Belinda Maier is our Featured Staff Member for August!
We are very happy to feature Belinda Maier, one of our instructors, as our featured staff member! Belinda began her riding career in the Lancer junior beginner course in 1989 at the age of eight. She spent the next 14 years riding at Lancers, was away for a year, and then came back for another three years to ride and coach while attending university. After a longer break, she came back to Lancers two years ago as a Level 1 coach. If you’re doing the math, that’s nineteen years she has spent at Lancers! She now rides about once a month and teaches at Lancers on Wednesday evenings. When not teaching at Lancers, Belinda is a teacher at the Halifax Regional School Board.
After spending most of her childhood at Lancers, Belinda recalls many favourite memories. These include being a part of the Musical Ride, particularly during the year that we performed at the Atlantic Winter Fair with the RCMP musical ride. She also showed in the hunter and jumper ring and really enjoyed medal classes (the CEF medal was her favourite). Other highlights include being a part of the Nova Scotia Pony Club that travelled to Quebec to compete and competing in South Africa as part of the Canadian Pony Club team! Of course, the many hours spent at the barn with friends while they all groomed horses, mucked stalls, and cleaned tack are also cherished memories. Now, Belinda’s favourite times at Lancers are when she is working with young people and adults and seeing them develop confidence and learn new skills.
Belinda’s favourite horses similarly reflect her long span of time at Lancers. Peter, who retired last year, was her project horse when he arrived at Lancers as a two-year-old stallion. Belinda was also involved in the training of the much beloved Bud when he arrived many years ago. She noted that “it’s so great to see him become such an amazing school horse that can be ridden by riders of all levels”. Now, her favourite horse is Sadie. Belinda explained that although she is a challenging horse to ride, she finds it rewarding when they figure something out together.
We asked her how Lancers compares to other places she has worked to which she answered: “Lancers is a wonderful community and one of the best places that I've worked. Everyone is made to feel welcome and part of the team. When I returned after many years away from Lancers I was welcomed back and quite quickly felt like I'd never left.” In terms of what Belinda enjoys the most about Lancers, she noted: “I love the Lancer spirit! Everyone is connected through their passion for horses. I feel however that Lancers is much more than a riding facility, it's an environment that welcomes everyone and provides a safe place for young people to grow and develop into caring and hardworking members of the community.”
We are so fortunate to have Belinda as one of our instructors. Her pupils, who range from children to experienced adults and university aged students, always remark on her ability to clearly describe her lessons and she always presents interesting patterns and exercises. She is an incredible teacher and her theoretical understanding of riding translates into really thorough and understandable lesson plans. Her lessons always have a goal and she makes sure that all riders comprehend the lesson. You feel every lesson having learned something or have improved on something.
Thank you, Belinda, for coming back to Lancers and inspiring so many Lancers.