Meet the Head Coach/Founder
Jen Byvelds has a strong and diverse background in many equestrian sports.
She has a diploma in Ag and Equine Sciences, and Recreation Facility Management. Today, Jen specializes in coaching equestrian performance acts and team sports.
She has had the opportunity to travel the eastern circuit playing intercollegiate Polo, leading her team as captain, and returning after graduation as coach. The team played at such schools as Harvard, Yale, Cornell, UMASS, and Vassar.
Jen is the founder and head coach of The Capital Cowgirls Drill Team, a spectacular choreographed team that performs equestrian routines in front of crowds of over 10,000 people.
She is completing her Ontario Training Certification for Vaulting, Her vaulting program is the only one of its kind in the Ottawa region. Her competitive students have been successful in Vault Canada Shows, and have performed locally at many events.
Jen is a certified Harmony Horsemanship Level 3 Instructor, specializing in Liberty. The bonds and trust this type of training builds means her horses are safe and gentle for students of all levels and disciplines.
Jen’s love of horses began at age 8, when she attended a summer horse camp. Upon her return, she begged her parents to sign her up for lessons.
Jen has a diverse background in many equestrian disciplines. Starting at her local pony club shows, Jen grew up showing hunter/Jumpers in the GTA and surrounding areas. After high school, Jen got to ride with Lindsey Partridge, founder of Harmony horsemanship, starting young horses. Polo captured Jen’s attention while in college.
Today she runs Nation Valley Ranch with husband, Dan, and their three children, as part of the family dairy farm.
She loves teaching children the basics of horseback riding in her How To Ride programs and summer camps.
Meet our Horses
He may be known as the slow and steady, but this quarter horse gelding has a resume that would impress even Yellowstone!
Born in Texas from the famous father Play Gun, Beau is a machine working cows, and a very nice reining horse. Now retired from the show ring, Beau putts along and takes excellent care of beginner riders and all levels of vaulters.
Beau was Jen’s Drill Horse for 5 seasons. He has appeared in the 2019 Hallmark Christmas film ‘A Cheerful Christmas‘ and been featured in articles and appeared on CTV News. He is the heart of the Ranch, and Jen’s most beloved horse!
Corona has been part of our lesson program since day 1.
He's a gorgeous quarter horse gelding who turns heads in the hunter ring, and when riding with The Capital Cowgirls Drill Team.
He loves falling asleep while being groomed, and his favourite class is Kinder Club, because he can show off his talent of slow motion.
This grey quarter horse mare is everyone's favourite vaulting horse! She is smooth and beautiful.
Willow has two speeds; slow and steady for the younger kids, but she can also fly like the wind when the older kids set up the barrel racing pattern.
Willow has done it all, from reining, working cows, riding with The Capital Cowgirls, and appearing in multiple films, most recently Station 11 on HBO Max and Crave.
Rain was the first horse ever purchased by Jen, back in 2006. She is a gorgeous medicine hat paint, and the most popular riding horse at the ranch, especially with the younger children.
She has a big personality and a bigger heart. She has done everything from western games, working cows, playing polo for many years, riding with The Capital Cowgirls Drill Team, shown extreme cowboy, and much more.
Rain is in the Hallmark Christmas movie A Cheerful Christmas.
Vicky is a liver chestnut quarter horse mare. She was purchased as a horse for Jen's daughters.
Vicky has had a very successful youth as a western pleasure horse, winning classes at congress and Tom Powers futurity. She was then a broodmare, but retired from motherhood in 2019.
She is living out her semi-retirement being very loved by many children, and is becoming a new favourite for vaulting.
Sophie the Pony, loved by all the kids, she is a cheeky little lady!
Elliot is a stunning tri-paint, with two big blue eyes.
He is the youngest horse on the farm, but you would never guess so, as he has an old soul.
Elliot loves obstacles and driving the cart! Honestly, this guy loves to do everything as long as you're giving him attention.
Blue Jeans is a fun-coloured Appaloosa gelding, owned by instructor Lauren.
He can be speedy, making him a favourite with many who get lucky enough to ride him.
He's always an eye-catcher when riding with The Capital Cowgirls Drill Team.