In this episode, I wanted to focus on a cause that’s very important to me. With all of the sudden and unexpected challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. One has it very close to home in my province of Ontario, Canada, the plight of the schoolies. I’m sure Schoolie barns are a facet of every country and community the world over. They are those special places where those saints on four legs carried the most nervous of riders around the arena and often eventually around the competition ring. These barns were immediately shut down when the pandemic reached Canada, and their income streams screech to a halt. As we all know, horses are an expense sense of animal to have cared for and feed. So while their doors were closed to their paying clientele, the schooling barns were left with the challenges of feeding and caring for these animals without any money coming in to do so. As I’m sure you’ve already surmised, the situation for many has become very dire very quickly. Now, it was just announced that the province is lifting some of the restrictions on equine facilities, and this for sure is great news. It is important to remember, however, that these won’t mean business as usual for the schooling barns and that they aren’t out of the woods yet. has one of my guests will mention, it will be a very long time before things get back to normal, and these businesses and especially equines will still need our help. The purpose of this episode is twofold. Firstly, as advertised over the last few weeks, I’ve offered a sponsorship of this episode which would go directly To the For The Herd fund. I will continue this offer for the next podcast episode as well, just in case, this one inspires some more goodwill. Second, I wanted to introduce you to some pretty incredible people who are doing big things in an effort to help out these horses.
In this episode, I had the pleasure of talking with Joanna Soloman and Kristin Gerrits of Benchmark Equestrian, Jennifer Sweet of Lionsbridge Equestrian and founder of the original Save The Schoolies initiative and Tracey McCague-McElrea, Executive Director of Ontario Equestrian.
If you would like to donate directly: https://www.fortheherd.ca/
Special Thank you to all of the sponsors of this episode. Every sponsorship dollar will be directly donated to the For The Herd fundraiser.