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Alberta Bits is the Alberta Equestrian Federation’s official member magazine. It serves the equestrian community of horses and riders of all ages, interests and involvement as Alberta’s premier resource for education, information and support. 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 18,000 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 Dena Squarebriggs 403.760.0512 Tara Gamble 780.945.7516 Lauren Parker 403.813.1055 Barb Easthom 403.801.4111 Trish Mrakawa 403.938.6398 Nicolas Brown 780.454.5001 Lewis Hand 403.722.4690 Alison Douglas 403.762.8570 Jessi Chrapko 403.627.5696 Robert Simpson 306.641.5579 Darcee Gundlock 403.308.7500 Christine Axani 403.816.8979 Sandy Bell 403.700.7880


Sonia Dantu 403.253.4411 ext 5 MEMBERSHIP

Norma Cnudde 403.253.4411 ext 1 MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Ashley Miller 403.253.4411 ext 6

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AEF BITS & PIECES Remembering AEF supporter Don Scott; a thank-you to casino workers; AEF scholarship recipients; welcoming new staff member Sophie Beswick.

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HELPING HANDS How the equine community reached out to support fire victims of Fort McMurray.

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C L U B P RO F I L E Saddle Seat Canada brings home bronze medals in three-gaited and five-gaited divisions.

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W I L D RO S E S H O W C O M P E T I T I O N The south peace summer classic added unique elements to their event this year, resulting in increased membership and huge crowd appeal.

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N A M A S T- N E I G H Brigitte Meyer of Vitality Equine shows us a series of stretches for human and horse alike.

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B R E E D P RO F I L E The allure of the Appaloosa goes far beyond their unique coat patterns.

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O U T S TA N D I N G VO L U N T E E R April Nicholet has logged many hours as a 4H and horse show volunteer. Her tireless support is driven by her sincere desire to support the horse community.

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HORSEKEEPING Obtain a perfect fit with these blanket measuring tips and considerations for fall.

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ASK THE INSURANCE GUY Mike King explains all the insurance benefits and risk management strategies available to AEF members.

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HOW TO Measure your horse’s heart rate with these step-by-step instructions.

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CLOSING THOUGHTS The charming story of “Midget,” Royal Canadian Airforce #2 Wireless School mascot.


Erin Lundteigen 403.253.4411 ext 3 COMPETITIONS

Sophie Beswick 403.253.4411 ext 2 FINANCE, GENERAL INQUIRIES

Rita Bernard 403.253.4411 ext 7

O F F I C E H O U R S : 8 : 3 0 T O 4 : 3 0 , 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




Alberta RCMP, Ron Cartier, Chad Rowbotham Photography, Suzanne Hale, Mike King, Todd Lemieux, Brigitte Meyer, Alexandra Morris, Cathy Nixon, and Rachelle Reichert. ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVES

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WINTER 2016:

November 4th


or All material is copyright 2016. 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 therefrom, 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


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Waiting for the hunt to begin. Photo by Chad Rowbotham Photography


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President’s Message As I write, my phone just alerted me to yet another severe weather warning, I am once again feeling sorry for those who are attempting to take off their 2016 hay crop. While the weather has been great, especially compared to last year, for growing hay it has been a challenge finding enough dry days in a row to cut and bale. I hope by the time this comes out in print, everyone had a great haying year and harvest. As usual, the staff in the AEF office has been busy. August saw us complete two long days at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino volunteering for a very important fundraising event. I would like to personally and whole heartedly thank all of the Board members and members who gave up their weekend to help out. Everyone had a great time and the casino also allowed for many of us to meet and network in a different setting. Once again thank you to all those who showed up to help, we couldn’t have possibly accomplished this without the dedication of volunteers. With each President’s message I write, the more the ideas flow. One theme and direction I will be taking in our magazine, and as I travel around the province to visit with many of you over the next couple of years, will be to begin a discussion about how we can bring a higher degree of professionalism and credibility to the horse industry in Alberta. It is amazing that many of us become involved and create careers for ourselves within the horse industry in Alberta but this opportunity is also often detrimental to the industry and to those who are new to horse ownership. Presently, anybody who wants to be a trainer, a body worker, or a farrier can simply hang out a sign and proclaim to the public that they are now in business. While I do not personally believe that government involvement or legislation is the answer, we all should play a part in creating a better, more trustworthy industry moving forward. How would we work toward accomplishing such a task? I believe it starts with all of us asking questions of the professionals that we work with in the care of our horses. Even if we are presently happy with the job our farrier is doing, or we believe the body worker that works on our equines does amazing things, we need to be asking questions. Some of the questions to ask are: • Where did they take their training? • Was it a weekend course or was it over a longer time frame? • Did they complete an apprenticeship program or an externship? • Do they belong to an association of their peers? • Does their association require continuing education hours to remain a current member? • Do they have liability insurance in the event they hurt your equine in some way?


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Are they covered by Workman’s Compensation as they should be under the new Alberta legislation? • Are they part of an overall team, in other words, do they involve other professionals such as your veterinarian to help with the overall care of your horse? While some of these questions may seem harsh or unnecessary, if you have been using somebody for a lengthy period, or are looking to start using them, these are important questions to ask. In most industries, continuing education is mandatory to keep a licence to practise business. Without continuing education, how up-to-date on new methods and practises is your health professional or trainer? If your body worker does not have liability insurance or WCB, are they actually really involved in the business? Or should they just be working on their own horse until they get serious about a career working with horses? When you sit back and think about this, we all want to find the best people out there to look after and work with our equines. We owe it to them to find the best care and training possible. As we move quickly from one year to the next and, as this is the membership renewal issue, the AEF Board and Staff would like to thank all members for their ongoing support of the AEF and welcome many new members. We hope that everyone will take the time to review all the benefits of your membership. Did you know you can get your membership for FREE year to year? Make sure you take full advantage of our membership referral program. Refer unlimited NEW members for a credit of $5 each and your total credits will be applied to your basic membership fee for the following year. AB



The AEF extends our deepest condolences to the family of Don Scott, who passed away on September 3, 2016. Don was a past AEF board member (2013-2016) and a member for many years. His passion for horses and volunteering was admirable and he will always be remembered for his contribution.


What a whirlwind weekend!

From start to finish, all our volunteers were incredible! Because of your dedication and hard work, the AEF fundraising Casino on August 6 & 7 was a great success. Thank you so much to these volunteers for the commitment of time, travel and energy to this important event. The AEF recognizes the dedication of our volunteers; you help us achieve our goals, vision and mission. AEF couldn’t do it without you!

