Tuesday, March 24, 2020

We need your help

Hey Raynham Riders, 

It is crazy how much life has changed in the past two weeks. Everyone's lives have been impacted and we are all doing our part to flatten the curve with this very important and necessary province-wide closure.  I'm sure everyone is aware that these closures have had huge, negative impacts on small businesses. For equestrian facilities like ours, with mostly school horses, these closures are potentially ruinous. 

We have had quite a few clients email to drop out of the spring session due to concerns about safety, and we want to assure all our riders that we will not resume classes until Public Health deems it safe to do so.  At this point, we are hoping that we will be able to start lessons by mid-May, which means we could get in half the session. For those that have paid the first installment of the spring lesson fees, this would mean you would still receive all the classes you have paid for.  If the closures continue beyond mid-May, we can bank any owed classes for the next session.  But unfortunately, pre-paying for lessons, while helpful in the short term, just postpones the shortfall, as the costs to care for our schoolies continue while we are shut down.

Our schoolies need your help.  Most riding schools, ourselves included, operate at a loss over the winter, and rely on our busy spring and summer season to keep us afloat. With no lesson income and no certainty of when these closures will end, we are very concerned about being able to afford to care for our beloved school horses. We have had to lay off all our staff and have cut as many other expenses as possible but there is simply no income to pay for even the basics. 

Are you able to help by “Sponsoring a Schoolie” until lessons resume?  We currently have 28 school horses on the property and 3 retirees who rely entirely on lesson income to cover their costs.  In exchange for your support, we are launching a website where we will have daily posts including updates on your sponsored schoolie as well as educational posts such as videos on how to wrap, how to take temperature, pulse, respiration, interesting articles, videos of Nikki & Lindsay training/riding, etc. to help keep riders learning and entertained while away from the barn.  Please see our website for details: http://www.raynhamstables.com/sponsor-a-schoolie.html

We have not set any specific amounts for sponsorship as we realize that everyone is facing financial uncertainty during these unprecedented times.  This is not a situation we ever anticipated being in and any support is greatly appreciated.  We hope to be able to see all of you back in the saddle soon,

Lindsay, Caryn & Nikki

Monday, March 23, 2020

Raynham Update

Hey Raynham Riders,

I'm sure everyone is aware of the very important and necessary Ontario-wide lockdown starting tomorrow to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

We have had quite a few clients email to drop out of the spring session due to concerns about safety, and we want to assure all our riders that we will not resume classes until Public Health deems it is safe to do so. At this point, realistically we are hoping to start lessons by mid-May. This would mean we could still get in half the spring session. For those that have paid the first installment of the spring lesson fees, this would mean you would still receive all the classes you have paid for. If the closures continue beyond mid-May, we can bank any owed classes for the next session.

The extended closure is going to make it very challenging for us to afford to care for our wonderful schoolies. We are putting together some ideas and will have details available tomorrow.

Stay safe, stay healthy - and stay home!

Lindsay, Caryn, and Nikki

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Spring Session Postponed

Hey Raynham Riders,

We sent out an email blast yesterday with an update to our Covid-19 policy, if you did not receive it, you can view it here and if you do not receive our blog posts, you can register here. Last night, our provincial governing body, Ontario Equestrian, issued an update recommending that all riding schools close until March 31st.  As such, we are going to postpone the start of our spring session until at least April 1st.   

We do anticipate there will be further interruptions to the lesson program over the next few months as we navigate the challenges of the Covid-19.  We will continue to update riders through our social media and email blasts.  Raynham is relying on the support of our wonderful clients to help us get through the next few months.  We have started sending invoices for this session, and are asking, if possible, for riders to pay the first installment.  Once we have a better understanding of the impact this will have on our program, we will determine how best to make-up or credit riders for any missed classes.  We greatly appreciate your continued support during this challenging time. 

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns,

Your Raynham Team

Saturday, March 14, 2020

TENTATIVE Spring Lesson Schedule

Hey Raynham Riders,

I hope everyone is spending some quality family time together over March Break!  I posted our official statement on COVID-19 yesterday, but in case people missed it, I'll summarise.  For now, we feel the barn is a safe space.  We have a low concentration of people at any one time, we have lots of fresh air, and riders are never in close contact.  We will also be cleaning and disinfecting any commonly touched areas frequently (bathroom, taps, door handles).  Most of us are already vigilant about handwashing/sanitizing and we ask that riders be extra diligent during this time.

