, Lynn, we are thrilled to count you as a Lancer. You are always a breath of fresh air and your dedication to Lancers is so cherished and makes a big difference to our community. Thank you for being a Lancer for the past quarter century! 😋
#featurefriday

Our Featured Junior Rider of the Month is Gracie Walker!

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Anyone who rides at Lancers will know Gracie. She always seems to be fluttering around the barn, helping out, and enthusiastically looking for ways to keep the stables tidy. She never seems to be without her smile and her willingness to learn, answer questions, and be put to work is a breath of fresh air.

Gracie started riding at Lancers eight years ago as soon as she turned eight after being on the waitlist for two years! She was finally old enough to start the Junior Beginner Course. Over the years, she has moved up through the ranks and is now in ride 1. Gracie has been in Musical Ride for the past three years, competes at a lot of jumper competitions, is currently the Junior Executive treasurer, and always volunteers for night hay, at open houses, and the barn clean up. This year Lancers has resurrected its Lancer Pony Club and Gracie has been a significant proponent and participant. She says that she loves her Pony Club experience and in the spring she went to the regional quiz where she qualified for nationals in British Columbia. Gracie was selected for a “C” team with three Pony Clubbers from Ontario and will soon be competing at nationals!

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When asked what she likes about Lancers, Gracie replied: “I love lancers because of the community that surrounds it. I think that Lancers has an amazing sense of family and it really makes me feel at home. I also love all the opportunities that Lancers offers like Musical Ride, Pony Club, showing, and Junior Executive. But most of all I love being proud to call myself a Lancer; being part of lancer's history and community always makes me feel so lucky!”

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One of Gracie’s favourite memories of Lancers happens to be one of her first. She was at the end of her first Lancer summer camp and she was riding Babe. When it was time to go outside for pictures, however, Babe refused to go because of the Paul McCartney sound check going on at the Commons. Babe was not amused. Gracie also recalls getting the award for the best-groomed pony (which was a pretty big feat knowing how dirty Babe always was)! That theme seemed to have stuck to Gracie because her mounts are always well turned out, especially her favourite horses Sadie and Punkin. Sadie has been Gracie’s partner for the past year and she feels very lucky to ride her. Punkin, on the other hand, was the first horse that she rode at Lancers so she will always be one of Gracie’s favourites.

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As Gracie looks to her future, it is clear that her time with horses has inspired her. After high school, she would love to go to Vet School to become an Equine vet and chiropractor. Her dream is to have a business where she can recover and rehabilitate competition horses.

Apart from riding, Gracie loves to go skiing and sailing, both of which she has been doing since she was very young. You can often catch Gracie with a camera around her neck!

Stay tuned for Gracie’s journey to Pony Club nationals. We love to see Gracie’s hard work and we are proud to have a Lancer Pony Club member competing at Nationals!  Thank you, Gracie, for truly exhibiting the Lancer spirit of horsemanship, citizenship, and sportsmanship. You are so dedicated to Lancers and you are an important role model for younger riders.

Our Featured Horse of the Month is Alice!

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This month we have chosen Alice as our featured horse of the month and for anyone who knows her, it will be clear why! Alice, whose show name is Wonderland, is most certainly a wonder and is a very special horse.

Alice is a fifteen-year-old Clyde-thoroughbred cross mare. She is bay with an eye catching a white blaze. Few lesson barns can boast having a school horse like Alice. Alice has been at Lancers since 2008 and has been used for Musical Ride, lessons, and on and off-property shows. She came to be a Lancer horse with the help of a rider here who helped with her purchase and then part leased her at Lancers for a number of years. This rider took Alice from a Green youngster all the way to such prestigious shows as Bromont International and the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida.

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In more recent years, Alice has also been used for our junior beginner course and our beginner summer camp, and she has always been a favourite with both our junior and adult riders. Alice is always our instructors' go-to horse if a rider needs a little extra confidence. If Alice had a super power it would be the ability to make anyone who works with her look good.

While Alice may not like her girth, she LOVES jumping! Her face seems to light up the moment she sees a jump in her path. Alice is unique and has a wonderful disposition; she is steady, very trustworthy, and isn’t spooky. She has always been friendly and simply has a heart of gold.