SPECIAL THANKS TO (alp ha beti ca l by l a st n a m e)

Kim Berti Garth Brown Jessica Brown Mary Jane Brown Nicolas Brown Linda Cowherd Barb Easthom Chantale Entz Elaine Fode Laurie Friesen Darcee Gundlock April Heeg Katrina Janzen Philippa Keegan Darlene McGregor Trish Mrakawa

Les Oakes Teasie O’Donnell Judy Owad Lorna Palmer Lauren Parker Marie Pauls Leslie Posein Carolyn Rogers Cheryl Schmalzl Colleen Spence Dena Squarebriggs Judy Stasiuk Hilary Stewart Janet Storey Mandy Stratford Marijke van der Sluijs A L B E RT A B I T S | F A L L 2 0 1 6




Congratulations to these bright students!



Ashley is an avid horse lover who has dedicated much of her time to volunteer with the animals she loves and the people who share in her appreciation. She has been a rider in the English discipline for the past seven years and has dedicated over 250 hours to Whitemud Equine Centre Learning Association as a volunteer. She has worked hard to move towards a career based on animals and to meet the highest standards in her academics. Within five years’ time, Ashley plans to be working towards her veterinary medicine degree.



Brooklyn has taken jumping lessons since she was seven and has been involved in pony club and 4H for eight years. She will be attending the University of Calgary, Zoology Honours program in the fall. Upon completing her Bachelor of Science, Brooklyn plans to go to veterinary school and specialize in equine medicine. Brooklyn would like to become a veterinarian with a rural focus which will benefit the equestrian community by making equine care more accessible to smaller communities.

Sarah has been granted the opportunity to be able to ride and work with equines for the last nine years, and it has shaped her into the person she is today. She was recently champion in the Milner Downs horse show this summer and has worked hard to be a top competitor. This August, Sarah will be heading to the University of Saskatchewan for Pre-Veterinary. Her plan after completing Veterinary Medicine is to assist Albertans within the industry with horse care and welfare, which she believes to be paramount to every horse individual in this province.



We are excited for her to join us as Competitions Coordinator.

Sophie’s love for horses started at a very young age, with a ride on a pony at the local fair. Since then she hasn’t spent too much time away from the barns. She has well-rounded horse knowledge, having competed across multiple disciplines and grooming at International shows. Networking, customer relations and event management have been crucial elements in her career thus far and will continue to be so going forward. She is excited to combine her passion for horses with her commerce education and help grow the Alberta equine industry.


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Photo courtesy of the Alberta RCMP


Following the crisis that began May 1, 2016 in Fort McMurray, the AEF embraced the role of coordinating relief efforts to do what was possible to assist equine owners. It quickly became apparent there wasn’t one industry group as a whole that was available for equine owners to contact in regard to questions/concerns about their equines. Hence, the AEF chose to take this on in whatever capacity possible. Initially, the AEF contacted various levels of government to determine what was being done to provide information and help for equine owners. As we know, the safety and well-being of humans is first and foremost for all emergency responders. Pets, which most equine owners consider their equine companions, are generally next on the list. Therefore, the only answer was to step up and help out our community. AEF immediately initiated a registration process at our website for those affected. Information required was important for many reasons but mostly to ensure AEF could track owners and equines and to ensure accountability to those in need, and those who reached out to help through donations and volunteering. Social media was utilized constantly to provide fire updates, connect owners to veterinarians, provide basic first-aid advice and encouraged those wanting to assist livestock to stay away from the fire zone. This continued at a rapid pace until the last two horses in the fire zone were connected with their owner on May 13. Two locations were coordinated by AEF closest to where the highest number of horses were reported. Hay, fly spray and other items were available to all who registered with the AEF. The locations were closed July 17. 10

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Hundreds reached out to offer assistance from across the globe with everything from feed to fly spray, tack, transportation, boarding, first-aid supplies and funds; the list grew very quickly. It is impossible to mention every individual, business and equine club; or to list where all donations came from, but the outpouring of support was something we will never forget. Donations of funds and items came from across the country, the US and the UK. As of July 31, 2016, $35,000 in funds had been accounted for. Many people who donated wanted to ensure the funds went to the equines. Some funds were used to purchase additional hay (outside of donated hay). Greenhawk Canada also took on fundraising initiatives and donated fly spray. After discussions of ’what was needed, by whom and where,’ the AEF chose to work with Greenhawk to determine how we could best meet the needs of the community. As a result, those registered with the AEF received Greenhawk gift cards in denominations of $200. As Greenhawk is Canada-wide and offers in store, online and telephone orders, owners can purchase what they need the most for their equine family. We have heard from many who have received relief and wanted to share a few comments: “A huge THANK-YOU! To the AEF organization for helping the horse community in Fort McMurray during this most difficult time. Your kindness and compassion has been greatly appreciated.” - Anonymous

“My sincerest thanks to the farmers who donated hay. It was an expensive two months. I received 10 bales per horse (50!) of beautiful hay. Fly spray from Greenhawk showed up at my cabin door two days ago. I also got some grain and some supplies donated by people at Tudor Tack in Edmonton to get me by until we could return home and see if there was anything left of our cabin/barn/tack room. The support our horse community has felt from across Canada has felt like a warm hug. It truly is the thought that counts. The donated items helped a lot but the thought that so many people were behind us and rooting for us was the best feeling. When you and everyone you know is faced with so many overwhelming tasks, to know there are so many rooting for your recovery truly does make all the difference. Thank you Canada. Thank you equine lovers worldwide. Thank you again, I truly cannot say thank you enough for everything the AEF has done in supporting us through communication and organization of relief efforts.”- Megan Bastien

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to AEF, and the many people and businesses in the equine world who have supported our Fort McMurray equine owners through an incredibly intense few months. I also just wanted to share the love that is felt as I hear others talk about receiving their gift cards from the relief funds!! I know it brought a few tears of relief. On behalf of all our equines, thank you!!”- Anonymous

From the stories, videos and photos many shared, to those who wanted to do anything and everything they could to help, we are proud of our equine community standing strong to help their fellow friends and equines. AB

“Thanks to the generosity of my fellow Albertan horse owners, I have two saddles, halters, bandages, some first-aid supplies, and some hay and fly spray. The gratitude I have will stay with me forever. Thank you to the AEF for organizing everything to help us!!!” - Cari Dorian

