You’ll have heard of skijoring, but the Maynard family of Vancouver, BC is responsible for a new equestrian pastime they like to call “ditchboarding.” It’s like skijoring except with a wakeboard and a ditch full of rainwater instead of skis and a mountain of snow.
“It’s normal for the Maynard family to be doing something different with their horses,” laughed Tasha Maynard, who conjured up the idea with her brother-in-law, Jordan. “We live on a farm and he said, ‘the next time the ditches flood, lets go wakeboarding.'”
It might have been a joke to begin with, but when the roadside ditches flooded the following week, Jordan built his own “wakeboard” out of an old piece of plywood and carpet stapled on top. Tasha tacked up one of their lesson ponies, tied the board to the saddle and took off down the road with Jordan skimming through the water behind them.
Bailey the pony pulls a sled in the winter, so he’s used to towing, and Tasha said he had a blast pulling Jordan through the water. “We were on the side of road which is just dirt, so the footing was good enough to canter along safely. He’s a great little pony and he had a blast.”
And while Jordan is not a practiced wakeboarder, he is a fit ultra trail runner and farm manager, so he picked it up fairly quickly (though not without a few dunks in the freezing water). With Jordan’s dad Rick filming the spectacle, the group of them quickly attracted the attention of the neighborhood and even the local media.
“Our neighbors across the street were watching and laughing,” Tasha said. “In the summer the farm is busy, but there are people that live a couple blocks away and didn’t even know the farm was here, so the extra media attention has been good.”
Tasha helps run Southlands Heritage Farm, which is owned by the Maynard family: Rick and Jennifer and their three boys Tik, Tasha’s husband Telf, and Jordan. Southlands Heritage Farm is the last working farm in Vancouver and offers agricultural farming workshops, summer camps for kids and riding lessons.
Maynards we know and love, eventers Tik and his wife Sinead, will be visiting over the holiday season and we’ll go ahead and give them fair warning that they may be challenged to a ditchboarding race, so they should start practicing! (Everyone else, don’t try this at home.)
Click here to learn more about Southlands Heritage Farm and its mission to grow quality food, educate the community on sustainable agriculture and support local farms and food producers.