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Alberta Bits is the Alberta Equestrian Federation’s official member magazine. It serves the entire equestrian community of horses and riders of all ages, interests and involvement, as the Voice of Equine Alberta. T H E A L B E RTA E Q U E S T R I A N F E D E R AT I O N H A S B E E N I N C O R P O R AT E D S I N C E 1 9 7 8 Alberta Bits magazine is mailed four times a year (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) to all current AEF members and is made available at the office and special events attended by the AEF. Alberta Bits is distributed throughout Alberta with news and events on behalf of recreational, sport, breeds & industry and educational sectors of the Alberta horse industry. Alberta Bits is distributed to approximately 16,000 members; 9,000 households and businesses, an exclusive list of tack and equine establishments and at events and trade shows annually.


Les Oakes 403.540.9859 Lewis Hand 403.722.4690 Tara Gamble 780.945.7516 Tara Gamble 780.945.7516 Sabrina Oakes 403.826.4661 Trish Mrakawa 403.938.6398 Jay Mills 403.637-2410 Nicolas Brown 780-454-5001 Kippy Maitland-Smith 403.845.4864 Dena Squarebriggs 403.760.0512 Alison Douglas 403.762.8570 Don Scott 780.895.7660 Nicolas Brown 780.454.5001 Barb Easthom 403.801.4111 Lauren Parker 403.813.1055 Camilla Gerner 403.796.4281

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A E F T H A N K - YO U Longtime volunteer, Bill desBarres is honored for all his valuable contributions to the horse industry.

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C L U B P RO F I L E The Calgary Hunt Club keeps up with tradition, while the Extreme Cowboy Alberta Association promotes a familyfriendly sport.

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W I L D RO S E S U M M E R S H O W S Two Welsh and Open Pony Shows were hosted by Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta, this summer.

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O U T S TA N D I N G VO L U N T E E R Holly Swanson found her way back to horses through volunteerism.

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S TA B L E P RO F I L E Ironhill Equestrian Centre in Priddis, Alberta, keeps two disciplines operating smoothly in this beautiful facility.

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B O A R D I N G H O R S E S I N A L B E RT A Horse owners and stable operators each have specific responsibilities in the province of Alberta.

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2014 WEG HIGHLIGHTS The Canadian Vaulting Team makes headlines in Normandy, France, along with other notable Canadian World Equestrian Games accomplishments.

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W I L D RO S E T R A I L R I D E A recap of the third annual Wild Rose Trail Ride, held this year at the Red Lodge Guest Ranch.

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HORSES & KIDS Reflecting on equines, in the company of children.

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MEMBER PICK Equine massage therapist, Tina Watkins, finds security for her family in AEF’s personal liability insurance.


Sonia Dantu 403.253.4411 ext 4 MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR

Norma Cnudde 403.253.4411 ext 1 MARKETING & EVENT COORDINATOR

Allison Blackmore 403.253.4411 ext 5


Erin Lundteigen 403.253.4411 ext 3 COMPETITIONS COORDINATOR

Sophie Beaufils 403.253.4411 ext 2 FINANCE, GENERAL INQUIRIES

Rita Bernard 403.253.4411 ext 6

O F F I C E H O U R S : 8 : 3 0 T O 4 : 3 0 P M , M O N D A Y T O F R I D A Y, E X C E P T H O L I D A Y S A L B E R TA B I T S I S P U B L I S H E D B Y W E S T E R N H O R S E R E V I E W I N PA R T N E R S H I P W I T H T H E A E F

FOR EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES CONTACT: ALBERTABITS@ALBERTAEQUESTRIAN.COM Jennifer Webster Natalie Jackman PUBLICATION COMMITTEE Allison Blackmore, Sonia Dantu CONTRIBUTORS Calgary Hunt Club, Extreme Cowboy Alberta, Heather Grovet, Michaela Ludwig, Robyn Moore, Scott Philips, Karen Podolsky, Kelsey Simpson, Cealy Tetley, Wild Rose Shows. MANAGING EDITOR ART DIRECTOR


Sally Bishop 403.815.1289 | Robin Powell 403.586.3438 2014 ADVERTISING DEADLINES


or All material is copyright 2014. Ideas and opinions expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of the AEF. Alberta Bits reserves the right to accept, and/or edit material submitted for publication. The AEF makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained therein, but assumes no liability in cases of error or changing conditions. Any business relations or other activities undertaken as a result of the information contained in Alberta Bits, or arising there from, is the responsibility of the parties involved and not of the AEF. We welcome signed letters to the editor, but reserve the right to publish, edit for grammar, taste and length. For reprint information, please contact


100, 251 Midpark Blvd SE Calgary, AB T2X 1S3 Toll Free: 1.877.463.6233 Phone: 403.253.4411 Fax: 403.252.5260


ON THE P U B L I C AT I O N S M A I L AG R E E M E N T # 4 0 0 5 0 2 9 7 • P R I N T E D I N C A N A D A • I S S N 1 9 1 8 - 7 1 1 4 R E T U R N U N D E L I V E R A B L E M A I L TO : A L B E RTA E Q U E S T R I A N F E D E R AT I O N 1 0 0 , 2 5 1 M I D PA R K B LV D S E C A L G A RY, A B T 2 X 1 S 3


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Members took full advantage of the beautiful summer we had in Alberta this year, including several who participated in the AEF Wild Rose Trail Ride. Check out page 22 for more details. Photo by Teresa van Bryce


President’s Message After what appeared to be a very slow start to the summer here in Alberta, with lots of rain and below normal temperatures, summer eventually kicked into high gear in early July and most Albertans were able to enjoy a great summer of riding and other equine activities. The third annual AEF Fundraising trail ride took place on September 14th at Red Lodge Guest Ranch just west of Bowden. The ride was held at a new venue this year due to requests to hold the ride closer to central Alberta; once again it was a great success. Each year, three AEF member therapeutic riding clubs are chosen to receive the proceeds from this event. The three club recipients of funds raised this year were Uplift Therapeutic Riding Association, Rundle Riders Therapeutic Riding Association and Foothills Therapeutic Riding Association. I am sure most people who had planned to participate this year were in shock as southern Alberta had a record September snowfall just days before the event. A few days later however, the weather had significantly improved and it had to be one of the best fall days for a trail ride that anybody could have wished for (+19°C and sunshine). Along with the registration fees collected from those who joined in on the ride and the exceptional corporate support from Mike King of Capri Insurance, the AEF was able to provide a cheque for $950 for each of the three therapeutic associations! The World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy had a great Alberta presence this summer, including a full squad of vaulters (first time in WEG; almost all from Alberta)! Congratulations to all athletes: • Leanna Marchant, Endurace • Kathy Irvine, Endurance • Brooke Boyd, Vaulting • Todd Griffiths, Vaulting • Shianne Hofer, Vaulting • Haigen Pavan, Vaulting • Dallyn Shields, Vaulting • Angelique van der Sluijs, Vaulting • Jeanine van der Sluijs, Vaulting A big thank you goes out from the AEF and all Albertans for all of your hard work and the sacrifices you and you families go through. The amount of personal funding required for our athletes to represent their province and their country is staggering. In most cases there is little or no funding available on a provincial level to send athletes, therefore the burden to qualify and represent their country falls mainly with family and friends. A topic for discussion for the next time you have a conversation with your local MLA. Due to the cooler than average, and wet spring, it seems like the hay crops suffered in most parts of the province which is going to impact hay prices this year. As hay prices are a big part of owning horses it can cause some serious horse welfare issues for many horse owners. The AEF office receives many calls each year about horse welfare as does the SPCA and other farm groups such as AFAC. If you know of any animals in distress this year, please call the ALERT LINE at 1-800-506-2273. Enjoying time with our four-footed friends, whether it be competing with our horses, spending time at the barn or out in the fields is what we all strive do more of each week. While you are spending that time with your equine friends, I would also ask each and every one of you to spend a little time over the next while realizing that with our freedom to spend time with our horses, also comes the responsibility of spending a little of our precious time looking at your role as an AEF member.