“From myself as President of the Tower Road Equine Association, we are so grateful for the Equine Communities’ support. It does make a real difference. Thanks to the AEF for all your work, it is truly appreciated. The support really touches all of our hearts and is absolutely inspiring.” - Karina Webb


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REPRESENTED at the International Saddle Seat

Equitation World Cup in South Africa BY RACHELLE REICHERT

Saddle Seat Canada is a non-profit organization that promotes the development of Saddle Seat riding in Canada and helps support Canadian Saddle Seat Amateur athletes for International Competition. Every two years, Saddle Seat Canada fields a threegaited and a five-gaited saddle seat Canadian team to compete at the International Saddle Equitation World Cup Competition, held biannually in either South Africa or the United States. This year Saddle Seat Canada included team members; Robyn Davies, Brittany Blanchard, Rachelle Devenyi, Cailtyn Malyk, Sara Sheppard, Catriona Kozijn and Skye Davies. Pam Zimmerman of Alberta was the Head Coach, while Ian DeGruchy of Ontario was the assistant coach. The event features amateur athletes 14 years of age and older who compete for individual scores, which 12

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OPPOSITE PAGE TOP: Team member, Sara Sheppard OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: Saddle Seat Canada from left to right: Robyn Davies, Brittany Blanchard, Rachelle Devenyi, Cailtyn Malyk, Sara Sheppard, Catriona Kozijn and Skye Davies ABOVE: Saddle Seat Canada gathers at the opening ceremonies of the Saddle Seat World Cup 2016 LEFT: Team member, Robin Davies BELOW, LEFT: Team member, Rachael Devenyi BELOW, RIGHT: Team member, Catriona Kozijn

ultimately accumulate toward a total team score. Any kind of saddle seat-type horses are donated for use at the competition. Mostly, this includes Saddlebreds because of the five-gaited divisions but Morgans and Friesians are also used. The athletes compete on horses that are supplied by the host competition and horses they are not familiar with, which is a true test of their horsemanship and riding skills. Each rider performs and is judged on rail work (riding as a group doing all required gaits), and an individual work out (pattern) on two different horses. The riders only have 20 minutes of practice time on each horse before they have to show. In fact, some riders don’t even get that much time because the coach may switch up horse and rider combos at the last minute, to obtain the best possible matches. This year, Saddle Seat Canada sent both three-gaited and five-gaited Canadian Saddle Seat Teams to the

International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup in Paarl, South Africa. The competition took place at Mistico Equestrian Center from July 3-9,2016. The Canadian Teams brought home bronze medals in both the threegaited and five-gaited divisions. AB

“The athletes compete on horses that are supplied by the host competition and horses they are not familiar with, which is a true test of their horsemanship and riding skills.” A L B E RT A B I T S | F A L L 2 0 1 6


W I L D RO S E S H O W C O M P E T I T I O N Emerging from a ten-year lull due to rain outs, lack of volunteers and funding, the South Peace Horse Club has added unique elements to their Summer Classic event to draw crowd appeal and has seen an insurgence of members in recent years; Current membership of the South Peace Horse Club sits at an impressive 196 members Photos courtesy of Ron Cartier

South Peace Summer Classic A weekend success.


With a history dating back to its formation in 1972, the South Peace Horse Club (SPHC) has logged many hours offering members a wide range of equestrian activities. The club’s mission to promote safety and education while maintaining an element of fun is the constant that has remained through the changes experienced over its long history, both to the club’s membership and the sport of equestrian itself. Another constant the club has worked hard to preserve is its inviting atmosphere where likeminded members can gather. “The club is warm and welcoming to all members, new and old,” says Caitlin Lamb, the club’s Vice President for the last two years. Lamb experienced that 14

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element firsthand as a recent transplant to the Grande Prairie community, upon her relocation from the Okanagan. Stepping into one of the roles of leadership at the club upon arriving in the area, Lamb hasn’t looked back and has stood witness as the club has grown before her eyes. “Our membership has had a huge amount of growth under our new President, Tiana Chambers,” Lamb says, sharing that their current membership sits at an impressive 196 members, all of whom work together to create an atmosphere of community. “We’re proud of the activities and hundreds of hours of education we offer in all disciplines,” Lamb says,

noting that these pursuits serve to strengthen the group’s membership. This summer the club drew on their developed fellowship, working together to bring the South Peace Summer Classic to their host arena Evergreen Park, which the club has partnered with since the park’s inception in the 1980s. Having reached out to organizations and to individuals wishing to promote the sport of equestrian in the north, the club’s president worked tirelessly alongside other members to bring the show to fruition. Taking place this past summer on July 30 and 31st, the all breeds show offered English, western, hunter/jumper, reining and gymkhana events.

“The show captured all the disciplines our group is so proud to have,” Lamb says, mentioning that it drew an impressive 74 entries across the various disciplines. Ranging in age from four to 61-years-old, the entrants took part in the show which had experienced a ten-year lull due to rain outs, lack of volunteers and funding. Again drawing on their developed camaraderie, the membership was tasked with coming together in order to make the show a reality. Getting their hands dirty – literally – one of the many roadblocks the group faced was completing construction of the light horse riding arena at Evergreen Park. Due to an unexpectedly rainy season, the group’s re-construction of the arena they use and maintain was behind schedule, but the association collaborated to do what needed to be done. “Members of our club and other organizations stepped up to help get the grounds ready for use in a day,” Lamb says appreciatively. In spite of the hurdles, all plans came together, resulting in a first-rate competition. Proud to act as a qualifier for the Peace Region Show Circuit, the competition was mandated by the circuit to showcase both western and English disciplines, each of which offered pleasure, equitation and wildcard classes. As an AEF-sanctioned competition, the events were governed by AEF rules. “We wanted to capture all the disciplines that our group is so proud to have,” Lamb says, adding that another of the SPHC’s goals, to promote involvement from area youth, was accomplished. Fulfilling another of their primary mandates, the day’s events included an entertaining addition not often seen in the horse arena – agility dogs competing alongside jumpers. “To add a unique element, we teamed up with Partners Naturally (Dog Agility) to create a fun class where jumpers and an agility team are grouped together,” Lamb says. Their combined times and scores were added and prizes were awarded, with the entertaining matchup enjoyed by spectators and competitors alike. At the event’s end, all of the individuals who contributed to the day’s success reflected on a job well done. Though Lamb faced some challenges in operating the show due to her self-professed “lack of experience”



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in organizing such a weekend, the supportive atmosphere that the club has always worked to foster made the weekend a resounding success. Pointing to the help of club members as key in ensuring the weekend’s success, Lamb says, “The atmosphere among volunteers remained cheerful.” She added that the club president’s hands-on approach kept everyone on task and let them know how appreciated they were. “We have some of the best show moms and dads out there,” Lamb says. “I am very thankful for the support and guidance that I had throughout the experience!” Judging by the response from all involved, the show will enter the books as a triumph. Lamb succinctly captures the most important element of the day. “The greatest reward was seeing everyone having fun and the smiles on their faces, rain or shine!” AB

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NAMAST-NEIGH Yoga for the rider and the horse.



