STaRS' Official Dreamer & Doer
Jennifer & Rick Maynard
Other Maynard Dreams That Have Come True...
It All Started as a Crazy Dream...
They say when you dream, you should aim for the stars, and settle for landing on the moon. For Jennifer Maynard, the moon was not enough. Not even close! Jennifer wanted the actual stars. And when you meet Jennifer, you will quickly realize that when she wants something done, well, she gets it done!
Our story really begins in the early 70's, when Hilary (Boal) Oswald came from Ireland as a riding instructor and started PRDA (then, Pacific Riding for the Disabled Association, now Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities) out of the Southlands Riding Club. Jennifer Maynard used to volunteer for PRDA and loaned some of Pony Meadow's ponies for the program. This exposed Jennifer to the benefit and challenges of therapeutic rider. Fast forward to the late 90s and early 00s, and Pony Meadows had amongst its students some PRDA graduates. In an incredible feat of stars being aligned, Pony Meadows happened to have a neighbour who was a certified therapeutic riding instructor, Carrie Schuliger, and she began to teach Pony Meadows' special needs students. When Carrie left, she suggested we create an independent certified therapeutic program.
Fast forward to 2004. Jennifer and a number of our initial students' dedicated mothers created STaRs (and Jennifer will want you to know she came up with the name..... do not contradict her on this!). Goats, pigs, chickens and a cob oven in a therapeutic riding centre? You bet. Better still, to get there you don't even have to leave the City of Vancouver.
Southlands Therapeutic Riding Society (STaRS) is located in Southlands Village on the same site as Maynard's Pony Meadows and Southlands Heritage Farm. This means that riders experience not only the joy of riding a horse, but can interact with typical riders while enjoying the beauty of a working farm.
STaRS began as a dream in the early 2000's, and through the dedicated efforts of a core group of volunteers, became a reality. It began as a grassroots operation, and today, is a Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CANTRA) certified facility and a registered non-profit society.
We are very proud of our program and of our privileged location within the Southlands community, and are always eager to welcome visitors! Feel free to drop by and see for yourself that dreams really can come true...
Southlands Equestrian Centre
& Pony Meadows
Being a hardworkder and determined dreamer is not just a Jennifer Maynard trait; in fact, it seems to be a dominant gene in the Maynard family. Her husband Rick Maynard was essentially born in Southlands, and his parents - lifelong equestrian enthusiasts - were founding members of the Southlands Riding Club and instrumental in creating this precious pocket of equestrian land in the middle of Vancouver. In 1952, they founded the Maynard's Riding School, a riding school which morphed in the 90's into Maynard's Pony Meadows and introduced more than ten thousand riders to the sport.
In 2008, the Maynards weathered what seemed like an impossible setback - the property which they used to operate Pony Meadows was sold, and they were faced with the prospect of closing - or finding and buying a large enough property in pricey Southlands. They did not back down, and through determination (and a little bit of luck and some generous supporters), they managed to connect with someone who was interested in downsizing and seeing that the property go to someone who would maintain the equestrian tradition of the area. In July 2010, the Maynards moved Pony Meadows to its new location at 6767 Balaclava Street (Jennifer also insists she picked the address.... you see a pattern here....). Offering boarding to a few hand-picked clients, Pony Meadows offers a variety of riding programs to persons of all ages, sizes and levels - from beginners to grand prix riding with Rick Maynard himself, and hosts birthday parties for groups of up to 30 children.
Southlands Heritage Farm
Never a dull moment at the Farm...
Here, Campers enjoy visiting with new ducklings!
At around the time Pony Meadows moved, the Maynards' younger son Jordan was going through an agricultural program at UBC. He quickly realized that their new property had an ideal mix of exposure and soil, and the family hatched a plan to also create an urban farm where people could learn about sustainable farming practices (education is Jordan's passion), with tours for ages 2-92, and meet farm animals. Southlands Heritage Farm was born. The farm now has a huge variety of fruits and vegetables , and during the growing season, a weekly farmers' market. It is also home to a variety of farm animals, all of whom get to enjoy a life away from the food chain as ambassadors for farm animals.