Our Featured Adult Rider for June is Noha AlSharif!

Noha has only been riding for three years. She started in 2014 when she joined the Lancers adult beginner course and now rides in A1 (one of our adult rides). Beyond helping her stay fit, Noha finds that riding really helps her clear her mind. Noha specifically points out that “the relationship with horses is beyond rewarding; it simply makes me feel better and happier. Riding improved my confidence a lot and the sense of responsibility”. Further, Noha also values Lancers because it has allowed her to pursue her dream of riding horses which, as she describes, is very difficult for females to do back in her home country of Saudi Arabia:

“Riding horses there is more male dominant, combined with the nature of the conservative society that resists women’s involvement in sports particularly in public. There are only a few stables where women can ride as most stables are privately owned. It is easy to take things for granted and my experience of struggling to pursue horseback riding at home makes me very grateful for what I have right now since I can ride here with much more ease and freedom.”

Noha very much enjoys being around the horses at Lancers, even when she isn’t riding. She likes that Lancer horses are reliable and can be ridden by beginners but can still perform spectacularly when being ridden by advanced riders. When asked who her favourite horse is, Noha joked that although it is hard to have just one, she really likes Zero! She often rides Heidi and Peter too and says that both are adorable, even adding “I’ll miss Peter so much when he retires!” Along with favourite horses, Noha has many great memories of Lancers. Her favourite was last year when Lancers offered trail rides for adults for a day at Salmon River camp. It was a special occasion for Noha as it was the first time she had ever ridden a horse in the woods! “I was on Zero and I’ve never seen him so excited and happy”, she recalled, “we cantered uphill and Zero was just so excited!” Although she started out feeling tense, this soon changed to a feeling of excitement and fun. According to Noha, it was an incredible experience and very interesting to observe the change in horses’ behaviour and how much they enjoyed their summer break.

For Noha, it is sense of community (and location!) that makes Lancers so unique. She adds:

“I also like generosity that Lancers community is characterized by; whether it’s the horses that happily keep on giving until their retirement or the riders who give their time to support the barn in all ways -it is amazing! I usually refer to Lancers as a big family of riders and horse lovers, where riders (and their family) dedicate time to volunteer and are always there to help. It is absolutely what makes Lancers a special place!”

When not at the barn, Noha reads and tries to learn more about horses. She also spends some time doing yoga, watching movies, and playing with her cats. In the future, she hopes to keep riding and maybe even have her own horse one day!

Our Featured Volunteer for June is Jessica Evans!

Until now, Jessica certainly hasn’t received enough recognition for her volunteer role as Show Secretary. At every on-site training show and at our Downtown Horse Show, Jessica works tirelessly to make sure all entries and riders are in order. Jessica took up this role last year and we are very thankful that she is continuing for this show season!

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Although an animal lover, Jessica had no previous experience around horses. It was her daughter Lucie (ride 6) who brought her to Lancers. Beyond her volunteering experience, it is the love Lucie has for everything Lancers that Jessica enjoys most! “She has never wanted to miss a lesson and asks daily to go to the barn”, Jessica notes. She then added, “from the horses, friends, instructors, barn monitors, parents and volunteers, it is a truly awesome, positive, fun and safe place for my daughter to be. It is wonderful when your child finds their special, happy place”.

When not volunteering as our Horse Show secretary, Jessica and her son Sam make sure to help out as much as possible! They have helped out with hay and shavings deliveries and barn clean up days, have worked at the canteen, and have even driven lots of other kids to horse shows! Although Jessica doesn’t ride, she says she has gained a soft spot for Inga because she is currently her daughter’s favourite horse. Jessica likes that Inga can be a tricky horse to ride and that Lucie loves the challenge! Even Jessica’s son has favourite horses. The police horses, Sarge and Val, are his favourite so they spend a lot of time around their stalls as well!

One of Jessica’s favourite memories of Lancers was picking up Lucie from Salmon River camp last August and the drive back to the city. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so happy and full of amazing stories from the previous week”, she added!

We’re always happy to hear that our volunteers also get something out of their experiences at Lancers. Jessica says that volunteering at Lancers has “been by far my best volunteer opportunity to date”! “Other opportunities in the past”, Jessica notes, “took me away from my children and required a babysitter but Lancers is such a welcoming place and even my son, who used to be terribly afraid of horses, is more than happy to tag along”!

