My daughters are enamoured with horses and have been since they were wee. Last summer, they had weekly classes at Love it or Leave it Ranch and the love only grew. Not only did these lessons teach them how to ride horses, they also learned how to properly take care of them, move around them, and feel at ease with them. I was amazed at the progression.
While there, we noticed many individuals who have taken horse riding to the next level, and I was intrigued by this connection and growth as personally was not exposed to it growing up in Fernie. Interestingly, Jen Kennedy, who runs Love it or Leave it Ranch grew up here as well and luckily for many had a different experience and passion. She connected me with Kirby, who shared with us her experience.
Kirby McDonald, Age 24
Q. What drew you to riding horses?
A. My mom rode horses and got me into doing jumping lessons when I was young. I quit riding after a couple years but picked it back up when I was 18. I love it because every day is a new challenge. It is different from other sports because you connect with an animal that wants to work as hard as you do.
Q. When did you get into competing and what do you enjoy about it?
A. I started competing when I was about six. I like competing more for my horse’s benefit. It is great to get them to different places, and you can show all the hard work you have put in.
Q. What events / competitions have you competed in and what goals /events do you have coming up?
A. Every summer, I go to Paramount Equestrian Center. It was my horse’s first year showing this year which was a great success. For next year, I am hoping to jump in the grass arena.
Q. What is it like being a part of the Love it or Leave it Ranch team?
A. I love going out to the barn. The atmosphere itself is peaceful where you can get sidetracked for hours. It is a great escape from the world.
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