*Updated June 4, 2022.*
Equestrianism in the Township of Langley remains a stable staple of community, competition, education, industry, recreation, and sport. Dozens of businesses devoted to the art of horses, equestrianism, the equine: Equitation (horsemanship) writ broad. As a formal independent journalistic research project in person, the introduction into the industry requires on-the-ground experiential depth, extensive interpersonal interactions with every person involved in all facets, and integration with the theory and praxis of working with and knowing horses & their people, which began in late 2021 working from the bottom with zero background in education or careers to buttress entrance into the discipline. The necessary embarrassment of a steep learning curve and arduous manual labour to become acquainted with the sensations and experiences of working around the equine and equestrians. Nothing prepares for it; a world unto itself and, in a manner of speaking, a community unlike most others, though seemingly disparate while networked.
This is a terse introduction to the horse capital of British Columbia: The Township of Langley. A more thorough presentation will be delivered in future articles. In some sense of the term “fundament,” a fundament of Langley is recognition of this as a land of hippophiles in British Columbia. Those thoroughly bred in family/blood lineages warm to the equine. Its businesses, clubs, equestrian centres, equestrian facilities, farms, horse riding schools, ranches, places for instruction, und so weiter, are manifest, plentiful, which makes sense of the moniker: The Horse Capital of British Columbia. Even with a simple search, you can witness the vast number of networked enterprises.
These are the names emerging for Langley alone: Milner Downs Equestrian Center (2005) Ltd, Sacred Equestrians, Los Vientos Equestrian Centre, High Point Equestrian Center, Westcott Equestrian, Greenhawk Equestrian Sport – Langley, Louisa Nicholls Riding Instruction, M & M Connemaras Horse Farm, Cornwall Ridge Farm, Priority 1 Equestrian, Ponte Equestrian Estates, Sunshine Equestrian Centre, Langley 204 Horseback Riding, Greenhawk Harness & Equestrian Supplies, Thunderbird Show Stables, Park Lane Equestrian Centre, Thorbrooke Equestrian, Cartwright Equestrian, Willow Creek Equestrian Centre, Elysium Equine Ltd, Double 4 Equestrian Centre (double 4 equestrian), Footnote Farm, Excelsior Stables & Nicki Muller Training, Sunny Riding Stables, Windsum Enterprises Ltd, Martinoff Equestrian, Langlee Acres, Shelley Lawder Dressage, Equine Studies Canada, Namastables, Sierra Stables, Equidice Stables, Windsor Stables, Thunderbird Show Park, Silver Fox Horse Sales, Epona Stable and Farms Ltd, Sterling Stables, Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association, Highliner Stables Ltd, Pacific Country Stables, Villa Training, Perneill Training, Dog & Pony Shop, Campbell Downs Equestrian Centre, Papalia Training, Twin Rivers, Hideaway Stables, Hazelmere Equestrian Center, Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities, Stepping Stones Riding & Horsemanship, Triple M Farms, Flightline Farm Arabians, Ponies 4 You, Vintage Riders Equestrian Club, Hit Air Equestrian Canada, OSJS, Glen Valley Stables, The Tack Addict, Denham Stables, Ponder Park Stables, Langley Riders Society, Short Stirrup Stables, October Farm, Highbury Dressage, Jump Start Stables, Gloucester Downs, Laughing Stock Ranch, Skyline Equine, Alliance Training & Stud, The Grene Wode, Bekevar Farms, Willow Lake Farm & Stables, Hobbit Hole Farm, Twin Creeks Ranch, Dreamscape Farm, Adiva Murphy Horsemanship Centre, Rebel Equestrian, EnJ Equine First Aid Training, Freedom Farms livestock, Thunderbird Tack Shop, Unbridling Your Brilliance, Willow Acres, Sycamore Hills Equestrian, Pinto Miremadi Horsemanship, Keepsake Farms, WestMoore Dressage, Dog & Pony Shop, Iron Gait Stables, Hutter Sport Horse Auctions, Thorbrooke Tack, Mia Sheldon Horsemanship, Horse Council BC, Kingdom View Equestrian, High Country Horseshoes, Thunderbird Livestock, BZ Built, Wise Equine Veterinary Services Ltd, Dares Country Feeds, and Stampede Tack & Western Wear, Horse Lover’s Math, probably others.
If not included in the above listing, and wanting inclusion, please let me know (Email: Scott.Douglas.Jacobsen@Gmail.Com), my research is not comprehensive; I’m new to the industry, and know little, even nothing, have mercy on me. The introductory examination to some equestrianism in British Columbia will begin with the Township of Langley while emphasizing those with publicly accessible records via a website, typically. The staggering breadth of one municipality’s horse community extends to other municipalities and across the country – let alone internationally – into a single question, “Where to begin with horses?” Naturally, one at a time, I like a challenge – should be fun.
Canadian equestrianism harbours several household names on the national and international stage: Amy Millar, Eric Lamaze, Erynn Ballard/Erynn L. Ballard, Ian Millar, James Day, James Elder, Jill Henselwood, Laura Balisky (Tidball-Balisky/Tidball), Lisa Carlsen, Mac Cone, Mario Deslauriers, Michel Vaillancourt, Nicole Walker, Thomas (Tom) Gayford, Tiffany Foster, Yann Candele, and many others. Some of these names – e.g., James Day, James Elder, and Thomas Gayford – span back as far as 1968 as a team in show jumping at the Olympics in Mexico City. By the way, all three extant, alive.
While equestrianism can be considered a pursuit for fun, as in a hobby, for most individuals who enter into the discipline, this can slowly, almost inevitably, become a “lifestyle,” which seems like a common phrase in conversation with a number of equestrians, including interviews. It envelops them, as if slowly surrounded by the warm embrace of a horse’s equivalent of a hug. Among other tidbits given by them, to me, when not attempting to force a positive or a negative image of equestrianism, horsemanship, at all levels, remains pluripotent.
Horsemanship seems as if a means by which to show talent relative to one’s class, to integrate one’s flow and feel with a ‘beast of burden’ to perform civilized almost human-like actions, to socialize in a community of others with similar sensibilities and sensitivities, to make a living passing on knowledge to next generations, to create a safe and nurturing environment for girls, women, and the elderly who wish to get on the saddle, et cetera. Even the simple act of tacking up, getting the horse ready, you can watch the gossip, the chit-chatter, and natural activities of a community in love with a lifestyle – fair enough.
All the way to international FEI events and Longines rankings representing the best in class in the world, including several Canadians. Whether small family farms to middle sized ranches to professional equestrian facilities, or carriage tours, or the media sensations about the toings-and-froings of various prominent personalities in community, Canadian equestrianism appears singular (“unto itself”) in many ways. Langley, as one provincial capital, of horses seems like a natural starting place to begin an introduction into equestrianism, so to a community unto itself and, potentially, unlike most others.