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The AEF bylaw committee has been working diligently with a consultant over the past several months to ensure the AEF is following through on AEF strategic plan goal #6 scheduled to be completed in 2014. The goal from the AEF strategic plan in regards to the bylaws is as follows: Goal #6 – Complete a Full Review of the AEF Governance Structure (completion by 2014). Complete a full review of the AEF governance structure and implement changes to meet the new NFPA and criteria funding requirements for Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation (ASRPWF). SUCCESS INDICATOR: Objective criteria STRATEGIES: Strategy #1: Complete a full review of the AEF governance structure using resources available to non-profits from government, volunteer agencies, and internally within the AEF. Implement proper updated policies and procedures for all business aspects of the AEF on a regular basis. Review: Policies, Procedures and Bylaws. Strategy #2: Have the proposed AFPA and funding criteria from ASRPWF on hand for reference by the board and staff. Strategy #3: Create a committee that addresses ongoing issues concerning board governance and policies/procedures. Strategy #4: Align the current AEF regulations and bylaws to conform to the new NFPA and to meet the criteria for funding required by ASRPWF. Strategy #5: Develop an implementation plan based on recommendations in review. Strategy #6: Act upon recommendations. In order to ensure we can achieve this goal and operate more effectively to enable the AEF to answer the needs of the Membership at large, the AEF will be asking you to vote on proposed AEF Bylaw changes on Saturday, November 8, 2014. When that time arrives, please take the time to look at the proposed Bylaws (included in your fall issue of Alberta Bits) and come to vote. It is your organization and ultimately the direction it takes is up to you. Thank you all once again for allowing the AEF to be your voice for you and your horses within Alberta and all the best to you and your horses. Please contact any of the board members, any time, a list of contact information is always available at the website or in Alberta Bits. AB

TIME TO RENEW YOUR 2015 AEF MEMBERSHIP It’s time to renew your 2015 membership! Memberships can be renewed online, by mail, email or by faxing the AEF membership form. Be sure to inform the AEF if your email, mailing address or other information has changed. AEF membership benefits keep growing each year to ensure members are covered! What’s included with your AEF membership?

YOUR MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS KEEP GROWING EACH YEAR! • Automatic $5,000,000 personal liability and AD&D insurance coverage; • Optional insurances available for purchase, including enhanced AD&D coverage to include fracture and dental benefits, Tack Coverage, Members Named Perils coverage for your horses, Weekly Accident Indemnity, Out of Province/Country Travel; • Refer a brand new member and receive $5.00 off your 2016 membership (max 3 referrals per year). Simply have the new member mention your name and AEF Number when joining; • Members Priority Program – great discounts with many AEF Business Members; • Alberta Bits member magazine four times per year – now available by email; • Opportunity to apply for educational scholarships and funding assistance; • Access to clinics and educational workshops; • A wide range of programs for recreational and competitive riders and drivers; • Live Outside the Box (youth program for active living); • Ride & Drive Program (great rewards); • AEF Trail Supporter - supports the efforts of the Alberta trail builders by making funds available to assist with the development, maintenance and improvement of horse friendly trails, campsites and staging areas throughout the province; • Access to resource information on everything from where to take lessons to where to go trail riding; • AEF educational brochures and resource materials; • Online store – great items from Rider Level Manuals, Trail Manuals/Guides, Equestrian Books, educational DVD’s, Clothing, Muck BootsTM, EquineLUXTM saddle pads, Signs and much more; • Online classified advertising and member forums!

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NOTICE is hereby given that a Special General Meeting of the Members of THE ALBERTA EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION SOCIETY is called for and will be held on the 8th day of November, 2014, at Airdrie Agriculture Centre, 97 East Lake Ramp NE, Airdrie, Alberta, Theatre Room at 10:30 a.m., to vote on a full revision of the Bylaws. Revisions can be found inserted in this fall issue polybag of Alberta Bits or at the AEF website under Business and Bylaws.

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The Alberta Equestrian Federation has been extremely fortunate to have Bill desBarres give selflessly of his time as a volunteer on the AEF board and within the horse industry for the past 35+ years. Although his resignation was not easily accepted, the AEF Board would like to thank desBarres and recognize his valuable contribution to the horse industry. Bill desBarres’ love of horses started at a very early age when he and his father logged on the family farm with teams of draft horses. By 1953 he was already demonstrating his lifelong commitment and dedication to the horse community by becoming a board member on a local exhibition association in Nova Scotia. And desBarres has never looked back. His first major accomplishment was achieved during the midto-late 1970’s as a major player in bringing about the merging of the Canada Horse Council and the Canadian Horse Show Association. The new organization was called the Canadian Equestrian Federation (CEF), an organization for horse people across Canada. But once again, a need was found to re-adjust the CEF, and in the mid-to-late 1990’s Equine Canada was formed. This newly formatted organization was meant to be truly Canadian, and fit the grassroots members. A goal that desBarres strived to achieve on the many committees he participated in over the years. These two national organizations also had provincial representation, which is where the AEF originated. The growth of the AEF, the work desBarres has done, especially for the grassroots members, has truly helped to make the AEF a voice for equine enthusiasts. His commitment to education and the Breeds and Industry sector in Alberta has – and continues to be – second-to-none. Through the years desBarres participated actively in various disciplines and with a variety of breeds. His main breed of choice has been the Appaloosa where he has virtually committed his time to every office and every committee of the Appaloosa Club of Canada. Since joining the board of the AEF, there has been a great amount of progress in the portfolio of Breeds and Industry. This growth is directly related to desBarres’ dedication and work in the equine industry, especially in the fields of biosecurity and horse welfare. He is passionate about the horse, and it is evident in all the work he accomplished. We don’t tell our volunteers near enough how much they are appreciated and in particular, thank them for their time commitment of countless hours dedicated to the horse industry in Alberta. As a volunteer-driven organization our success is a direct result of the time, energy and commitment of volunteers like Bill desBarres. A very special thank you to Bill desBarres for his commitment and service to the AEF and the horse industry in Alberta over the years. AB


CALENDAR OF EVENTS For further details and more event listings visit the AEF online events calendar to include your event on our calendar please contact

O C TO B E R 2 3 - N OV E M B E R 1 , 2 0 1 4 Royal West produced by Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Calgary AB •


WHEN DEC 28-29, 2014 WHERE Calgary Casino


1420 Meridian Road NE, Calgary Any volunteers over the age of 18 with no criminal record. AEF membership and past experience is NOT mandatory; training is provided! Complete an AEF Casino volunteer application available at the AEF website or by e-mailing


N OV E M B E R 1 - 2 , 2 0 1 4

General Performance Judges Clinic

WE NEED: 1. Chip Runners (evening shift 6:30 pm – close) 2. Countroom staff (evening shift 10 pm – close) 3. Back Up volunteers (both days, all positions & shifts; day 9 am–7 pm and nights)

(Equine Canada & AEF Approved) Olds College, Olds, AB • 403-253-4411

Casinos are a vital way for the AEF to raise funds that help operate and deliver strong and viable member programs and services to the Alberta equine community. Please consider volunteering!


N OV E M B E R 3 - 5 , 2 0 1 4 Heritage Ranch Rodeo

Hall D Edmonton Expo Centre Edmonton, AB •

N OV E M B E R 5 - 9 , 2 0 1 4 Canadian Finals Rodeo

Northlands, Edmonton, AB • 1-888-800-7275

N OV E M B E R 1 5 - 1 6 , 2 0 1 4

EC / NCCP Equestrian Theory Course Calgary, AB • 403-253-4411 ext 3

JA N UA RY 9 - 1 1 , 2 0 1 5

Annual Horse Breeders & Owners Conference Red Deer, AB


The #1 Equine-Assisted Learning Program in North America

Contact @ 403.560.1153 or A L B E RT A B I T S | F A L L 2 0 1 4


AEF SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS The AEF Board of Directors and the Scholarship Committee are pleased to announce the 2014 scholarship recipients. Congratulations to these two bright young students!

Andrea Himmelreich & Charlotte Hemstock We look forward to their success and continued involvement with horses.

Thanks to the generous financial contribution from Capri Insurance, this year’s scholarship amounts were increased to $1,500 each. The AEF encourages its members to apply to an accredited college or university in an equine or equine-related course of study.The AEF supports education and encourages men and women of all ages to further their knowledge about the equine world. Be sure to watch for next year’s applications early in the 2015 year.

