By Samara Silver

“I was riding across the open countryside and a Canadian film crew spotted me and filmed me for a documentary that later aired on CBC.” This is one of many of Hy Burstein’s incredible stories through his life journey. Hy, a man that’s ridden over 50, 000 kilometers on a horse and who lives out his passion for horseback riding and travel. Through the years, Hy has passed his love of adventure on to his family. This is acknowledged if you ask his granddaughter, Ashley Burstein about her most desired interest: “I am most passionate about Horseback riding”. Who knew? Forest Hill’s very own horseback rider? Learning from her grandfather, 16-year-old student, Ashley Burstein in grade 11 has been riding for most of her life. At only 6 years old, Ashley began to ride at her family farm.

Growing up Ashley always had a love for horses, whether it was reading, learning or even taking care of them. Having a farm of her own with four horses and a grandfather who travelled the world on horseback, it was no surprise that Ashley got into this amazing sport. In Caledon, Ontario, where Ashley visits her farm most weekends with the rest of her family, is where she does most of her riding. As well as going to a stable to train with her riding coach.

Ashley has participated in many competitions throughout her time riding. At the age of 10, she participated in a horseback riding show where she experienced one of her most major achievements. At Fox Bury Stable, Ashley competed in a Halloween show where her and her horse got to perform dressed up. Among several other competitors, Ashley finished the competition in first place! “It was such an amazing to know that I was able to come out on top among so many other people,” she says.

Horseback riding is a very fun, therapeutic and competitive sport, however can be very dangerous as well. Ashley says the scariest thing about horseback riding the fact that they get scared very easily and become spooked. When this happens it causes to them to either kick you off or become out of control and run very fast. “Its hard to do anything about it which is why people get hurt most often because of it,” states Ashley.

Horseback riding is a big part of Ashley’s life and will always hold a passion for it. When asked what her favourite thing about horse back riding is, she says, “It’s a lot different from other sports. I find it very relaxing and a great way to relieve my stress.”