Our Featured Junior Rider of the Month is Marguerite Dunkley
Marguerite Dunkley has been riding at Lancers for five years. She started in the Junior Beginner Course and is now in Ride 3! Marguerite is always pleasant and nice to those around her and carries a good sense of humour!
Over those years, Marguerite has developed her riding and horsemanship skills. She recalled that when in the Junior Beginner Course, she used to be afraid of Jake (our smallest pony). Despite some fear, Jake was her favourite. Marguerite then moved on to Owen and very much enjoyed riding him. While in those younger rides, Marguerite reflected, she used to stand outside Oliver’s stall door at the end of her rides and just talk to him. In Ride 6, she first had the opportunity to ride Oliver and still does. In fact, Oliver recently took Marguerite to her off-property show where they won first place in the 2’6” hunters. While she enjoys Oliver and likes Tootsie at Salmon River camp (apparently Tootsie once spooked when Jake sneezed and it was quite a funny moment) Marguerite’s favourite horse is now Giquau! She explained, “he is really different than other horses. Even though he might not always give his best effort over the jumps, it is fun riding and hanging out with him.
Being with the horses and fellow riders is what Marguerite enjoys the most about Lancers. She added, “even if someone is so much older or younger than you, they will always be your friend”. But friendship and horse time still comes with chores and Marguerite mucks in with her work alongside everyone else. She noted that she doesn’t mind sweeping and then recalled one day when Chloe had her fill the outdoor water trough but wasn’t allowed to use the hose so she had to carry out buckets! It was some good hard work. Working with the horses is actually one of Marguerite’s favourite parts about Salmon River camp. She noted, “you get to ride a lot and take care of the horses and feed them”. While Marguerite also plays volleyball on the Scotia juniors team, she says that she enjoys riding the most because she enjoys being with the horses.
In the past few years, Marguerite has been able to become increasingly involved in the many Lancer extra curriculars. On top of going to Salmon River camp, she has participated in training shows, the Groundwork Clinic, the Paul Halpern Jumping Clinic, and PPG with the Lancer Pony Club. Last year she earned her Pony Club D1, is in the Musical Ride for a second year, and completed her Rider level 5. On top of all the extra-curriculars, one of Marguerite’s favourite things to do when riding is jumping and vaulting because she finds attempting to balance on a horse fun!
Marguerite’s favourite memory of Lancers was her first Downtown Horse Show when she was riding Tootsie. She recalled, “Tootsie just cantered around the whole time. I didn’t place but I have improved a lot since then. It helps me remember how much I have developed as a rider. In the future, I would also like to develop my lunging skills more”.
It is wonderful to reflect back on how much Marguerite has developed as a rider but we are also excited to see how much she continues to grow and the rider she becomes!