ANDREA HIMMELREICH (above left) is a 19-year-old from Edmonton. She has always loved horses, and started western riding lessons when she was 12. She has been actively involved in a 4-H club for the past three years, enjoying western and english riding. She enjoys showing at 4-H and local shows, competing in western and English classes, along with jumping and gymkhana events. Himmelreich

CLINIC WHAT WHEN Nov 1-2, 2014

Equine Canada General Performance Officials Clinic



Olds College Olds, AB

Clinician Lorraine Gilchrist, Equine Canada GP Judge (SN status)

$232 (includes GST, materials,

breakfast and lunch both days) Sign up now! Closing date October 3, 2014)

For more information please visit our website or contact Sophie Beaufils at 10

volunteers many hours, assisting with kids’ summer riding camps, and helping with riding lessons. She has never owned her own horse, but is fortunate to be working with an Arabian gelding for a number of years. Currently she has completed her second year at the University of Alberta, BSc Animal Health, majoring in Companion and Performance Animals. Upon completion she would like to continue studying equines, and specifically has an interest in behaviour and welfare. CHARLOTTE HEMSTOCK (above right) is 21, from Calgary and in the Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Calgary. Upon completion of her degree (2017) she hopes to pursue a career in equine medicine where she can continue to pursue her passion for horses. Growing up, Charlotte was involved in the hunter/jumper competition circuit in Alberta. She progressed in competitive show jumping with her horses, competing at venues such as Spruce Meadows. Hemstock went to Acadia University for three years where she was enrolled in a BSc Biology before being accepted to UCVM in 2013. While at Acadia she found time to involve horses in her life, becoming an active and integral member of the Acadia Equestrian Team. She has had the fortune to work at Equine Services Ltd. (Burwash) where she gained valuable mentorship and experience in equine medicine leading to her decision to pursue a career as a veterinarian. “I found out about scholarship through school,” said Hemstock.“I have ridden on the show jumping circuit since I was young and I have always had an AEF membership so I printed out the application and filled it out as quickly as I could! The scholarship will definitely be used for tuition or as I am also participating in an externship program this year, to gain more hands-on experience – I may end up using it there. In my externship I’ll have to fund my own way to work in a two-week program that is completely volunteer. However, it gives me the opportunity to shadow a veterinarian and I figure I’ll likely end up in British Columbia or Colorado, so the scholarship will come in handy!” AB

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Regretfully, the AEF will not be able to process memberships or other purchases by phone. All transactions must be completed online or by providing a form with a written signature when using credit cards. This step is undertaken for the security protection of our members and we appreciate your understanding.

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Keeping up with Tradition One of Calgary’s oldest clubs continues to provide a challenging and authentic hunting experience. BY KELSEY SIMPSON

The Calgary Hunt Club (CHC) was created in 1908 after the turn of the century when English immigrants ventured west to farm and ranch. Many of those immigrants brought the tradition of the fox hunt with them. Today over 100 years later, the CHC continues that same tradition in the Calgary area providing a safe space for enthusiasts to try their their hand at cross country riding. Although the days of chasing down the red fox are long gone, the club still enjoys the authentic experience and formality of the British fox hunt. Beginning September 1, the CHC meets every Sunday of the fall until mid October, to partake in the tradition. Riders don full formal hunt attire. Each hunt is held in different places around the Calgary area. Meets occur in Stavely, Millarville, and

now Black Diamond, and each course is maintained for the best possible experience. Dace Cochlan is the executive of the CHC and says the main idea for the association is “fun”. He says field hunting is a challenging and exhilarating sport that is social and fun for all, which is what the club is trying to promote. As safety plays a large role in the aspect of cross country riding, there are two paramedics and doctors at every ride. Cochlan says the AEF has been an asset as far as assisting with reasonable rates for insurance which helps to make the meets possible. Anyone with an AEF membership can join the Calgary Hunt Club by visiting their website and anyone willing to follow the tradition and the rules in place is welcome to attend. AB

CLOCKWISE: The CHC has been in existence since 1908, making it one of Calgary’s oldest clubs. | Novelty hunts like the Halloween Hunt add fun to the activities. | The CHC proudly continues the tradition of the British fox hunt with all the excitement and fun – without the fox. Photos by Greg Samborski / Calgary Hunt Club. 12

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Riding to the Extreme This Alberta club promotes unique trust between horse and rider. BY KELSEY SIMPSON

What started as a small group of seven horse enthusiasts who wanted to do something more with their horses, has now grown into the Extreme Cowboy Alberta Association (ECA). After hosting an open evening to show the public what they were about, nearly 40 people showed up. The interest grew and the club began. As an affiliate club of Craig Cameron’s Extreme Cowboy Association (headquartered in Texas), the ECA allows members to compete at the world finals in Texas every year. Since starting last September, the ECA has grown to over 170 members. The club promotes the development of trust between horse and rider and of course, having fun. Events hosted by the ECA include obstacle challenges that puts the skills of the competitors and their equine partners to the test. Horsemanship is judged and is taken into account, as well as time. Good horsemanship

is rewarded but time is recorded to add excitement and enhance tension. Divisions range from the Young Guns who are between the ages of 7-11, all the way to the Ride Smart, and 55 & Over – easily promoting the sport as a family event for all ages. The success of the club comes from the support of all the riders and the friendly environment. Practices and clinics are held to help each rider out before the next race. The ECA also proudly promotes the sport, pointing out that an expensive horse is not required and any level of rider and any horse can compete. An AEF membership is required to join and the club recognizes the insurance coverage offered by the AEF to the members. To join up or for more information about the AEF club visit their website at AB

The Extreme Cowboy Alberta Association promotes a sport for all ages and competition for the entire family, offering practices and clinics to ensure all participants have a chance to prepare for upcoming races. All photos provided by Extreme Cowboy Alberta.

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CLOCKWISE: Welsh Section B mare Alvesta Mona Lisa won the Futurity Performance Stake class for Pleasure Driving; she also won the Pleasure Driving Championship under both judges for the Wild Rose Show #2. | Paula is a Welsh x QH owned by Lisa MacKay and ridden by Rachel MacKay, first-time exhibitors. In behind are judges Mr. Gwyn Berry and Mrs. Cynthia Doll. | Joanne Reader grabs her son Rylan and completes the pony-less pole bending course. This was a highlight for many of the juniors. | Here is the costume class, which appears to be quite calm, but moments before, our clowns flew around the ring honking their horns and generally, putting on a show for the audience. They were very well received, along with the fabulous Bat Girl and pony. Photos courtesy of the Wild Rose Shows

Wild Rose Summer Shows Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta, was kept busy this summer hosting two AEF Wild Rose shows. BY KELSEY SIMPSON

The stage was set at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta, to host two Wild Rose Shows this summer. Show #1, which occurred on June 21-22 and Show #2 on August 1-3 kept show goers busy with competitors from across western Canada. With the great facilities at Westerner Park, the Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show welcomed approximately 70 ponies and horses to each show. Offering classes for all breeds of registered and unregistered horses and ponies, the Wild Rose Show also offered fun and formal performance classes including gymkhana, hunter/ jumper, trail, both english and western equitation and pleasure, kid’s classes, as well as pleasure and obstacle driving. Although many of the events centred around the Welsh breed with their full halter division, there were also driving and riding classes open to all breeds, the sport pony, and model hunter pony class. The latter class was open to all breeds, plus a variety of halter classes were offered for grades and registered horses and ponies. Futurity youngstock and performance stake judge Jeffrey Kohler from Ontario treated the exhibitors to a driving clinic after the June event’s Friday night futurity classes. Well known in the driving community, Kohler is a consistent winner at Walnut Hill and also breeds and shows Welsh Ponies. With his extremely knowledgable skill set, combined with great humour and his passion for the subject, the exhibitors were in a for a treat and invaluable knowledge. There are already plans in the works to offer another clinic on different subject matter at next year’s events. The shows boasted top notch judges to oversee the events. Edwin 14

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Prosser of Mintfield Stud flew in from Wales, UK, to adjudicate, alongside Iona Pillion of Conwy Stud in Virginia, USA, for the first event. Gwyn Berry of the famous Betws Stud in Wales, UK, and Cynthia Doll, Dollhouse Farm, Maryland, USA, both judged the second event and commented on the consistent quality and breed type of Welsh Ponies attending the show. Berry and Doll offered our exhibitors their congratulations on their breeding programs. Karen Podolski from the Wild Rose Shows says that in her case, she chose an AEF-sanctioned show for the increased credibility and the ability to get the word out about the show to a larger audience. “We were lucky enough to have some really fantastic first-time exhibitors at the show this year and we heard great reviews. Adults reported that the show and its exhibitors were very welcoming and friendly, which we were thrilled to hear, as that is so important to us,” recalled Podolski. “The comments we most enjoyed were from the kids, however: more than one family reported that this was their kids’ favourite show – which we try to foster doing things like inviting junior exhibitors into the ring for horse-less pole-bending and jumping courses, while we set up for other classes. I liked that they gave back to my exhibitors and volunteers through the volunteer award and the Win Your Entry contest. Both exhibitors and volunteers were really happy about that, and I was happy to be able to do something for them through AEF,” mentioned Podolski,“We will likely get AEF sanctioning for 2015 as well.” You can check out the Wild Rose Shows on Facebook: AB


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Holly Swanson (right, in white t-shirt) holds the trophies to present to the Wild Rose Welsh Futurity Overall Champion, Rosegarland Royal Troubadour (*Eyarth Eragon x Alvesta Indira by *Rosedale El-Senor). Troubadour is a Welsh Section B colt foal owned by Muriel Hill of Rosegarland Welsh. Photo by Karen Podolsky