It is common practice for human athletes to stretch before and after they perform exercise. In the last ten years, research has slowly started to come out that supports the use of stretching exercises in our equine athletes as a means of increasing range of motion (ROM), flexibility and posture. Horses are all athletes, whether used competitively or not. When we ride them, the horse must activate its large muscle groups and move around with an unbalanced backpack aboard (also known as, the rider). Horses are definitively athletes. Brigitte Meyer of Vitality Equine is an Equinology Equine Body Worker (EEBW) who is committed to continued learning. Meyer’s educational background also includes a B.A. in Biology. It is her scientific background that allows her to bring an intense knowledge of anatomy to each horse she works with. Combining this passion for anatomy with an enthusiasm for continued learning, Meyer believes in looking at the body of a horse as a whole and not simply focusing on specific parts, or sections. “I want to give back to athletes with full body soft tissue massage therapy,” she explains. “Our equine athletes are comprised mainly of soft tissue – their bones don’t move them, 16

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their muscles do. So by working with soft tissue you can really influence how horses move and shake.” Meyer suggests that humans should also stretch with their horses because as riders, we always sit the same way and exercise the same muscles when aboard. In Meyer’s following Namast-neigh sequence, she offers a stretching program that includes moves for humans as well. First, there a few important points to consider before applying the following stretching sequence to your equine athlete. Meyer says an owner should first consult a veterinarian, to ensure that it is safe and right for your horse. Secondly, stretching is not a replacement for professional equine massage or veterinary care, it should however, be part of your horse’s varied conditioning program. Yoga is practiced as a means to relax the body and mind. As such, these stretching exercises are intended to be done in a slow and relaxed manner to avoid injury or strain on the muscles. Meyer also explains that stretching programs can be designed to fit the specific movements and needs of your horse. “In every Vitality Equine massage, I apply a specifically designed stretching program to your horse’s needs. This is not a replacement for a designed stretching program,” she says.

THE NAMAST-NEIGH SEQUENCE This sequence is intended to help relieve post workout muscle

fatigue for both horse and rider. When applying each stretch, Meyer advises owners to ensure the horse is standing as square as possible. To balance both sides, apply the stretches on both sides of your equine athlete and yourself (unless otherwise stated).

“You might notice that one side is more flexible than the other and that is very typical for horses,” Meyer states. “Just like us, we all have a preferred side that has a greater range of motion.” This stretch sequence is safe to apply after a ride, approximately three times a week.

* All moves are adapted from Veterinary Integrative Performance Services and clinical journal studies. Thank-you to Reys From Heaven for being the demo horse in this picture sequence.



1. Make sure your horse is standing square. 2. Come into a lunge pose, your hind knee can be on or off the ground. 3. Using a treat/carrot lead your horse into a twist pose, bringing their nose to their barrel. 4. Make sure your horse does not move their feet, in order for them to really activate that bend in their neck. 5. Hold for 5-10 seconds on each side (starting off with a shorter time and gradually increasing the length of time as their flexibility improves). 6. When you move to the other side, switch your front leg as well and sink in. Make sure your knee does not come over your toe.


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1. Make sure your horse is standing square. 2. You will be going in a seated squat position, so ensure your back is straight and your pelvis is tucked. This ensures your hips do not splay out behind you. 3. Beginning between the forelimbs gradually, near their pectorals, start applying an upwards firm pressure with your fingertips while moving your way down the midline until your horse’s tummy tucks and lifts its back. Stop once you notice the back is lifted –do not go past halfway down the horse’s barrel. This is the equivalent to a horse “sit up,” so only ask the horse to do three to ten of these based on their fitness. 4. There are many great online videos and resources that will help show you this move.


F 18

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1. Make sure your horse is standing square. 2. You will be in seated squat position for this pose. 3. Pick up your horse’s leg underneath their fetlock and gradually bring their hindlimb forwards. Keep their foot in line with their forelimb on that side, so that it moves in a straight trajectory. 4. Do not force this stretch, keep it low and only go as far as your horse is willing to go. As your horse allows you to bring their leg forward, lean more into the heels of your feet to really lean into this pose. 5. Hold this stretch for 2-10 seconds, depending on the fitness level of your horse. 6. You can gradually increase the time as flexibility improves.



1. Make sure your horse is standing square. 2. You will be in a lunge position for this pose, parallel to your horse. 3. Pick up your horse’s leg in front of their fetlock as if you were bringing it back to pick their hooves. 4. Gently extend their hind leg back in a straight trajectory and supporting their fetlock. Your other arm can gently rest on the hock or move upwards to complete the triangle pose. 5. Do not force this stretch, keep it low and only go as far as your horse is willing to go. 6. Hold this stretch for two to ten seconds, depending on the fitness level of your horse. 7. You can gradually increase the time as flexibility improves.

SHAVASANA: TEMPORALIS RUB – REST POSE (H-I) 1. Finish it all off with a beautiful temporalis rub because, who doesn’t love a good head massage! 2. However, there a lot of horses who do not like having their heads rubbed. If this is the case, chose the horse’s favourite spot and end the sequence with a good massage in that area. 3. The temporalis muscle tends to hold a lot of tension in our horses, so remembering to give this muscle a few strokes after a ride is extremely relaxing and beneficial to the horse.


Muscles or more specifically, muscles fibres, can either shorten (concentric exercise) or lengthen (eccentric exercise), based on the external resistance they are given. When muscles are overused by an athlete they respond by shrinking and tightening, resulting in adhesions. This results in stiffness, inactivity and can reduce the longevity of the musculoskeletal system in your athlete. Stretching is necessary to keep those muscle tissues supple and fight back against the gradual shortening and tightening of muscles that develops from overuse (or underuse!). The many benefits of stretching include: • Increases joint range of motion.

