BARN MANAGER AND HEAD INSTRUCTOR
Angie is an Equine Canada Competition Coach and a former Lancer. Angie learned to ride in the Lancer Junior Beginner Course and was a junior member of Lancers in the 1980s and 1990s. While at Lancers, Angie competed at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto with her legendary horse Prince of Thieves (Robin). Angie began her teaching career at Lancers before spending a number of years developing her equestrian skills as a working student in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. In Holland, she managed a barn of 80 horses and has also held riding and/or coaching positions in Florida, Quebec, and New Jersey at top level Hunter/Jumper facilities. Angie has been coaching in the HRM since 2002 and Lancers is very fortunate to have her back.
As Barn Manager and Head Instructor, Angie has a very clear vision for Lancers. She strives to ensure that Lancers fosters each rider with a sense of discipline, responsibility, and empathy, and cares for others, be it animal or fellow community members. Above all, she hopes that every rider comes out of the program a better person. Her coaching philosophy is to try to help each rider discover their own potential and work towards a higher level of communication with their horses, recognising that each horse and rider combination will present a unique set of challenges. At the core of her teaching values is encouragement - to do their best, to constantly expand their knowledge of riding and horse care and to be good citizens in the Lancer and Halifax community. Through riding, without really knowing it, riders are learning and developing essential life skills such as verbal and non-verbal communication skills, listening skills, an ability to negotiate through complex relationships, and spatial awareness, and characteristics like courage, perseverance, patience, self-reflection, and an attuned awareness of others. Angie inspires Lancer instructors to approach their lessons with structure and to similarly encourage their riders to uphold Lancer values.
In their own words:
What do you enjoy most about teaching at Lancers?
“I most definitely enjoy the sense of community and the horses. There is such a broad demographic of people riding here from such interesting backgrounds, all coming together for their love of horses. The horses at Lancers are truly incredible. I’m amazed every day at how much they give our riders. It’s incredible to watch a horse and rider come together as one, and to see the horses offer this special connection to so many different riders is truly humbling.”
What do you think makes Lancers unique?
“Being in an urban setting offers some unique advantages as well as challenges. We not only have a great sense of community within the barn but are part of the community at large as well. We always try to serve the community with free events like our Musical Ride performances and Open House events. The city of Halifax has these horses as part of its landscape and we enjoy seeing Haligonians and visitors on our fence line observing the horses play outside and watching our lessons.”
How does Lancers compare or contrast to other barns you have worked/taught at?
“The emphasis on horse care rather than just riding is really put into action at Lancers. Youth spend their days here caring for the horses whether they have a lesson that day or not. The teens help the younger kids with their chores. Whether it’s mucking stalls, loading hay into our loft or putting the finishing touches on a horse to get them show-ring-ready, the riders are a part of it from start to finish.”
What else should riders/members know about you?
“I am a mother of two young girls who also ride at Lancers. I consider Lancers my “village” that helps me raise them. I am eternally grateful for all of the support I get in helping them grow into caring, responsible citizens.”
A little-known fact about you is...
“I can ride a unicycle and stand on my head!”
Instructor - Pat Steele
Pat has been an adult rider at Lancers for 10 years and is a Coach Level 1. Pat has an extensive Pony Club background and was head instructor at the Rothesay Pony Club and the Fredericton Pony Club. Pat achieved the highest rider level attainable, Pony Club A Levels and has competed in three National Pony Club Rallies in the Three Phase Event (Dressage, Cross-Country, Stadium Jumping) Preliminary Level.
INSTRUCTOR - Melissa Reid
Melissa is a former Lancer instructor and a Coach Level 1. After leaving Lancers, Melissa obtained a Bachelor of Education. She eventually moved to England where she was a barn manager and instructor for 7 years. She managed a taught at a stable that had 80 horses, 40 of which were school horses. Melissa returned to Canada three years ago and we are very happy that she is back teaching at Lancers.
INSTRUCTOR - ALEX BRISSEAU
Alex is a trained NCCP instructor and has been riding at Lancers for 11 years. She began riding at the age of 8 and when she was 17 she moved overseas with her family and rode in Qatar. After graduating high school she moved back to Halifax to attend university and came back to Lancers to ride and teach. She particularly likes teaching beginners but enjoys teaching many different levels. Along with teaching in the regular lesson program she also teaches the beginner summer camps.
STABLEHAND - Elizabeth Melvin
Elizabeth Melvin is Lancers full time stable hand who has worked here since 1989. She has an extensive background in caring for horses having grown up in a “horse family” that raised and trained standard bred horses. Elizabeth looks after the horses daily needs as well as playing a vital role in maintaining their overall health and wellness.
Elizabeth is acutely aware of all of our horses quirks. This is important because she is able to note any change in behavior that could affect the horses health and happiness.
STABLEHAND - KEVIN MELVIN
Kevin Melvin, brother of Elizabeth has been a stable hand with Lancers for years. Like Elizabeth he looks after the horses daily needs as well as playing a vital role in maintaining their overall health and wellness.
Stablehand - Saskia Felderhof
From an early age, Saskia had a love for all things animal. But when she saw her first horse, that was it! And so it began...From books about horses to riding lessons, it was clear she had found her passion.
Saskia’s first job at a large hunter/jumper boarding and lesson facility came along in her early 20’s. Here, she found not only an employer, but a mentor. Like a duck to water, she quickly accumulated knowledge of horse care and gained essential hands on experience. Soon, she was promoted to barn manager, and became a groom for one of Nova Scotia’s top professional jumper riders. With compassion, work ethic, and attention to detail, Saskia excelled, not in showing horses herself, but in the work that was required behind the curtains. She had found her niche!
Saskia has been fortunate to have managed some of the top equestrian facilities in and around Halifax, and has been a horse owner herself. With over 20 years of experience to her credit, she continues to work in the equine industry with the same passion she started with as a child.