Our Featured Staff Member of the Month is Charlotte Grace
Charlotte does it all - no really, somehow she manages to juggle university, riding twice a week (J rides), volunteering, and working at Lancers as a barn monitor, stablehand, and this year, an instructor! She does it all to the highest standard and encourages others to do the same. While Charlotte could very well be selected as rider or volunteer of the month, we wanted to feature her as our staff member because she adds so much to Lancers in her all of her roles. After years of stablehanding and barn monitoring, we are so happy that Charlotte decided to complete all the training and prerequisites to become a certified NCCP instructor through Equestrian Canada and is able to join our roster of highly qualified instructors!
Charlotte has been riding at Lancers since 2001. She started in the City Rec program in 1999 and then had to wait two years to get into the Junior Beginner Course which she finally started in 2001. Because she had been building riding experience elsewhere during those two years, she was put in Ride 8 after the Beginner Course. She worked her way up to ride 1 and then continued to ride throughout university.
Charlotte certainly knows the ropes. She has been stablehanding for the past 12 years and barn monitoring for the past ten. That’s why when we needed to draft a Barn Monitor instruction sheet and a Rider Duty sheet, we went straight to Charlotte (who did it in her own volunteered time). We asked Charlotte how Lancers compares to other places she has worked and she easily said that Lancers is probably the happiest place. She added, “most of my co-workers are equine so they are very easy to get along with but the barn is also the most enjoyable. I have worked in offices and customer service and all of that has shown me that what I want to do is work with horses”. On that note, Charlotte agreed that what she enjoys most about Lancers are the horses: “they are all so special and they teach us something”.
When asked who her favourite horse was, Charlotte said that Bobbi, Rupert, and Rockette are her favourite but she also has a soft spot for Jacob. She also mentioned though that she has a special relationship with horses who have been here since Charlotte was a child. “I have known Punkin and Simba since the day they came”, she added. While looking to the past, Charlotte offered up her favourite memory of Lancers (of which there are many). In ride 3, she was riding Victor at a 3-foot fence and fell off and onto the jump but she landed with one leg on either side of the rail. The rail didn’t fall down so her legs were just dangling and she couldn’t get down until the rail eventually fell. Of this she mentioned, “the sport is so humbling and to do it with your friends, is great”. Lancers also brought Charlotte one of her dearest friends, Jacqueline and they have been friends now for ten years.
Lancers has taught Charlotte “discipline and time management and above all, that hard work is rewarded”. And work hard, she does. That is something so special about Charlotte; she is always putting 1000% into all of her roles and that certainly includes ensuring all the riders during her barn monitor shift have completed all their tasks to the highest standard. In her lessons, this translates into Charlotte ensuring that all of her riders have their shirts tucked in, their horses nicely groomed, and their on time and ready to work!
Since Charlotte has been around Lancers for many years, we asked her a fact about Lancers that some might not know. She wanted to point out to the new riders that our riding ring actually used to be across the street (that’s where she grew up riding). For every lesson they had to cross the street (which means that Halifax no longer gets the sound of hooves on the pavement but also is less of a traffic slowdown)! Also, Bud’s stall used to be for the city’s only police horse and it used to have a small pasture attached so he could go in and out all day as he pleased. A fun fact about Charlotte is that she originally went to school to become an actress and do music but she can’t actually read music! That certainly makes sense because we just love her bellowing and pleasant voice that is so commanding (and means you can always find her in the stables).
Charlotte you are quite nearly omnipresent. Thank you, Charlotte for always giving so much to Lancers and sharing your passion for horses. Your attention to detail means that we always know that both horses and riders are in the best of hands!