20th Anniversary!


Saturday, October 1

Students, parents and friends, old and new - please keep this date open


An Explanation for the Names on the Wall in the Lounge
(Number One in a Series)


"How can you go wrong for $500.00?"

I guessed Russ was right. It was 1985 and I desperately did need the extra four legs in the school but then again LOOK at those legs!

His hocks were so close together that they almost touched each other and the way he waved that short little excuse for a tail you would have thought he was actually trying to draw attention to those crooked hind legs. As I continued to look I decided that he seemed straight and strong enough in front but it was hard to forgive that short little neck.

We asked his name. The woman said "Buster." We asked if she'd mind if we changed it.

She shrugged a bit indifferently but added "Give it time and you'll find yourself wanting to say "NOW LOOK HERE BUSTER!!!"

I looked at his face as the women spoke and I think I caught the first glint of sheer cheekiness as the little sorrel pony sized me up.

Russ had the cash, I needed a horse and so it was settled. As we loaded him on the trailer we decided that, in deference to his previous name, we would call him Buster Keaton.

Keaton was fourteen years old when he came to Harrogate and he immediately set about organizing the universe according to his rules.

He settled in quite quickly, deciding that the rest of the herd must be so pleased he had finally joined them. Oddly enough, the rest of the herd did seemed quite pleased, especially the ladies.

He learned to bow for a treat and, because it involved food, he quite enjoyed the exercise. He would cheerfully perform it at the most inopportune moments, refusing to move from the spot until he was rewarded for his brilliance.

In fact he quite excelled at being a performer. One winter, Judy decided to teach him some tricks so that he could do a little show for the Christmas Party. If he minded the huge, colourful feather attached to his head collar, he never showed it. He patiently did the tricks Judy asked of him for as long as he felt like it, in full of understanding of the requirements of the game. When he didn't feel like it anymore he ignored her. Such was his swagger, although he was the one dressed like a circus pony, he had the crowd laughing more at his handler as he creatively found alternate options to the program he and Judy had rehearsed.

Many a beginner was exasperated by the challenges that he set. He could size up a rider before they had even entered his stall and got a sort of placid enjoyment out of making their life miserable. He would glue himself to the horse in front and, despite every beginner tactic of desperation, nothing would make him turn. No one ever got hurt, but there was rarely a shortage of tears of frustration.

He was at his level best when dealing with the students who were starting to believe that they KNEW how to ride. Keaton thrived on sorting them out. It wasn't that he minded being ridden; he just had his own opinion on how it should go.

And so they learned to ride.

When childhood memories are revisited by 20-something former students Keaton is spoken of with great affection and respect. They forget the tears and, instead, recount the strength, skill and discipline he demanded from them as riders. They recall with great pride the moment when they finally "got it" and found out how he'd earned the nickname of "Puissance Pony" and discovered that he could stretch and arch that little neck, swing his back and float across the ground.

Time has changed a lot of things, including horses and schools. Maybe Keaton should be an inspiration to all of us. Despite the odds, despite overcoming physical challenges, what wins out at the end of the day is character.

And character is the one thing Buster Keaton had in full supply.

Buster Keaton 1971-2001


Harrogate Hills Clean Up Days

By Kenzie Johnston and Erica Clayton

In celebration of Harrogate's 20th anniversary, we scheduled three clean-up days. These volunteer-driven days are meant to improve the tidiness of the barn and paddocks. In our first two clean-up days, we have had an awesome crew that helped us to achieve such things as: repairing fences (thanks to Cirrus and Patrick who helped to make this repairing necessary in the first place) installing a gate, fixing the electric fence and removing clutter.

The Fence Destroyers

A typical clean-up day consists of the volunteers splitting up into various groups to do different jobs in and around the barn. Everyone brings their own lunch, but for dinner we celebrate all our hard work with a barbecue of hot-dogs and hamburgers followed by an assortment of delectable desserts, compliments of Kenzie's grandma. After dinner, tasks are finished up for the day.

The first two clean-up days were held on May 29th and June 26th. The last clean-up day will be held on August 21st and we are looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Children and adults have been learning to ride at Harrogate Hills for 20 years now. For many, Harrogate is the place where a love of riding and horses began, and those who start their riding careers here will often continue to ride throughout their lives. Here we learn more than just how to ride…we learn responsibility and how to care for the horses. A lot of us have been riding at Harrogate for years and it has always been a place where we could come to make friends, be challenged and have fun while doing what we love to do. It's clear how much everyone cares about

Harrogate when we see the participation and teamwork that goes into our clean-up days. A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped out so far and lets make our last clean-up day the best one yet!


