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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 16,500 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

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BITS & PIECES Call for Scholarship Applications, AEF Funding Opportunities, Bursaries, AEF Membership Referral Program.

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C L U B P RO F I L E S The Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association enjoys the great outdoors on horseback at every opportunity; The Alberta South Pony Club helps to mentor young equestrians.


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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 Parkland Area Alberta Dressage Association Dressage Days dazzle fans in Ponoka, AB.


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O U T S TA N D I N G VO L U N T E E R Angie Golley is an accomplished rider, with the ability to harness young enthusiasm and mold it into highly valued volunteerism.

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B U S I N E S S P RO F I L E Laurel Griffin and Spirit Winds Horse Centre aid society while simultaneously offering older horses “retirement with purpose.”


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Jennifer Webster ART DIRECTOR Natalie Jackman PUBLICATION COMMITTEE Allison Blackmore, Sonia Dantu CONTRIBUTORS Rebecca Cade, Alexandra Callaghan, Linda Fitzpatrick, Gadsby Lake Farms, Laurel Griffin, Heather Grovet, Jessica Kerschbaumer, Mike King, Eric Lloyd, Kathy Marston, Scott Phillips, SATRA, Lori Stewart, and Max Tchikhatchev.

TRAINING Scott Phillips offers advice for in-your-face equines.

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HORSEKEEPING Help your horses endure the stress of trailering and arrive at your destination in a healthy state.

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T R A I L S U P P O RT E R F U N D P R O J E C T R E P O RT An update on the Merlin View Trail and East Telephone Trail construction upgrades in west Bragg Creek, AB.

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ASK THE INSURANCE GUY This issue, Mike King tackles the basics of equine mortality insurance.

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MEMBER PICK Eventer Samantha Pritchard reaps the benefits of AEF membership with her Elation Equine Services near Cochrane, AB.



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 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



Sally Bishop 403.815.1289 Laura Mills 403.461.8964 2015 ADVERTISING DEADLINES


or All material is copyright 2015. 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


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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President’s Message Looking out over the hills and valleys from my kitchen window while I write this message for the spring edition of Alberta Bits, it feels like spring rather than the end of January. Only Mother Nature knows what is in store for Albertans for the next few months, but so far, except for a short blast of winter here and there, we have been extremely lucky weather wise. Compared to last year, everyone’s hay bills should be substantially less this year. The amount of purchased feed necessary to keep our animals in prime condition should have been substantially less due to the warmer temperatures that we have experienced. As this edition of the magazine is being delivered, the AEF will be in the process of electing a new set of Directors to serve the membership for 2015. There are few very hard working individuals who have decided to leave the Board, move onto greener pastures and other volunteer commitments. We will miss them tremendously and I’m taking this opportunity to thank each of them once again for all of their hard work and dedication to the AEF. The AEF would not be the organization that it is today without the countless, selfless hours that these volunteers gave of themselves. Being a volunteer is a labour of love. For those who will be the newly elected Directors and to those of you who have decided to serve an additional term on the Board, I look forward to another successful year of growth for the AEF. I believe 2015 will be an exciting year for the AEF and all of our members. The AEF will be launching a new (and improved) website shortly; we will further utilize social media to introduce the AEF to those who have never before been members and ensure they see the benefits of being/becoming an AEF member. This spring will also see the addition of a new position on staff at the AEF. Presently the search is on for the right individual to head up the Recreation and Industry sector of the AEF. In the past, budget constraints have prevented

the addition of any new staff but over the past three years the finances of the AEF have improved, expenses have been curbed and the board and staff has supported a balanced budget. This will be an exciting time for the AEF and for the staff. I believe that the future of the AEF in terms of growth will come from having a dedicated person in this position. As President of the AEF, it has been a true pleasure this year to attend rides, meetings and clinics around Alberta. I have enjoyed meeting so many new people, refreshing contacts with old friends I have been asking AEF members and non-members what it is that they would like to see the AEF become. I still firmly believe that the AEF is Alberta’s best kept secret and I hope 2015 results a great jump in the AEF membership. From myself, my family and the staff and Board of Directors of the AEF we wish you all the best in 2015 and welcome your input as we continue to be your voice for all things equine in the Province of Alberta. AB

