Happy Spring! It may not look like it at the moment with all the snow still here, but spring is coming! I thought it was already here in Feb w/ birds singing and no snow but heck it is Canada and this is our 4th? winter this year. So almost there!
We had a good winter here on the farm but we definitely missed all our kids and fall riders. So welcome back and let’s have a great Spring riding season ! I have a few barn keeping notes and Spring updates for all of you so read on and take note!
First, many thanks for your vigilance in keeping the gate closed! As you know my biggest nightmare is loose horses trotting down the driveway – which will never happen if we are all sure to close the gate! Even if you are just popping in to pick up your child – that can often take longer than you think, so please be sure to close the gate once you are in. Of course if someone is behind you or on their way out, leave it for the last person through to close. You never go wrong closing the gate so many thanks for keeping our horses safe! And me calm LOL!
Thank-you also for paying your fees on the 1st of the month. Payment is on an honor system so I should not need to chase anyone for their fees. If payment is not received by the 2nd week of the month I may have to start charging a late fee. I really don’t want to do that, so again – please pay promptly to keep things simple! Please, please be sure to write down the lesson time and student name on your etransfer, as that is how I keep track of everyone. I can’t guarantee you will get the credit if I have no idea who the payment is for.
I want to clarify how the lessons work: group lessons of 3 or more are 45 minutes; semi privates are 40 minutes and privates are 30 minutes. All younger kids will have both barn and riding instruction as they still have lots to learn about getting the horses ready for their riding lessons. Any beginner lessons will include barn and riding instruction. Adult and older beginners can come a bit earlier each week, based on the coach’s direction, to get ready in the barn once that skill is established. Our mandate is Safety first! If we feel a barn lesson is safer for everyone, very occasionally, we might just offer that instead of riding. It is all about horses, so I know learning about them in all capacities is our priority!
Because we do not charge for any month w/ an extra week, we apply that 5th lesson to a makeup for the session. If you don’t miss any classes then that extra class is a bonus. Otherwise you have that class for each session to act as the season makeup. If we have to cancel for weather, Christmas or a home show, we will reschedule the classes. But please note, we do not take any holidays off except for Christmas holidays.
Our Spring Show will be held on Sunday, June 25th. This is a fun home show where riders of all ages get to show the skills they have been working on during the session. The show is always a lot of fun for the participants and it is a great opportunity to ride under a little bit of friendly pressure. The focus is never on placings, just getting out, having fun and learning! It is also an opportunity to see our amazing barn in action. From barn and horse prep to running the whole show, the coaches and helpers do it all. It is not a small feat and they are all to be commended on running such a successful day every year, twice a year!
It is getting to that time again where we need to paint and spruce up our jumps. We had a great MacGregor’s fundraiser, well organized by Nicol, and we have some funds to get paint and maybe upgrade a couple of jumps as needed. If you do have extra paint though, we would always appreciate it. And if you are handy with hammers and nails, you are more than welcome to share your building expertise with us to create a couple of new jumps! Watch the bulletin board in front of the barn for dates!
Summer camps are a go for 7 weeks of the summer. We have 2 full day camps during the first and last weeks of the summer and the rest are half days, am and pm. Camps are a great opportunity to build skills on a daily basis and the Friday show is a blast for everyone! Many of our riders take a few weeks of camp every summer and it really gives their skills a huge boost. Registration is on the camp page of our website caledonequestrian.com
Summer Camp volunteering
One reason our camp program is such a huge success is because of our great helpers! Volunteering at camps gives a wonderful foundation in people skills, not to mention building a lot of confidence around horses. We take kids from 11 and up and it is a full week commitment from 8:30 to 4:30. High School volunteer hours are also given. Once the helpers have done 3 years of camp there is also some extra riding time offered. And if the helpers sign up for 3 weeks of camp, there is an awesome barn sleepover for all coaches and helpers at the end of every summer. Not to be missed! It is well worth the time and effort involved. Please watch the board for sign-up!
We haven’t had a show team for a few years since Covid. Showing off site has been really missed and we are considering getting back into it on a slow basis. The issue now is a serious horse disease that is going around Ontario so we are not jumping right back into it. If you are a walk, trot and canter rider and beginning to jump you are eligible to join us if we do have a team this year. Please notify us if you are interested and we will see if there are a couple of shows that we can get to during the summer.
Ever wonder where our coaches get their amazing teaching skills? We hold a coaching course during the first week of every summer camp. All our coaches have taken part and it has given them the solid foundation you see in action in every lesson! The hours are from 9:30 to 3:30 daily, the week of July 3rd. Students must be turning 15 this year and working on their cantering skills at a minimum. Watch the board for sign-up and let us know if you are interested.
Horse Health Policy
Because there is a highly contagious and fatal disease going around Ontario called EHV, we ask that you do not go to any other barns while you are coming to Caledon. We do not want any of our horses to get sick and if EHV ever shows up here we would have to close down until it was gone. So please, for our horses’ sake, make Caledon your one and only!
I want to thank all of you for putting our horses’ safety first from closing the gate to not exposing them to any ugly illnesses. Your care and concern reflect what we all feel here at CES – our horses come first! And because we are a facility full of horse lovers, I also want to especially thank our coaches and barn helpers for their help in keeping this environment a safe one for everyone, human and horse! We are a sum of our parts and everyone from horses, parents, riders, helpers and coaches make our school the great place we all love! Many thanks!
Just in case you are missing us, keep in mind the mud and the dirty ponies who love to roll in that mud, LOL! Though that is part of the appeal too, isn’t it? I do know how important our horses and school are to all of you and you are equally important to us. I look forward to the day when you can come and be safe and enjoy our farm once again. Thank-you all for your patience – every day is a day closer to getting back on our horses!
Hope to see you soon!