Why I Like Riding at Harrogate Hills

By Rebecca Schweinberger

The answer is simple, EVERYTHING!

If I could I would spend every waking moment at Harrogate Hills. My mom has often joked about just renting a stall for me, not for a horse, but for me. When I am not at home my younger brother does not even ask where I am anymore because he knows the answer is always the same, at the barn.

I love the way Pat puts the horses first. How every horse is treated to a leg rub down after shows and given crunch for all their hard work. Everyone at Harrogate Hills is so friendly and always concerned with the horses well being. Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to watch Pat bathe an injured hoof knows first hand the care and patience that is taken to make the horses as comfortable as possible.

Opportunity. This is what you get when you ride at Harrogate Hills. We are always given the opportunity to participate in more than just riding. I have had the opportunity to watch and learn how a needle is given to a horse, how to adjust feed, when a horse needs to eat mush (because of old teeth), how to treat thrush and even apply stinky Coppertox and pack the infected hoof with dressing. I, along with many of the other riders, have been given the opportunity to work at Harrogate Hills. How else can you learn about barn management, feeding and the fine art of mucking? One thing I know for sure is that having these opportunities has made me realize that I definitely want to continue my education in equine care and one day make it a career choice.

People. The people who work and ride at Harrogate Hills are what make the barn so enjoyable. All the instructors and staff treat you as an equal. If you have done something wrong they will let you know just as they will also give praise when it is deserved. They are always willing to help you whenever you need assistance or have a question. Every one takes the time to explain why certain chores need to be done a certain way instead of just saying "because I said so"! For someone like me, (who always has to know why) this makes the task more enjoyable and easier to complete when you understand the purpose.

The first day I set foot on the farm was seven years ago and, if I remember correctly, Heather was the very first horse I rode. That was it, I was hooked. My first experience was during the summer camp and I remember never wanting the day to end and when it did I couldn't wait for the next day to start. I would always wonder who I was going to ride and what new things I was going to learn. After spending my first summer at Harrogate Hills I was completely hooked and was content just to be at the barn and watch the horses graze and play in their pastures. To me, this was one of the most peaceful things to do. I could honestly stand there for hours doing absolutely nothing. While watching the horses it is obvious that they are all well cared for and content with their home, (they know a good thing when they see it)!!

Rebecca riding Patrick

So you see the horses are just one of the reasons I love riding at Harrogate Hills. And just in case you were wondering if there was something that I don't like about Harrogate Hills, the answer is yes, I don't like it when I am not there!


Adena Springs

By: Steph, Erica, Becca, Sam, Nicole and Sam

On the morning of Thursday, July 14th, Rebecca, Sam, Erica, Nicole, Sam and Steph all got the privilege to attend Adena Springs accompanied by Pat, Gerry and Joan. Adena Springs is the race track owned by Frank Stronach and, wow, is it beautiful!! When we arrived we had to go through the Front Gate and the guard had to check to make sure that we had made plans and were allowed in. Once we entered, we drove up a road and watched the rolling hills in the paddocks, a pond with a couple of fountains and we passed a couple of barns. When we got to the main barn we waited outside for a few moments and then a friendly young gentlemen named Ryan came out to greet us. This is when our tour began.

First we went to see the main barn. To get into it we walked through the office and through three sets of doors so the smell doesn't get into the office. Once we got into the barn all of our mouths dropped. It was beautiful!! It was in perfect condition, it was clean, smelled nice, and the horses were beautiful. It was just like you would imagine the perfect barn to be. It was a race barn and there were a lot of horses in there. Then we walked into the wash stall, which was humongous, and it was located just across the aisle. Walking through the wash stall you had to be careful because the horses are just babies and some are very startled at some things so you always had to be paying close attention to what was going on around you. We walked through the wash stall into something that looked like an arena. We were all confused until Ryan told us that it was their half mile indoor track. We were all amazed, but you should all make sure you're riding the same way because you can't see around the corners!! In the winter that's where the horses exercise.

As we left the indoor track we walked past a few paddocks. Some of these horses have to go in their own paddock, which is like a bull pen, because these horses are just babies

and they will run around a lot and get themselves hurt. If they're in a closed area they can't run. We walked up a pathway to the show barn but on our way there were a few horses exercising so we watched them. As we walked by there were three horses cantering together but they're not used to lots of people walking by at once so as we walked by they all looked at us and it was so cute:. The neat thing is, as the exercise riders canter along, they have a nice conversation like the horse is just walking. Finally we came to the show barn which is beautiful as well!! It wasn't as big as the other barns. There were three horses, two ponies, and two minis. The minis were so cute you can't even describe how cute they were and they shared the same stall. It was just adorable:. We watched a horse in the arena for a tiny bit and then left. The horses in that barn were beautiful as well. Then we walked back to where our cars again - as we walked back we watched the horses.