We are so fortunate to have Alice!

Our Featured Adult Rider of the month is Emma Murphy-Barteaux!

One great thing about Lancers (among many) is that we have a long history. This means that we often have the joy of seeing riders join us when they are young and then have them ride with us into their adult years! Emma Murphy-Barteaux is one such rider and we are very happy to be featuring her as our adult rider of the month!

Emma and Rocky, 2005-2007

Emma and Rocky, 2005-2007

Emma grew up close to Lancers, just on the other side of The Commons and remembers watching in awe as Lancers rode in the old riding ring that used to be across the street. She recalls being extra delighted anytime her and her family would walk by and horses would be turned out so she “could lure them over to the fence and pet them”. In 1997, at the age of 8, Emma got her chance and started at Lancers in the Beginner Junior Course! Over the years she moved up through the ranks from ride 9 to ride 1. She did Pony Club, completed Rider Levels (and was even a demonstration rider for the pilot program that became Rider Levels as we know them now), groomed for and later rode in Musical Ride and performed at The Fall Fair, showed on the provincial hunter circuit, participated in clinics, gave barn tours and pony rides during Open Houses, and worked as a Sunday stable hand and as a barn monitor! Fast forward twenty years and Emma now rides in our J-ride, our advanced ride for young adults.

Emma and Rocky, 2005-2007

Emma and Rocky, 2005-2007

When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Emma explained that the accessibility of Lancers in an important aspect for her. She explained, “My family is not horse-y and is not wealthy so going outside of the city for riding lessons as a child would have been out of the question. If it wasn’t for the location of Lancers I would not have been able to pursue riding, my passion for it would have been lost and I would have never gotten to experience one of the greatest loves of my life - horses! The team spirit and comradery at Lancers is second to none. Even in competitive settings everyone is supportive and encouraging and is always happy to see their fellow Lancers do well”.

Emma and Rocky, 2005-2007

Emma and Rocky, 2005-2007

Emma found it hard to narrow down her favourite memories of Lancers but decided upon showing her all-time favourite horse, the late Rocky. She loved getting Rocky all dolled up and showing him off property was always fun and a great source of pride. She added, “I always tried to make sure he was turned out as well as possible to distract from his awful “Spare Parts” show name”. Emma rode Rocky from the time he came to Lancers as a spunky five-year-old (1998/1999) right up until his death in 2014. She reminds us of how important horses can be to us: “He was with me through out very formative years, all through junior high, high school and beyond. We did everything together (show, clinics, musical ride etc.). He meant the world to me; I still think of him and miss him every day”. Emma’s current favourite is Inga who very much reminds her of Rocky with her similar “you have to earn it” disposition.  

Emma and Rocky, 2005-2007

Emma and Rocky, 2005-2007

We are so happy that Emma still rides with us at Lancers. She particularly enjoys riding in her current J ride as several of them have ridden here for many years and she finds it great fun to be reunited and reminisce about past times and past horses. When not riding, Emma enjoys her dog Hart, cooking, DIY projects, and photography (Emma is also vegan and loves tattoos)! In her future, she would like to combine her love of animals and helping people, perhaps through therapeutic riding and therapy dogs. Horse ownership is a lifelong goal/dream and she is determined to make it happen one day!

Emma and Inga, Lancers Training Show, 2017

Emma and Inga, Lancers Training Show, 2017

We certainly hope Emma continues to ride with us for another 20+ years! Her story is inspiring and is another reminder of how fortunate we are to have horses in the city. It is great to see many of our riders taking a moment to stop during a lesson warm-up and talk to passers-by and tell them about their Lancer horse. Emma’s story goes to show that you never know, that small child on the fence wanting to pet the horse might just be a future Lancer! Thank you, Emma, for your service as a Lancer for the past twenty years. Don’t forget to share your reminiscences with us!  

Our volunteer of the month is Helga Cunningham!

Deciding on our featured volunteer for this month was a breeze because not only is Helga a core volunteer at Lancers but August is always a month where she works at the barn for an alarming amount of hours!