In the future, Jessica would love to take a few more riding lessons with her daughter! That, of course, is music to our ears and we think we should put Jessica on our waitlist for the adult beginner course!

Our Featured Junior Rider for June is Sophie Hartlen!

Sophie is one of our top riders at the barn and is always there to lend a helping hand when needed. Not all of our riders are interested in competing but they are certainly equally valued members of Lancers. Sophie is a great example of this! Now in ride 1, Sophie has been riding at Lancers for nine years and has developed into a highly accomplished rider.

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 She started at the Lancers summer camp and was immediately “hooked”! Over the years, Sophie has participated in the Musical ride, occasionally stable handed and acts as a barn monitor but her favourite activity is doing night hay. She loves night hay because she likes to be the last one at the barn and enjoys seeing all the horses tucked in and happily munching away at their hay.

When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Sophie noted “the wonderful horses and how easy it is to make friends because of the way the riding program is structured; I’ve met some of my best friends from being in the same ride as them!” When asked who her favourite horses are, Sophie chose easily Giquau and Val because “they both pose some challenges but have big hearts and aim to please!”

Sophie’s favourite memory of Lancers was her first (and only) time participating in the Musical Ride! To this, she quickly added, “I really regret not doing it in previous years because it was such as fun experience!” Specifically, performing at the Atlantic Agricultural Fall Fair was a highlight because it was her first time going off-property with a horse. According to Sophie, “it was rewarding to see all of our hard work be shown off in front of many people!” Participating in the dog and horse relay at the fair was also “super fun” and was certainly a unique experience!

In addition to riding, Sophie (who is quite tall!) plays basketball, soccer, and rugby.

Sophie is now into her last six weeks riding at Lancers because in September she is going to Mount Allison University in New Brunswick to complete a BSc and will pursue a career in the field of health sciences. Sophie makes sure to add that she would love to keep riding so “will make sure to always keep [her] helmets and boots in the trunk of the car in case the opportunity ever arises”.

From our perspective, this time of year is always tinged with a hue of sadness but also excitement as some of our riders graduate and embark on new adventures outside of Halifax. We take pride in adding those riders to our Lancer alumni and wish all of our graduating riders the very best and hope to see them back at Lancers one day. 

 

 

Our Featured Horse for June is Oliver!

Oliver is a playful nine-year-old Clyde - thoroughbred cross. He is a “bay”, which means he is brown with a black mane and tail, and has a white blaze and some white socks! Lancers has been lucky enough to own Oliver for five years when he came as a four-year-old.

Oliver is definitely a barn favourite and is one of our horses that our junior riders can aspire to ride! Often we have to sacrifice quality in favour of safety for our school horses but Oliver embodies both quality and safety. He is level-headed and safe; it is just his big movement that makes him less suitable for our beginner riders. Since this can make him a challenging horse to ride, we tend to keep him for our advanced rides. Junior riders love it when their skills have developed enough so that they can finally ride Oliver!

It is little wonder then that each spring squabbles always arise over who gets to show Oliver! His scopey jump and automatic lead changes make him fun to compete on the hunter circuit. Oliver even won a class at the Maritime Fall Fair last year!

Beyond horse shows, Oliver has led our Musical Ride, was a favourite on the trails at Salmon River camp, and was even ridden by Paul Halpern in the 2015 Paul Halpern clinic!

Here is Jill on Oliver just last weekend at the Coveside Training Day, Oliver with Paul Halpern, and Dominique who took some Prom photos with Oliver last year!

Our Featured Adult Rider for May is Tom Beveridge

This month we would like to feature Tom as our adult rider of the month! Unfortunately, we were unable to interview him in person because he is away but he wrote to us from Scotland. His niece rides and they had just returned from walking their dogs at the farm where she rides which is also an animal sanctuary!

Tom working with Bud at the Danique Henderson ground work clinic 

Tom working with Bud at the Danique Henderson ground work clinic 

Tom rides in our A3 adult group and has been on our Board of Directors for two years. Although Tom had been on a horse when he was younger and even in his 20s, he has been seriously riding only since 2010. After he moved to Halifax in 2009, he bought a house within walking distance from Lancers and used to walk his dogs around the paddock. Before long, he started chatting to some of the adult riders from time to time and then some of them encouraged me to try it out! He remembers saying “surely I am too old at this point” (he was in his mid-50s) but Lynn Knapp or Helga Cunningham, or both, assured him that “you are never too old”.  For the first year, he thought they were wrong about that but he stuck with it!