Holly Swanson of Edmonton, Alberta, loves horses, but has spent the last few years horseless. So when Wild Rose Welsh and Open Pony Show secretary, Karen Podolski, asked Swanson if she would volunteer at the 2014 August show, Swanson jumped at the opportunity. “I started taking riding lessons when I was seven,” Swanson said. “At 12 I leased a horse and when I was 13, I finally got one of my own. That “I was thrilled to help at was a red letter day! the pony show – it was a At first I rode my horse great way to spend some western, and even time around horses!” dabbled in gymkhana and barrel racing. Later I moved to an english barn and switched over. Thankfully my horse was versatile enough to manage the change.” When Swanson went on to higher education, her horse had to go. “Post-secondary education takes a lot of time and resources,” Swanson admitted. “But now I’ve graduated from the U of A with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. I was thrilled to help at the pony show – it was a great way to spend some time around horses!” Swanson spent two days working as a ringmaster at the Wild Rose show. “A ringmaster’s job is to assist the judges and keep things running smoothly,” Swanson explained. “I’d carry papers from the judge to the announcer. And if a child had problems making their pony trot, I’d run behind to help it get going.” The Wild Rose Welsh and Open Pony Show is an AEFsanctioned competition, and followed AEF show rules. Classes included halter, english, western, trail, hunter, stake and driving. “There were lots of young kids at the show,” Swanson said. “The show included those children as much as possible. Some helped pass out ribbons, others helped move cones or other equipment. It was a great experience, and I hope I can do it again.” AB

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Volunteers, selected by competition organisers, receive recognition and a $50 gift card. A L B E RT A B I T S | F A L L 2 0 1 4



Ironhill Equestrian Centre Two disciplines in one barn. B Y H E AT H E R G ROV E T

Ironhill Equestrian Centre located near Priddis, Alberta, is a unique stable. “We are committed to two very different disciplines; dressage and jumping,” said barn manager, Leslie Eagleton. “You don’t often see jumping and dressage together in the same barn, but we have two good trainers who make it work.” Ironhill, at its current location, was built in 2008 by Irene Hill, a dressage enthusiast, and her husband, Ron. “The Hills were my neighbors,” Eagleton related. “I was competing in reining and body clipped a horse for an important competition. I went to Ironhill to rent a stall, and I’ve been there ever since.” The stable has five areas of focus: the first is breeding and exporting equine athletes; the second is training good quality, happy horses; third is full service equine care; fourth is providing a top quality equine facility; and fifth is supporting the Alberta equine community by donating time and funding. “We take pride


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in the way we care for our horses,” Eagleton said. “We have 42 horses in a variety of breeds – Warmbloods, Sport Horses, the Spanish breeds, and even a pony - on the property and they’re all monitored carefully. If an outside horse is shivering, we bring it in. We have a person who does night checks. We feed horses four times a day. We really take care of them.” Anyone boarding at Ironhill must be an Alberta Equestrian Federation member. “AEF liability is essential here,” Eagleton said. “And since we’re a competition barn, many of our riders require AEF to enter shows anyhow.” Eagleton has never been involved with a liability claim, but knows how quickly things happen. “I was leading a horse when someone across the road cut down a tree,” Eagleton said. “There was a horrible ’crack’ when the tree came down, and my horse almost jumped onto the hood of a nearby car. You never know when these things are going to happen.” For more information go to AB

ABOVE: Irene Hill was a dressage rider and Ironhill is her dream, created with husband, Ron. They strived to produce a facility that is ideal for the breeding, raising and training of the equine athlete. MIDDLE: Ironhill’s indoor arena measures 80’ by 220’, and features state of the art footing. The barn and arena are heated. Barn manager, Leslie Eagleton, states, “We’re one of the only barns that’s warm enough riders can be comfortable in a tank top, even in the winter!” BELOW: Ironhill Equestrian Centre located near Priddis, AB, was built in 2008 as a competition barn for two disciplines; dressage and jumping.

photos © Jenn Webster

Boarding Horses in Alberta


Alberta has one-third of all of The agreement, like other business Canada’s horses, a current estimated agreements, is a contract. Ed Turco, 250,000-275,000 horses. With an investigator with the Inspection and approximately 600 stables in the Investigation Branch in the Animal province, at least 9,000 horses are Health and Insurance Division boarded at a commercial facility. of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Most commercial facilities are located Development, states that, “A contract PA S T U R E around the city centres, primarily is an agreement whether it is written Keeping a horse in an open pasture is probably the Calgary and Edmonton. With the or verbal. Keep in mind that if it goes easiest and least costly means of boarding a horse. urban population increasing and before a judge, a written agreement is becoming farther and farther removed the best but it is not mandatory.” $150-$250/mo. from agriculture and their family Most commercial stables will have ($1,800 - $3,000/yr.) farms, commercial stables started a standard written contract that opening their barn doors in the outlines at the bare minimum, what PA D D O C K 1960’s and 1970’s. Some of the first is expected of both parties and details Keeping a horse in a paddock at a training center is stables in Alberta were St. George’s the payment for services. certainly more convenient, but is also more costly. (Joe Selinger), Blue Mountain (John Horse owners are not limited to $200-$400/mo. Rudolf), Pine Brook, and Shamboma commercial stables; there are many ($2,400 - $4,800/yr.) (the Flemming’s) in the Calgary area private facilities that will board and Whitemud and Dawnville Farm horses as well. Some horse owners B OX S TA L L in Edmonton. have friends or acquaintances that Most training centres will board customer horses for Today, it is commonplace to see will board horses on their property. a fee, which will be dependent upon the facility. many commercial stables throughout It is from this type of arrangements, $500-$1,000+/mo. the province. It is the horse owner’s Turco suggests, that most disputes ($6,000 - $12,000+/yr.) responsibility to do their due diligence arise. Turco is one of five investigators and do the research; as a consumer in the province working on behalf of purchasing the goods or services of a the Animal Keepers Act and typically business, it is always buyer beware. It receives five files a month. “99 out of is a horse owner’s right to select where they board and the process 100 are related to horses,” he says. In 2013, he had 24 cases and to is fairly straight-forward. The horse owner locates and researches date in 2014, he has handled 18. the property to see if it meets their needs, inquires and makes an Any person who accepts payment for the board, fees, or care of appointment to visit, obtains references from the property owner an animal that is owned by another person is considered an animal and provides references of their own, and enters into an agreement. keeper and is protected by the Animal Keeper’s Act. The Act ensures



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that the animal keeper may collect the debt when the animal owner does not pay for services. It is the animal owner’s responsibility to pay for the cost of upkeep of their animal as well as services of the animal keeper, and the Act serves to protect the animal keeper. There is no act that protects the horse boarder. “When you hand over your horse to an animal keeper, you, as the owner, are handing over a great deal of power,” states Turco. “That animal keeper has your horse as leverage to ensure that payment is made.” As with any business transaction, keeping good records is recommended for both parties. Board payments should be made with a cheque or if made with cash, make sure that a receipt is issued. It is a good practice to take a photograph of the horse when it arrives at the facility. The photograph will prove that the horse was there and it also documents the condition of the horse upon arrival. In today’s technological world, correspondence over email is recommended as it will also serve as written proof should a dispute - Be aware that you are turning your property from your private area to a arise. In the case of an oral contract, it is a good commercial and public area. practice to summarize what was discussed in an - Know that you will not have as much privacy and consider adding roads or email, which will serve as written documentation. pathways that divert human traffic away from your house. “A good professional boarding facility will - Check with your municipality about zoning and number of animal units you are terminate the contact at 14 days in arears of allowed prior to accepting boarders. board and invoke the Animal Keepers Act,” states Turco. In this case, the animal keeper notifies the - Check with your insurance company to make sure that you are covered for any new business that you are conducting on your property. Offering riding lessons owner and the Minister and places a lien on one or is considered a specialty risk and are not covered under general farm insurance more animals or gear (including trailers, vehicles, policies. and tack kept on the animal keeper’s property) - Have a written contract outlining responsibilities of both parties, even (especially!) belonging to the owner to recuperate the cost. if it is a friend. The horse(s) and/or gear then legally belong to the animal keeper and can be sold to offset the - Be firm on operating hours and outline them in the contract. debts if it is not settled. A notice of sale is issued - Plan which types of horses you will accept and do not underestimate the amount of to the owner 14 days prior to the sale and should work, expertise, and resources that managing a stallion entails. identify the place and date of sale. At this point, - Include expenses for general upkeep and wear and tear in the board rate. If the the horse owner can stop the sale of the horse boarded horse does damage to your property, unless otherwise specified in the either by paying the debt, or if they contest the contract, it will be considered normal wear and tear by the courts and you will be debt, by going to the Court of Queen’s Bench, responsible for the expenses. who will then set a court date to hear both parties’ A resource outlining the best practices for stables is available, titled The Standards cases. Alternately, nothing prevents the owner from of Operations for Alberta Stables, it is available through the Alberta Stables attending the sale and purchasing the horse back. Association and the Alberta Equestrian Federation, along with other resources such However, once the owner is served with the notice, as sample contracts, boarding checklists, and the Animal Keepers Act. they cannot retrieve their horse and or/gear. It would be considered theft in the eyes of the law because the animal keeper is legally in possession of the property. “Non-payment is no excuse for the animal keeper not to look after the horse,” states Turco. “The courts and society will not accept the mistreatment of any animal under any circumstance.” The Animal Keepers Acts outlines the business of the care of a boarded horse by the animal keeper. As such, leasing pasture does not fall under the Act because the care of the animal has not transferred. The welfare of the horse is always ultimately the owner’s responsibility and expense. It is the horse owner’s responsibility to ensure their horse receives veterinary care and regular visits from the farrier. It is also the horse owner’s responsibility to check on their horse regularly, regardless if it is being boarded at a full service facility, friend’s property, or on leased land. If the animal keeper needs to call the veterinarian or farrier for a boarded horse, it is the responsibility of the horse’s owner to cover those costs. If a horse owner (or any individual) has serious and valid concerns that an animal keeper is compromising the welfare of their horse (or any animal), they can contact the ALERT LINE at 188-506-2273 who will then contact Alberta SPCA, who will investigate under the Animal Protection Act. A commercial stable is a business that exists so individuals without sufficient land or facilities can enjoy their horses. Stable owners genuinely care about your horse and will put their welfare first. Owning a stable is primarily a labour of love where they work and are on call 24/7/365. When animal keepers and owners have open communication and documentation about their roles, responsibilities, and fees for services, the horse owner can simply enjoy their horse. AB

before boarding horses on your property...

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(L-R) Todd Griffiths and Brooke Boyd | Todd Griffiths and Haigen Pavan | Canadian Squad members (top to bottom): Dallyn Shields, Jeanine van der Sluijs and Shianne Hofer. Photos by Cealy Tetley

Canadian Vaulting Team

Makes Headlines at WEG 2014 Our new team’s debut in Normandy, France, proves the future of Canadian vaulting is exciting. BY MICHAELA LUDWIG

The Canadian Vaulting Team made history at the beginning of September, during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2014 in Normandy, France.These Games marked the first time Canada had a full squad of vaulters compete, as opposed to individual riders, as in previous WEG. The squad was made up of six vaulters, all hailing from Alberta: head coach and team member Todd Griffiths, from Olds; Angelique and Jeanine van der Sluijs, from Olds; Haigen Pavan, from Olds; Shianne Hofer, from Olds; and Dallyn Shields, from Didsbury. For the squad, made up of mostly individual vaulters, this was their first time coming together as a team. They had been working together for just over a year, prior to the Games. Jeanine and Angelique operate Meadow Creek Vaulting Club, out of Olds, and the team has spent their time practicing there. About three weeks prior to the Games beginning, the entire squad met in Scotland, to work with their new horses. “We opted to look for horses we could borrow,” Jeanine explained, adding that it was easier, cheaper and less stress for their own horses if they could find suitable mounts overseas. Becca Hewit, of Great Britain, leased her horse, Bankey Moon, to the squad. This eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding was the squad’s main mount and Becca worked as the squad’s lunger. ILPH Islay, a 19-year-old ex-police gelding, owned by World Horse Welfare, was Jeanine’s horse for the individual competition and for the pairs event she and Angelique competed in; Royal Dalton was the squad’s reserve horse. Jeanine said the three-week training period was intense, and the whole squad trained together. “We were training specifically for the competition, every day, and preparing as well as we could,” she said. “All of the horses were great. Their owners/handlers had done excellent training and the horses knew their jobs.” In addition to the squad training together, they also spent the training period getting to know their new horses. “It was for us to get comfortable with them, for them to get comfortable with us and for us to show them our routine,” Jeanine explained. “We couldn’t have found better horses for the competition.” On September 2, the vaulting kicked off with the compulsory test portion of the squad championship, which encompasses three tests over two rounds – the next two of which are freestyle rounds. Individually, the vaulters were judged in many areas, including five, core technical factors: jump force, balance, flexibility, strength and harmony with the horse. The lunger and the horse were also judged, 20

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with their marks making up about 25 per cent of the total squad score. In their inaugural Games, the Canadian squad earned a score of 6.138, which put them in sixth place initially. At the end of the day, after all 17 nations had competed, Canada held strong in 12th place heading into the freestyle rounds. In addition to sending a vaulting squad, Canada also had two individual vaulters competing in the FEI World Female Individual Vaulting Championship – Alisa Schmidt, from Chilliwack, BC, and Jeanine. The individual vaulters perform the same compulsory movements as the squad. Schmidt’s horse was Laser 19, an 11-yearold Hanoverian gelding, and they finished in 31st place for the individual set with a score of 6.318. Jeanine competed with ILPH Islay and earned a score of 6.973, good for 26th place. On September 3, the Canadian vaulting squad performed in the freestyle portion of the Games, portraying Disney’s Sleeping Beauty – an emotional depiction of good versus evil on horseback, which brought their first-round total to 6.783 for 10th place. This finish qualified the squad to move on as part of the top 12 squads heading into round two of the freestyle. Todd, the squad’s coach, thanked American choreographer Kalyn Geisler for creating Team Canada’s freestyle. “Kalyn built this entire team freestyle. She built our music, she built our costumes – she did everything to help us get the pieces to come together.” Todd portrayed the Prince, Haigen took on the role of the crow, Shianne and Jeanine were the fairies, Dallyn played Aurora and Angelique transformed into Maleficent. During the freestyle, up to three vaulters were performing on the horse at once. The combination of daring moves and lifts was a definite crowd pleaser. Later that afternoon, Canada’s two individual vaulters performed their freestyle routines, as well. Jeanine transformed into Esmerelda, from the musical Notre-Dame de Paris. She earned a total round one score of 7.301 to finish the FEI World Female Individual Vaulting Championship in 23rd place, out of 32, just outside the top 15 riders who were invited forward to round two. “It felt really good in there,” said Jeanine, who was also the top-placed Canadian individual at the 2010 Games in Kentucky, USA. “The energy was really good. I hit all the moves that I’ve been working towards, so I was very pleased.” Alisa came into the freestyle in 31st place. Despite an unfortunate slip off the horse midway through her performance, Alisa executed many beautiful, technical moves flawlessly and managed to land in 32nd place with a score of 6.228.


J U M P I N G The Canadian Show Jumping Team finished eighth

at the WEG Team Final held September 4 in Caen, France. Yann Candele, 43, of Caledon, ON, Tiffany Foster, 30, of Vancouver, BC, defending Individual Bronze Medalist Eric Lamaze, 45, of Schomberg, ON, and Ian Millar, 67, of Perth, ON, comprised Canada’s team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Canada was ranked sixth coming into the Team Final, which saw the top 10 nations from an original starting field of 35 countries battling it out for world supremacy. Following three consecutive days of competition, Canada finished with a total of 31 points for eighth place. The Netherlands claimed the gold medal with a total score of 12.83, France took the silver with 14.08, and the United States earned the bronze medal with 16.75.