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING NOTICE is hereby given that an Annual General Meeting of the Members of THE ALBERTA EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION SOCIETY is called for and will be held on the

21st DAY OF MARCH, 2015,

at Airdrie Agriculture Centre, 97 East Lake Ramp NE, Airdrie, Alberta, Theatre Room at 10:30 a.m. ALL MEMBERS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND! 2014 Annual Report Presentation, Director Elections, Refreshments and Door Prizes!

Whereas the membership voted to approve new AEF bylaws on November 8, 2014, members will now enjoy the benefit of being able to vote electronically for Special and General Meetings. Please note that the AEF will be emailing all members information regarding the electronic voting process and provide an opportunity to vote.


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TIME TO RENEW YOUR 2015 AEF MEMBERSHIP If you have not yet renewed be sure to do so now.

It’s time to renew your 2015 membership! 2014 Memberships expired December 31, 2014. Your membership can be renewed online, by mail, email or by faxing the AEF membership form to our office. Be sure to inform the AEF if your email, mailing address or other information has changed.

YOUR MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS KEEP GROWING EACH YEAR! • Automatic $5,000,000 personal liability and $30,000 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; • Great discounts with many AEF Business Members; • Alberta Bits member magazine four times per year – available in print and digital formats; • 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); • Trail Supporter Fund – 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; • Educational brochures and resource materials; • Online store – great items from Rider Level Manuals, Trail Manuals/Guides, Equestrian Books, educational DVD’s, Clothing, Muck Boots™, EquineLUX™ saddle pads, Signs and much more; • Online classified advertising and member forums!

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REFER A BRAND NEW MEMBER AND SAVE UP TO $15 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP For each NEW member you refer, receive $5.00 off your own membership (maximum of three referrals per member year). Simply ask the new member to provide your name AND membership number on their application and start saving!

Offset your membership costs and help us grow our herd! Refer ral credits have NO CASH VALUE.

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Equestrian Tiles…


2015 AEF


2015 AEF scholarships, English/western rider bursaries, Pump Up Your Level Incentive Program and Trail Supporter funding applications are now available on the website.



English ($500) and Western ($500) Rider Bursaries

FEBRUARY 27, 2015

Pump up your Levels Facility ($1,000) and Coach ($500) Incentive

APRIL 1, 2015

Wild Rose Trail Ride Beneficiary

Original Hand-made Tiles Celebrating the Horse

APRIL 24, 2015

Educational Scholarships ($750’s & $1,000’s)

APRIL 24, 2015

Bill desBarres Industry Scholarship ($500; for 2015 Bill desBarres has generously matched this scholarship for a total of $1,000)

MAY 15, 2015

Trail Supporter Project Funding Dancing horses tiles Terracotta, slips and glazed 8'' x 8''

Art with horses and nature in terracotta and high-fire porcelain clays. Sculptural and functional work inspired by the Alberta landscape.

The VisionsWest Studio

art by Monika Smith for more information, contact Monika at 8

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to learn more, visit the website at


For details and event listings visit the AEF online events calendar to include your event on our calendar please contact



PMS 293 Blue PMS 210 Pink

Blue Pink

CMYK(key 100% unless noted) 0 / 103 / 177 247 / 174 / 195


WILD ROSE TRAIL RIDE This event is held as a fundraiser to help support therapeutic riding groups in Alberta. For the past three years, nine AEF member clubs have received close to $1,000 from the proceeds of this event. Due to the number of therapeutic clubs expressing interest in receiving proceeds, eligible member clubs are asked to complete and submit an application form on or before April 1, 2015. Interested groups must have been an AEF Club Member in 2014 and have renewed for 2015. Apply now to be a beneficiary of the 2015 AEF Wild Rose Trail Ride fundraiser at the AEF website or by contacting

Blue Pink

Time to plan your show season!