• Increases flexibility. • Helps to prevent injury. • Promotes deep breathing. • Relaxes the muscles and the mind. • Develops body proprioreception / awareness. • Helps improve balance.

Professionally, Meyer sits on the executive board for the IEBWA, Canadian division. International Equine Body Workers Association,

She is a fully insured equine massage therapist. Learn more about Meyer and Vitality Equine at


The Appaloosa B R E E D P RO F I L E

This versatile breed makes a splashy appearance in a variety of disciplines. BY ALEXANDRA MORRIS

Spotted horses have been depicted in prehistoric cave art all across Europe and North America. Images of patterned domestic horses have also been observed in artwork from Greece, in addition to the Han Dynasty. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors took these spotted horses to Mexico, where it’s believed that some crossed into North America. The Nez Perce Natives then captured most of the horses that made it to North America and they were bred for speed, strength

Photo by Heather McLevin 20

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and agility. They named the breed “A Palouse” due to the Nez Perce tribe being located next to the Palouse River. The U.S Army later destroyed the tribe and captured all of their horses. Over time they were carefully bred and the name transitioned to Appaloosa. The Appaloosa became a recognized breed in 1938. Rebecca Veenstra of West View Appaloosas near Mayerthorpe, AB, specializes in registered Appaloosa horses for halter and western

performance. Here, she discusses some of the characteristics and temperament of the breed. “Appaloosa characteristics consist of a white sclera, mottled skin, striped hooves and visible coat pattern (leopard, spotted blanket, snowcap blanket, snowflake, etc.),” says Veenstra. Although Appaloosas have several different coat patterns, the most common is that of the leopard patterning. It consists of many individual spots over a white body colour. Other coat patterns can

B R E E D P RO F I L E include a blanketed variation, snowcap, Appaloosa roan or varnish, mottled, roan blanket, or a roan blanket with spots. Not all Appaloosa foals are born with a visible spotted coat pattern, some roan and develop color over time. There are several breeds that influence the Appaloosa, which describes why the breed has so many different body types. The “old time” conformation of the Appaloosa is a tall, narrow-bodied and rangy horse, compared to the stocky body types we see today. Quarter Horses and Arabians were introduced into the bloodlines after the formation of the Appaloosa Horse Club in 1938, which gave the Appaloosa the body we know of today. Appaloosas stand about 14-16 hands high and weigh roughly 1,000 lbs. This breed makes a fantastic horse for the first-time horse owner. The breed is very willing to please and they possess a fantastic work ethic. Due to these temperament and behavioral traits, it makes the Appaloosa easily trainable. They are additionally a hardy breed that can take strenuous work for long periods of time. Appaloosas are also quite intelligent and will excel in the training of a variety of disciplines. “Appaloosas are known for being very versatile. They can excel in disciplines ranging from western pleasure, to dressage, to working cow horse to endurance riding. They are a very level-headed breed known for their easy-going disposition and being reliable as family horses,” says Veenstra. Unfortunately, congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) is associated with Appaloosas with coat patterns indicating they are homozygous for Leopard Print (LP). Appaloosas that are heterozygous for LP are not affected by CSNB. Horses that are true solid non-characteristic Appaloosas, with no dominant copies of LP, are also not affected by CSNB. More commonly referred to as night blindness, CSNB is the name given to any disease that is typified by impaired/ absent night vision; present at birth; inherited; and non-progressive. This term does not represent a single disorder – impaired night vision is a general description. Some forms of CSNB involve extremely impaired vision, while others are less severe. They all involve some degree of lack of rod function in the eye, thus the term “night blind.” Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is another condition that is believed

to have a small, but increased incidence in the Appaloosa breed. ERU (which is sometimes to referred to as “moon blindness”) causes an immune inflammatory response of the uveal tract of the eye. This can cause damage to the retina if it goes unnoticed and equine recurrent uveitis can lead to diminishing vision and blindness. Fortunately, the Lepto EQ Innovator, was recently created and is the first and only USDA-licensed equine vaccine to help prevent leptospirosis. The vaccine is designed to help prevent leptospiremia caused by L. pomona, which could, but has not yet been demonstrated to, help reduce the potential risk of equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) infections, abortions, or acute renal failure caused by L. pomona.

REGISTRATION There are two main registries in North America for Appaloosas. The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) is located in Moscow, Idaho. In 1975 the state of Idaho adopted the Appaloosa as its official horse. The ApHC is one of the top international equine breed registries and has 22 international affiliates. Founded in 1938, the club has had 700,000 Appaloosas registered. The Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada (ApHCC) is the Canadian affiliate of the ApHC and is located in Claresholm, Alberta. The ApHCC is the only association in Canada that may establish a definition of purebred, maintain a public registry and issue certificates in respect of the Appaloosa breed.

“Appaloosas are known for being very versatile. They can excel in disciplines ranging from western pleasure, to dressage, to working cow horse to endurance riding. They are a very level-headed breed known for their easy-going disposition...” This allows the ApHCC to present a public image of the breed, which is consistent through Canada. When it comes to registering your Appaloosa, there are two categories: Regular registration and A L B E RT A B I T S | F A L L 2 0 1 6


B R E E D P RO F I L E non-characteristic (NC). Horses can be a solid coat pattern but if they display mottled skin and another characteristic (white sclera, striped hooves for instance,) they receive regular papers. NC horses do not have mottled skin or coat patterns (typically). Now with the ApHC, you can genetically test for the LP gene and register what might look like a NC horse if it carries that gene. It’s also important to note that often NC horses can “colour” out later in life. “In order for an Appaloosa to qualify for regular papers they must have a visible coat pattern or they must have mottled skin and at least one other characteristic (striped hooves or white sclera),” explains Veenstra. “If an Appaloosa has registered parents and is solid colored, they are

still eligible for registration, but are classified as non-characteristic.” When registering an Appaloosa, one parent (either the sire or dam) has to be registered with the ApHC and the other may be registered with the ApHC or another ApHCapproved breed association such as AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association), Jockey Club or AHA (Arabian Horse Association). There are clubs in Alberta that offer Appaloosa shows with many different disciplines. The Calgary Re g i o n a l A p p a l o o s a C l u b w a s formed in 1997 to help promote to the breed to the public as well as to the horse industry. It allows owners to have a sociable group to enjoy activities with the breed. AB