When asked what he likes most about Lancers, Tom joked that he had to learn to like the horses. When he first started they intimidated him but, he noted, when he saw all the young riders managing to handle their horses with confidence, it inspired him to stick with it. He also noted his appreciation of the sense of community at Lancers. “Everyone, kids, adults, and parents have a super attitude”, he wrote, “it is a friendly, helpful, and welcoming group of people”. Tom himself is certainly one who has a great attitude as he has an added challenge when coming to the barn. An accident as a teenager resulted in the loss his left arm. Tom rides with a prosthesis. This has led Tom to explore various adapted aids and he now has things worked out so he manages very well!

We have really appreciated Tom’s involvement at the barn and on the Board of Directors which he adds, have been “really rewarding experiences”. He adds, “it has made me aware of how the hard work and dedication of members and volunteers is the heart and soul of Lancers”.  

When asked who his favourite horse is, Tom chose Bud: “he is a great horse to ride and I never worry about him doing anything silly. He also has a super-endearing personality.  He is probably the most outgoing horse at the barn”. Tom also had lots of good memories of Lancers including the first time he fell off when dismounting! Over his pride was injured though!

Riding isn’t the only sport Tom enjoys as he took up skiing again a few years ago. In July, Tom will sadly be leaving us to move to Belgium! We’re happy though that he will be looking for a farm there to ride at. Where ever he chooses, they will be lucky to have Tom as one of their riders.

Thank you, Tom, for lending us your expertise and so well exhibiting the Lancer spirit of horsemanship and always taking the best outlook on life and equestrianism.

Our Volunteer for May is Carmel O'Keefe

This month we are featuring Carmel as our volunteer of the month! Carmel currently sits on our board of directors, is the chair of our Fundraising Committee and her daughter Annabelle is in ride 3.

Carmel has actually been a western rider since she was 8 years old although she has never been able to take formal lessons. She started volunteering at Lancers as a member of our board of directors over two years ago as she had a special interest in therapeutic riding. Since then, she has kindly volunteered her time with fundraising, revising administration manuals, designing a marketing brochure, and even with BBQ’s!

When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Carmel explained that her “favourite part of Lancers is the unique opportunity it provides for an entire city to experience the incredible beauty and strength of horses. The location of the barn and the Lancers' history are untapped Halifax treasures”. While it was easy for Carmel to share what she loves about Lancers, she found it harder to choose her favourite horse. “I have had crushes on so many over the years - Cash, Willow, Zero,” Carmel explained, “but my heart is taken with Bella, and not just because she shares her name with my daughter”. In a similar vein, Carmel’s favourite memory of Lancers was when she saw the riders in their red jackets during a Musical Ride practice for the first time. “It was truly inspirational”, she added.

For Carmel, volunteering at Lancers is unique because “her life-long love of horses is re-kindled every time I turn into the driveway on Bell Road. My other volunteer roles didn't have a horse component so there's no contest! When not volunteering, she enjoys going to the gym, playing trivia and crib (versus cribbing!).”

In the future, Carmel sees herself, over the next several years, “playing a role in increasing public awareness, access and value for horses in the lives of those who experience a variety of abilities, marginalization and building life skills”.

Thank you, Carmel, for playing such an important role at Lancers! We appreciate all of your hard work.

Our Featured Junior Rider for May is Chloe Cook!

Chloe with Bobbi

Chloe with Bobbi

Chloe has been riding for five years and has spent the last three years at Lancers. She is now in ride 6.

Chloe always shows her dedication to Lancers and helps out as a stable hand and as a volunteer for many of the activities and tasks at the barn. Chloe spends so much of her spare time here at the barn. All of our riders know they are welcome to spend as much time at the barn as they would like with the knowledge that they might be put to work while here. Chloe stands out in that she finds work to do and puts herself to work before ever being asked. She was even awarded “camper of the week” at our overnight Salmon River camp last year. This year she is a Lancers Pony Club member and is a spare in the Musical Ride. She is always an immense help on Tuesdays when she assists younger riders getting ready for their lessons!

