THE CAPED CEARNSADeR's "Everyday heroes" a day in the life of... Windreach Farm Stable Coordinator KENDRA ABBEY
DAN CEARNS The Standard
DURHAM: For about four years, Kendra Abbey has been working at Windreach Farm in Ashburn as their Stable Coordinator.
She told The Standard she usually starts her day by taking care of the horses on the farm property.
“Normally I come in in the morning and we feed the horses. A big part of my job is taking care of the horses. I book the appointments for the farrier and the chiropractor, the veterinarian, some of them get massaged if they need it. So in the morning we make sure they are fed and happy,” Ms. Abbey said.
As well, she coordinates the Therapeutic Riding Program and teaches lessons.
“Learning to ride and care for a horse, participants experience improved physical strength, balance and coordination as well as increased attention, concentration and self esteem,” read Windreach Farm’s website’s description of the program.
Ms. Abbey explained the criteria it takes to take part in the program.
“We can start them at 2 [years old]. Every rider that comes in, before they get on a horse, has to have a physician referral form completed by the doctor to ensure it is safe for them to ride because there are some disabilities where it is not safe to ride,” she said.
Ms. Abbey coordinates the schedule for the program. There are group lessons of up to four riders, and then there are also private lessons depending on the needs of the rider.
“I do my best to get people the times that they want, which is sometimes difficult and from there we pick horses suitable for each rider,” she said. “Lessons normally start between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.”
She also stressed the importance of volunteers, stating some riders need up to three volunteers during their session.
Ms. Abbey said her job involves “teaching a lot during the day, and then returning emails and phone calls.”
“We get a lot of enquiries about new riders,” she said.
She also explained what it takes to do the job on a day-to-day basis.
“Definitely patience, energy or enthusiasm to keep the riders engaged and working towards their goals, you have to be excited but also [be in control of the situation] and definitely passion. I grew up riding horses and they are my passion. You have to be passionate about what you do to make it work,” Ms. Abbey explained.
She said her least favourite part of the job is the paperwork.
“I like to move around and do stuff instead of sitting down at the computer, but it’s part of my job. I like to be up and moving and working with the riders and the horses.”
However, she stated it is a very rewarding job. She mentioned seeing riders go from needing a lead and side walkers to riding independently as one of the rewarding moments of her job. There was also one fond memory she mentioned from her time on the job.
“The very first rider that I had when I first started teaching here, she was three [years old] and terrified to get on the horse. So I think it took us a couple of weeks and eventually she got on. That was an exciting moment for me,” she said.
Ms. Abbey noted that there is one thing that keeps her motivated to come to work everyday.
“To see the smiles on all the faces that get on the horse. It’s incredible to see them up there and having fun.”
With the Leafs starting their preseason schedule this week, and with this being my last column before the Leafs kickoff the regular season, it is time once again for me to make some predictions about the 2018/2019 Toronto Maple Leafs season.
For those who aren’t aware, every year in late September I make predictions about such topics as, what certain players will achieve, how the team will do in the standings, and what fringe players I think will make the roster, among others. For those who want to see the predictions I’ve made in past, go to www.thestandardnewspaper.ca and find the Caped Cearnsader column link. Now, on to this year’s predictions.
For starters, I will talk about the backup goalie position. For those who haven’t been following the team closely, Toronto has three possible goalies who could potentially backup starter Frederik Andersen when the Leafs begin the regular season. They are last year’s backup Curtis McElhinney, Garret Sparks, who helped the Marlies win the Calder Cup, and Calvin Pickard, who was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights last year.
I think Garret Sparks will win the backup role this season, with the Leafs either losing McElhinney on waivers or trading him.
First off, Sparks had an incredible season in the AHL last year, posting a 1.79 goals-against average and .936 save percentage, and had six shutouts in 43 games, eventually helping to lead the Marlies to a Calder Cup championship.
Also, with the Leafs looking to move forward as Stanley Cup contenders, they are likely looking to take some of the burden off of the starting goalie. Andersen has played over 60 games in each of the last two seasons, and Toronto could look to reduce that to allow him to be a little more rested for the playoffs.
