Our Featured Volunteer of the Month is Kathleen Bowman!
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.
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”.
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”.
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.