Led by Technical Advisor of Para-Dressage for Equestrian Canada, Clive Milkins, the clinics were well attended and saw Milkins share his vast knowledge, encouraging attitude and wry sense of humour to each event. In addition to the 3-4 demo riders each day, the events played host to volunteers, coaches, and community members all there to learn and expand their horizons.

The events were organized in collaboration with Ontario Equestrian (OE) in the East and British Columbia Therapeutic Recreation Association (BCTRA) in the West as well as therapeutic riding associations and riding facilities in each region across the country.

The Fall Eastern Clinics were hosted by:

  • Halifax Lancers (Halifax, NS)
  • Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton (TROtt) (Greely, ON)
  • Hope Haven Therapeutic Riding Centre (Markdale, ON)
  • Equilibrium Therapeutic Riding Inc (Warman, SK )
  • Glenhaven Stables (Cochrane, AB)

The Spring Western Clinics were hosted by:

  • Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities (PRDA) (Langley, BC)
  • Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association (Kamloops, BC)
  • Cowichan Therapeutic Riding association (CTRA) (Duncan, BC)
  • Bonnie Brae Farm (Saanichton, BC)

The TROtt Clinic also included a demonstration of a Simulator from Annie Guénette at SimEquest with a review of the uses and advantages of its use for riders with impairments. Para Dressage riders Alexandra Vadnais and Joelle Trudeau who use the simulators regularly to train, illustrated the benefits they gain from using the tool.

Milkins, whose home base is in the UK, not only imparted his knowledge, but also gained through the experience himself. “These clinics have been a highlight of my career in Canada so far,” he said. “To travel the country, meeting enthusiastic like-minded people who want to learn. The future of coaching is so bright in Canada when we all listen, watch others, and share ideas in a collaborative communicative way.”

“Many thanks to all the course organizers, facility owners, demo riders and participants who have made this year so stimulating and thought provoking for me,” Milkins continued. “Also, many thanks to Equestrian Canada, CPC and of course Jamie-Ann (Goodfellow, Coordinator, Para Dressage) for making the whole journey so well organized – making my life so easy!”

East to west, participants were impacted in a multitude of ways. Here below are some insights from attendee post clinic feedback surveys from coast to coast.  

Halifax, NS

Parallel Lines: Education for ALL Clinics Held Across Canada

“I found the enthusiasm and courage of the local riders and coaches who participated in the actual riding lessons within clinic to be very inspiring. They provided a real-world experience and made the theory relatable. Clive brought his successful systematic but individualized approach to challenge each coach and horse/rider pair and raise many questions such as ‘what is possible’ and ‘how do we get there?’”

“Personally, despite 25 years’ experience in the horse industry, I had no idea what para sport could look like, who could qualify, and how potential competitors could be guided through the process. This clinic helped to address these knowledge gaps.”

Greely, ONParallel Lines: Education for ALL Clinics Held Across Canada

“While not a coach/instructor myself, I still found the clinic to be interesting and useful as both a volunteer at a therapeutic riding facility and as an equestrian overall. I also think I’ll be able to apply aspects of topics covered in this clinic to areas in my life outside of the horse world.”

“I found how this clinic was focused on good coaching skills that could be applied to any student, especially at beginner levels. As an able-bodied coach, it reinforced a lot of basic skills.”

Parallel Lines: Education for ALL Clinics Held Across CanadaMarkdale, ON

“Clive was engaging and steered us on thought provoking discussions. He included everyone and made everyone feel comfortable which brought forward sharing that resulted in a deeper understanding of topics and engaged learning. Everybody seemed to take home some big light bulb pieces!”

“Sport for all is a passion of mine, learning more about Para-Dressage through this in-person clinic with Clive has ignited a spark within myself and within other coaches in our region to increase support and access to opportunity here in our community.”

“The PEC clinics offer a superb learning experience to visit other therapy centres and widen your vision to see that therapy riding using dressage principles can offer riders and coaches parallel training that can develop skills to a national level.”

Warmen, SK

“I went to my first Clive Milkins clinic and I cannot wait to do the next one. I have already started using coaching skills learned through the clinic in my lesson plans.”

“This clinic was the best! The morning sessions were full of information. The afternoon demonstrations were great. For sure one more day would have been great!”

Cochrane, ABParallel Lines: Education for ALL Clinics Held Across Canada

“The clinic opened my mind to different ways of coaching and assisting para dressage riders to success. This is a very specialist area and Clive was able to convey many understandings and skills which I will be able to use with my riders into the future.”

“This live clinic helped start a local like-minded community. Many of us had not known each other before the clinic.”

Parallel Lines: Education for ALL Clinics Held Across Canada

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