E V E N T I N G The Canadian Eventing Team hung on to their

September 4 saw the Canadian vaulting pairs take centre stage in the Pas-de-Deux championship, and the crowd loved them. Canada qualified two Pas-de-Deux teams for the Games: Todd, as well as Brooke Boyd, also from Olds, and they competed on Bankey Moon; Jeanine and Angelique also competed as a team, riding ILPH Islay. Todd and Brooke had toes tapping in the crowd with their routine set to swing music, choreographed by Kalyn. The team earned an overall score of 7.715, ending the night in eighth place. Their score now holds the record for being the highest score achieved by Canadian vaulters at the FEI World Equestrian Games; and this record was even more impressive considering the Games was the first time Todd and Brooke ever performed this particular routine, having decided they didn’t want to go ahead with their previously planned set. Vaulting veterans and sisters, Jeanine and Angelique, were next up for Canada. The duo put on a moving performance, set to piano music, to finish 10th overall with a score of 6.949. The top 12 teams moved on. “We are very pleased with our results,” said Jeanine, after the Games. “We wanted to compete together at the Games in 2014, so for us to qualify and compete means we met our goals.” Jeanine and Angelique’s parents were also able to make it to Normandy, to watch their daughters compete together for the first time. The final day of vaulting kicked off with round two of the Pas-deDeux Vaulting Championships, with Canada’s two teams returning. Todd and Brooke scored 7.676, bringing their two-round total to 7.674 for eighth place overall. Jeanine and Angelique ended with a two-round total of 6.904, for a 10th place finish. Later in the day, Canada’s six-rider vaulting team returned for a second performance of their freestyle. Their emotional, good versus evil portrayal of Sleeping Beauty earned a score of 7.728, keeping their 10th place finish on the world stage with a total, two-round score of 7.256. After the Games wrapped up, Jeanine said she was very proud of the team’s performances, and excited for the future of Canada’s vaulters in front of the world. “I think we exceeded a lot of expectations people might have had for us as a brand new team. I think the most exciting part of making it into the finals was showing that when the Games are hosted on our home ground in four years, we are going to be ready for it.” The next FEI Equestrian World Games will be held in Bromont, QC, in 2018. Taking the gold medal in the squad competition was Germany, silver went to Switzerland and France earned the bronze. Full results can be found at AB

seventh place finish at the conclusion of the final show jumping phase on August 31 at WEG. Jessica Phoenix of Cannington, ON was Canada’s highest placed individual in Eventing. Paired with Pavarotti (Pavarotti VD Helle x Foxiland), Don J. Good’s 12-year-old Westphalian gelding. Phoenix finished with a total of 99.8 for 29th position. Canadian Olympian, Selena O’Hanlon of Kingston, ON also had a solid finish aboard Foxwood High, John and Judy Rumble’s 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding. O’Hanlon came into show jumping in 43rd position, but moved up two spots to end in 41st position. Peter Barry of Dunham, QC, was elated with his finish at the second major games of his career. The first rider into the stadium for Canada, he exited to roaring applause after putting in a clear round aboard Kilrodan Abbott (Clover Brigade x Leabeg), a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse he co-owns with Dylan and Susan Barry. His stellar performance allowed Barry to finish in 43rd place individually. Unfortunately, the fourth Canadian Eventing Team member, Hawley Bennett of Langley, BC, did not move forward to show jumping. Although Bennett did cross the finish line of the cross country course, she did have refusals, and after review, was later eliminated with Gin & Juice, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred mare that Linda Paine co-owns with Bennett-Awad.

R E I N I N G Canadian reiner, Cody Sapergia of Lermoos,

AUT and Nu Chexomatic (Nu Chex To Cash X Tejons Peppy Doc) earned their highest score at WEG with 223.5, which kept them in the medals for the majority of the finals. The Saskatchewan native had the crowd cheering and whistling as he and Nu Chexomatic, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion owned by Tina Künstner-Mantl and Jac Point Quarters, galloped into the arena, coming to a flying stop.With a lead penalty, Sapergia and Nu Chexomatic finished tied for sixth (in the Top Ten). The Canadian Reining Team placing ninth overall with a combined score of 642 points in the Team competition on August 26. The four-rider team was made up of Matthew Hudson of Marieville, QC aboard Its All About Smart (Smart Spook X Nu Cash), Josiane Gauthier of Lucama, NC, USA, and Lisa Coulter of Princeton, BC.

PA R A - D R E S S AG E Canada’s Lauren Barwick had two

podium finishes at WEG 2014. One for her Freestyle Test during the last day of para-dressage competition on August 29 and the other, an individual bronze for her Individual Championship Test. Barwick of Aldergrove, BC, earned the silver medal riding Equine Canada’s 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, Off to Paris, in the Grade II Freestyle Test. Barwick followed through on her prediction that she and her talented mare had a great Freestyle and were going to be a medal threat at the games. The pair received a fantastic score 76.250% for the sliver. “It’s very gratifying to be a double medallist here for Canada, and it just feels like we are on track for Brazil. We have two more years to prepare, and I feel that my mare is really settling in to her job,” said Barwick. In addition to the medals and great results in the ring, the Canadian Team finished in eighth place out of 19 nations in the strongest field ever contested at a para-equestrian competition.

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Wild Rose Trail Ride 2014 WILD ROSE TRAIL RIDE RECAP

The third annual AEF Wild Rose Trail Ride fundraiser took place on September 14, 2014 at the Red Lodge Guest Ranch in Bowden. Despite the recent stretch of poor weather southern Alberta was dealt, we were relieved to have fantastic weather on Sunday! Ride participants were treated to an incredible, mouthwatering buffet brunch followed by a two or three-hour ride through beautiful countryside. We want to thank all of the participants for coming out and enjoying the beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery. We also want to thank our volunteers and staff for making the day such a success! A very special thank-you to our hosts, Wendy and Dale Bradshaw, their family and staff


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at the beautiful Red Lodge Guest Ranch. Last but certainly not least, thank you to the main sponsor of the ride this year, Capri Insurance! The AEF partnered with Capri Insurance to offer this year’s fundraising initiative for three therapeutic riding groups. The beneficiaries of the 2014 Wild Rose Trail Ride were: Foothills Therapeutic Riding Association, Rundle Riders Therapeutic Riding Association, and Uplift Therapeutic Riding Association. Together with our sponsor, Capri Insurance, and ride participants we are thrilled to announce that we were able to raise $950 for each of the three beneficiary associations, that work tirelessly to assist mentally, physically and/or emotionally disabled people enjoy the world of horses.

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Horses & Kids When a rider’s mental state creates a happy-place for the horse, it is in those moments that we learn, accomplish and succeed. BY SCOTT PHILIPS

Several years ago my neighbour, Chantele, called me. Her good friend, Denise, had recently lost her baby in the final days of her pregnancy. She was understandably distraught and Chantele thought that a visit to my horses would be a therapeutic distraction. Little did she know, it would be an amazing experience for all of us. The three of us were soon standing at the rail fence watching my horses. Chip, twomonths-old at the time and always intrigued by visitors, bounded over to us. When he neared Denise though, his playful attitude evaporated. He slowly walked closer to her, and sniffed her. Lowering his head, he nuzzled her. The unspoken thought was in all of our minds: “He knows you’re a mom.” She put her hand out and touched his neck. He closed his eyes. The communication between the two of them was instinctive. Electric. Emotional. There were no dry eyes. Parallels. The human world has many parallels in the animal world. This is understandable, considering we are just another animal species. Parallels manifest themselves in 24

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many areas, but one obvious and understood by all is the relationship with infants. Take, for example, a colt in a herd. He can kick, bite, jump on and basically be a pain to every other horse around him. He is exploring his world and is permitted to do so. He is engaging behaviour patterns that, although entirely and instinctively “horse,” allow him to learn through a feedback process: “What happens if I do this?” Sounds like a human child, doesn’t it? The herd understands on an instinctive level that the actions of a colt are nonaggressive. If he becomes too annoying, they let him know. But they don’t respond as they would to a rival. They understand he is not a competitor in the ultimate herd order; at least not yet. Similarly, both colts and adult horses know the difference between human children and adults. It is a beautiful part of nature’s poetry. And one we can capitalize on. In the Company of Children. My Paint horse, Spud, finds his way into many of my articles. Spud is the most mentally active

animal I’ve ever experienced. When I climb on his back, he is aware that it will be an exploration in learning for both of us. He is in a different mental state because he knows he will be put in a position to think through a decision. When he isn’t sure if his decision will be the right one, he worries. Through our training he’s learning to trust his decisions, and learn that even if he acts counter to my expectations, I will coach him on the right path and he’ll feel great at the end of our ride. With Spud I must be exceptionally cognizant that all of my actions are positive reinforcement. Conversely, when a child is on his back, he is immediately in a different mental place. He’s happy and calm, with his head down and his eyes half closed. They can pull on his mane or play with his ears. He’s totally fine with that. Why? It’s because Spud knows that he’s in the company of an infant. And just like a colt, he’s attuned to their innocence. Like a colt, a human child has no ultimate motive or intention - no goals. They are simply full of wonder, play and awe. Sometimes infatuation.

