Category Archives: Pony Club

Equine Canada Level 2 Coach, Ally Sillers, is now coaching at Foxwood!

With the change in seasons (even though it is still feeling like winter!), comes a change in the barn with the arrival of an amazing new instructor! As many of you know, I am currently working on obtaining my Equine Canada coaching certification and I met with Ally Sillers last year to discuss the steps I needed to take in order to accomplish this. At the time, I asked Ally if she would be available and interested in doing the EC Rider level evaluations for my students who were taking part in our monthly OEF horsemanship program. We have been keeping in touch over the winter to determine some testing times for both me and my students and I was elated to learn that she was available this spring to coach here. What an incredible opportunity, not only for me to learn from her, but also for all of my students – not just the ones who are testing for their Equine Canada Rider levels.

Ally Sillers is an Equine Canada certified Level 2 Coach, with over 40yrs teaching experience. While living in New Brunswick, Ally ran the Rothesay, Kennebecasis and Fredericton Pony Clubs from 1985 until 2000 before starting her own riding school, Callander Hall. She has taught beginner to advanced students, who have ranged in age from 4 to 70 years old. Ally has had students win provincial championships in dressage, hunter/jumper and eventing – and one of her students, Kara Grant from Prince Edward Island, took part in 2 Olympic Games, competing in pentathalon. In addition to great riding accomplishments, many of Ally’s students have gone on to become veterinarians, farriers and part-time coaches.

Ally is a National Evaluator for the Equine Canada Coaching program and also tests for the EC Learn to Ride program for Rider Levels 1-8. She is a facilitator for the Equestrian Theory Course and has prepared over 20 successful candidates for the Instructor of Beginner Coaching Evaluation. She has a love and interest to pass on her extensive knowledge and to promote the coaching program and was the coaching coordinator for the province of New Brunswick for 5 years.

In 2014, Ally moved back to Toronto for family reasons and currently coaches at the following barns in Ontario: York Equestrian, Waterstone Estates , Gimcrack and now Foxwood Farm:)

“I have been lucky enough to make a career out of my passion” –
and Foxwood is very lucky to have you, Ally! We’re looking forward to the great lessons and the learning opportunities!

Until next time,
Robyn

Check out the latest video of Ally teaching at Foxwood:

We are thrilled to have Ally and her incredible knowledge at Foxwood!

We are thrilled to have Ally and her incredible knowledge at Foxwood!

Horsin’ around in 2015 at Foxwood!

Here we are, 22 days into the New Year and this is my first blog of 2015! Usually at this time of year, I would have extra time; however, this month has just flown by and we will be entering spring before we know it (and let’s hope it is an early one this year:).

For me, January is the month for planning. I have already received most of our horse show dates for the upcoming horse show season and weather permitting, it looks like our first Foxwood Farm Show Team outing will be in March at one of the Trillium horse shows at the RCRA riding complex. Hosted by Joker’s Hill farm, these winter schooling horse shows give riders the opportunity to “get back into the saddle” in a competitive environment before the full season starts in May. I know that some of my eager horse show riders would love to start going to these winter events in February, but given the unpredictable weather patterns these days, I am a bit hesitant to trailer my horses and ponies until we are through the most part of winter. Once spring arrives, we have many horse shows on our agenda: Trillium shows at Palgrave and several other farm locations in the central east zone; Essa Equestrian schooling shows out in Thornton; and of course, the Barrie Fair at the end of the summer – which we came home with 1 Champion and 2 Reserve Champions last summer:)

Summertime also brings Foxwood Camp and our flyer with all of the information and our registration forms will be posted and mailed out today. I am so excited that we have a returning counsellor from 2 summers ago who brings so much fun and enthusiasm every day to camp. Lindsay is currently a university student who has worked at Foxwood Farm for many years as both a counsellor and riding instructor. She has competed successfully in dressage, jumper, cross country events as well as on Pony Club national teams for PPG (Prince Philip Games). Some of my campers will remember, with fondness, her glory moments here at Foxwood riding our small pony, Feisty, around a couple of jumping courses…the two of them connected from the beginning and they have a very special pony/rider bond that is great for my campers/riders to see. Along with Lindsay, as head counsellor, we have a few junior counsellor who are current riding students at Foxwood and who have all be CIT’s (counsellors in training) for the past 2 summers. It is wonderful to have staff who are not only familiar with the barn rules/etc. but who also know our Foxwood horses, ponies and returning campers. With several fun and interesting theme weeks this year, I know that this is going to be the BEST year of summer camp that Foxwood has ever had!!

Now to the New Year’s resolutions…I have been studying to take my Ontario Equestrian Federation rider level/instructor certification for many years. My plan was to do my certification last year; however, when I lost my riding partner, Becks, in December 2013, my plans had to be put on hold as I no longer had a horse to do the testing on. But now, I have Salty. Even though I haven’t been riding much this winter due to the cold and my busy lesson schedule, I am hoping to form a partnership with Salty so that I can advance my riding and then obtain my OEF certification by the end of 2015. The process is a lengthy one as it involves not only a riding test, but also a written test on stable management, a practical test on horsemanship as well as a teaching test component. I have been taking lessons, with a Level 2 riding coach and will also be mentoring with another Level 2 coach to expand my knowledge. In my riding lessons that I teach, I incorporate the OEF rider level requirements and we will be offering testing at Foxwood for my students who wish to work towards achieving these rider levels.

So, it’s going to be a busy year and I am looking forward to each and every Foxwood milestone!

Happy New Year to all,
Until next time,
Robyn

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Me and Salty