MEMBERSHIP! 2016 Memberships expire December 31st, 2016

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A L B E RT A B I T S | F A L L 2 0 1 6


Arctic Après Collection Let us keep your feet warm, dry and of course looking good this winter! April Nicholet shares the secret that continues to drive her unwavering support. Photo by Cathy Nixon

Passionate to Help BY SUZANNE HALE

As a preschooler, April Nicholet had her introduction to the equestrian world, one from which she has never strayed. Growing up with six siblings, this avid volunteer notes she has been involved with horses in many capacities for over 30 years. With involvement in her 4-H Club being a constant in her formative years, it all solidified her passion for equines. Attending college in Fairview, AB, for Equine Management, Nicholet drew on the education she received both through classroom instruction and real life experiences to pursue her current occupation – breeding and raising American Aztecas. “Most people have not heard of this breed, but I love sharing what great horses they are,� Nicholet says. With plans to showcase the breed that is close to her heart, Nicholet says, “I hope to do some showing next year too, so people can see what these horses can do.� Between her family which includes her “wonderful husband� and teenage son, and the 11 horses she currently owns, Nicholet (who has owned up to 22 horses of varying breeds), does have to be creative in order to make time for volunteering. “With the horses I work with and family, it can be hard to find time,� she says. “But first and foremost, I love helping out.� Through the years, Nicholet has logged many hours helping out wherever possible, a lot of which has been with the 4-H Club. She also helps out a good friend at horse shows, as well as her son’s youth group. Nicholet looks on community volunteering as an essential component to life. “I learned from a young age that volunteering is something that you do. I know most groups, organizations and clubs wouldn’t happen if there were no volunteers,� she says. The gratification Nicholet experiences when helping out has been rewarding in return. “I have met lots of great people, I love to see the fantastic horses, and I love to see people succeed,� she says about her reasons for offering her free time (and many of these shows are three or four days long.) “Volunteering is a great learning opportunity. If you want to get into showing, you can learn so much. You can get an idea what the judges are looking for, see how the best competitors ride, and why they win,� she points out, sharing her belief that although you may be tired by the end of an event, the returns will be well worth the effort put in. “There have been lots of fun times at shows,� Nicholet says. “I would like to do more, because I love the horse shows: it is that simple.� AB

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HERE: A properly fit blanket. BELOW: Clearly, this blanket is too big for this bay roan. A blanket that is improperly fit to a horse can be dangerous.


Rug Your Horse A perfect fit is key to keeping your equine warm and comfortable this season. BY JENN WEBSTER

With the beautiful colours of fall comes the dip in temperature that inevitably war ns us of winter’s arrival. If blanketing your horse is the right option for your circumstances, autumn is the perfect time to fit your equine companion and research products and materials. Lori Tyers Kalin is the owner of Pegasus Equine

1. SIZE - Measure from the center of the horse’s chest to the center of the tail, going around the largest part of the shoulder and hip. Make sure the horse’s head and body are straight while doing this. 2. TOPLINE - Measure from the top of the tail to the highest point of the wither. Allow the measuring tape to drape along the horse’s back. 3. DEPTH - Measure from the wither down to the elbow. 4. SHOULDER - Measure from the highest point of the wither to the center top of the horse’s chest. Allow tape to drape and bend along the shoulder line. SPECIAL FEATURES - Take note of any of your horse’s distinguishing features that make it hard to get a good blanket fit. This includes a high wither or pointy shoulders and these aspects dictate whether or not the blanket needs darts. 24

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in Caroline, AB, and has been custom fitting blankets for horses for several years. With horses ranging from mini to draft-horse size, Kalin has crafted blankets for every type of equine conformation. Here are some of the most common blanket-fitting problems and considerations Kalin has observed during her experience.



“Blankets that are either too big or too small are the most common problem I’ve seen,” says Kalin. “Sometimes a wellmeaning owner will fit a blanket for the body size, but not for the horse’s neck, for instance. And if a blanket doesn’t fit right, the horse will roll more because it’s uncomfortable. Also, leaving the leg straps down too long can be dangerous. Additionally, putting a blanket on your horse that is too long for its body can result in legs getting caught in leg straps when the horse lays down.”


“Shoulder rubs are caused again by blankets that don’t fit properly,” Kalin explains. “Most shoulder rubs are caused because the top line isn’t right. The weight of the blanket isn’t sitting on the horse’s back. As they walk, the blanket migrates backwards over their rump, because that’s where the weight is and therefore – the blanket pulls on the horse’s shoulders.”


While acknowledging that every make of blanket is different, Kalin prefers to cross the back straps of her blankets. “I do cross the back straps because if you just go straight up the side with a back leg strap, it can cause irritation on the side of the horse’s leg, from the elastic or webbing material of the strap. If the straps are adjusted right, it should not interfere with a stallion or gelding’s ability to urinate. If the straps are adjusted properly and don’t do up too far forward / up the middle of the horse’s belly, they won’t interfere with anything. This is especially important in the instance of a long-bodied horse. The horse should be able to walk freely, but the straps should never dangle.” If the blanket is fit well, it will displace very little through movement and rolling.


Your geographic region and weather should play an important role in your blanket materials decision. Recently Horseware Products Ltd. developed an App that gathers data from weather forecasts for the next three days in your area, to help you make an intelligent recommendation on which of its products will best suit the conditions and your horse. Additionally, K alin recommends

Cordura materials with springweight insulation for wet, autumn days. “Cordura is very durable and water-proof. Plus it’s breathable and a very resilient material. Repairs are typically minimal to these blankets. Unbreathable materials will result in having the horse sweat underneath, which creates fungus or mold in the blanket,” she says.


As stated, a properly fit blanket is essential to your horse’s health and comfort. This is done through proper measurements of the horse’s body. When custom-fitting a blanket to a horse, Kalin uses a series of four measurements to ensure the best possible fit. AB

With her company Pegasus Equine Products, Lori Tyers Kalin has custom-fitted every possible size and conformation of equines for blankets that you can imagine.