When we got back to our cars, we drove down to the broodmare barn. In the broodmare barn there were no babies because they are born in the spring. The neat thing is, a couple of days before the mare is due to give birth she goes into a big stall that has a window which you can see into from the lounge. Someone stays in the lounge 24 hours in case the mare needs help delivering. Then there are other big stalls that they go into which aren't monitored. There is also an area where the foal will go just to find his legs before he is placed into one of the bigger areas. Again this barn was beautiful:. At that time there were no brood mares, just the race horses.

Overall, we all loved Adena Springs and were very happy that we got the chance to go visit such a friendly and lovely barn. We would all love to go back if we had a second chance.


Did You Know?

When a female horse and a male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and a female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny.


"Clean Sweep" Harrogate Hills Style

1. One pair of black Miller paddock insulated riding boots, ladies size 5 - good condition. Price $15.00 firm.

Call Cathy Miller at 905-898-8088

2. One pair of brown leather Miller paddock boots, size 3. Price $10.00 firm.

Call or e-mail Stephanie Wagg at 905-954-1094 or

3. One pair of brown leather Miller paddock boots, hardly worn. Price $15.00 firm.

Call or e-mail Stephanie Wagg

4. One pair of black Mountain Horse winter riding boot, size 6. Price $15.00 firm.

Call or e-mail Stephanie Wagg as above

5. One pair of brown full chaps, make unknown. Childs small. Price $15.00 firm.

Call or e-mail Stephanie Wagg as above

6. One pair of used tall black leather field boots. Ladies 7-1/2. Price $40.00 firm.

Call Rebecca Schweinberger at 905-473-9570

7. One pair of Amazonas Super Comfort tall leather riding boots, ladies size 8-1/2. Price $35.00

Call Janet Dalby at 905-862-0082

8. One pair of tall PVC riding boot. Childs size 4. Price $5.00 firm.

Call Rebecca Schweinberger at 905-473-9570

9. One pair of navy Royal Highness riding breeches. Childs size 12. Price $25.00 firm.

Call Rebecca Schweinberger at 905-473-9570

WANTED: Show Jackets, Breeches and Show Shirts Call Sheryl Schweinberger 905-473-9570 or


Final Standings 2004/05 Season

Open Division

Stephanie Wagg


Sam Pedersen


Erica Clayton


Rebecca Schweinberger


Thea Bourne


Nicole Makrimichalos


Billy Mason


Heather Warner


Novice Division

Sam Enright


Kandice Coates


Ainsley Miller


Bridgette Hodgson


Rebecca Robinson


Megan Perrier


Nicole Henriques


Geoffrey Bishop


Kenzie Johnston


Cassandra Eves


Nick Clulow


Short Stirrup Division

Melissa Montanari


Cassie Rennie


Taylor Cameron


Nikki Pelrine


Taylor Besser


Nikki Spensieri


Miranda Wheeler


Lauren Martin-Stowe


Claire Gray


Kelsey Sydorenko


Kayla Slade


Emma Madsen


Stephanie Aharan


Short Stirrup Novice Division

Bridgette Craft


Taylor Eakin


Megan Rothenbroker


Congratulations to all of you and Good Luck in the 2005/06 Season!


Sponsors of Harrogate Hills Horse Shows


Harrogate Hills 2nd Annual Invitational Horse Show

Please mark your calendars for the Harrogate Hills Invitational on Saturday, August 27and Sunday, August 28. Check the mail as you will soon receive Registration Forms and information regarding the classes you are eligible to enter. Unlike last year, certain classes are open to riders from other barns.

This is a great way to end the summer and showcase your riding skills!


Parents' Corner

Are you thinking of enrolling your child in riding lessons or wondering about the benefits of this extra-curricular activity?

The publishers of Horse & Rider have come up with a 2005 Parent's Handbook & Resource Guide called Growing Up With Horses. This magazine has a wealth of information and points out many facts that we might either take for granted or never even consider.

Did you realize that riding not only provides wholesome fun but also contributes to character development, scholastic enhancement, leadership training, health benefits, aids in muscle toning and boosts your sense of balance?

We have all heard that childhood obesity is one of the great problems facing us today, partially due to the prevalence of video games, television and computers. You would be surprised how many calories can be "equi-cised" away while having fun around the barn and - anyone who says only the horse gets the exercise has probably never ridden!

There is a copy of the Handbook available in the lounge. It is well worth browsing through.


Summer 2005 Collage