From Marine, Guillaume, Mélanie, Serge and Marie-Gabrielle,
we wanted to tell how much we appreciated our week spent at the Glen Oro Farm between the Glen Oro spring H.T. and the Grandview H.T. It was a first for all of us and we felt blessed to be allowed to escape the quick pace of our ordinary lives in such a beautiful and peaceful place, surrounded by people so deeply concerned about our wellness as well as the wellness of our horses!
We are also very thankful for the time you generously took throughout the week and especially the second week-end to give us advice and walk the Prelim course with us. We all felt more confident and ready for the course after hearing your encouragements "Ah, don't worry - this is easy, you won't even feel it if you arrive with the right energy" (talking about a big 1.10x2.10m box...) and your sound advice so full of experience "That combination is not easy. You need to watch out for the second jump. But before focusing on the second jump, don't forget to get IN the combination. Get IN, and THEN, get out!".
Seriously, the time we have spent here was not only very educational, but funny and relaxing at the same time. Thanks for everything, we hope to be able to do this again!
Dear Leslie, Thank you so much for holding such a great event this past weekend. Glen Oro is one of my favorite events to attend, but this one in particular will stick with me for a while. I was really encouraged that you made sure I could go cross country even though I had been eliminated in the show jumping. This is so often not allowed at events and can be really discouraging. Being able to run cross country was just the confidence boost I needed and with a clear round I ended up leaving with a really positive experience regardless of being eliminated. I wanted to add that having cross country follow directly after the show jumping was great. It really shortened the day and my horse recovered even better than usual. I hope more events try it. I have included a picture of me and The Hony over the last preliminary fence on cross country. A picture does tell a thousand words!
Thanks so much, Annie McCaughey
Dear Leslie, just a quick note to THANK YOU so VERY MUCH from me and all my six students. They all had a terrific time and EVERY horse and rider combination is the better for being at your farm, running those xc and stadium courses and having such nice rings and warmup for dressage. Best ever and we look forward to coming back. Thank you my dear friend. It was so nice to see you and be at your lovely place. Hugs, Lorraine Laframboise (Former National Team Coach, High Performance Coach Alberta, head trainer Venturing Hills Inc @ Farm of the Mountain, former WEG/Olympic CBC colour commentator).
After relocating to Muskoka 17 years ago from King Township I encountered great difficulty finding a boarding facility with the high level of care I had grown accustomed to while living in King. Last year I finally found what I had been looking for. Glen Oro is without a doubt the most outstanding facility in Central Ontario. Leslie has developed a wonderful farm and pays attention to all the details that make a difference in my horse’s care. The relaxed, pleasant atmosphere truly makes each visit a great experience. The barn at Glen Oro is laid out in such a way that the horses are healthy and comfortable and the owners/riders are as well. The paddocks are large, dry and safe and Leslie pays attention to each horse’s unique personality to ensure they are comfortably matched with their pasture mates. The property is incredibly beautiful and well maintained, and of course the hacking is absolutely the best I’ve ever seen. For 17 years I have searched for a facility like this in my area without success. I had almost given up. I now can finally relax and stop worrying about the care my horse receives. It is truly a pleasure and a privilege to have my horse at this wonderful facility under the watchful eye of Leslie Saila and her team.
Dick and Kathi Bayly, Kingston, Ontario
"We purchased "Lauderdale" as a Glen Oro bred weanling in 2000 and were so pleased with his attitude, athletic ability and soundness that we have since also purchased his younger full sister "Jackie Oh". Both horses are a pleasure to live with and compete. Lauderdale completed his first Preliminary in Sept/08 getting a very good ribbon in the US. Jackie Oh won and placed well at Pre-training and is ready to go Training in 2009.
The Glen Oro breeding program combines strong pedigrees for Sport Horses with a natural upbringing on large rolling pastures to produce healthy young horses that are lovely to work with."
Incredible is one word to describe Glen Oro farm. It is heaven on horseback. I have been truly blessed to ride at such an amazing facility and to have had Leslie Saila as both a coach and a close friend. Her knowledge and horsemanship is incredible. The care is second to none and the hacking is by far the best that I have ever come across. Having spent many hours out on the cross country course, it is one of the best eventing facilities in Canada. Rain or shine the footing is always safe and consistent. It is a facility where you and your horse can build confidence and know that you are in good hands. Thank you Leslie for having such a fantastic place for me to come and ride. ~ Jennifer and Jerome.
Glen Oro is one of my favorite events on the Ontario circuit! The facilities and staff are very welcoming and their cross country course is ideal for producing confidence in both the horse and rider.
Gabrielle Ledger, Cliffhaven Farm
I've competed at Glen Oro since 1994 on a variety of horses ranging in experience levels and always find the courses hit the perfect balance between challenging and encouraging, the footing is consistently perfect, and the overall atmosphere is friendly and inviting. Glen Oro has long been and will remain my favourite competition venue in North America!
