Coaches


AMELIA BUTLER

Town & Country Equestrian

Owner |  Coach

Equine Canada Competition Coach 1

Equine Canada Instructor of Beginners

 

Amelia has a long history with horses. As a youngster she could hardly wait to start riding and her dream was to live on a farm with plenty of animals. Her grandfather used to drive her around Southlands so she could eagerly peer out the car windows and spot horses. At the age of nine she began her riding career at a YMCA summer day camp in Toronto and she was officially hooked. She realized that horses would always play a significant role in her life.

Born in Toronto, Amelia moved with her family to Vancouver in 1992.   Throughout high school she mucked stalls, groomed and fed horses. She even spent a few seasons fitting and selling Luc Childeric Saddles. By the time she reached 17 Amelia had saved enough money to buy her own horse. With a little help from her parents she purchased Hugo, a three year old Selle Francais Thoroughbred cross.

Hugo took many years to mature and during this time Amelia used the opportunity to ride and work with many great horse trainers – Louise Longridge, Tanya Rosen, Rick Maynard, Bobbie Reber and Eddie Macken to name a few.  These trainers gave her the opportunity to experience the competition world first-hand.

Amelia also spent several years as a self-taught horse show photographer and was well known on the circuit for her show jumping shots and portraits. This experience led her to Emily Carr University where she completed a BFA degree in photography in 2005.

After completing her BFA Amelia took a position running Belkin Stables where she was responsible for the care and well being of Stuart Belkin’s competition horses.

Town & Country Equestrian grew directly out of this experience and the very special relationship Amelia has with Carrington Stable owners Anne and Craig Rowland.

All these years later, Amelia still believes in creating riders with a good position and solid riding basics. She instills  in her students a strong work ethic but fun with horses is a mainstay of her equestrian program. Riding and caring for horses builds confidence and discipline.  The riding community of Town & Country is built around caring, concern and love for the horse. To this end Amelia also incorporates natural horsmanship clinics into her riding programs.

“Horse care is varied and layered” Amelia explains. “We can aspire to be great riders, but we also need to understand the horse on other levels. Our horse is our partner. And great partnerships are the result of understanding, patience and education. Lasting bonds with horses are forged through hard work, dedication, empathy and caring. These are the principles that guide us at Town & Country Equestrian.”

 

ALI HEDDEN

Town & Country Equestrian

Coach

Equine Canada Competition Coach 2

 

Ali began riding in Southlands at the age of eight with Georganne Gregory and moved onto Louise Longridge as a young adult.  She was a very active rider in BC, until she moved to Calgary after being offered a professional position.  She has since worked and trained abroad in Europe,  and in parts of the states while being based in Calgary, and now brings these skills back to Southlands where her life long riding passion started.

During her time in Calgary she rode professionally for and coached alongside Trish Mrakawa.  She was also fortunate enough to work closely with US trainer Richard Keller.  She became certified as a level 2 competition coach,  and competently has had students competing at international horse shows.  Her students have competed at Spruce Meadows, Thunderbird, Thermal and at the CET National Medal Finals at The Royal Winter Fair and have had many top placings and championships at these shows.  As a rider, she gained immense experience training and competing on a variety of horses suited to the hunter and jumper arenas.  Before moving back to Vancouver she was focused on the High performance hunters and International hunter Derbies and brining along some talented younger jumpers.

She is now now working with Town & Country Equestrian, where she brings her competitive experience to the team.  Although  her coaching background is competitive based, she prides herself in coaching from a place of understanding and caring for the horse.   Many of our students have competitive goals, while some don’t and for all, Ali feels it is important to create riders that have a well-balanced practice.  Our students all do natural horsemanship, dressage, and bareback riding alongside their jumping to develop themselves as well rounded horsemen and all for our love of the horse.

 

 

 

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