The Lancer Approach
From the Beginning
From its inception, Lancers has provided an opportunity for people to learn from horses who otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity. Dick Zwicker founded the club in 1936 so that “city children” could learn to ride horses. To this day our unique urban environment plays an important role in our organization’s identity. We offer programing for children and adults and our membership includes people from various socioeconomic backgrounds. We are always striving to provide access to horses and riding lessons to those who would never otherwise have the opportunity. We believe that every person who comes in through our doors comes out a better person.
Our riders learn the foundations of equestrian sport while at Lancers, adhering to Canadian Pony Club standards and Equestrian Canada rider level guidelines. While competition is not the primary focus of what we teach, many of our horses and riders do learn to compete alongside some of our province’s top equestrians. Since the 1960’s we have also offered programs for therapeutic riding for children and adults living with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Not only do participants benefit from this programing, but all of the volunteers from our community also have much to gain from being a part of the program.
Lessons in more than just riding
While most of our actual lessons focus on caring for and riding the horses we never underestimate the importance of all the life lessons being learned while at Lancers. Everyone who works with horses will emphasize the importance of putting the horse’s needs before their own. At Lancers we practice this with our fellow riders and community at large as well. However we never lose sight of the importance of self-worth and confidence, which horses teach in abundance as they teach us how to communicate with an animal of incredible size and might. It was in response to the positive impact on the city that Lancers was awarded regimental colours in 1949. We still proudly wear Lancer Red for all of our lessons and events.
Not only do riders at Lancers learn to work as a team with their horses, they also learn to be a part of a team with their ride-mates, and for junior riders, eventually as part of our Musical Ride. Some of the closest life-long friendships have been formed at Lancers. Horses have a way of teaching us to be our unencumbered selves which transmits through these friendships.
From Participating to Leading
Leadership skills become second nature to youth who grow up riding at lancers, as they move from learning how to effectively lead and control a horse to helping new riders become acquainted with leading their horses. Our programs operate through peer mentoring, providing everyone with a sense of security and responsibility. Riders are welcome and encouraged to spend their free time at the barn with the understanding that they may be put to work while they are here. We believe some of the most valuable lessons come out of extra time spent at the barn.
To learn more about our history click here.