2021 CanTRA Awards
Erin O’Rielly first got involved with Rainbow Riders as a young equestrian volunteering her time with our lesson program, and many years later has become Program Director and Head Instructor. Her tireless enthusiasm carries our team through busy program semesters, recruitment, training and certification of new instructors, and the day-to-day chaotic wonderfulness of a busy therapeutic riding barn. This passionate young woman grew Rainbow’s lesson program through the struggles of a global pandemic, kick-started a long-defunct Competitive Team, and even learned American Sign Language to facilitate weekly lessons for a school group of hearing-impaired children. They say it takes a team, it takes a village… but it also takes a spark—and that’s what Erin is to her team at Rainbow Riders.
"Helgi approaches everything she does with great thought, careful planning, research and wisdom. She is constantly looking for opportunities to educate herself and those around her, placing high value on acquiring knowledge and skills of the industry and beyond. She is an accomplished horse woman, a natural mentor and a skilled instructor, but she also has intuition and sensitivity towards her equine and human partners that bolsters her holistic approach to everything she does." - Susan Lake, Interim Executive Director, CTRA