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As a regular contributor to this publication, I am feeling particularly enthusiastic about this article for a number of reasons: 1. Fall is here, and for me and thousands of other equine enthusiasts across the province and country, the fall season is a time to reflect on how our summer was with horses as part of our lives. 2. We are working closely with AEF, and are focused on the busy membership renewal season which is when we get a chance to interact directly with so many folks about their insurance needs, and what we have to offer as risk management solutions. 3. We are on the cusp of some very positive changes and enhancements to our membership insurance program for AEF members and we hope that all of you will stay tuned for future announcements. That is all a great preface to talking briefly about the truly great benefits of membership in AEF, and yes, insurance is a big part of that. We are honored to be partners of AEF and take great pride in our work with them to create and foster a safe and risk-averse community. The automatic Liability and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage provided with your membership as well as the optional coverages (Tack, Travel, Members Named Perils, Weekly Accident Indemnity, and enhanced AD&D) are all products that have been time tested as appropriate, affordable and broad in scope. These attributes are by design and come from decades of experience and collaboration with AEF members. For 2017, you asked and we listened – we are happy to announce that there will be a few changes, including an enhanced fracture and dental benefit provided, if you choose to take advantage of the additional AD&D coverage. Weekly Accident (income replacement) coverage remains a popular option and the Members Named Perils Horse insurance is, without question, a very inexpensive insurance solution for horse owners. In addition, we will be doing more to make coverage offerings easy to understand through a variety of educational media including a short webinar series. The Optional Travel coverage is one area we want to give some special attention to in this article as, whether or not we want it to happen, winter is on its way and for many that means, “...getting the heck out of here.” It will come as no surprise that with the Canadian dollar struggling below 75 cents against the US dollar, that all Canadian travel insurers are facing increases in claim settlement amounts being paid – and higher claims means an increase in premiums. As the broker, we continuously look at alternatives for apples-to-apples coverage and in our most recent search, the SSQ product offered still comes out on top, in spite of the increase. Which is good news! The AEF travel product, which we offer as an option, provides very good protection to members who travel outside of Alberta by covering sickness or accidents that require medical attention – including equine related accidents. The 26

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travel policy also provides a long period of automatic coverage at 90 days trip length which, we know from experience, covers most member’s needs. If you have a trip planned for longer than 90 days, let us know and we will find you a solution. In closing, we know we hold a prominent place in the equine community in Alberta and we take that responsibility very seriously. Our job is to work with YOU, THE MEMBER, to provide risk management and insurance solutions to keep each of you (and your horses!) healthy, safe and sound. If there is anything that any of us can do for you, please let us know. Don’t forget to ask questions and we can answer some of them in future issues. Insurance for horses and their people it is what we do. AB 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 Comments or questions can be sent directly to Mike at


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To be able to determine a horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration rate (collectively known by the acronym TPR), means you have the ability to determine your horse’s vital signs. Having the ability to measure these signs quickly and accurately will help you better assess if a medical concern is an emergency, and indicates you know how to evaluate the basic parameters of your horse’s health. Heart rate is gauged in beats per minute (bpm) and is taken to see if a horse is improving from an injury or illness, used for an insurance or pre-purchase exam, or to determine the horse’s degree of physical fitness. The heart rate of a horse at rest should be 30 to 48 bpm, but some factors will cause normal variations. Younger horses will have slightly higher pulse rates than mature animals. Stallions generally have a lower heart rate than geldings or mares (26-36 bpm). Smaller horses tend to have a higher pulse than bigger animals (miniatures vs. draft breeds). Time of day can also affect heart rate; a horse’s pulse may be higher in the evening than in the morning. After exercise, the heart rate can increase to as much as 120-140 bpm. The heart rate can also increase during digestion. The following step-by-step guide will aid you in making an accurate reading:



Understanding this essential horse husbandry skill. BY JENN WEBSTER



Read the pulse using your fingertips. Gently pressed at an artery close to the surface of the skin. Avoid using your thumb underneath, as your thumb has a pulse in it. The best location for determining the pulse is along the curve of the horse’s cheek muscle – along the lower jaw line where the blood vessels can easily be felt under the skin.



Put the pressure on. Apply enough pressure with your fingertips that you can feel the pulse, but not so much that you actually block off the artery. When you can feel the pulse clearly, count the number of beats you can feel for 15 seconds. Use your wristwatch or timer on your cell phone to help you monitor the time. Multiply this number by four to calculate the number of beats in a minute.


You can also use a stethoscope to listen directly to the horse’s heart. Place the stethoscope diaphragm underneath the horse’s front leg, on the left side (this is sometimes referred to as the horse’s “arm pit.”) Listen for two sounds. Each pair will equal one beat. Again, count the number of beats that occur within 15 seconds and multiply by four. AB 28