As easily as a horse can sense nervousness in an adult, they can sense innocence in a child. Capitalize on the Connection. Many of us have stories of children and horses. Sometimes those stories start with, “I remember when I was a kid...” and go on to relate some tale of a bareback bridle-less canter through the back pasture. We climbed on that horse because it felt right. We didn’t have an agenda for what to accomplish in the hour we allotted to be on his back; all we cared about was having fun with the horse. Do you think the horse knew that? Absolutely. As adults, where do we lose that innocence and intrinsic trust? Can we get it back? Can we make use of it? I believe we can. Our adult lives seem forged in goals, motives and to-do lists. We need to have our horse ready for that competition on a specific date, no matter what. A pattern of schedule, competition, pressure and personal agenda. In this rush, we forget about the horse’s mind. As adult humans, however, we have the ability to climb above instinctive emotions caused by pressure or fear. We have the ability to fall back on that child-like innocence. We can choose what emotions we feel. And we can use it to our advantage because a horse will sense it. Spud has been my greatest teacher. If I focus on the mechanics of a physical maneuver I expect him to make, he becomes tense. However if I’m relaxed, smiling on the inside and enjoying the moment; if I’m not focussing solely on his response to my aids, but on our mutual goal as a single unit in the bigger picture, he picks up on that right away. To me, it feels like taking off the padlock and throwing away the chains. My understanding is that it feels the same way to him. My mental state creates a happy-place for him. In those moments we learn, accomplish and succeed. Try this at Home. Saddle up your horse, climb on him in your pasture or paddock, and do nothing but enjoy the moment. Don’t ask anything of him. Enjoy him. Relax. Use all of your senses to feel him. If he moves off, let him. Just relax and feel what his body is doing. Get in tune with it. Smile a big smile. Think back to when you were a child, and give your horse a treat for a minute: be that kid. Fill your mind with innocence and fun; with awe and love and respect for the animal you are sitting on. This is a very powerful state of mind. Capture it like a picture on your smartphone. File it so that you can use it again when you need to: Before a show when you’re nervous. When your horse is stressed because he is having trouble comprehending what you’re asking. When you’re frustrated. It’s a great card to have in your pocket. Once you’ve achieved that mental state with your horse, then introduce the exercise by asking your horse to follow your body, not by driving him with your hands and feet. Your horse might be wondering who this new awesome person is on his back. And you might be surprised at the results. AB

OPPOSITE PAGE: Spud is my first pick when taking a kid for a first ride. He’s the last horse I’d put an adult on. My cousin, Deb, recently brought her daughters out to visit. I introduced them to all of my horses, then asked who they wanted to ride. Ashley picked Spud. I wasn’t surprised. BELOW: When you fill your mind with innocence and fun; awe, love and respect for the animal you are working with comes easily. Like it does for a child.

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Whether you are a recreational rider just starting out or competing in a sport, these programs are available to help build your skills and confidence a step at a time, from basic to advanced levels. Become a well-rounded horse person, able to care for your horse and ride in a safe and correct manner. A structured plan allows you to track your progress and supports each step. The programs are flexible and designed to assist the rider to progress at their own pace. Well-written manuals and equine stable management books are available through the AEF office. AT EACH LEVEL, YOU RECEIVE AN EQUINE CANADA CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION AND A BADGE

Check out the list of certified coaches on the AEF website and contact an Equine Canada certified Western or English coach and enroll in the ‘Learn to Ride’ program of your choice.


Erin Lundteigen or phone 403-253-4411, ext 3




If you came face to face with the euthanization of your horse, how would you handle the decision? Here are a few pieces of advice from an insurer’s perspective. QUESTION: If I feel it is necessary to humanely euthanize my horse, what steps do I need to take to ensure my policy remains in effect and covers me, even if my horse is dead? ANSWER: If the insurance company has been contacted first and the euthanasia decision has been made with the guidance of a professional veterinarian, then you are most likely covered. All insurers approach this question the same way. All insurers have 24-hour services and typically, 1-800 phone numbers. We expect to hear from a client before a horse is euthanized. Of course, in dire circumstances and in rare situations, on occasion a horse owner may not be able to reach out and speak with their insurance company. That’s why we also look for a professional veterinarian to be involved. We’re looking for that vet to be able to substantiate the need for the horse to be humanely destroyed, according to criteria that has long ago been established by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). The criteria is as follows: • A horse should not have to endure continuous or unmanageable pain from a condition that is chronic and incurable. • A horse should not have to endure a medical or surgical condition that has a hopeless chance of survival. • A horse should not have to remain alive if it has an unmanageable medical condition that renders it a hazard to itself or its handlers. • A horse should not have to receive continuous analgesic medication for the relief of pain for the rest of its life. • A horse should not have to endure a lifetime of continuous individual box stall confinement for prevention or relief of unmanageable pain or suffering. The above guidelines are direct from the AAEP to assist in making humane decisions regarding euthanasia of horses. Most insurers use those criteria as a very real, point of reference to understand the situation. They help an insurance company answer two questions: 1) Is the horse suffering so badly the only reasonable course of action is to euthanize?; and 2) If not, is the animal in such a physically injured state that if more veterinary care were to be pursued, would it actually survive?

The Alberta

Ride and Drive P R O G R A M

is designed to promote an active lifestyle, and give recreational riders, drivers and vaulters an extra incentive to spend more hours in the saddle or behind the breeching - whether in the arena or on the trails for practice, exercise, therapy or just plain fun.

If a horse is euthanized without the insurer first being contacted, at the very least we will ask for a postmortem autopsy to be completed. If however, the horse has already been buried, cremated, etc. – in those cases it’s likely the insurance company won’t pay. Mike King will return in the next issue of Alberta Bits with more on this subject including economic destruction of horses and an insurer’s position. For more information you are encouraged to contact Capri Insurance directly (see our ad on page 2.) AB



For more information please visit our website 26

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Mike King is an equine insurance specialist with Capri Insurance Services Ltd. and is responsible for the insurance programs that benefit the Alberta Equestrian Federation and its members. Do you have a question on insurance? “Ask the Insurance Guy”...and we will provide an answer in the next issue

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SEPT 15, 2014

I F Y O U A R E I N T E R E ST E D I N F I N D I N G O U T M O R E A B O U T O N E O F T H E S E C L U B S O R J O I N I N G O N E , T H E C O N TA CT S A R E L I ST E D B E L O W : Yvonne Yaremcio Alberta 4-H Provincial Equine Advisory Committee Patty Carley Alberta Carriage Driving Association Caroline Boddy Alberta Donkey and Mule Club Lorraine Hill Alberta Dressage Association Lynn Danyluk Alberta Equestrian Awareness Society Carolyn Latimer Alberta Equestrian Vaulting Association Annie Muilwijk Alberta Friesian Horse Association Kristine Haut Alberta Horse Trials Association Delrose Burns Alberta Morgan Horse Club Donna Osipow Alberta Mounted Shooters Debi Jensen Alberta Pony Clubs (North, Central & South Regions) Don Scott Alberta Trail Riding Association Jack Cumberland Alix Agricultural Society Raylene McWade American Saddlebred Horse Association of Alberta Ruth Quinn Banff Light Horse Association Jessica Chitwood Bashaw Light Horse Club Kathy Bartley Bear Valley Rescue Erika Backmeyer Bezanson Agricultural Society Glynis Barnes Black Diamond English Riding and Driving Club Stephen Cobb Black Diamond Polo Club Linda Vongrad Blackfoot Trail Riders Richard Fritsch Border Cowboys Mounted Shooters Association Lisa Young Bow Valley Riding Association Diane Walker Calgary Arabian Horse Association Monique Plumb Calgary Regional Appaloosa Club Jerry Favero Calgary Regional Trail Riders Coreen Calvert Calgary Western Riders PJ Grant Canadian Horse Breeders Association Rocky Mountain District Dianne Little Canadian Registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse Linda Ackerman Canadian Sport Horse Association - AB Chapter Debi Jensen Central Alberta Adult Riding Cooperative Darlene Schmidt Central Alberta Special Equestrians Association Cindy Keown Central Peace Horse Association Christy Landwehr Certified Horsemanship Association Lorraine Hill Chinook Country/Alberta Dressage Association Sandy Richardson Cleardale Riders Club Connie Stevens Clearwater Horse Club Heather Craig Cochrane Horse Trials Committee Doug Gilbert Cooking Lake Saddle Club Barb Gilmour Cottonwood Corrals Association (Jasper) Marcia Reid Davisburg Pony Club Cathy Summerscales Delacour Agricultural Society & Community Club Rhonda Davison Didsbury Agricultural Society Deborah Meraw Edmonton Area /Alberta Dressage Association Holly Erb Electric Strides Drill Team Darren Desiatnyk Endurance Riders of Alberta Michelle Grasley Extreme Cowboy Alberta Association Pat Kielstra Family Fun Rodeo Series Dianne King Foothills Therapeutic Riding Association Tom Reinhart Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association Angela Atkinson Fun Country Riding Club of Strathmore Hayley McKeage Gladys Ridge Riding Club Jennifer Sadee Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association Keith Oberle Guns of the Golden West Association Krista Lund H.E.D.J.E. Society Anita Bleackley Hastings Lake Pleasure Horse Association Anna Nygren Hay Lakes Riders Gaye McLennan High Country Carriage Driving Club Jacqueline Rawn High Country Pony Club Robyn Moore Horse Industry Association of Alberta Teasie O'Donnell Irricana Riding & Roping Club Association Timmi Shorr Journeys Therapeutic Riding Society Kristi Beunder Jump Alberta Society Jean Hill Lacombe Light Horse Association Marj Tomomitsu Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association Linda Rault Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association Jeanine Van Der Sluijs Meadow Creek Vaulting Club Kayla Hicks Millarville Polocrosse Club Wesley Yarbrough Miniatures in Motion Horse Club Shelene Williams Mount View Special Riding Association Heather Rioux Northern Lights Driving Club Deana Harbidge Northern Trails Riding Club Lorrie Cooper Opening Gaits Therapeutic Riding Society of Calgary Fran Clark Over the Hill Trail Riders Jennifer Douglas Peace Area Riding For The Disabled Society Brenda Ricard Peace Draft Horse Club Heather Hoggan Peace Region Alberta Dressage Association Kathy Sunberg Performance Standardbreds Association Lesley Plant Polocrosse Calgary Ronda Vold Ponoka Riding & Roping Association Michelle Fink Prairie Dusters Drill Team Society Diane Gallant Quarter Horse Association of Alberta Roxanne Proudfoot Rainbow Equitation Society Cathy Robinson-Ladiges Ranahan Polocrosse Club Dan Simoneau Ridgeview Riding Club

