It is not visible from the street, but take a right turn off Loggers Lane, before Brennan Park, and a dirt road leads to the home of the Squamish Valley Equestrian Association.
This Saturday (June 3), the site will host the association’s first Family Fun Day and Gymkhana event. Activities will include a horse show where novice, intermediate and advanced riders show their stuff.
There will be plenty of horse-related activities for the whole family and a chance to watch gymkhana games.
The Gymkhana includes barrel racing, pole bending, flag picking and other fun-to-watch horse and rider games.
Children will also be able to make their own hobbyhorse, play games and get decked out with face paint and temporary tattoos. A barbecue is also part of the day’s festivities.
While this is the association’s first Family Fun Day, the not-for-profit organization has a long history in Squamish – it has been around for 65 years, making it one of the oldest recreational clubs in the district, said Kim Lawrence, the association’s president.
While originally the association members met at Circle C Ranch in Brackendale, in 1958 it started negotiations with what was then Squamish’s “village council” to find property to build a permanent arena, according to articles in the former Squamish Times newspaper. It moved to its current location at 39025 Loggers Lane (across from Raven Road) in 1990.
Equestrian events remain important to many in Squamish, Lawrence said, but
with the growth of Squamish’s population, riders and horses are starting to feel pushed out.
The association fields complaints about horse poop on the side of the roads – riders always aim to go back when it is safe to scoop, Lawrence stressed – and drivers sometimes don’t show respect for riders and their animals.
“That is one thing we would really like the public to know – pass wide and slow,” said Lawerence. “And don’t blow your horn.”
Horses can be spooked by loud noises and that can put the animal and rider in danger.
The event this Saturday is an opportunity for Squamish residents, old and new, to see horses up close and learn what the association is all about.
Family Fun Day runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is by donation and all funds go toward the SPCA and the Squamish Food Bank.
The organization is always looking for volunteers for its events. Volunteers don’t have to be experienced horse people to get involved.
Other Squamish Valley Equestrian upcoming events include a Hunter/Jumper Show on June 25 and a Working Equitation (competition involving activities traditionally used in field work) on July 23. The public is welcome to come out and watch these events. For more information, go to www.svea.ca.