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as of

SEPT 20th, 2016

I F YO U A R E I N T E R E S T 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, M A K E S U R E YO U C O N TA C T T H E M ! Alberta 4-H Provincial Equine Advisory Committee Alberta Association of Complementary Equine Therapy Alberta Carriage Driving Association Alberta Donkey and Mule Club Alberta Dressage Association Alberta Equestrian Vaulting Association Alberta Friesian Horse Association Alberta Horse Trials Association Alberta Morgan Horse Club Alberta Mounted Shooters 780-690-6377 Alberta Team Sorting Association Alberta Trail Riding Association Alberta Walking Horse Association Alix Agricultural Society American Saddlebred Horse Association of Alberta Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada 403-762-2682 Banff Light Horse Association Bashaw Light Horse Club Bear Valley Rescue Bezanson Agricultural Society 403-862-1591 Black Diamond English Riding Club Black Diamond Polo Club Border Cowboys Mounted Shooters Association Bow Valley Riding Association Calgary Arabian Horse Association Calgary Area Alberta Dressage Association Calgary Regional Appaloosa Club Calgary Regional Trail Riders Calgary Western Riders Canadian Horse Breeders Assoc. Rocky Mountain District Canadian Registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse Canadian Sport Horse Association - AB Chapter 403-363-6108 Cassils Trail Blazers 403-885-5222 Central Alberta Adult Riding Club Central Century Team Ropers Association Central Peace Horse Association Chinook Country/Alberta Dressage Association 780-685-3305 Cleardale Riders Club Clearwater Horse Club Cochrane Horse Trials Committee Cooking Lake Saddle Club 780-852-3121 Cottonwood Corrals Association (Jasper) 403-394-8546 Coulee Winds Saddle Club 403-931-9988 Davisburg Pony Club Delacour Agricultural Society & Community Club Didsbury Agricultural Society Edmonton Area /Alberta Dressage Association Electric Strides Drill Team Endurance Riders of Alberta Evergreen Park (Grande Prairie Agricultural & Exhibition Society) Extreme Cowboy Alberta Association 403-866-3413 Family Fun Rodeo Series Foothills Therapeutic Riding Association 403-938-3683 Foothills Roping Group 403-936-5985 Fort Calgary Wheel & Runner Association 403-242-9387 Four: Thirteen Therapeutic Riding Association Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association Fun Country Riding Club of Strathmore Gaitway to Equine Experiences Foundation - Central Alberta 403-638-4267 Go Wild Go West Drill Team 780-835-1280 H.E.D.J.E. Society 780-662-3665 Hastings Lake Pleasure Horse Association High Country Carriage Driving Club High Country Pony Club 403-380-7046 Hilltoppers Gymkhana Club Horse Industry Association of Alberta 780-754-3321 Irma’s Lil Rodeo Club 403-935-4817 Irricana Riding & Roping Club Association Journeys Therapeutic Riding Society Jump Alberta Society Lacombe Light Horse Association 403-827-1979 Leather N Lace Racers Society Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association Meadow Creek Vaulting Club Millarville Musical Ride Miniatures in Motion Horse Club Mount View Special Riding Association Mounted Games Across Canada Northern Trails Riding Club Opening Gaits Therapeutic Riding Society of Calgary 403-574-2197 Over the Hill Trail Riders Peace Area Riding For The Disabled Society Peace Draft Horse Club Peace Region Alberta Dressage Association Performance Standardbreds Association Polocrosse Calgary Ponoka Riding & Roping Association Prairie Dusters Drill Team Society 403-844-9791 Prentice Creek Equestrian Center Quarter Horse Association of Alberta Rainbow Equitation Society Ranahan Polocrosse Club Red Deer & Area Western Style Dressage Association 780-305-4615 Ridgeview Riding Club Rimbey Sleigh, Wagon & Saddle Club Rocky Mountain Gymkhana Club B E S U R E TO S U P P O RT O U R B U S I N E S S M E M B E R S ! Rundle Riders Therapeutic Riding Association Saddle Seat Canada Shortgrass Riding Club Society of Tilt & Lance Cavalry South Country Team Penning Association South Peace Horse Show Association Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association 403-258-3691 Springbank Equestrian Society 403-289-9066 Springbank Pony Club 403-728-3074 Spruce View Gymkhana Club Steele’s Scouts Commemorative Troop Association Strathcona All-Breed Horse Association Tennessee Walking Horse Association Of Western Canada The Calgary Hunt Club 403-553-4703 The Fort Museum of the NWMP The Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association Thompson Country Pony Club Trail Riding Alberta Conference 780-805-4276 Traildusters Horse Club of Smith 403-843-6873 Tri-Country Riding Club True Grit Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association 403-362-5439 Uplift Therapeutic Riding Association 780-835-0590 Valley Riders Saddle Club Valleyview & Districts Agricultural Society 780-850-1101 Welsh Show Association 780-675-2572 Western Canadian Wagon Train Wildrose Mounted Shooters Xtreme Wild Rose Club

BUSINESSMEMBERS Alberta Carriage Supply Bielecki Equestrian Blazing Hearts Ranch Blue Ridge Excavating Ltd. Caeco Ranch Calgary Stampede Capri Insurance Services Ltd Cartier Farms Equine Assisted Learning Charles Owen 780-472-6767 Co-op Feeds Edmonton 403-556-6266 Creekside Equestrian Centre Darn That Blanket Daryle Schmidt Horse Training Centre Days Inn Medicine Hat Eagle Hill Equine 403-819-5006 EL Caballo Ranch Equi-Health Canada Inc. Equine Connection Inc. Equine Therapy School F.E.E.L. Facilitated Equine Assisited Learning Ltd Flashpoint Thermography Foothills Horse Transport G and B Portable Fabric Buildings 780-933-8928 Greenhawk Grande Prairie H & H Massage Therapy Hairy Back Ranch Haystop LTD High Country Equestrian Center Higher Trails Equine Ltd Hi-Hog Farm & Ranch Equipment Ltd Horse Trekking Adventures Ironhill Equestrian Centre 403-933-3348 J. W. (Jim) Lawton Professional Corporation Joseph Rae Equestrian Academy Just Passing Horse Transport and Bereavement Services Kaspian Equestrian Training Centre Lane Moore Hoof Care Courses Martin Deerline Millennium Equestrian Ltd. Moose Hill Ranch Outpost at Warden Rock Paramount Saddlery Precision Canada Reitsall Auhof Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Saddle Up Magazine Sandridge Stables Spirit Winds Horse Centre Spirited Connections Strathcona Ventures Sunwest Equine Services Syner G Apparel & Solutions The Horse Store The Horse Watcher The Mane Event Equine Education & Trade Show The School of Equine Massage and Rehabilitation Therapies The Tack Collector Ltd 403-242-6162 The Visions West Studio U-Nique-U Centre Vitality Equine Western Horse Review Westwood Warmbloods Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association Willow Grove Stables Inc. 403-646-2345 Winning Strides




LEST WE FORGET Royal Canadian Airforce mascot “Midget”

During the war at what is now the Calgary, AB, Canada, SAIT campus, the Royal Canadian Airforce operated #2 Wireless School. At this location, wireless and radio operators would be trained to fly in Lancaster and Halifax bombers, conducting dangerous bombing raids over Germany. The average age of a new recruit was 19 - and many of them were away from home. As such, some of the boys purchased a pony named “Midget” to have as company. There was one problem though, how do you keep it in the barracks without the commanding officer finding out? Fortunately, the school’s commanding officer, Wing Commander A H K Russell, suggested the horse become the school’s official mascot. Russell announced the next 30

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morning that equipment for the horse, a small stable and a custom-made blanket with the school’s insignia upon it would be provided. Midget settled in to life on a military camp becoming, as a Herald article on March 22, 1941 stated, “... the pamperedest, pettedest, spoiledest animal in Calgary.” The horse had the run of the technical school grounds including the messes of enlisted men, sergeants and officers. She was frequently to be found scrounging cookies and apples and used a constantly running water fountain in the enlisted men’s mess to slake her thirst. Thank-you to Todd Lemieux, Warbird Pilot & Board of Directors, Bomber Command Museum of Canada - Nanton, Alberta, for sending this archive info to Alberta Bits. AB




Alberta Bits - Fall 2016  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation

Alberta Bits - Fall 2016  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation