Bits N’ Boots
Bits N’ Boots was created to introduce kids and their families, who would otherwise not have the opportunity, to the magical relationships possible with horses. Riding instructor Courtney Vala brings her lifetime of riding experience and her professional training together to provide a variety of courses and classes for riders of all ages and skill levels. Private and group riding lessons are available, as well as kids horse camps, ladies rides (excellent for those with little or no riding experience, including those who feel a little anxious about riding), Mommy and Me classes and Horse Power (teem self-esteem and anti-bullying classes using the power of horsemanship). Classes and camps take place at the Rocky Hill Ranch where students will be introduced to the six trainer horses. Each gentle-spirited horse has vast experience with riders of all ages and skill levels.
Meet JC & Courtney Vala
Meet JC & Courtney Vala
Courtney Vala always knew that she wanted a career that would involve helping people in some way, but she wasn't sure exactly how. She took a variety of courses in her post-secondary years, including pre-med classes, but it wasn't until she enrolled in the Northern Outdoor Recreation and Ecotourism program that she discovered her calling. For part of the course, Courtney did a horseback guiding class, and it turned out to be right up her alley. Courtney was practically raised on the back of a horse, and through the course she was able to see how transformational riding could be in a person's life. She decided she wanted to encourage and nurture that same experience in others.
Today Courtney owns seven horses, six of which are designated specifically for her students and classes. "They are amazing horses," she says. "It's rare to find horses like these that are gentle enough that any level of rider can ride." Courtney teaches a variety of riding classes for all ages from preschool to adult. Different classes have different focuses, but one thing that is the same across the board is the confidence that riders gain from their experiences. "Some people come in afraid of horses. It's rewarding to watch them transform in their confidence level and ability to handle the horse."
Both Courtney and her partner JC are born-and-bred northerners. JC grew up in the Fort Fraser area while Courtney spent most of her growing up years in Vanderhoof. Neither would trade small town, northern living for city life. "It's a little piece of Heaven on earth here," declares Courtney. "It's absolutely beautiful. And the people here are so down to earth and friendly."