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Article Featuring Cassie
Article Featuring Riding 4 Life
Leann was born and raised in the Alberni Valley where she grew up with a backyard full of horses. Her passion for horsemanship grew steadily over the years as she went from competing at age 11, to teaching riding lessons at age 13, and training horses at age 14.
By age 16, Leann qualified for the AQHA Youth World Championship Horse Show in multiple events. By the time she graduated from high school her list of awards and milestones included two versatility championship trophy saddles, high point awards across events and disciplines including Western Riding, Trail, Reining, Horsemanship, Western Pleasure, Hunt Seat Equitation, Hunter Under Saddle, Showmanship, and Dressage, an AQHA Youth Championship, and several youth and pro-division all-around awards.
After graduating high school, Leann moved away to study psychology at the University of Victoria leaving her horses behind. She quickly realized that horses had been far more than just a childhood pursuit, and that many of her successes in life to that point were due in large part to her horsemanship practice.
After three years of academic study, Leann returned to the Alberni Valley to restore her bond with horses and reconnect with what she began to understand as her purpose. Since then, Leann completed a social work program at North Island College, gained extensive experience working with children and adults with diverse abilities, served as coach and leader to the Boots’n Bridles 4-H Horse club for 5 years, and became a CHA certified instructor, which all led up to the founding of Riding 4 Life in 2005. Leann’s purpose as it turned out, is to help others realize the value of having horses in their own lives.
In addition to all her lived horsemanship experiences, her education in psychology, social work, and experiences with community service further enhance her gifts as an equine professional making her a truly insightful horsewoman, and an incredibly articulate teacher. Her teaching and training experience ranges from western and English basics, therapeutic riding, and natural horsemanship to competitive performance across several events and disciplines.
In 2008 Leann moved to the Okanagan where she worked as the Disability Advocate at the Penticton & Area Access Centre, joined the teaching team at D Bar K Ranch, and launched her mobile services.
Then in 2015, Leann married Chris, and they set up shop in Penticton, where Riding 4 Life grew from just a couple of horses and a few dozen clients to more than 10 staff horses, 4 interns, and more than 65 riders.
Now in 2023, and with the help of their growing crew of horses and interns, they deliver over 100 hours of services each week across two facilities – one in Penticton, and another at what is now known as Riding 4 Life Ranch in Oliver.
Looking ahead, Leann hopes to continue to grow and nurture her community - in particular the horsemanship community. She is passionate about leading the way for the next generation and ensuring that our South Okanagan region will always have access to the joys and benefits of horsing around!
Something almost magical happens between horses and people when they form a successful partnership - and that magical connection carries with it rewards so great that everyone should have the opportunity to experience it. At Riding 4 Life we believe that everyone should have access to the benefits of horsemanship should they choose to!
To become an equine industry leader and a highly respected source of practical, accessible, and beneficial horsemanship in the Okanagan.
To educatie, facilitate, and inspire high quality and beneficial horsemanship practices for the future horsewomen and men of the South Okanagan.
Inclusion, Leadership, Community, Creativity, Authenticity, Growth, Commitment.
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