- Canadian veterans and currently serving members will be participating in Communities For Veterans Foundation-The Ride Across Canada by joining Paul on horseback on a relay ride across Canada with veterans and for veterans.
- The aim of this ride is to make it across Canada in roughly 200 days and include as many veteran guest riders as we can. It is about Canada’s communities coming together with her veterans to create awareness and encourage discussions of the challenges that our Veterans can face at home. By the time our horses get us to the Atlantic coast of Canada we will have heard, and shared, the stories of over 700 Canadian Veterans.
- Riders – Guest riders will be given a date and time for an information session and riding lesson. They will be scheduled at a later date to join Paul and 2 other guest riders and ride for a specific leg of the journey in or close to their own community.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- All Participants, will meet at the Administration Area of the Communities For Veterans Foundation camp at 08:00 and complete the required paperwork. There will be two groups present. Riding Group will be the riders that will be joining Paul for their leg of The Ride Across Canada. Orientation Group will be joining Terry for horsemanship/riding lessons.
- Both groups will meet together in CP of administration area with staff for introductions, safety reminders, route/hazard assessments and schedule for the day.
- At 08:30 Riding Group and Orientation Group will split up. Riding Group will go with Paul and prepare to start their leg of the ride. They will collect the needed equipment for the ride (boots, helmets, etc.). Orientation Group will remain at CP with Terry and will begin Classroom information for horsemanship and rider knowledge.
- Riding Group may leave directly from the Administration area with riding or horses may be loaded into a horse trailer and horses and riders transported to starting point for the days’ ride. Ride will continue on route until 12:00 and will break for lunch.
- Orientation Group – Classroom-Learn about horse behavior and horsemanship
- Watch a demonstration of grooming, tacking, riding and horse behavior.
- The group will then choose riding boots and helmets and the sizes will be recorded for later use.
- Rider candidates will then be introduced to the horses and will learn how to safely work around them.
- With assistance they will then groom and tack a horse and will take turns mounting and riding in our round pen corral.
- Once individuals are comfortable with their skills then a group ride may occur in the corral.
- Terry will make an assessment of the rider’s abilities and this will determine if the rider is able to ride with Paul at a later date.
Horses are large powerful animals but they are also very intuitive and sensitive. Clear respectful leadership is very important to them use.
By the end of the lesson the rider must be able to:
- Lead a horse safely. Stopping, turning, and backing up.
- Mount and dismount independently in a timely fashion.
- Able to use basic aids to get horse to move forward, backward, and to the side.
- Interact with the horse in a respectful and effect way.
Terry is a patient teacher and wants everyone that is keen to ride a horse for this event to succeed. She will do her best to prepare riders for this event. Riders may even require more than one lesson in order to participate. Due to safety concerns, she does have the right to deny a rider from participating in this event.
- Both Group participants will meet back at the Administration area CP at 16:30 for debrief.
- The ride is expected to attract a lot of publicity. Media, dignitaries and public relations personnel may be present throughout the day. We ask that the focus for our ride be about support and awareness for our veterans. We encourage you to share your stories. Help our communities understand the needs and the contributions of our veterans and serving members. A reminder that this is not a political campaign. This ride is about what we can do as community and not about what we are, or are not, doing for our veterans.
- Depending on the community and area, there may be presentations, dinners, events, or fundraisers in the evening that may include veterans and their communities.
- Physical Ability Horseback riding takes some degree of physical fitness. Those riders with physical limitations may need to shorten the amount of time they are in the saddle or make adjustments tailored for the rider to make their ride more enjoyable. Any limitations must be brought forward to our staff before the orientation date. For certain legs of the ride will have a buggy available for those that are incapable of riding. Ask and we will do our best to accommodate everyone that wishes to participate.
- The following document must be received by Communities For Veterans Foundation – The Ride Across Canada a minimum of two weeks prior to rider’s orientation date.
- Rider Information Form
- Equine Waiver
- Photo Release Form
- Rider photo
- Rider’s Story (Optional but appreciated)
- Safety Equipment – All riders must wear riding boots. We can supply them for you if needed. A helmet is highly recommended for use for your ride. If you choose not to wear a helmet a separate waiver must be signed.
- We would like to showcase our Riders of the Day in the media and on our website. If you don’t want to be public with your ride, please let us know and we can arrange to have you ride through a less busy area and not include your information on the website.
1. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Administration Area. We will provide transportation to the ride’s start and end point.
1. The Ride Across Canada is FREE to veterans and serving members. If you do want to make a donation to the foundation to help cover our fees and raise funds for veterans programs you may do so if you wish by contacting us.
Riders are to bring the following items with them to their orientation day and to their ride day:
- Riding boots if you have your own pair you would like to use
- Long socks
- Bug repellant if appropriate
- Rain gear if appropriate
- Comfortable jeans
- Long sleeved shirt
- Riding gloves (optional)
- Hat (if helmet is not being used)
Communities For Veterans Foundation can provide you with the following:
- Riding Boots
- Lunch for the day you ride and orientation day – If you have specific dietary needs, please bring your own lunch.
- Communities For Veterans Foundation T-Shirt