Helga away from her ladder! 

Helga away from her ladder! 

Lancers has been fortunate to have Helga around for the past 19 years! Helga’s daughter Elizabeth rode at Lancers as a child but then they moved to Scotland. When they returned to Halifax in 1998, Elizabeth found an ad in the newspaper for the Lancers Adult Beginner Course which was run through City rec. Helga was reluctant to join despite always wanting to learn to ride. Elizabeth encouraged her and told her that if she didn’t start riding then, she would never do it! So two weeks before Helga’s 50th birthday, she started the beginner course, accompanied by Elizabeth to keep her company. Lucy Cuthbertson (of the Lucy Cuthbertson Fund) and her brother Richard were their instructors. Even though Elizabeth moved away from Halifax, Helga enrolled in the adult membership program and has been with us ever since. It is without a doubt that Helga’s favourite Lancer horses were first Moonbeam and second, Phyllis. In fact, she says that she can’t ride now because they are no longer with us (in fact, Helga does still come to her lessons, but rides Punkin because “she is low to the ground in case I fall off”.

Helga volunteering with H.A.L.T.R.

Helga volunteering with H.A.L.T.R.

It is no exaggeration that you can find Helga at the stables almost every day! On a weekly basis, she waters the ring, fixes just about anything, and (as she jokes), acts as our procurement officer – ensuring that we have all the supplies, equipment and materials we need for running the office and stables. When a horse on vacation recently needed some allergy medicine, Helga even drove way past the airport to deliver it and made sure the horse had what it needed. Since 2000, she has also been a dedicated H.A.L.T.R. (therapeutic riding) volunteer. She began by offering carpentry help and is now the treasurer. Every August when the horses go away we are left with the big task of cleaning out the barn top to bottom. This year we are additionally making significant improvements and Helga (and her husband Peter) have once again been instrumental.

When asked how Lancers compares to other volunteer experiences, Helga explained that Lancers is certainly a bigger involvement and all-encompassing rather than just popping in one afternoon. She couldn’t choose just one favourite memory from Lancers because every presentation of the musical ride is her favourite. She explained, “it is great to see kids working as a team and be so engaged in it. I love to see their smiles as they come around”. She also notes the great friendships that have developed over the years and that Lancers makes sure she isn’t as sedentary as she would be otherwise. One thing she loves about Lancers is the organisation’s deep, meaningful, and important history. She added, “And we should endeavour to try to become more involved in the community if we possibly can – the way we used to be. The city has been very good to us because horses aren’t usually compatible with city life. People can’t keep backyard chickens but we have front yard horses in this city. We need to make sure that we give back to the city which we are doing a whole lot more than the last few years through Open House, Doors Open, and musical ride performances”.

Catching a photo of she who avoids photos like the plague. 

Catching a photo of she who avoids photos like the plague. 

Helga always starts her day off with a coffee and a Soduku puzzle and then generally heads over to Lancers or sets off for Lancers’ errands. It must be a magic combination because Helga (and Peter) are startlingly youthful. She is witty, has a sharp sense of humour, and is incredibly supportive. She goes above and beyond and it is no exaggeration that Lancers wouldn’t be able to function as it does without her. We had to ask her the tough question of whether she would be thinking of retiring from Lancers sometime but she reassured us that she will stick around “until she can no longer climb her ladder”. We hope that day never comes!

So when you next catch Helga at the stables, make sure you thank her for all of her hard work. She does so much behind the scenes and deserves all the credit for her efforts and dedication to Lancers. Thank you, Helga, for giving so much of your time, energy, and enthusiasm to Lancers over the past nearly twenty years. We’re so lucky to have you!

P.S. a fun fact (of many) about Helga is that she once was a shepherd in Northumbria (England) and was in charge of 1,500 ewes! Her herd is smaller now but she shepherds us all the same.  

Our Featured Junior Riders of the Month for August are....all of our junior beginner summer campers!  

Bud, our gentle giant, with one of our smallest campers! 

Bud, our gentle giant, with one of our smallest campers! 

