“Rick was with the program for over 10 years and his dedication and enthusiasm was apparent at every Monday night class he taught. Our students and volunteers alike adored him. Rick stayed with OG through thick and thin with great understanding and support. Unfortunately for OG he decided in December of 2013 to hang up his hat and I know that everyone in the organization will truly miss him and we wish him all the best."
- From the students, volunteers and Opening Gaits board
I started riding in 1990. My first solo ride was on my nieces quarter horse mare “Destiny”. That night while drifting off to sleep I could still feel the motion of galloping in my muscles. I rode as a member of The Calgary Regional Trail Riders for quite a few years participating in activities such as trail rides and parades. I ran a couple fundraising rides for the Cancer Society and Children's hospital. I compete in competitive long distance trail riding as well as hunter and jumper divisions. Iʼm an Equine Canada certified English instructor of beginners with the jump component; and a qualified Equine assisted learning facilitator.
Read the full article!
Well, I guess I can say my love for horses & kids goes way back. Having been very fortunate to have had a horse while a youngster, I spent time riding to our neighbor’s farm to give their kids horseback rides. They totally loved it and I loved seeing the smiles on their faces and enjoyment they received from riding.
This remained in my mind for many years and in January 2010, I saw an advertisement in the local community paper asking for volunteers at Opening Gates Therapeutic Riding.
I thought Wow, I am now retired, so this means I get to work with Horses & Kids & Dirt once again…., how could I not sign up??
So in February 2010 I began volunteering Friday & Saturday mornings, thoroughly enjoying every minute of it and giving me the opportunity to get to know our Riders personally. I quickly found out that the therapy works both ways, it does wonders for me as well!!
The Riders are fantastic, each with their own special personalities and abilities, and always anxious to learn new skills.
Being in such a positive atmosphere of smiling, giggling, Riders who are eager to do their best, and for me being able to see their progress first hand as the weeks go by, is something I’ll not forget.
In 2012 I took on the Friday Assistant Instructor position and, although I am assisting in teaching our Riders, they are also teaching me and that is my biggest reward!!!
I am privileged to be able to work with such a great group of Riders.