We request that riders follow these guidelines:

  • Please wash your hands either in the sinks in the bathroom or the boarder tack room or by using the sanitizer in the riding school tack up area when you arrive and if you catch yourself touching your face.
  • Please clean your tack thoroughly with saddle soap and warm water after each lesson 
  • We will not be using the shared riding school helmets during this time.  All riding school students should have their own helmet anyways. If you do not have your own helmet yet, let us know and we can recommend a tack store near you.
  • If you or someone close to you is not feeling well, please let us know via email, we're happy to reschedule! 
  • Please do not bring any extra guests to lessons for the next few weeks. 
We will continue to monitor the situation closely, but as of right now, as the risk is very low so the plan is to continue with our regular lesson program.   Let's get out of the house, enjoy the fresh air and ride some horses!

TENTATIVE Spring Lesson Schedule

Hey everyone!  The schedule was very challenging again this session, we did the best we could.  Please send us an email if there is an issue with your scheduled time or if you are missing from the schedule.  I will not be back in the office until Monday, so I will get back to everyone then.  I anticipate there will be some requested changes, as always, so please check back here Wednesday for any revisions.

Kate Z. - You had mentioned wanting a private lesson so we have you Tues @ 7pm but now you and Charlotte are on separate days?  Monday @ 4:30pm could also be a possibility if you can get here early enough? Or she could still do the group? 
Kym - If you could come for a lesson during the day, Helen C. would be interested in a semi-private?  You could do your practice ride Monday night instead?
Ariana S.C. - We'll do some shuffling if you get a second horse :) 
Mona R. - Right now there wasn't anyone else your level available on Tuesdays and there wasn't any space on Mondays so we gave you a private lesson.  If you could do Wed @ 7pm, that group would be suitable!
Ariana & Alina - You guys are welcome to do a semi-private again. 
Olivia P. - There wasn't a suitable space in a group on Sundays.  You could do Saturday @ 2:30pm if you prefer, or we may have some private lesson spots open.
Mya & Aella - You guys will do separate private lessons to start (each with their own instructor) and will ride together once ready!
Kassie M. - You had asked for an evening private with Amy but she only teaches Sundays and early on Thursdays.  Let me know if you'd prefer another time.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Impact of COVID-19 at Raynham Stables

As I’m sure you are aware, COVID-19 is having major effects on all aspects of our lives.

We are monitoring the situation very closely and are following the advice of Ontario Ministry of Health.  At this time, the Ontario Ministry of Health maintains that the risk of transmission is low as there have been no cases of community transmission in York Region.  Raynham Stables has decided to continue to run our regular lessons program at this time.

As always, we encourage you to practice good hygiene at the barn. Regular hand washing and hand sanitizer should always be used when you are in close contact with animals, and this practice should continue during this time to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and other colds and flus.

Here is the protocol recommended by the Ontario Ministry of Health which all our staff will be following closely and we encourage all riders to do so as well:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Stay home when you are ill
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
The nature of our facilities and our sport means that you will not be in close contact with others during  your lessons.  We will be sanitizing common surfaces throughout each day.  Staff will also be ensuring that riders are using our handwashing stations and hand sanitizer frequently while at the barn.

If you believe you may be sick or have come in contact with an infected person, we are happy to reschedule to ensure the health and safety of all of our staff and riders.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will adjust our plans as the situation develops.

Your Raynham Team

Monday, March 9, 2020

March Break Clinics

Hey Raynham Riders!

We are going to be offering two days of March Break clinics - Wednesday, March 18th & Thursday, March 19th!  We are offering dressage lessons, show jumping lessons (with some XC influence - different seats/balance, types of obstacles, etc) as well as stable management lessons.  Stable management topics will vary from basics such as parts of the horse & tack to first aid, booting & bandaging, etc.   We will have all three available both days - so you could come for the day and do a dressage lesson, jumping lesson AND a stables management session.   Or come both days, do one lesson each day and two stable management sessions.

The cost will be $100 per day for one lesson (dressage or jump) & one stable management session or $175.00 for either all three lessons in one day OR two lessons & TWO stable management lessons over two days (save $25!).  If you are just interested in the stable management sessions, the cost will be $25.00/day.

If you are interested, please send us an email with the following details:

Name: ______________
Horse Choices: ____________________*three options if you do not own/lease/part board
Day(s) & Time(s) Available:
- Wednesday Morning/Afternoon/Evening
- Thursday Morning/Afternoon/Evening

Would like to do:
____ One day
____ Both days

Lesson Types Requested:
___ Dressage
___ Jumping
___ Stable Management

We look forward to a fun few days!