In 2015 I packed up my dog, truck, trailer and horse and went to Alberta to professionally rodeo for a summer. I ended up staying for 5 years.
In November 2020 I repeated old patterns and headed to my hometown for a winter “visit.”
A lot had changed in those five years. My shotgun rider was no longer my 10 year old boxer but a brand new baby in the backseat. I had a different truck and my faithful rodeo horse had crossed the rainbow bridge. I had two young horses on board that I hoped would one day fill her big shoes.
My intention was to go back to Alberta as soon as the snow melted. My major draw for leaving Prince George had been equestrian related but the perks of raising my daughter with my family surrounding her kept me anchored in my hometown.
Still half my heart yearned for the easy horse life and familiarity of the prairies.
It took a while to settle back into the equestrian circle of Prince George. Everything in Alberta was so much more accessible to me, but when I did I realized PG has plenty to offer all horsewomen and horsemen, you just need to know where to look. This blog post is designed to guide newcomer equestrians to the area and help those who are hoping to get into horses.
Over a dozen indoor riding arenas
Prince George has over a dozen indoor riding arenas. There is an indoor riding arena (or 3) in just about every rural area of PG.
Plenty of professional services
If you follow any of the Facebook pages for barns listed above you can stay in the loop for professional services. There are many horse trainers, instructors and clinicians that visit the area. Prince George has skilled farriers and body workers for additional pampering. There are also three equine veterinary clinics in the city.
Do you have a horse obsessed child?
Lakes Community Horse Club:
If you have a child that is interested in getting into horses, Lakes Community Horse Club (LCHC) is hosting beginner friendly evenings all summer. Their program is designed to give kids who may not have access to horses a chance to learn how to handle and take care of them on the ground. The cost of a family membership is $40, so your horse obsessed kid can do what they love without breaking the bank.
The horse club also has beginner roping clinics (no horse required) with professional clinicians throughout the season and bi-weekly barrel racing jackpots (beginner friendly!)
In August LCHC hosts an annual Little Britches Rodeo – a great weekend to watch local athletes and have fun with the whole family.
4-H is another great way to get your child involved in horses (and other livestock) and PG has four clubs: Northwest, Beaverly, Pineview and Twin Rivers Riders.
PG is home to the Spruce Ridge Pony Club. Pony Club is an excellent way for children and teens to learn groundwork, equine safety and proper horsemanship. Want more info? Check out this link.
Bringing wild back to the West
The return of semi-professional rodeo is set to hit the stage Father’s Day weekend. Rodeo Prince George will begin June 17th with a large barrel race, followed by two days of rodeo action at the grounds behind CN Centre. The event will have food trucks, a beer garden and an evening cabaret barn dance (June 18th) at the Roll-A-Dome.
BC Summer Games:
The Prince George Agriplex will be host to the equestrian portion of the BC Summer Games come July! For more information or to volunteer please reach out to the Prince George Horse Society. (https://www.pghorsesociety.com/summer-games)
Whether you want to hit up the mountains or go for a casual day ride PG has it all. The sand of Pidherny Trails make for a great conditioning program. The Prince George Greenway is horse friendly for a relaxing, scenic ride. Experienced riders can drive in any direction and find mountain ranges prime for horseback riding and overnight getaways.
No horse, no problem
Don’t own a horse? El Shaddai Ranch (https://www.esranch.ca/trail-rides/) can help you out! Enjoy a two hour trail ride through lush pastures and gorgeous wilderness.
English Riding and Other Clubs
English riding is not my forte but if you follow the socials of barns like Rosenol Performance Horses and the Prince George Horse Society, you can stay in the loop about local shows and events. There are many talented English instructors in PG.
Horses are such incredible animals and for those relocating or wanting to experience horse ownership themselves, Prince George is a welcoming community filled with loads of resources and knowledge.
Questions about getting into horses? I get it, trying to break into a new community (or an old one!) can be intimidating. Feel free to reach out to me! Sometimes a simple email is all it takes to get the ball rolling to a lifetime of horsey fun and I love showing people the ropes – no pun intended!
Kirsten Gjerde – email@example.com