Our Featured Adult Rider for June is Noha AlSharif!
Noha has only been riding for three years. She started in 2014 when she joined the Lancers adult beginner course and now rides in A1 (one of our adult rides). Beyond helping her stay fit, Noha finds that riding really helps her clear her mind. Noha specifically points out that “the relationship with horses is beyond rewarding; it simply makes me feel better and happier. Riding improved my confidence a lot and the sense of responsibility”. Further, Noha also values Lancers because it has allowed her to pursue her dream of riding horses which, as she describes, is very difficult for females to do back in her home country of Saudi Arabia:
“Riding horses there is more male dominant, combined with the nature of the conservative society that resists women’s involvement in sports particularly in public. There are only a few stables where women can ride as most stables are privately owned. It is easy to take things for granted and my experience of struggling to pursue horseback riding at home makes me very grateful for what I have right now since I can ride here with much more ease and freedom.”
Noha very much enjoys being around the horses at Lancers, even when she isn’t riding. She likes that Lancer horses are reliable and can be ridden by beginners but can still perform spectacularly when being ridden by advanced riders. When asked who her favourite horse is, Noha joked that although it is hard to have just one, she really likes Zero! She often rides Heidi and Peter too and says that both are adorable, even adding “I’ll miss Peter so much when he retires!” Along with favourite horses, Noha has many great memories of Lancers. Her favourite was last year when Lancers offered trail rides for adults for a day at Salmon River camp. It was a special occasion for Noha as it was the first time she had ever ridden a horse in the woods! “I was on Zero and I’ve never seen him so excited and happy”, she recalled, “we cantered uphill and Zero was just so excited!” Although she started out feeling tense, this soon changed to a feeling of excitement and fun. According to Noha, it was an incredible experience and very interesting to observe the change in horses’ behaviour and how much they enjoyed their summer break.
For Noha, it is sense of community (and location!) that makes Lancers so unique. She adds:
“I also like generosity that Lancers community is characterized by; whether it’s the horses that happily keep on giving until their retirement or the riders who give their time to support the barn in all ways -it is amazing! I usually refer to Lancers as a big family of riders and horse lovers, where riders (and their family) dedicate time to volunteer and are always there to help. It is absolutely what makes Lancers a special place!”
When not at the barn, Noha reads and tries to learn more about horses. She also spends some time doing yoga, watching movies, and playing with her cats. In the future, she hopes to keep riding and maybe even have her own horse one day!