Our Featured Junior Rider of the Month is Kate Stewart-Good

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Kate started riding when she was ten and has been riding for seven years. Since she had riding experience for another barn, she entered ride 10 when she arrived at Lancers. Kate has been a proud Lancer ever since and is now in Ride 1. One of her favourite things about Lancers is that it is across the street from her school so she can come see the horses at lunch. She also loves that she has met a lot of her best friends through Lancers and that everyone is so tight-knit, even with younger riders.

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Kate is a great example of a youth who has welcomed all the extra opportunities at Lancers. In her early riding years, she began to participate in Lancer training shows and this experience helped prepared her for taking part in off-property shows in more recent years. There is just about no part of Lancer life that Kate has not been involved with. She began working as a stablehand as a teenager and as soon as she became eligible, she joined the Musical Ride. As Kate is now in grade 11, this will be her third and final year in the Musical Ride (and she hopes to be a leader!). Kate has been to our Salmon River rural summer camp and was a Leader-in-Training last year. She has also been involved with the Junior Executive and this year has become the head of the fundraising committee. Over the years, Kate has also taken the opportunity to work hard to earn her rider levels. She currently has Level 6 and is now an instructor in training and preparing for her certifications.

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The love of horses runs in her family as her mother was a pony clubber as a child and is now also an adult rider at Lancers. When we reopened the Pony Club Lancer branch last year, Kate was one of the first members to sign up and has since earned her Pony Club “C”. At our recent Lancer Quiz, she won her first individual ribbon and was exceedingly and endearingly proud of her achievement! In additional to all of these opportunities, Kate mentioned that over the years, she has done many shavings deliveries and has “probably personally unloaded a million bales of hay in her life”. This year Kate also started to lease. She is a very hard worker and works at Dominos so that she can pay to part lease Merlin!

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While Merlin is currently a favourite of Kate’s, Jacob and Freddy will always hold a special place in her heart. As a young rider, Freddy was her favourite horse because he was such a solid and dependable horse. Jacob subsequently became a favourite. Kate fondly remembers that she was in grade 7 and one day there was a pick list and she had the chance to ride Jacob. She was very excited to ride a new horse and it was an instant connection. She rode him frequently over the span of four years and had the opportunity to show him off property in the hunters. Now Kate is enjoying a new challenge with Merlin. According to Kate, Merlin is very cute and she noted, “he has so much sass to him that it is fun to figure it out and see what he can teach me”. She added that” every single ride I learn something new and not always stuff for riding but something in my life like not getting super frustrated all the time (even though I do)”.

Everyone at the barn appreciates Kate’s good sense of humour. She can often be found joking around and is very close with her ride mates. Her ride mates particularly highlighted that Kate is very good with younger riders, is very understanding when kids ask for help, and has a strong work ethic, particularly in regards to saving money. She also helps with some Pony Club workshops and according to a fellow rider, “is a very good mentor for the next generation”.

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When Kate is not at the barn (which is almost every day), she enjoys kickboxing at HIT Halifax in the north end. She balances riding and Lancer life with working at Dominos and keeping up with her school work. As next year is her last year of high school, she is looking to pursue biomedical engineering at university. As she sets her sights on university, Kate understands that riding may not be as accessible to her as it now so over the next year, she is focused on improving her riding skills. She particularly would also like to improve her sense of sportsmanship and is focused on going into the ring to correct any issues. “It is not just about winning and if a horse is misbehaving, to see it as an empowering instead of a scary situation”, she said, “and I hope kids will look up to that”.

Kate, we think you’re great! Thanks for bringing so much to Lancers.

Janet Hawley