100 / 57 / 0 / 2 0 / 39 / 6 / 0

CA-ADA 2015 Festival Series Dressage Shows at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping

Mardi Gras CDI3* & Gold Show June 26-28, 2015 Carnival Gold Show & Alberta Championships August 27 - 30, 2015 For more information: A L B E RT A B I T S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 5





AEF Business membership is available to commercial businesses directly or indirectly involved with the equestrian community in Alberta. With over 16,000 members the AEF is well positioned to provide your business with cost effective marketing to suit every business, no matter the size. BUSINESS MEMBERS ENJOY SUCH BENEFITS AS:

• Text listing in Alberta Bits magazine-the official magazine of the AEF (print and digital issues) detailing company name and website -Hyperlink included in the digital issue - phone number displayed if no website available. • 30% off regular advertising rates for Alberta Bits magazine. (Distributed quarterly to select tack stores and AEF members). • Listing in the AEF Online Business Directory with logo, description and link in up to 2 categories. • Access to post in the online AEF Forums and Business classifieds and include your events in the onlineAEF Events Calendar. HAVE YOU RENEWED YOUR AEF

MEMBERSHIP? 2014 Memberships expired December 31st, 2014

Don't miss out on all the benefits (see page 7 of this issue for a full list)

• Ability to have the AEF promote discounts or special savings offered to AEF members. (Business members offering a discount will be included in a rotating feature in the AEF monthly newsletter and are featured on the business directory landing page). • Opportunity to participate in the Group Commercial Insurance Program through Capri Insurance (Please contact Capri directly 1-800670-1877 for program details). • Additional advertising and sponsorship opportunities through AEF programs. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO OBTAIN AN APPLICATION FORM, PLEASE VISIT or call 1-877-463-6233 ext 5


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C LU B P RO F I L E Photo courtesy of SATRA


to SATRA for their recent generous donation of $4,000 to the AEF Trail Supporter fund. This fund assists with Alberta equine trail re-building, development and maintenance projects. The AEF thanks all those who donate to the AEF Trail Supporter Fund. Visit our website to view our Donor Wall of all Trail Supporter contributions received of $100 or more.


Enjoying the Great Outdoors on Horseback Fun, friendship and great rides with the Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association. B Y H E AT H E R G ROV E T

Southern Alberta is famous for its beautiful backcountry. One family orientated, non-profit equestrian club that promotes safe, responsible horseback use of this area is the Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association, also known as SATRA. Norm and Pat Spencer of Lethbridge, Alberta, have belonged to SATRA since 2000. “SATRA promotes safe use of the backcountry, organizes rides, and hosts clinics to encourage learning and education,” Norm Spencer explained. “We also help develop and maintain trails in the southwest area of Alberta.” The Spencers joined SATRA after hearing about the association from various equestrian friends and acquaintances. “I’ve always been immersed in riding,” Spencer said. “I’ve rode for at least 50 years - I have white whiskers! I always did a lot of riding in the mountains, often on big pack trips, plus used my horses locally for gymkhanas and team penning. While in the mountains I’d run into hunting guides and other riders who told me about SATRA. The horse world is quite small, and after hearing about SATRA for a while I finally went to one of their meetings. When people realized I knew the trails, they started asking us to take them there. Now we go out several times a year, taking our RVs. We trail ride for two or three days, and then come back to the RV for the night. It’s different than the type of mountain riding I used to do, but it suits us. Trail riding is great. “Horses are the original ATV,” Spencer continued. “You don’t need a super developed trail to enjoy horseback riding 12

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but you do need someplace safe to ride. Unfortunately it takes a lot of time and money to construct new trails, especially if you use professionals to do the job.” “The Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association holds an Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission License, and uses that to fund-raise money to support their activities,” Spencer said. “We also offer financial aid to other local equine organizations. This year we donated some of our funds to AEF’s Trail Supporter Program. AEF has supported us financially in the past, and now we have a chance to invest back in the things we enjoy.” SATRA has two types of members; active, which are those who ride and participate in clinics, trail rides and other riding events, and non-active members, who only attend the meetings and social events. All SATRA active members must belong to the Alberta Equestrian Federation for their insurance coverage. “We have about 80 members,” Spencer said. “Our riders come from all walks of life. Some simply enjoy trail riding, others show western or English. We also have members who do endurance rides, or cow work. But I think we’re all unified in trying to reserve a place for us to continue trail riding. “I’ve always enjoyed riding in the mountains,” Spencer said. “But there are a lot of people who haven’t had the chance to do that. This is my way to contribute back to the things that I’ve enjoyed. It’s an investment in the future.” For more information on their association go to AB



Making Strides

Pony Club offers young riders the tools they need to get started with horses and helps them flourish into accomplished horse people. With a vast range of interests and riders throughout the southern parts of the province, this association proudly grooms equestrians for the future. B Y H E A T H E R G R O V E T, P H O T O S B Y K A T H Y M A R S T O N

Pony Club was first started in Great Britain in 1929, came to Canada in 1934, and now exists in over 30 countries. The Canadian Pony Club has members from coast to coast, with Alberta being divided into three regions; Alberta North, Alberta Central, and Alberta South. Danielle Williams of Calgary, Alberta, is the District Commissioner of the Alberta South Pony Club, as well as the Regional Chair. “I’ve always loved horses, and was in Pony Club myself as a child,” Williams said. “Now my 13-year-old daughter is in Pony Club, she started at age six.” “The Alberta South Club is one of the biggest clubs in Canada, with around 250 members,” Williams explained. “The majority of our members are girls although we do have a few boys. Our members range in age from six to 25, but we just passed a new rule where we will have a Horse Masters Program for adults in the future! For years we’ve had people say ‘I wish there was a Pony Club for grown-ups,’ and now there will be one.” The Alberta South Region includes 14 clubs in the Calgary, Cremona, Lethbridge, Brooks, Strathmore and Airdrie areas. “Each club has a slightly different focus and type of member,” Williams said. “Many of our clubs don’t have showing as their main focus – education and stable management is probably one of our biggest interests. Pony Club has a great testing system, with all riders starting as an E, and slowly

progressing. Children improve their riding, but they also learn how to longe, care for their horse, and to teach riding skills. “As my daughter has advanced through Pony Club, I have become more and more confident about leaving her at the barn,” Williams said. “This year we had to buy my daughter a new horse. There was nothing wrong with her old horse, but she has just outgrown his abilities. It was good to see her new skills, and I didn’t have to worry when she tried out strange horses. “The children who go through Pony Club learn many essential skills,” Williams continued. “Last summer we had a Pony Club girl attend a show without her mother. The girl noticed her horse was acting out of the ordinary, and told the adults helping her. At first they dismissed her but as things progressed it became obvious that the horse was colicking. The girl’s training from Pony Club helped her notice those things before the adults did.” Pony Club offers a variety of disciplines including dressage, show jumping, rally (eventing), tetrathlon (which consists of swimming, running, riding and shooting) and Prince Philip Games (similar to gymkhana). “Each club has a slightly different focus,” Williams said. “The Sarcee Club, where my daughter rides, focuses on show jumping, dressage and rally. They even have a member who is a vaulter. But the High River Pony Club has a different interest; they’re quite involved with the Prince Philip games.

They have gained a number of 4-H and rodeo members so they’re allowing them to ride in western saddles at their practices.” Williams notes all Canadian Pony Club members must belong to their local Canadian Equestrian Federation. “Our Alberta members must pay a club fee to belong to AEF,” Williams said. “We use AEF’s insurance, and in return we want to support their organization.” AB

ABOVE: Prince Philip Games are a team competition consisting of four or five riders and their ponies. Riders may be required to slalom through poles, vault on and off their ponies or drop objects into a bucket. These games help develop coordination, horsemanship, agility and a sense of humour! BELOW: Shown here is the Alberta Pony Club group of riders in the 2011 finals competition. The winner then goes on to compete at the national level against members throughout Canada. Photos by Kathy Marston

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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 Photos by Rebecca Cade


