Forward Riding School is located 35 minutes north of Toronto at the Pause Awhile Equestrian Centre in Stouffville. We specialize in beginner and “rusty stirrup” riders of all ages, with an age minimum of 7. We offer a well-rounded curriculum in riding (walk, trot, canter, jump), horse care, and horse health. 

The safety of our riders is paramount at FRS. All riders under the age of 16 wear a protective safety vest provided by Tipperary Equestrian! Tipperary Equestrian also provides helmets and a purchase program to help riders needing safety gear.

All our instructors and coaches are certified by Equestrian Canada and the Ontario Equestrian and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge of horse care and riding.

We are also proud to offer P’tit Trot and Equestrian Canada’s Rider Level programs for those who choose to participate. 
Additionally, we offer in-house schooling shows both on the flat and over fences and PA Day camps.

Maxine Lewis - Owner, Head Instructor

Maxine is the owner and head coach at Forward Riding School. She is licensed and certified by NCCP, Equestrian Canada, and Ontario Equestrian. Maxine is  also a Equestrian Canada R1 Steward. 

Maxine first fell in love with horses as a child, and showed her pony, Pampoody, all over her home state of Vermont. After an illustrious 25-year career as a print and publishing executive, Maxine decided to return to horses and opened Forward Riding School (FRS) in 2015.

Maxine trains with Canadian Olympic gold-medalist, Tom Gayford.
She also owns and shows her own horse, Red Badge (Badger), at gold shows across southern Ontario.

Erin McConnell - Instructor

Megan Mackinging - Instructor

Kristen Muir - Instructor

Erin has been riding for over 20 years and is excited to start teaching new riders! Over the years she has mainly ridden hunter and dressage and loves working with green horses to bring out their potential. Erin is also a vet technician and is always happy to try and answer any of your animal related questions!

Kristen is an equine enthusiast with over 20 years experience. Through patients and understanding she is able to bring out the best in her students. Kristen is well on her way to achieving her Equestrian Canada Instructor’s certification and coaching license. She is always willing and available to answer any equine related questions. She looks forward to seeing you in the arena.

After riding her first green 4 year old, Megan found her groove working with and developing young horses, specializing in  Off the Track Thoroughbreds (OTTB). 
Megan has a passion to share equestrian sport with new riders and her positive and confidence boosting approach welcomes riders to learn to ride, become knowledgeable horse people, and help students to reach their personal riding goals.
When not teaching Megan has been working towards First Level in Dressage, and bringing up her 3 year old colt.

Barn & Lesson Staff


Anelie was FRS' very first student!
She stuck around long enough and has now joined us to assist in our lessons.


Juliya has been riding with FRS for 3 years.
Riding once a week wasn't enough so she started working on Sundays.

Thank you to our Volunteers

Caity McLeod

Caity loves ponies. She volunteers every Saturday, helping with any and everything.

Erin O'Grady

Erin is a new rider that has learned the ropes as well as a seasoned veteran.  During the week she makes sure the schedule is on time and the chores get completed.

Hannah Zaidi

Every Saturday you’ll see Hannah in the barn helping riders tack up.

Ella Skupien

Ella is small, but mighty! So it is no surprise that her favorite schoolie is Rocky…the largest horse in the barn. Ella works with Vanessa to keep out Schoolie tack clean. 

Elena Wang

Elena starting riding with FRS in 2017. She is working on her Equestrian Canada Rider Level 4. She completed the My First Show Season program in 2021. 

Becca Pirie

Becca and Daisy are at the barn weekdays. Becca arrives early to put the Bemer Blanket on the school horses and stays late after her lesson to help anyone needing a hand. 

Evelyn Ah Ling

Evelyn rides and weekends and comes early to volunteer. She has completed her Equestrian Canada Rider Level 3.  Evelyn has ridden almost every school horse in the barn and is always happy to help new riders learn to groom and tack up.

Evelyn Li

Every Friday after her lesson, Evelyn sweeps the barn, cleans tack and grooms the school horses. 

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