Our Featured Adult Rider of the Month is Terry Arnason

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In March 1993, Terry walked through our doors on Bell road and has continued to do so for the past twenty-five years. We are exceedingly excited to celebrate Terry’s “Silver Jubilee” (or quadranscentennial) as a Lancer and feature her as our adult rider for March! Her true love and adoration for the horses are so apparent, she acts as attentive custodian of our barn cats (of course, they get spoiled with treats), and she contributes to Lancers as well through volunteering and sponsoring events like the Downtown Horse Show.

Terry grew up on a mixed farm (dairy and grain) in Saskatchewan where her family had a pony and four Percherons. Thinking back, she likely started riding when she was three or four years old but bareback, of course. Her dad would throw her sister and her up on the Percherons and “let them go”. This mostly resulted in the girls sitting on the large horses while they meandered around eating no matter how hard they tried to get them moving! After those early days, Terry had four more horses in her life. She belonged to the local 4-H horse club in her early teens and the last horse she owned was a Standardbred when she lived in New Glasgow. There she attended the occasional English clinic plus took Western lessons at Herb Best’s barn.

From 1981-1993, the only time she rode was when she went home to Saskatchewan. Many of the farmers around had horses in their pastures and were happy to let her ride them. Most of the horses were green and crazy but back then it just added to the fun. In March 1993, now living in Halifax, friends asked her if she wanted to join them in riding lessons at Lancers. Terry noted, “I didn’t know what or where the Lancers was but happily I said yes and the rest is history”. Terry has now been a Lancer for twenty-five years and currently rides in A1.

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When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, she explained that it was being in the presence of the horses. “I feel so privileged to be able to step into our stable in the middle of the city and smell, hear, and touch our beautiful horses”, she explained. “We (the Lancer family) should be so thankful for this every single day. I call it my ‘therapy’”, she added. For Terry, the best part of Lancers is all the people she has met here and the friendships she has formed. Lancers has kept her going through so much and it has impacted me wholly. Terry particularly enjoys watching the children and the beginner adults come in uncertain and maybe a bit nervous and through their programs, become accomplished, responsible horse people. On this, she noted, “I do not like when the kids grow up and leave us after grade 12, although some of them return as adult riders and I am so happy to see them”. You can imagine that Terry will have now seen two generations of juniors in the beginner program at age eight who ride at Lancers until they go off to university.

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Terry loves her lessons and has had many awesome instructors who continue to persevere despite her “lack of ability and thick skull”. She joked, “how many times can someone tell you to sit up, heels down, the other ‘left’ before wanting to give up!? So, thank you, instructors!” While she might be a bit hard on herself, we agree with her sentiment about thanking instructors! Terry is equally appreciative of all the horses who have captured her heart over the past quarter-century. She has had particular soft spots for Zero, Bucky, Joey, Norman, Freddy and Digger.

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It is clear that Terry deeply enjoys being a part of the Lancer community and the life of the stables. She loves cleaning stalls and is a dedicated night hay volunteer. She has also helped with fundraising, summer clean-up days and renovations, horse shows, and open houses. For Terry, there are just too many great memories of Lancers to mention all of them. One of them is when the horses and their riders come out at the start of the Musical Ride. “My heart almost explodes”, she added. Although Terry hasn’t quite become used to the new Musical Ride music, she knows that will come and she will enjoy all the performances this year.

When not at the stables, Terry stays active by going to fitness classes and Tai Chi. She loves to travel, read, and garden. In the future, Terry hopes to continue as a Lancer for many more years. She again joked, “they may have to drag me out kicking and screaming when the time comes. I won’t go easily!!” Don’t worry Terry we won’t ever drag you out. Terry ended her interview with the powerful statement: “if it wasn’t for Lancers, I would likely be back in Saskatchewan now but I can’t leave our horses”. Thank you, Terry, for choosing to spend so much of your life with us at Lancers and for sharing your passion for horses. With you in our midst, we will never forget that the love of horses is at the root of all we do and all we believe in. #featureFriday