Powell River has four new four-legged residents, who will live in a new equestrian centre for adopted horses and ponies. The four ponies, adopted from Alberta, were used at the Calgary Stampede until the previous owner no longer could care for them.
Paradise Valley Equestrian Centre owner Trevor Kosloski was in the middle of building the facility in Paradise Valley for the past year and a half when he heard about the ponies being auctioned off. He said he knew he could give them a fun and safe life in Powell River.
The centre will have an indoor riding area, trail riding, riding lessons, boarding and offer equine therapy. Kosloski said if the adopted ponies or any of the other horses cannot be used for riding or lessons, they will be used for the therapy programs.
“For the type of equine therapy I will be doing, you don’t ride the horses, it is more about connecting to the horses,” said Kosloski, who is still gaining certification for horse therapy but is excited to bring his services to Powell River.
As most of the animals he received are adopted, they all have to be trained to be comfortable around humans “to be able to ride or even approach them.”
“I have one right now that is just being able to let people touch her; that’s the same with the ponies,” said Kosloski. “The ponies were used in the stampede for kids in the kids’ broncing section, so they were basically used to be bronched.”
He is hoping to have the centre open by mid to late summer of this year. Along with horses, there will be a small petting zoo, where most of the animals being brought in will be rescues.
“I am trying to make this accessible, including wheelchairs to a certain degree,” he added. “I am hoping to have a big kids’ program with lessons and having day camps, summer camps or Pro-D camps.”
Kosloski has planted roughly 3,000 pumpkins for picking in the fall as well. He said he hopes to have something for everyone.