We’ve got a new FB group for ride sharing!

Need a ride? Country Hill Riders Carpools…

Want to ride a horse? If you’re from GTA and have no wheels, no problem! Our barn has always been very accessible by Go Train/Bus, with a shuttle service, but now there is no reason not to ride a horse where it should be ridden—where it lives! And that’s country that’s close to the city—in Stouffville.

Now Country Hill Farm has a our FB has a site for ride sharing, aptly called Country Hill Farm Riders. The horse farm has won two environment awards of excellence and now its riders are also doing their part for a cleaner environment by ride sharing. So like us on FB and come up and see us soon. We have acres to hacking so escape the city in less than an hour!

Yoga on Horseback

And no, you don’t need to know how to ride a horse to do this activity…

“Some of my friends are race riders and pound for pound they are one of the strongest athletes, but also the least flexible,” said Kathy Fremes, an EC certified competition coach who began practicing yoga in her teens. Whatever your discipline—English or Western—this is an activity that can produce desirable qualities for riders such as suppleness, body awareness, balance, alignment, flexibility and relaxation. The last quality is probably the most important one for people taking up horseback riding for the first time.

Like yoga done on a mat, the rider needs little equipment except a riding helmet, comfortable clothing, and a boot with a heel. And for those who are embarking on the sport and don’t own a helmet one is supplied and there is no need to buy fancy riding boots because all our saddle have safety stirrups.

A travel destination piece about Middleburg, Virginia spa ran recently in the Globe and Mail and it mentioned that yoga was offered on horseback. But the good news is you get the same experience close to home. “I find that once people try it, they are surprised to see how easy it can be—it’s relaxing and beneficial for new or nervous riders or even for those who have never been on a horse before!,” says Kathy.

This environmental award-winning horse farm offers the ideal place to decompress and it’s only a quick 40-minute drive northeast of Toronto or take the Go train/bus to Stouffville from TO and ask for the shuttle service from the station to the farm. Consider a rejuvenating retreat to Country Hill Farm in Stouffville soon–or ask for a yoga session to be booked into a custom rider retreat vacation (minimum 2 night’s stay).

2x Winner of Environmental Award of Excellence

I was thrilled and honoured to be the only horse person to receive this prestigious award twice!” say Kathy Fremes, owner-manager-coach-educator at Country Hill Farm. “I didn’t realize until the award was present on Friday that I had taught over 300 students about horse husbandry and land stewardship through the University of Guelph course and more, if you include the students I coach here at my farm and those that come to me to be mentored for their professional goals—to become EC certified Instructors of Beginners and Competition Coaches.

It just goes to show you how the environment has moved to center stage in our industry and that’s a change that I applaud!

Kathy Fremes

Owner-Manager-Competition Coach (EC 3 star)
Mentor and Coach Developer
Country Hill Farm
Instructor, University of Guelph

(905) 642-2642

Country Hill Celebrates 30 years!

Of bringing horses together with humans…

For three decades people have been falling in love at Country Hill Farm—with horses and each other. “We are now welcoming our second generation of riders to the farm,–my original student’s children!” says owner and certified competition coach Kathy Fremes. “It’s wonderful to watch how the farm has matured from offering home bred sport horses, to both English and now, Western lessons, and also pony driving classes.

“Then we branched out into fork to farm and served up culinary classes and catering under the banner of Country Hill Cooks! People loved the food and the horses so much they wanted more. That lead to the creation of our popular Rider Retreat packages offering shuttle service from Stouffville station to farm for the city dwellers looking for a restful stay vacation. These custom-designed rider retreats include, horse back instruction and trail riding, yoga on horseback and cooking classes–in any combination–for one or more days. Overnight accommodation is offered in the gorgeous farmhouse, featured in the UC Home Tour and also formerly in its Garden Tour.”

Finally, as a distinguished horse farm in Ontario (winning two environmental awards), environmentalist Kathy Fremes has joined the team of horse professionals in 2010 at the University of Guelph to offer her expertise as a head instructor of Management of the Equine Environment. This knowledge on making healthier farms for horses she freely shares with all who visit Country Hill and over 100 did just that on the 2018 Horse Day.

“Let’s raise a glass of the cleanest water in the GTA that comes straight from our well and drink a toast to the past, present and future of Country Hill Farm!”

Ponies and Horses for Part Board

Young and mature rides can pack more riding into this year by part boarding one of CHF’s school master–from steady ponies for tots, ponies who jump courses like the big guys, to larger safe and sound mounts that will suit more mature members of your family. Both English and Western disciplines available.

Contact Kathy Fremes to find your match today!

Learn to Ride like the Wind

Some of the satisfied riders and their mounts who attended Who’ll Again Farm’s Invitational for Country Hill Farm’s equestrians, many of which had just “survived” a rider level boot camp held at CHF.

Congratulations to all–clear rounds and great times and a great time was had by all!

This event was a warm up for some rider-horse combinations for the Phillip Dutton Clinic in August.

Country Hill Cooks!

Country Hill Cooks! is combining culinary experiences with riders coming for retreats this summer. This is just a sample of the food served up at the most recent combined retreat.

Find out more…

Drive On!!!!