Chloe’s favourite horse is Bobbi, although she loves vaulting on Inga! One of her favourite memories of Lancers is when she was jumping Rupert and was sure she would fall off but managed to stay on. When asked what her favourite part of Lancers is, Chloe explained, “the friendships with other riders and the bonding experiences with each horse”. She added, “there are not many places in Halifax where you can hang out with horses!”

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In the future, she wishes to be a vet, specialising in large animals. When she isn’t at the barn, she is looking after her pet fish and can be found showing her Australian Terrier (dog) at competitions!

Thank you, Chloe, for giving so much to Lancers. We are fortunate to have you!

Our Featured Adult Rider for April is Trilby Sylvain

Trilby is one of our newer members and joined Lancers last November. Starting out as a Western rider, she began riding at the age of ten and rode until she was about eighteen. What followed was a twenty-year break from riding. Like some of our other adult riders, we have been very happy to see Trilby get back in the saddle. She now enjoys riding with the Tuesday morning group and her favourite horse is Willow.

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Despite her short time at Lancers, she has already volunteered as a phone tree parent. One of Trilby’s favourite memories of Lancers was her first day when Simba dragged her half way down the aisle for a bite of hay! Trilby isn’t the only one in her family who rides at Lancers as her daughter Callia and niece Grace are both in ride 11.

Trilby’s favourite part of Lancers is the sense of community at the barn. For her, Lancers is unique because having people of “all ages helping other ages is really neat”. In the future, Trilby looks forward to riding with her two children and two nieces! When not at the barn, Trilby enjoys running, activities with her children, and spending time at her cottage in King’s Head beach in New Glasgow.

Thanks, Trilby for always coming to the barn with a smile and for being a reminder that Lancers is a place for families! Here she is pictured with Bud, one of her daughter’s favourite horses. 

Our Featured Volunteer for April is Réal Clarke

Réal not only rides at Lancers but is one of our “re-riders” who has recently come back to riding after a number of years off. Now that she is back, she has already jumped in full force as an active volunteer at the barn! She is helping with our Musical Ride, has agreed to chair our Downtown Horse Show Committee (which her background as an event organiser is a great asset), and she plans to attend many off-property horse shows to help any way that she can! We are particularly fortunate to have Réal back because as a child, Réal was very involved in the Lancer community as a youth. Between 1994 and 2004, she participated in Junior Executive, Pony Club, Musical Ride, and horse shows, and was even a stable hand on Sundays! She knows the ropes.

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Even with her break, Réal has been able to jump right back in the saddle and now rides in J3. While she has only been riding again since February, Réal actually began riding at Lancers in 1994 when she attended Lancers’ beginner summer camp (a photo of her first ride is below!), and stayed on to move through the ranks. Over the years, Réal has had many favourite Lancer horses including Freddy, George, Sparky, and Thelma from her childhood. While she hasn’t been back long enough to have a new favourite, Réal says she enjoys riding Rupert and Rainy because of the challenges they present. Sparky is foremost in Réal’s favourite memories of Lancers as she recalls winning her first red ribbon with him in the Downtown Horse Show in 1999 (photo below). Other favourite memories include riding in the Musical Ride with the RCMP and showing Thelma at an off-property show (photo below). Réal recounted, “We were having a difficult day and she did not even want to go into the ring. We were able to make it around the course and even won some ribbons. I was particularly proud because we were able to overcome the challenges that day”.

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When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Réal explained, “I have always loved horses and being a member of Lancers has allowed me to grow up with them. I have learned so much over the years and being a part of the organization has taught me a sense of responsibility”. In the future, Réal would like to continue riding at Lancers and work towards obtaining her rider levels with the ultimate goal of certifying as an instructor. Overall, Réal chooses to volunteer at Lancers because “it allows me to combine my love of horses and learning with the opportunity to give back. I hope that through volunteering I will be able to help others have the same wonderful experience I had growing up”. In this, Réal exhibits the real Lancer spirit - someone who wants to learn, lead, and find ways to give back to the community.

When not at the barn, Réal enjoys hiking, camping, canoeing, and spending lots of time outside with her dog!

Thank you, Réal, for your many years of service to Lancers and for coming back to ride again!

Our Featured Junior Rider of the month is Amy Withington!

