EFO's November ROM!
We are very excited to announce our November ROM, Maude Boulanger-Bouchard. Maude, is a hunter discipline focused rider out of Quebec, CAN and is joining our growing ROM team. She is an outstanding woman in regards to both her riding and coaching careers. We are very excited to recognize this equestrian as our EFO ROM.
With horses in her life since day one, Maude has made quite a name for herself riding, showing and coaching across Canada. Her ambition and goal-oriented mindset allowed her to achieve multiple awards and certifications with both her riding and coaching levels. She continues to pursue her goals in the equine community and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for her. Keep reading to find out more about Maude!
- How did you enter the Equestrian Industry?
I was born into it. My parents met riding when they were teenagers. We always had horses. My first show horse was in the family for 30 years, ever since he was 6 months old. My father was a Reiner and my mother a leisure hunter rider.
- What is your first memory you have with horses?
My first clear memory is of my sister and I going in the field to pick the horses’ feet. I was probably 6 years old. It’s difficult to distinguish the memory from the pictures and stories you are told.
- Did you always know that you would be working with horses as a profession?
I always knew I was going to be in the horse industry in some way. I used to groom to pay my shows, clip horses to pay some of the expenses. I got a special permission at 15 years old to do the instructor evaluation and exam. You used to have to be 16.
- What does an average day look like for you?
At home, we start a little later and finish late; ride 5-8 horses per day, give 2-5 lessons per day, emails, phone calls, videos editing etc. We have quite a few sale horses so many days include trials on them. I coordinate vet checks, prep sale agreements. I also have physiotherapy, kinesiology or Pilates several mornings before the starts of my day. I do some of the management of the farm, but as a family-run business we split the tasks.
At the shows, the days are much earlier. Depending on the number of horses, the schedule varies a little but basically it’s early hack rides as they usually go on the lounge after I have worked them, help with the mucking of the stall, take orders at the rings, show everyone, lessons some of our riders later in the day in the ticket rings, sometimes we have trials on sales horses, hack some if newly arrived, help finish back at the barn and plan the next day. If we are at shows close to home, often I will ride some horses before or at the end of my show day.
- What are the most common challenges you face?
TIME! I just wished we had more time in a day. My most common challenge if taking a day off. Otherwise, horses are horses. sometimes its smooth sailing for weeks on, sometimes more work.
- DO you have any suggestions for young riders aspiring to become professional riders?
Work hard, and when you think it’s enough, work a little harder. I did not have unlimited funds for my aspirations, I had to work hard to make it happen. Team up with other professionals you admire and feel have good work ethics. I truly think our actions speak volume. Seize opportunities and always have a fall back plan. That way, you always move forward. Be imaginative, sometimes opportunities need to be suggested.
- What are some of the most common challenges you face with your riding?
I am not a cocky rider, if I don’t feel prepared I find it more stressful. That’s why I am all about preparation. You can always make due and make it look good, but that never last. I surround myself with owners that understand that and are willing to put in the work preparation requires. Injuries are also a challenge, I am far more careful now than before and make sure to heal or address properly any injuries.
- If you could spend a day doing a different sport, what would it be and why?
Sky diving. I have done it a few times now and I definitely would consider getting my solo jumper’s license.
- If you weren’t in the Equestrian Industry, what do you think you would be doing instead and why? (career wise)
I was studying sociology, psychology and politics in university. I most likely would have gone on to do something in human rights or work for a non-profit organization.
- What accomplishment are you most proud of within the Equestrian Industry? (Does not have to be show related)
I am most proud when I make horses and find their perfect match. I am very lucky I can continue to do it again and again and again!
- The most memorable horse which you have owned or ridden is _____ and why?
Viva’s Highlight. I just recently sold him, he was owned by Centre Hippique Anémo, the family farm. We had our great moments and our disagreement but he was the most predictable, most consistent and most even tempered horse I have ever had. Signal Point was also a memorable one. He took me from Jr C to B to A, from trilliums to A circuit.
- What is the one thing you can never go to a horse-show without? (i.e. lucky socks)
I really had to think about this one. I do not have any superstitions.
I take my dog to every show?! No seriously, my grooms, my sister among them, would be my answer. You are only as good as your team.
- Do you have any horse-show rituals? (other than getting Tim’s at 4am)
I need coffee. It’s a must! I will get up earlier for coffee and don’t mind doing first coffee run for the grooms on my way to the show. One of my rituals though is listening to my audio books while I muck the stalls!
- What is your favourite post-horseshow thing to do? (i.e. relax with a glass of wine, unpack the trailer etc.)
I don’t really drink nor do I go out much. I am a serial Netflixer!
- Does your horse have a favourite treat? If so, what is it?
My retired jumper Enzo loves Swedish Berries by Maynard! We used to pack many bags to go to the shows with him.
- What do you like to do when you manage to get some time off and away from the barn?
I love to visit museums and LOVE Montreal’s Biodome.
- Describe your dream vacation (does not have to be horse related)
I am not a sit-on-the-beach-and-tan kind of girl but I like explorations and visiting. I would like my next vacation to be in Asia or a safari in Africa.
- What are you most grateful for at your barn?
Insulated arena and computer-regulated barn temperature!
- Describe the funniest wardrobe malfunction that you have had when riding?
None come to mind. I always have back up of everything.
- What is your go-to late night snack?
Cereals! I can snack on them all day and all night long. No milk. Like healthier chips.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us, we wish you all the best in the future and will always be cheering you on!
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