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 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.