Equestrian Program

Our Equestrian Program  is a marquee program of QMS that seeks to optimize every facet of our equestrian operations to ensure students receive world-class equestrian learning, whether it be through riding, horsemanship, equine facilitated wellness, equine science, or equine facilitated leadership. As part of this exceptional initiative students will explore mental and emotional performance, functional strength and conditioning, practical skill building, health and nutrition, and the effectiveness of steadfast physical training.

At Queen Margaret’s School, horses are our co-teachers — valued members of our community who inspire and empower students to be the best version of themselves. Our Equestrian Program offers something for everyone, from learning to ride and foundational flatwork to high level equitation and competition, to our Equine Facilitated Leadership and Wellness Program. Opportunities abound for QMS students—no matter their age, background or experience with horses—to develop confidence in the stables, the saddle and the classroom.

student riding horse

Program Highlights

Students can ride within their weekly school timetable, earn credits toward graduation and work through their Equestrian Canada rider levels.

Students can bring their own horse or ride one of many QMS owned horses.

Coaches and trainers are certified in Hunter/Jumper and Dressage disciplines.

Riders’ goals and competition schedules are supported by their teachers, coaches and staff.

On-campus facilities allow students to balance riding with academics, athletics, the arts, service and leadership opportunities within their timetable.

Students may wear riding breeches to class on scheduled riding days as part of their weekly uniform.

Our Senior School academic program offers an exciting range of courses to meet the demands of a diverse equestrian-focused community, including horse training, equine focused science and pre-veterinary exploration.

We are proud to offer our unique Equine Facilitated Leadership Wellness Program as part of our core educational offerings for Grades 2­-­­­­12 students.

MEET OUR TEAM

Angela Dobbie

Prior to joining QMS, Angela spent nearly 20 years working for a multi-provincial Canadian aerospace enterprise in various roles, including international aircraft sales and marketing, business development and corporate communications. During this time, she learned the power of diplomacy, the importance of setting strategic direction, and the art of aligning people with a singular vision to optimize results.

Chandra Hanke

Chandra has recently moved to the Shawnigan Lake area from Kelowna, where she owned and operated a large boarding stable. She is an Equestrian Canada Competition Coach, horsemanship clinician and avid rider with a talent for training young horses.

In addition to managing her own equestrian facility, Chandra’s experience also includes managing a surgical veterinary practice and working as a coach liaison for the Kelowna Riding Club Board of Directors. Chandra has also worked with at-risk youth clients and her kind, compassionate nature will benefit our equestrian students and QMS herd alike. As the Barn Manager, Chandra will care for our QMS herd and oversee the day-to-day operations of our equestrian facility.

Leora Gibson

In addition to her coaching certification, Leora holds a Bachelor’s of Education and is our Equestrian Teacher at Queen Margaret’s School. With a fondness for developing young horses, she has competed in the jumper ring throughout the Pacific Northwest up to 1.20m. As well as teaching our Equine Science classes and overseeing our Equestrian PHE curriculum, Leora is regarded for her positivity and education based approach to coaching. Leora works with a wide variety of riders, from beginners through 1.10 jumpers and mini medal finalists.

Julia Spreen Balcom

After a successful junior career in Canada competing in hunters, jumpers and equitation, Julia followed her passion for horses and moved to Southern California. While there, she continued to compete in both the hunter and jumper rings, including at the Grand Prix level at World Cup qualifier events. Julia is a seasoned coach who has been an integral part of the success of many riders who compete at the regional and national level in the United States and Canada—from the short stirrup ring, to the equitation ring, to the 1.40m jumpers. After over 30 years of competing, training and coaching in California, Julia is delighted to be back on Vancouver Island.

Indiana Wynne-Smith

Indiana started lessons at the age of 5 and enjoyed showing in hunters on Vancouver Island through her teenage years. She then started her professional career in Horse Trials (eventing) and competed to Intermediate level in the UK. After returning to Canada in 2008, Indiana shifted her focus to the dressage ring, where she continues to compete at the regional level. As well as introducing a strong foundation of flatwork to our QMS riders, Indiana’s background as a Registered Yoga Teacher offers her a unique insight in developing the positions of riders in all disciplines. A dedicated horsewoman, Indiana is currently pursuing her Pro-EFW certification as an Equine Professional.

Savannah Leroux

Savannah grew up riding hunters in the Greater Vancouver Area before moving to Alberta to attend Olds College for the Equine Science Diploma program. At Olds she took classes in English Coaching and Riding, anatomy and disease, young horse training and breeding and many others. She also achieved her Equine Canada Instructor of beginners certification during this time. She spent the next few years teaching and running large hunter/jumper lesson programs in the Calgary area and taking her students to local horse shows. She has also worked as a horse show groom for top riders and at a breeding and young horse training farm.

student and celina with horse

Coaches-on-Call and Stables Staff

An invaluable part of the day to day operations of the Equestrian Program is the service provided by our talented coaches-on-call and barn staff. This dedicated group of individuals works daily to provide the highest level of training for our students and care for our horses.

Become a Sponsor

Each year generous supporters donate funds and gifts-in-kind which helps us in our pursuit of becoming a world class equestrian program.

Are you or your business interested in partnering with our QMS Equestrian Program? We offer sponsorship and scholarships opportunities to maximize your exposure and support deserving riders.

Download the information package below, then connect with us at giving@qms.bc.ca.

Learn More

Upcoming Events

Pony Pals Summer Riding Camp I

Queen Margaret's School 600 Brownsey Avenue, Duncan, BC, Canada

At QMS we love horses! Join us this summer at one of our immersive and fun riding camps! These camps are best suited for children ages 5-10 years old. BOOK … Continued

IEA Training Full Day Camp

Queen Margaret's School 600 Brownsey Avenue, Duncan, BC, Canada

At QMS we love horses! Join us this summer at one of our immersive and fun riding camps! This camp is best suited for children ages 9+. *this camp is … Continued

Pony Pals Summer Riding Camp II

Queen Margaret's School 600 Brownsey Avenue, Duncan, BC, Canada

At QMS we love horses! Join us this summer at one of our immersive and fun riding camps! These camps are best suited for children ages 5-10 years old. BOOK … Continued

Pony Pals Summer Riding Camp III

Queen Margaret's School 600 Brownsey Avenue, Duncan, BC, Canada

At QMS we love horses! Join us this summer at one of our immersive and fun riding camps! These camps are best suited for children ages 5-10 years old. BOOK … Continued

Interested in learning more about Queen Margaret’s School? Contact our Admissions Team.

Contact us