#sparkchamber 080618 — Robyn Freer
Today, the #sparkchamber saddles up with Equestrian and Riding Coach, and mother Robyn Freer. Robyn began her riding career at age seven, and as her passion grew, so did the number of days she spent in the saddle. Owner and Head Riding Coach of Foxwood Farm, Robyn oversees all horse care, barn operations, riding lessons, and training and management of Foxwood's Show Team. Foxwood is a facility that encourages its riders to try different aspects of English riding, whether on the flat, over fences, trails, or cross-country courses; however, the focus remains on honing riders’ equitation skills and sharing the passion for riding and being with the horses. “Our horse-riding lessons focus on developing confident riders in a safe and fun setting.” Robyn believes that a visit to Foxwood Farm is more than a lesson or boarding experience in a serene setting. “Time spent at Foxwood engages the heart and mind and strengthens the spirit of our community.” Robyn knows the therapeutic benefits of spending time around horses, and in addition to her horse-farm duties, she also runs horse-riding camps for local charities such as the Innisfil YMCA and Girls, Inc., and has hosted a riding day and fundraiser for Candlelighters, a foundation helping families dealing with childhood cancer. Ever the animal lover, Robyn believes in helping out vulnerable animals and supports loads of fabulous organizations such as the Donkey Sanctuary where she sponsors some lovely critters.
1. Where do ideas come from:
From people around me, suggestions from colleagues or students. Visual artwork really gets my juices flowing. Seeing something unexpected. Social media is another great resource, I often scour Pinterest for ideas about building new jumps in the outdoor cross-country course. Watching videos of previous show seasons to improve techniques and riding position. There’s no shortage of inspiration to draw on for good ideas. I’m always priming the well and storing things away for later use.
2. What is the itch you are trying to scratch?
I love being able to watch my students — from recreational riders to those on the show team — improve their skills and develop confidence by mastering the complexities of riding a horse. It’s about watching a student overcome fear, hesitation, physical and mental limitations … pushing past barriers and developing into a more confident person. Foxwood riders are learning about communication, attention to detail, responsibility, teamwork, time management as well as health and safety. These are transferrable life skills and will serve them well in their non-barn lives.
3. Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare?
Horses awaiting their breakfast require me to be an early bird, often before the sun comes up! With a cup of java in my hand, out to the barn I go to tend to my stable of horses and take care of any barn chores. After that, I can start “my” day. Hare all the way, running on caffeine, I’m non-stop. A body in motion from the moment my feet touch the floor in the morning until I lay my head on the pillow at night! There is always something to tend to — you learn from experience and there’s no shortage of learning curves. I navigate them daily.
4. How do you know when you are done.
I am never done.