Amy has been riding for 10 years, all of which have been at Lancers, and she now rides in Ride 1. During those years, Amy has been very active. While not riding, she is currently the President of Junior Executive and works as a barn monitor. She has worked as a camp counsellor for both our summer day camp and our overnight Salmon River camp. Having recently become an NCCP certified instructor, Amy is now also one of our instructors at Lancers. In 2016, she was one of our leaders in the musical ride and she won the Sarah Louise Smith trophy awarded to the junior rider who is most involved in Lancer activities. On top of her dedication to Lancers, Amy is much adored, especially by the younger Lancers who very much enjoy working with her.

Amy jumping Reese 

Amy jumping Reese 

Even though Amy has had many favourite Lancer horses over the years, her current favourite is Reese with whom she plans on competing with this summer! When asked for her favourite memory of Lancers, Amy replied, “I have so many!” She recalled: “one was my first training show with Inga doing cross rails. I think I was nine and I remember being so nervous. Inga, for some reason, had a lot of energy that day and we ended up winning the class!” Another memory was her first show with Reese because she was so happy with how well he behaved.

Amy is graduating in June and will be embarking on her next adventure at university. In her future, she hopes to keep riding and maybe even have her own horse one day. Thinking upon this next chapter of her life, Amy shared that Lancers taught her not only to ride but gave her the opportunity to find her passion for working with kids and teaching, a career she is thinking of pursuing. Amy concluded by sharing what makes Lancers so unique: “I love riding at Lancers because it is where I grew up, because of all the amazing friends and coaches that I love, and because we for sure have the best horses around!”

Thank you, Amy, for contributing so much to the Lancer community over the past ten years.

Our Featured Horse for April is Sadie!

Sadie on Valentine's day

Sadie on Valentine's day

Our sweet Sadie has been with us for just over a year now! She originally came from PEI and will turn thirteen this summer. Nearly 16 hands high, Sadie is a Clyde/Paint cross. Her unique colouring is called Palomino.

Sadie jumping with Nadia

Sadie jumping with Nadia

 

 

Even as a new addition to Lancers, Sadie joined our musical ride last year and even won the dog and horse relay at the Atlantic Agricultural Fall Fair. Despite Sadie being a safe and reliable mount, she can still provide a good challenge for our most experienced riders. She is known for her speedy ways under saddle but juniors and adults alike always enjoy having a turn with Sadie. Most of all, Sadie is best known for her sweet disposition and her love of jumping! Expect to see Sadie, or “Tout de Suite” as she is officially known, in the jumper ring this season!

Our featured Adult Rider for March is Mary Morrison

When we asked Mary when she started riding at Lancers, she promptly responded: “March 3, 1983”. How does she remember the exact day, thirty-four years ago? “It was a milestone”, she replied.

Mary began her riding career at Lancers in 1983 by joining the adult beginner course. It was the first time she has been around horses and was a particularly special experience because she never thought that she could ride because of her allergies. In fact, for the first ten years, she had to wear a mask while grooming (that’s dedication)!

During her time at Lancers, Mary organised the musical ride for five years, acted as ring crew for the Downtown horse show, has helped with hay, shavings, clean up days, and has even given tours for our open house and Doors Open. She very much enjoys showing people the facility.

Mary has spent her whole riding career with Lancers. What she enjoys most about Lancers is the community atmosphere and history. Particularly, Mary values that fact that Lancers brings together riders of all ages to enjoy the same horses and space. “It doesn’t matter your age”, Mary explained, “we are all supportive of each other”.

Mary added that while she has ridden at some other barns over the years (in addition to weekly rides at Lancers), the Lancers' history makes it very different from any other barn. In this vein, Mary (with enthusiasm in her voice), urged “for those of us who are lucky enough to ride here, it is important for us to realise and recognise how special it is. It is unique”. Lancers, Mary points out, has been very lucky to host many talented instructors with high-level qualifications and international experience.

Another special feature of Lancers for Mary is our location. Despite not having a car, she is still able to ride a horse every week! On this, she noted that while some other cities have “urban” barns, most are privately owned and are so ridiculously expensive that you can’t get in!

Mary intends to keep riding at Lancers for a very long time! She enjoys the riding but also the horses and the people. While Mary answered all of our questions with ease, she was stumped when we asked her to name her favourite horse. You could tell the fond memories were flooding back as she replied, “of all time…was….Ms…and then Digger…the very first horse I loved was Thunder…then there was Jenny…I loved Moonbeam for years…and Phyllis…now, Simba and Alice”.

Like most of our interviewees, Mary also had to think hard about her favourite memory from Lancers because “there’s so many, it is hard to choose”. She decided upon: “all the great horses we have been able to ride over the years. A lot of good horse people have come for clinics and have said to us that they can’t believe these are school horses”. It is little wonder that when Mary isn’t riding (or enjoying yoga), she loves to read biographies or anything to do with horses.

From Lancers, past and present, we thank you, Mary, for adding so much to our community and for loving our horses. Here is Mary enjoying her ride on Alice. 

Our Featured Volunteer for March is Peter Cunningham

Peter is our volunteer handyman and tractor man and spends 5-10 hours a week at Lancers. Not only does he drag the riding ring three times a week but he also fixes everything in the barn – doors, lockers, fences… he changes light bulbs and even built the manure bridge and ALL of our jumps!

Peter has never been a rider himself but both his daughter Elizabeth and wife Helga (another amazing volunteer) have ridden at Lancers for the better part of 25 years combined!

We have been fortunate to have Peter as a volunteer for the past 17 years. He was formerly a harbour pilot and retired in 2008. When asked what he likes most about Lancers, Peter joked, “not the horses, not the odours”. He does, however, love Lancers for “the people”. Peter also doesn’t have a favourite horse but he loves the barn cats. His favourite memory from Lancers is when he took a pony ride on Grasis during an Open House!

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When Peter isn’t gracing the barn with his humour, he enjoys cycling and woodworking. Compared to other volunteer opportunities in his life, Peter suggests that Lancers is much better and points out that Lancers has been a very good thing for his family. In a phrase, Peter describes Lancers as “a grand spot”.

Thank you, Peter, for all that you do for us. We don’t know what we would do without you (and all of your tools)!

Our Featured Junior Rider for March is Aminata Karakach

Aminata and Reese 

Aminata and Reese 

Aminata is twelve years old and is in ride 7. She has been riding for two years. In that short time, Aminata has already helped out with hay and shavings and has completed some rider levels. Last summer she took on the role of a Lancer Honour Guard for Doors Open Halifax.

Aminata with Lucie dressed in their Honour Guard uniform for Doors Open Halifax 2016

Aminata with Lucie dressed in their Honour Guard uniform for Doors Open Halifax 2016

The thing she enjoys most about Lancers is hanging out with people after riding. Her favourite horse is Tootsie!

One of her fondest memories of Lancers is her very first lesson. She rode Inga and was terrified but looking back on the experience she finds it funny because it wasn’t scary at all. When Aminata isn’t riding and enjoying her time at Lancers, she swims (is completing her bronze medallion), plays the violin and saxophone, and participates in Honour Choir. In the future, Aminata hopes to have her own barn.

Our Featured Horse for March is Zero!

Zero is a thirteen-year-old 17hh gelding and has been at Lancers for nearly seven years. Like anyone, Zero has some funny quirks but is a favourite amongst both riders and instructors. He is well liked for his amazing ability to build confidence for both beginners and more advanced riders. He has one of the smoothest canters with a fabulous rhythm! Zero is always a top pick for kids to take to shows, and he has even led our Musical ride.

Last summer he also showed some impressive skills on the cross country trails at our Salmon River Camp! Here are two photos of Zero showing off his best self!

Our Featured Adult Rider for February is Wanda Gerstenberger

Like many of our adult riders, Wanda began riding later on in life. She has been riding at Lancers for the past six years and thoroughly enjoys her lessons twice a week. Wanda used to own a horse but she wanted to continue riding at Lancers because, as she says, she “just loves it here”. Her favourite horse is Alice. During her time at Lancers, Wanda has volunteered for night hay and Christmas fundraisers.

Wanda with Alice!

Wanda with Alice!

Her favourite part of Lancers is...well she couldn’t choose just one. She loves the horses and the sense of comradery. Wanda added that “some of the nicest people [she’s] ever met ride here” and that “Lancers are so welcoming”.

She appreciates the dedicated care Lancer horses receive. Her favourite memories of Lancers are of the “lots of little moments when something clicks and she “gets” it”. She also loved her first time jumping!

Outside of riding, Wanda is an avid gardener. Wanda wanted to end this piece with gratitude. She is thankful for the Lancer horses; every time she rides them, they impress her with not just their skill, but their spirit.

We would like to thank you, Wanda, for always showing up to the barn with a big smile and endless enthusiasm!

 

Our Featured Volunteer for February is Nathalie McLean

As a not-for-profit, Lancers is a volunteer-driven organisation. We recognise that volunteers give us their time, energy, and enthusiasm and for that, we are always thankful.

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This month we would like to feature Nathalie McLean who, for the past ten years, has been our volunteer accountant! Nathalie began volunteering with Lancers when her daughter Emma started riding at Lancers. Over the years, Nathalie has also volunteered to help with hay and shavings, has been a ride parent, and acted as show secretary for the Downtown Horse Show.

What she loves most about Lancers is interacting with the kids and experiencing the comradery between other riders and parents. When we asked Nathalie how volunteering at Lancers compares to her other volunteer opportunities, she was quick to describe her work as “rewarding”.

With a love of accounting, Nathalie proclaimed “to do what you enjoy for an organisation that appreciates it is a gift”. Nathalie says she is happy that she can contribute a needed service to an organization where there is so few paid staff. Nathalie reminded us that at Lancers, her efforts are recognised and people are grateful for her service.

Nathalie completed the adult beginner course when Emma was young and always said that she would return to riding when Emma went to university. In September 2016, Nathalie did indeed get back in the saddle and now rides at Lancers twice a week. She is thoroughly enjoying her rides but she can’t choose her favourite horse because she loves them all. Most of all, she enjoys riding at Lancers because it encourages her to expand comfort zone and to think in a different way. Her favourite memory of Lancers is the smile on her daughter’s face when she came home from riding. 
When not riding or volunteering, Nathalie is a voracious reader and enjoys walking her dogs twice a day!

From all of us here at Lancers, we thank you, Nathalie. Lancers just wouldn’t be the same without you!

Our Featured Junior Rider for February is Ella MacDonald

Ella is thirteen and is in Ride 4. She joined Lancers at nine and has been riding for four years. What she enjoys most about Lancers is spending time with the horses. Her favourite horse is Rupert because he presents a challenge.

Ella in her Honour Guard uniform 

Ella in her Honour Guard uniform 

Ella jumping Punkin

Ella jumping Punkin

In her time at Lancers, Ella has participated in the Musical Ride, Junior Executive, hay deliveries, and training shows. She is very excited to join the new Lancer branch of Pony Club!

One of her favourite memories from Lancers is when she attended her first horse show. Although she entered with trepidation and thought the courses would be hard, she came out in first place!

When not riding, Ella also participates in gymnastics but she particularly enjoys riding at Lancers because she feels a greater sense of camaraderie with her fellow riders.

Our Featured Horse for February is Bud!

Although you would never guess it, Bud was born in 1999 and is 18 years old. He has been at the Lancers since he was three and has undoubtedly always been a barn favourite.

Bud during a Musical Ride Performance 

Bud during a Musical Ride Performance 

As a Clyde-Thoroughbred cross, Bud is one of our largest horses standing at 17.1 hands, yet he is respectful of even the smallest rider.

Bud’s show name “Shrek” came from the much beloved green ogre. Over the years he has led the musical ride, competed in 3’6 in hunters and jumpers and has taught both adults and children. Recently he has been trained to participate in HALTR (the Halifax Area Leisure and Therapeutic Riding Association) lessons that enable members in the community with special needs to experience the joy of horses.

Bud was chosen as our Featured Horse of the Month because of his impressive disposition and service. He can always be depended upon to be a trustworthy and reliable horse for our beginner riders yet is still used today in our advanced lessons.

Bud showing off his jumping skills! 

Bud showing off his jumping skills! 

Despite all the wisdom Bud has gained and shared throughout his years, he is still physically fit and just as agile as he was in his younger days. That we have many names on a wait list to give Bud a retirement home speaks to his character. But above all, Bud is still extremely happy doing his job!

It is little wonder that our Head Coach calls him “Mr. Wonderful” and that he is very much well loved by all Lancers.

Featuring our very special Lancer community

We value our Lancer members; the horses, riders, parents, volunteers, instructors, and staff make Lancers a unique riding facility in the heart of Halifax. 

Each week we celebrate various members of our community by "featuring" them. Stay tuned as we nominate and profile horses, junior riders, volunteers, and adult riders "of the month".