Our Featured Volunteer of the Month is James Nicholson!
James Nicholson is our building/carpentry/plumbing volunteer extraordinaire. Not only does he help out so much during our August clean-up but throughout the years you can find him fixing stall door tracks, hoses and taps, and even the hay elevator. He very kindly lent his time this year to help the Junior Executive make stall bars. We are very fortunate to have James dedicate his time to Lancers as a volunteer, rider, and since 2017, as a board member. He has been on our building committee for some years and this year helped to organise our Wine Tasting and Silent Auction fundraiser.
James, as he self-proclaims, took up riding “late in life” and has been riding for the past ten years. A friend of his suggested that he come to Lancers to “get some proper lessons”. James now rides in the A1 adult group. Being pretty (ok, really) tall, James often rides our bigger horses like Bud, Jacob, and Chevy. When we asked him who his favourite horse is, James humorously replied, “Bud is a favourite, (Don’t tell Jacob). Bud is absolutely ‘canterrific’”. One of James’ favourite memories of Lancers occurred a few years ago during a Friday night make-up ride; the group was small and the weather outside was very stormy so the instructor suggested they have a lunging workshop. James found himself at one end of the barn helping a younger rider lunge a horse and that was a moment when he realised that he had really picked up some good skills over the years.
Shortly after James started to ride, he noticed that there were a few repairs in the barn that could be fixed. James, as a side note, has a very impressive and well equipped home workshop so he certainly knew what he could fix. His projects started small and then the projects gradually got bigger! James is someone who likes to fix things and although, as he says, “some repairs are subtle and can go unnoticed, they are still important and satisfying to complete”. These repairs and improvements are crucial to our facility and all members should be thankful that members like James dedicate their time to keeping in the best order for us and our horses.
While a lot of James’ other volunteer work has been mostly on various board of directors, he likes volunteering Lancers because a lot of the projects he gets involved in are helpful for the members and staff and that can be very satisfying. He added, at a certain level we all work for these great horses because they in turn, work for us”. An added benefit, he noted, is that “there is a great sense of community amongst the members and their families. Getting involved as a volunteer on the building committee and the board of directors has made my appreciation of this community even greater”.
In the future, James would like to keep riding as it is one of the most challenging things he has ever done and in riding, you never stop learning! He even might consider studying for a rider level next year. James also has an interest in the Lancer therapeutic riding program as he has a nephew with special needs. When not volunteering at Lancers, James enjoys fine woodworking, mountain biking, skiing, and travelling. He has been lucky to go horseback riding in a few foreign countries over the years including France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Some photos from his journeys are below!
Thank you, James, for using your skills and passions (and tools) to help Lancers. And we won’t tell Jacob your secret. ;)