My Daughter’s Four-Legged Friend by Kim Edmiston

My Daughter’s Four-Legged Friend by Kim Edmiston
April 15, 2014

Every parent looks for that activity that makes their child shine, the smile that runs from ear to ear. I guess I was not surprised when my daughter chose horseback riding. My grandfather raced horses and I had a wonderful horse for a while and I’ve passed the love on to her.


We are lucky to be living in York region north as it’s not unusual to pass by horse farms and beautiful views on our travels.

After trying many extra circular activities like highland dancing, ballet, and skating, we found ourselves stopping by all the horse farms in town to see what they have to offer.


Now every weekend, it’s time to head to the farm. Some weekends it’s a family event and I pack up some of my son’s activities to keep him busy in the viewing room. For me this is not just a viewing room it’s the siblings’ room. I don’t have to be watching to make sure my curious little boy has not wondered into a horse stall or out in a field to explore. I get to watch my daughter’s riding lesson while my son enjoys some games, playing with the other siblings, and the farm cats.




A long time ago when I was boarding my horse at a barn in Markham, Ontario, I asked a mom who would rush home from work, change clothes, then run to the cold dark barn for her daughter to ride her horse, why she did it. She explained, “Kim, I know where she is and I know she’s happy and safe, she’s not on the street.” It actually made sense to me. I just want to add one more thing too, that as a rider myself, there is nothing that can compare to the bond of a horse and rider.


We looked around at many farms until we settled on Whitchurch Riding Academy in East Gwillimbury. They offered the structure, caring and cleanliness that we were looking for, they have also been very accommodating to schedules.  Most important of all, they go out of their way to make sure my daughter is safe and happy while challenging her each week in her lessons.



My daughter has told us she does not want to compete and that is ok. She may never decide to do so, but for my very shy nervous girl, this is more than just riding a horse. This is about a new friend in her life allowing her to feel safe and comfortable in her space.




Each week, we listen as the excitement of the countdown to the barn begins. When it’s finally time to head out the door she smiles from ear to ear and tells us it’s time to go see her “best friend at the barn.”

After the lesson is over and we are headed home, it’s not unusual for her to ask us how many days until we are back at the barn….and the countdown begins again!