Today marks the last day of the Lancer junior summer camp! It is hard to believe that we have had six weeks of summer camp and hosted over eighty beginner riders aged 8-12! It has been wonderful to see many campers return for another year and we have enjoyed welcoming our new riders to Lancers!  

In each week of camp, our campers learned about grooming, how to tack up a horse, and rode twice a day. While learning the important basics about riding, there were horse-themed activities too. There was a scavenger hunt to find horses with different colours and markings and campers even learn how to muck out a stall! Most days were capped off with the great Lancer camp tradition of playing "Capture the Brush" (a take on Capture the Flag) in the indoor arena. The game is always a big camp favourite.  

Thursdays was always a special day because riders learned how to vault on Inga (the best vaulting horse ever)! They got to stand up, trot backwards, do around the world and even tried scissor kicks (the results were very impressive)!  

Learning how to steer with follow the leader!  

Learning how to steer with follow the leader!  

Look at those vaulting skills! 

Look at those vaulting skills! 

Look ma', no hands! 

Look ma', no hands! 

This year, the third week of camp got an extra special treat of going over to Garrison Grounds to watch the Lancers perform their Musical Ride as the opening act for the RCMP Musical Ride! In all weeks, our Lancer campers got to try their hat at some Musical Ride drills like the Banana Split! 

The campers' smiles and positive feedback we received from parents suggests that this summer camp session has been another success. Our campers have been so fortunate to have Alex as their camp instructor and Claire and Caroline as their camp assistants - all accomplished riders and hardworking individuals who took fantastic care of our Lancer campers.  

We thank all of our eighty campers and their families for choosing the Lancer summer riding camp. This month's feature is for you! We are always pleased to open our doors and share our love of horses with the Halifax community. See you again soon, at our March Break beginner riding camp!  

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Our featured horse of the month for August is Peter!

Peter with a young junior rider. 

Peter with a young junior rider. 

This month we are featuring, and even more so, celebrating, Peter as our horse of the month. Peter is a nineteen-year-old draft cross. He has been at Lancers since he was two and a stallion (but was later gelded)!  Peter is a beautiful bay with a white stripe and two white socks! For the past seventeen years, Lancers has been home to Peter.

In his many years here, Peter has had a chance to try everything! He has been ridden in lessons for both junior and adult riders, summer camp, rider level testing, shows, and even Musical Ride. After years of great service, Peter officially retired from the Musical Ride at the Atlantic Fall Fair in 2016.

Peter at the Downtown Horse Show in 2014

Peter at the Downtown Horse Show in 2014

He has been a great teacher and even though he can be spooky, he always managed to do his job well. Aboard Peter, riders could learn what things were “supposed to feel like”. Peter has always known his job and was a horse that you could always count on. As one of our junior riders said, “he always knew what to do in the show ring”. But he is well known for his fear of water!

Peter had a great time competing last weekend at the 26th Annual Downtown Horse Show with Manya, who has fallen in love with Peter this year, and Jill who has been fortunate enough to learn from Peter over many years. Peter came away with many ribbons, won the 2’ Hunter Division, and certainly seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed himself! The Downtown Horse Show was a very special event, yet bittersweet because it marked Peter’s official retirement from Lancers.

Jill showing Peter for one last time! 

Jill showing Peter for one last time! 

We value our Lancer horses greatly and want them to be able to enjoy many happy days. Peter has been very well loved at Lancers and at the age of nineteen, we feel we should honour his service with a fantastic retirement. Peter is still a fantastic mount but will be enjoying slower days filled with lots of sunshine and pasture at his new home in Southern Ontario. Our “retire a school horse program” is coming very soon (stay tuned) and Peter will be a great example of how school horses are deserving of retirement. It takes a very special character to be a school horse and Peter has exemplified the Lancer horse spirit in his willingness to teach, care, and help his riders grow.

Thank you, Peter, for your many years of service to Lancers. From our instructors, staff, junior and adult riders, and Lancer alumni, we wish you the best and hope you enjoy the Ontario wind blowing in your mane! 

Peter's Retirement Party at the Downtown Horse Show (July 30, 2017)