Our Featured Volunteer of the month is Sue Comeau Stender!
Sue Comeau Stender is a volunteer who has been with us just shy of a year but has already become a dedicated Lancer volunteer. Sue’s daughter CC started riding in our junior beginner course in 2017 and in September will be in ride 9! While Sue desperately wanted horseback riding lessons as a kid, she has only ridden once and that was just this year at the insistence of her daughter when they were on holiday. Sue began her volunteering at the barn by lending a hand, sweeping and helping with hay and shavings deliveries “while trying to tear CC away from the barn”, she noted. “Sweeping” she added, “is way more fun when there are cool horses to take peppermint breaks with”. Sue plays a lot of tennis so hay and shavings deliveries and sweeping are good strengthening for the tennis swing! She should know about fitness and health because is also a writer an author of “The F.I.T. Files”. In our recent quarantine, some of our youngest riders collaborated and held bake sales; Sue helped out although she humbly emphasised the fact that she helped mostly on the baking end. From Sue’s perspective, it was another parent who was instrumental in organising the sale and of course, the riders “were very dynamic promoters and sellers”. The fact that we didn’t make it through our interview without Sue singing the praises of others speaks volumes to her genuine character.
Sue’s favourite horse is Bud because according to her, he is “such a big, gentle goofball” and “he has been a lovely horse for CC to start riding with”. Bud also relates to Sue’s favourite memories of Lancers. She explained that when CC did her first training show, there was a mix up in who was riding Bud before her, and she had to scramble to get him ready. She remarked, “the older girls stepped in to help right away, and they were so amazing. I thought, ‘wow, this is a special place’”. In that vein, according to Sue, her favourite part about Lancers is “the sense of camaraderie that the riders have”. She added, “everyone helps me each other. It’s awesome. And it’s incredibly cool to get to hang out with the horses!” It is pretty evident that Sue enjoys her time at Lancers. When we asked how it compares to other volunteer opportunities in her life, she humorously responded, “like all my favourite volunteer experiences, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s fun to be around the barn. And, oh yeah, there’s a little more slobber”. It is highly likely that there will be a lot more horse slobber in Sue’s future. She said, “since I don’t expect CC to reduce her time in the barn, I see myself getting quicker at cleaning out stalls”.
Sue, we truly hope that CC only increases her time in the barn just so we can have your warmth and smiles around us. You have brought a wonderful spirit to Lancers and we are thankful for your support. Thank you!