403-742-8353 403-346-2146 403-328-3617 780-656-0406 403-224-2618 403-885-0345 403-681-0815 403-885-4992 780-699-9185 403-885-5222 780-895-7660 403-747-2240 403-887-2566 403-762-2762 780-372-2080 403-637-2708 780-518-3329 403-862-1591 403-230-6886 780-449-5600 780-871-3331 403-678-4896 403-938-7196 403-251-5631 403-258-0419 403-804-3277 780-967-2807 403-271-7391 403-880-5897 403-885-5222 403-348-7050 780-500-3599 859-259-3399 403-328-3617 780-685-3305 780-972-8122 403-836-5867 780-885-2254 780-852-8520 315-854-5474 403-226-6064 403-335-4494 780-464-4288 403-872-7463 403-512-2835 403-866-3413 403-652-7419 403-358-8135 403-533-2338 403-652-7391 587-896-2697 403-862-1886 780-835-1280 780-903-3665 780-662-0139 403-938-5069 403-931-3361 403-420-5949 403-935-4817 403-646-2800 403-201-5305 403-782-6472 403-328-2165 780-476-1233 403-556-6266 403-827-7306 403-845-6650 403-862-8359 780-967-1030 587-775-9063 403-254-4184 403-574-2197 780-538-3211 780-539-7031 780-552-4050 403-242-8666 403-249-1831 403-783-2820 780-933-7695 403-381-1040 780-975-7116 403-803-7351 780-674-5191


Rocky Mountain Gymkhana Club Rundle Riders Therapeutic Riding Association Saddle Seat Canada Shortgrass Riding Club Society of Tilt & Lance Cavalry South Peace Horse Show Association Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association Springbank Equestrian Society Springbank Pony Club Spruce View Gymkhana Club Steele's Scouts Commemorative Troop Association Stettin Nakamun Sleigh Rally Stone Bridge Carriage Driving Club Strathcona All-Breed Horse Association Tennessee Walking Horse Association Of Western Canada The Calgary Hunt Club Thompson Country Pony Club Trail Riding Alberta Conference Traildusters Horse Club of Smith Tri-Country Riding Club Triple R Riding Club Uplift Therapeutic Riding Association Valley Riders Saddle Club Valleyview & Districts Agricultural Society Welsh Show Association Western Canadian Wagon Train Wildrose Mounted Shooting Society


Lorne Goff Susan Clark Rachelle Reichert Lynn Sturgeon Radar Goddard Sheila Swanberg Leanne White Norma Ansloos Lois Booy Dawn Edmondson George Clarke Henry Powell Judith Orr-Bertelsen Wendy Zelt Brent Bachman Dace Cochlan Wendy Klaassen Ken Vanderwekken Tina Haynes Linda Black Lori Hutchison Melvian Hilliar Sandy Richardson JoAnn Clarke Karen Podolski Gail Sissons Gail Cook

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BUSINESS PRIORITY BUSINESS MEMBERS M E M B E R S Back at the Ranch BMO Bank of Montreal Calgary Stampede Can Praxis Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc. Capri Insurance Services Ltd Chinook Communications Creekside Equestrian Centre Digger's Place East Acres Equestrian Inc Equanimity Edge Equine Massage and Vertebral Realignment Courses Equine Connection Inc. EquineLUX Equi-Products Ltd Foothills Horse Transport Greenbriar Stables Healing Soles Ltd. Heaven's Gait Equine Solutions Herbs for Horses Hidden Valley Bed & Bale Higher Trails Equine Ltd Hi-Hog Farm & Ranch Equipment Ltd HJ Equine Training Horse Trekking Adventures HorseSense HorseManShip Ironhill Equestrian Centre J. W. (Jim) Lawton Professional Corporation Julie's Natural Hoofcare Lane Moore Hoof Care Courses Martin Deerline Midnight's Trail Moonlight Stables Ltd Moose Hill Ranch Equestrian Centre Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures Olds College Continuing Education Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc Outpost at Warden Rock Quinis Design Group Renfrew Insurance Saddle Up Magazine SSG Gloves Strathcona Animal Bedding The Art of Movement The Horse Store The Mane Event Equine Education & Trade Show The Tack Trunk Ltd The VisionsWest Studio UFA Western Horse Review Westwood Warmbloods Whispers Equine Learning Willow Grove Stables Inc.

403-556-1104 416-927-4371 403-261-9159 403-852-0907 780-354-3401 800-670-1877 403-700-7880 403-556-6266 780-358-2388 403-990-9916 888-378-4632 403-560-1153 514-937-1273 403-256-3056 403-938-4525 403-279-1931 403-597-6268 780-953-1570 888-243-7777 867-633-6482 403-510-8051 403-280-8300 403-872-4676 780-835-4629 403-348-5636 403-931-3268 403-933-3348 403-510-3571 403-844-5438 780-452-2790 403-581-3301 403-312-0442 403-242-9209 403-949-3329 403-556-4767 800-651-3172 877-762-2767 604-625-2426 403-299-1297 866-546-9922 905-727-9203 780-464-0485 780-721-9826 403-270-7700 250-578-7518 403-845-4020 403-242-6162 403-570-4123 403-250-1128 780-906-1049 403-507-9619 403-938-6398




“Sometimes a horse would come in sore, or develop issues in its training, and I became interested in trying to figure out why they were having problems.”

Massage and Dressage Horses are more than a business to Tina Watkins. B Y H E AT H E R G ROV E T

Tina Watkins of Calgary, Alberta, has been involved with equine massage for over 18 years. “I started as a horse trainer,” Watkins said. “Sometimes a horse would come in sore, or develop issues in its training, and I became interested in trying to figure out why they were having problems. I took a few courses in equine massage and the whole thing just snowballed.” Being located at Calgary has been very helpful to Watkins’s business, Inhand Equine Therapy. “There must be twenty to twentyfive barns within our surrounding area,” Watkins said. “These barns keep me busy twelve months of the year. Many barns are on a program. Some will have me come in every two weeks; others have me come every four weeks. Many of my clients are jumper or dressage horses, but I also work on western horses and backyard pets.” Watkins continues to ride in dressage herself, competing on two Andalusians. “One is now doing Prix St. Georges,” Watkins said. “The other is a baby that just went to his first show at Training Level.” Watkins admits that Baroque horses are still a minority in dressage, but are slowly becoming more common. “I love the history of the Andalusian,” she said. “And I love the classical way of Spanish riding.” Watkins’ husband and daughter are also involved with horses, so they have a family membership through the Alberta Equestrian Federation. “AEF isn’t involved with my work insurance, but they do provide me with personal liability when I compete,” Watkins explained. “And AEF’s personal liability insurance would cover us if someone or something got hurt by our horses at our farm. I’ve seen horses crash into things, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to me, especially if I didn’t have liability insurance.” AB Tina Watkin’s business, Intouch Equine Therapy, keeps her busy 12 months of the year. Many of her clients are hunter or dressage horses, but she also works on western horses and backyard pets. 30

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That’s why we take our time to look for products that work consistently. Products our customers have come to count on us to carry, like EQUICROWN’s innovative compression bandages – used to promote healthy horse legs, or WHOA DUST’s effective arena dust control treatment, and footing additive. Because everyone knows when it comes down


to it, performance matters.

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Alberta Bits - Fall 2014  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation

Alberta Bits - Fall 2014  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation