Our Featured Volunteer of the Month is Rebecca Fels!
As a not-for-profit, our community relies on volunteers who come together and keep Lancers running. Volunteering can include a multitude of efforts and activities and we appreciate them all. This month, we are happy to have Rebecca Fels as our featured volunteer. Rebecca has been a Lancer for 19 years (she is almost hitting the “big 20”)! She started riding at Lancers as a child and has not stopped! Rebecca’s mum used to ride at Lancers so the horse and volunteering bug must be in her blood. Rebecca always seems to be smiling and we appreciate all the cheeriness she brings with her to the barn.
From a beginner to an adult rider, Rebecca moved through the junior membership and is now in the J1 ride on Tuesday nights. Over the years, she has been involved with a little bit of everything from stablehanding and barn monitoring to working as a volunteer with our therapeutic riding program. She has done announcing at our horse shows and helped as show ring crew (her personal favourite). Rebecca has been the adult advisor to Junior Executive and is a superstar during August clean-up and is certainly always ready to get stuck into anything that needs doing.
While we have been fortunate to have Rebecca volunteer with us over the years, she feels compelled to help out at Lancers because of the sense of community. She explained, “volunteering at Lancers is something that comes naturally because it feels like you’re helping out family. There’s always something that needs to be done and it never feels like something you grudgingly have to do”. She further added, “there’s something so special (and challenging to describe) about the closeness you have to your ride mates and other members. Especially in the last few years, I’ve felt that Lancers has become even closer. Regardless of how long they’ve been a part of Lancers, everyone is so friendly and willing to collectively help out”. Rebecca is certainly a great example of the good she sees in our community.
In addition to being a great volunteer, Rebecca has some great memories of Lancers from over the years. Although according to her, there are so many to choose from, she marks on the top, riding through the sprinklers on hot summer days, riding in the snow when it wasn’t icy, and basically, anytime she had that “aha” moment with the horse. She has certainly had some favourite horses over the years including Moonbeam, Pumba, and Freddy when she was young. Rebecca self-admittedly says that she basically falls in love with any horse she meets, but Bud has always been near and dear to her heart because he is so willing and she can trust him with almost anything. Most recently, Rebecca liked Willow before she left because she found her crankiness endearing.
It is hard to imagine where Rebecca finds time to volunteer and ride at Lancers and enjoy hobbies that include hiking, agility training her puppy, swimming, scuba diving, travelling (especially if trail rides are involved!), playing bass clarinet in a Dalhousie concert band, and cooking. She does all of this while finishing up her Masters at Dalhousie and the IWK. She says that she is heartbroken that the future is coming so soon because after graduating in May, she will be off to either work as an orthoptist or continue studying healthcare/medicine…somewhere. She knows for certain though, that wherever she goes, there will have to be a barn so she can continue riding and working with wonderful horses!
Well, Rebecca, we are very sad to see you go but hope that you will find your way back to Lancers in the future. Until then, we’re going to have to train someone else to do such a spectacular job on the gutters! Thank you for all your time and volunteerism over the years.