Distant education student shares Eagleview experience

The Eagle View Equestrian Centre in Williams Lake is a place to learn about horses and how to work with them.

By Brenda Van Wyck

The Eagle View Equestrian Centre is a place to learn about horses and how to work with them.

A couple of months ago, I was able to enjoy the opportunity to visit the people at Eagle View, and have them teach me a couple things about horses. The first thing we got to learn was how to properly groom a horse and prepare it for saddling. They showed me the different brushes and how to use them and what order to use them in.

They also taught me how to clean a horse’s hooves; they showed me different parts of the hoof and the different hoof picks and how to get the horse to lift its leg for you.

After the horses were properly groomed they taught me how to saddle the horse, and that was the tricky part.

At first I had to have them do it for me, and I watched closely.

After a thorough explanation of all the different parts of the saddle and how they all work, I started to get the hang of it.

In no time at all I was able to groom and saddle a horse. And that was only the beginning.

After our horses were all tacked up, we haltered them and got to lead them around obstacles such as around posts, through cones, over pieces of wood and in a big circle. The next challenge that we were given was to ride.

I haven’t had much experience with horses so it was a very cool experience to be up on top of a horse taller than me. I fell into step quickly with the guidance of the instructor.

I learned that horses are very sensitive to slight movements, for example, when I want the horse to turn right I gently pull the right rein away from my body and the horse immediately knows to move in that direction.

The horse I worked with was Echo; he is a tall grey horse with a very playful personality. He liked to try to bite my jacket and test my authority.

Echo was a very good listener and followed my instructions.  He didn’t do anything that made me feel uncomfortable, and he respected the fact that I was a beginner.

After I felt like I was getting used to riding on Echo, the instructors set up obstacles for me to go through. Some of the obstacles were challenging to conquer, because I was nervous to go over them, and I could tell Echo was a little nervous as well.

By the end of the session I could manage to go through all the obstacles without a problem.

The very last thing we did was learn to trot.

And that was something else. Trotting felt like flying, and I couldn’t even imagine going any faster.

It was a little bumpy in the beginning but after a while I fell into the rhythm, and we just circled the arena a couple of times.

Thank you so much to Eagle View Equestrian Centre for teaching me all about horses and how to work with them; I had such a fun time and I learned so many things that I didn’t know already.

Those are memories I won’t forget, so thanks.

After the November fall break, the students took part in a day long art workshop with Cyndy Abbott, an art educator from Tatla Lake.  A beautiful clock was the result of the determined efforts of all the students who attended.

Everyone was very appreciative of Cyndy sharing her time and talent with the group.

Before Christmas, a Christmas card making activity at Creative Accents with Tara was well attend by a dozen students.

Lovely Christmas cards were produced – among them were a Christmas tree card and a Snowman card. Tara and her mom kept the group busy and productive.  Our thanks to them, too!

The intermediate and junior high group of distance education students teamed up with Canim Lake students at the Rural Schools Volleyball tournament in December in Horsefly.  Although we didn’t win the tournament, a good time was had by all.

To finish off the Christmas season, after the regular PE session with Ms. Frances McCoubrey, the students attended a chocolate-making session with Mrs. Ann Pilszek.  The students also made small Christmas boxes and Christmas tags.

As well, they brought their coins and raised over $50 for the food bank.

In the New Year, we have already been very active with learning how to tie flies with Mr. Paul Carnes and taking the CORE program with Mrs. Caroline Chupa.  In addition, bowling, yoga, skiing, tubing, basketball and a mosaic art activity are planned.

Everyone is looking forward to another busy semester – working hard on academics but also on various fun activities.

Brenda VanWyck is a Grade 10 student in School District 27’s distance education program and shares her experience here riding at Eagleview Equestrian Centre and participating in other group activities scheduled for distance education students.