Let our pony Splash show you the ins and outs of driving. If you are an equestrian you will benefit from the knowledge of drivers—the exact use and finesse of the voice, hands and whip. If you’ve never ridden, then driving is a great way to become acquainted with the ways of the horse. Splash is game. He is a small pony but a complete professional. You can learn the basics in a safe environment.

This is an old but upcoming sport that intrigues many because of its relevance to the history of transportation and it’s elegant. It’s addictive….when you see that pony trotting forward, pound-for-pound, stronger than a horse; you will be at a loss for words to describe the feeling. Pony Power!!! Drive On!!!! Suddenly you are transported to your youth and it is exhilarating. Come drive with me.

High School Students Horse Around

Students at the athletics focused Bill Crothers Secondary School in Unionville are saddling up with a new equestrian team, thanks to the vision of a teacher who loves horses and a local stable that was willing to give this new concept a try.

The team was officially formed last fall and students have been bussed every other week since then for riding lessons at Country Hill Farm in Goodwood, which is operated by Kathy Fremes.

“The creation and planning of the team has been a dream and project of mine since we opened Bill Crothers Secondary School in 2008 and we were finally able to get it off the ground this past September,” says Nicole Lazier, the equestrian team coach and founder.

But as she discovered, finding a stable that met the requirements set out by the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA), which sets criteria provincially that school sports must meet, proved to be challenging.

“The hardest part was finding a barn. That was the biggest challenge,” says Lazier. “It took a lot of time and careful planning to line everything up, but Kathy was the key piece to actually have it realized and get it going. The barn was really the key factor in everything in order for the participation of the students to happen.”

To help Lazier narrow down her search for a stable, she looked to the Ontario Equestrian Federation’s Horse Facilities Advisory Council to find member stables that meet a minimum standard of rider and horse safety and equine care, as set out by the program.

“I approached Kathy in July to be the coach of the team and to have her facility to be the barn where our program would run because it met all the guidelines required for a school program to run,” says Lazier. “I knew her business practices were honest, professional and that she had a wonderful facility with sound, quiet horses that would be ideal for students to learn on. She also had many years of experience behind her as a coach and an excellent reputation as a coach in the community.”

While the number of riders varies depending on student schedules, there are about 20 riders ranging from beginner to advanced who come out ride.

“I’m honoured to be involved in it,” says Fremes. “These kind of pilot programs are excellent in introducing people to the sport.”

In addition to the time they spend in the saddle, the equestrian team meets weekly and is also active with lunch and learn educational sessions, guest speakers, social events and team building exercises. Lazier set the team up in such a way that riders who have their own horses but may not have time to ride with the team can still take part through activities outside the stable.

“The ultimate goal for kids who are beginner riders is just to give them the chance to explore riding and all that it offers,” she says. “For the advanced riders it gives them an opportunity to be part of the school environment – to give them a sense of belonging and a partnership with Bill Crothers Secondary School.”

While the equestrian team is still in its infancy, a schooling show is already being planned for the spring. Lazier dreams that, someday, the school teammight even compete on a show circuit.

“Is competition our end goal? Not really,” says Lazier. “It’s more to just instill the love of equestrian and expose them to the sport of equestrian as an Olympic sport, but also as a pleasure sport you can enjoy for life.”

To read more, please visit WHOA and read High School Students Horse Around

YOGA ON HORSEBACK

“Some of my friends are race riders and pound for pound they are one of the strongest athletes, but also the least flexible,” said Kathy Fremes, an equestrian coach who began practicing yoga in her teens. “Whatever your discipline—English or Western—this is an activity that can produce desirable qualities for riders such as suppleness, body awareness, balance, alignment, flexibility and relaxation,” says Ms Fremes adding,” the last quality is probably the most important one for people taking up horseback riding for the first time.”

Like yoga done on a mat, the rider needs little equipment except a riding helmet, comfortable clothing, and a boot with a heel. “And for those who are embarking on the sport and don’t own a helmet one is supplied and there is no need to buy fancy riding boot because all our saddle have safety stirrups and most people have hiking boots with heel.”

“There were two situations that made me come to the decision that yoga on horseback was something I wanted to do at Country Hill Farm, an equestrian centre I’ve owned and operated for more than 25 years. Since a car accident I’ve had a chronic back condition that yoga has helped to keep me pain free and in the saddle. But this year, I started coaching the Bill Crother’s Secondary School Equestrian Team—a public school for athletes who did ride as their primary sport. I’ve never seen young people progress as quickly as this talented lot and I realized that the reason was they had the flexibility and body awareness that most normal people new to the equestrian sport don’t possess”

An article in the Globe and Mail about a travel destination in Middleburg, Virginia ran recently and it mentioned that yoga was offered on horseback. But the good news is you don’t have to travel to an expensive spa to get the same experience close to home. “I find that once people try it, they are surprised how it helps improve their performance as a rider but also that of their mount. It’s a win-win situation.

“I also feel that the environmental award-winning horse farm offers the ideal place for busy city folks to decompress and it’s only a quick 40-minute drive northeast of Toronto,” says Ms Fremes. “I’ll be spreading the news at the Yoga Show this weekend. Next time someone considers going south to a spa to do yoga on horseback I hope they’ll consider a quick retreat to Country Hill Farm,” says Ms Fremes.