I was a mature rider, with not much experience & not very athletic when I met Leslie Saila! Actually, Tony Z. recommended her to me for help in eventing. She has been extremely helpful: training me & my horse as an athletic unit, telling me when we were ready & for what we were ready! She was always concerned about the welfare & readiness of the horse, mentally & physically. For me, that was very important. It has been a great experience which resulted in enjoying the riding & my horse well into my sixties!! Thanks Leslie!
Glen Oro is my “Happy Place”. I rush out of work each day and head straight to the farm. I can feel the stress slide off me and a smile on my face at my anticipation of arriving at Glen Oro. The riding is spectacular, the people are all so friendly, kind and helpful. Leslie has been so patient with me during lessons and helping me out with my new horse who was very poorly when I first brought her to Glen Oro. I have been riding for many years and have boarded at a number of stables, but I have not experienced such a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, but with top notch care and safety in mind as well.
Jen McCreary (former boarder, employee, student)
Glen Oro farms has the best hacking in all of Ontario, gorgeous facilities and the care is second to none. If I lived closer to Orillia/Barrie I would be back at Glen Oro in a heartbeat. One thing I appreciated in relation to the facilities is the fact that everything is well maintained and safe. Being a stickler for cleanliness, organization and attention to detail, my horses every need was met at Glen Oro farms.
I would also like to add that Leslie Saila, the farm owner and manager has an incredibly vast knowledge of training, horsemanship, farm management and riding. I learned more from Leslie over the years I rode at Glen Oro than anywhere else in the province. Her focus on classical riding and serious commitment to making a rider more capable means better results on the show circuit, plus, more fun! Leslie has a talent for bringing out the best in both riders and horses. In fact, her youngsters are some of the nicest horses to ride and work around.
In terms of hacking, the footing at Glen Oro is awesome. There is nothing more beautiful at any time of year then heading out to the back trails and enjoying some fantastic scenery... my personal favourite is checking out the 'look-out' in autumn.
Finally, I think the thing I love most about Glen Oro is the quiet atmosphere and access to fantastic facilities. With cross-country courses, great footing and lighting in the indoor arena and lovely dressage and jumping rings, this place is one of a kind whether you ride competitively or for pure pleasure!
I feel I am lucky to have found a home for my horse Kairos that allows him and myself to grow and learn how to enjoy each other better. We have now been at Glen Oro Farm for three years. In that time we have both grown. For me, I have a place that gives me serenity after a long day at work. Within 15 minutes of being at the barn, no matter how my day went, all is well and there is a smile on my face. For Kairos I find he is not as anxious and nervous as he was in the past, he has buddies and lots of space to play. We enjoy hacking, dressage, jumping - this does not include eventing... (if Kairos wants to event he can find another rider!). Leslie has been my coach during this time and gradually my riding is improving, she knows my horse and my abilities and we work as a team.
Glen Oro is a wonderful facility for either the happy hacker or the determined competitor. The fields around the yard offer rolling terrain and a wide variety of cross-country obstacles for all levels of eventer, and the neighbouring Simcoe Forest has miles of trail for someone who just wants a relaxing ride. There is also a large grass ring which usually has stadium jumps set up, as well as a sand ring large enough for two full size dressage rings. The terrain, being mostly sandy, drains well and offers good footing. Leslie is very particular about the care and health of the horses.
Laura MacKinnon is a rider/coach who recently started working with Leslie, and I found her to be one of the most helpful coaches I've had. We started off with Laura riding my green mare, then with me transitioning in slowly. Laura and Leslie were able to identify problem behaviours, their triggers and find simple, effective solutions. My mare and I have made more progress in three months than I had in the previous year, due to Laura's intimate knowledge of my mare and Leslie's many years of experience. Regrettably, I have to leave because of my job, but I highly recommend this facility.
Dr. Monika Havelka
Three cheers for boot camp!! Everything about the experience was outstanding -- the beautiful facility, the excellent care provided for our horses, the warm and friendly people around the barn and the excellent instruction. The sessions were really personalized and structured in such a way that I got something valuable out of every minute in the saddle. Leslie is so knowledgeable, encouraging and supportive that I felt safe and comfortable even when challenging myself. I am frankly amazed at how much I learned and how much my riding improved in only four days. Most of all, I had so much fun I can hardly wait for next year!!
Dr. Monika Havelka, Department of Geography, University of Toronto, Mississauga Ontario, Canada
Monika and I had an absolute blast with you and Michelle at your lovely facility! We both walked away feeling we had learned so much and had improved as riders as well. Our only regret is that you are so far away as we would love to have you as our regular coach!!! And ofcourse, have access to your amazing facility on a regular basis! Leslie, I want to let you know too that not only did we learn a lot, we had such a great time doing so - your coaching technique is straight forward and to the point, yet fun and inviting - a great combo! We also knew our horses were receiving wonderful care while they stayed at your facility and it was evident that they felt very comfortable (if not too much so!) there as well! Thanks for being so kind and generous with us! We learned a lot, had a blast and can't wait to return!
Thanks again Leslie! Marnie.