McElhinney is 35 years of age and hasn’t played more than 21 games in a season since the 2014/2015 season.
Sparks, on the other hand, is 25 years-old and was the Marlies starter last year, meaning he is used to carrying a big chunk of the workload for a team.
Next, I should speak to John Tavares’ impact. I think Tavares will score close to the number of goals he had last season, he had 37 last year. Personally, I think he will have a 35 goal season. He will continue to have success, in part because of playing with talented winger Mitch Marner, who has posted over 40 assists in each of his first two NHL seasons. I’m picking a slightly lower goals number for this season because Tavares won’t be counted on to be the only top level centre on the team, as Toronto also has a guy named Auston Matthews.
I also think current prospect Trevor Moore will make the Leafs this season, and will start on their fourth line. With the Leafs having lost Leo Komarov to free agency and having traded Matt Martin, it opens a spot on Toronto’s last forward line for someone in the organization to take. Moore will be competing with Tyler Ennis for that spot, but I think Moore will end up taking it.
Moore has been a plus player, in the plus/minus stat, the last two AHL seasons, and he has shown he can play on both the power play and the penalty kill, which will endear him to Leaf coach Mike Babcock. The fact former Marlies General Manager (GM), Kyle Dubas, is now the Leafs GM may also help.
Lastly, I think the Leafs will make it to the Eastern Conference final in the 2019 playoffs, before being eliminated. With a roster including Tavares, Matthews, Marner, and William Nylander, who will likely be signed before the start of the regular season, I think Toronto is poised to take the next step and will have a long playoff run.
Feel free to call me on these if any end up being wrong fans, but right now I’m looking forward to another exciting season.
It has been interesting to learn, through the process of working on my Everyday Heroes feature series, about what an average day is like, for people who do different jobs in this community. It has reminded me that, through small acts, anyone can be someone’s hero.
I remember the day I followed Scugog firefighter, Todd Soomre, as he performed the department’s Alarmed for Life program, he remarked to me that sometimes, when he is visiting homes, all it takes is simply listening to a resident speak to make their day.
Jessica Pett, the animal control officer I featured in the second installment, makes a difference for those animals that stay at the shelter for a long period of time, by simply taking time to give them some attention.
These examples got me thinking about everyday acts people can do, making themselves a hero to another person. However, to understand what it takes to be a hero, I first looked at what comic book superheroes share in common, besides powers. I found heroes in comic books are brave, never compromise their morals, put others’ needs before their own, and are motivated to make a difference and do the right thing.
So, now that we know that, what are some things people can do to be a hero to someone else? There are numerous things you can do. It could be as simple as helping a friend understand a certain subject or assignment in school, volunteering for a charity that needs help, giving up your seat on a transit bus to someone else who could use it more, listening to a friend when they are upset and comforting them or reminding them why they are important to you, or surprising a tired spouse or family member by making dinner for them.
If you know a friend who is feeling sad or depressed, give them a call or send them a message to brighten their day. Just simply be there for them in their time of need and ask how you can help them.
Looking at the never compromising morals portion of the comic book hero analysis; to be a hero you could simply serve as a role model for a coworker, classmate, or friend by living your life by a code of morality.
Of course, this doesn’t mean to impose those morals on someone, but instead to just lead by example and hope others learn from that example.
A good example for those students going back to school this week of bravery is you can be that one person to stick up for a student who is being bullied, and to tell the bully to leave the person alone.
Another brave thing any person could do is speaking up about an issue they are passionate about and possibly starting an initiative to fix the issue.
A person could also make a difference for someone by paying it forward, such as paying for the order of someone behind them in the line at the coffee shop or restaurant. Random kindness acts, such as holding a door for someone, complimenting somebody or thanking a person who has been doing good work in the community, are also a good start.
You could also donate blood, to possibly save the life of a patient in the hospital.
I hope these examples get you thinking about how you can be a hero to someone, and possibly inspire you to perform some of these simple acts or other kind acts for someone else.
Let me conclude this with a quote from a new song by Carrie Underwood, titled ‘Love Wins.’ “I believe we're made to be here for each other, and we'll never fall if we walk hand in hand.”
Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy