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 6. We offer a well-rounded curriculum in both riding (walk, trot, canter, jump), horse care, and horse health.

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

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

Maxine Lewis - Owner, Head Instructor

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

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 and is mentored by Bernie Traurig through online coaching. She also owns and shows her own horse, Red Badge (Badger), at gold shows across southern Ontario.

Maria McCordic - Instructor

Maria has been riding for 18 years and owns her own horse; Ballagh, a 17.3 Dutch warmblood cross. She trained with Olympic gold medalist, Tom Gayford, and has shown on and off in the A circuit’s jumper divisions.

She has been instructing at FRS for several years now and has helped teach dozens of students how to ride and care for horses.

Barn & Lesson Helpers


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

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Megan is an experienced mounted games rider and competes in Canada and the United States with her pony Lyra. Megan leads the Saturday team ensuring the busy day runs smoothly.



Audrey makes sure our Schoolies are in tip-top shape for our riders. Audrey works on Saturdays.


Juliya has been riding with FRS for 2 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.

Vanessa Altomare

Often the earlist to arrive, 
Vanessa keeps our Schoolie tack sparkling clean. 

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. 

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