Dazed by Dressage PAADA’s winter show series brings dressage to Ponoka, AB. B Y H E AT H E R G ROV E T

Hundreds of horse shows and competitions are held across Alberta each year. Some of these competitions are sanctioned by Equine Canada (EC), some are sanctioned by other equine organizations such as the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) or American Paint Horse Association (APHA), and others are run independently by local stables or agricultural societies. In 2014 the Parkland Area Alberta Dressage Association (PAADA) held a series of three spring shows they named “Dressage Daze” that were all EC Silver level sanctioned competitions. Rebecca Cade, PAADA Area Chair, describes the competitions and why they chose to have them EC sanctioned. “All three competitions were Equine Canada Silver level sanctioned competitions,” Cade explained. “We had a one day competition Sunday, February 23/14, and then a two day competition March 22-23/14. We then finished the series with a two-day Silver Provincial Show May 2-3/14. This was our second year to host the series, and we were very pleased with the turn-out. I would estimate we had 30-60 horses at each event, with riders competing from walk / trot level up to Intermediare II. “There are a number of reasons we choose to have the competitions EC approved,” Cade continued. “We felt 14

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having a high quality show would give people something to work towards. I should add, we were the first group in Alberta to hold Silver Provincials.” Cade notes that EC sanctioned shows are permitted to use EC accredited judges, course designers and stewards. They are also permitted to use Dressage Canada dressage tests. “We didn’t know how our turnout would be for the winter shows, but things worked well,” Cade said. “Yes, weather has the potential to cause problems, but we had good numbers, even at the February show. It probably helped that we used excellent heated facilities.” All three shows were held at Ponoka, Alberta’s Calnash Trucking Ag Event Centre. “It’s a great facility,” Cade said. “The heated arena is divided into two riding portions, so we are able to hold two types of classes at the same time. We used the larger part of the arena for our EC Silver Show, and then we used the smaller portion of the arena for the AEF Wild Rose Show. The barn is large, and it’s also heated, so competing in the winter was comfortable for everyone.” Cade encourages Albertans to come to Ponoka in 2015 to get a taste for dressage. “These shows are a great opportunity for the public to see what dressage is all about,” Cade said. “Everything is in one building and very accessible. We have a high level of

judges from across the province and a good number of horses and riders in a wide range of levels. For example, we have walk / trot classes which are open to adults, as well as youth. Walk / trot is great for beginning competitors, but it’s also a useful class for starting young horses. We also have western dressage classes; the sport of western dressage is really gaining interest here in Canada. “The Dressage Daze series is also a good way for new competitors to check out the sport,” Cade continued. “They can come to the event and watch. They’ll see what they’d be required to do when they compete themselves. And it’s a good way to connect with other dressage people. Our executive is at the show and available to talk and answer any questions they may have.” Cade notes that everyone competing at their series must be AEF members. “Horses are a high risk sport,” Cade said. “We require AEF for insurance purposes. But there are other benefits to AEF as well as their liability insurance. For example, AEF produces their magazine, Alberta Bits, which allows members to learn about the variety of people in their organization, and that can be really interesting.” AEF members come from a wide range of disciplines; you’ll find dressage competitors, trail riders, Pony Club members, reiners and back-yard breeders all joined by their love of the horse. And that has to be worth sharing. AB


Angie Golley, winner of the 2011 Donida Farms FEI Championship Trophy with the three horses she competed with for the trophy (L-R): RD-MecKide (GP; third), Vince (PSG; Champion) and Warello (I1; Reserve Champion). Photo by Gadsby Lake Farms

Young Volunteers


Volunteers, selected by competition organisers, receive recognition and a $50 VISA/MC gift card.






The Parkland Area Alberta Dressage Association (PAADA)’s Dressage Daze series could only exist with the assistance of numerous volunteers and assistants. One volunteer that PAADA would like to recognize is Angie Golley of Tees, Alberta. Golley is the owner/operator of Extreme Stables, and also their head trainer. She competes on the dressage show circuit with her own horses as well as those in training. “Angie’s barn has quite a few youth involved in three-day eventing,� PAADA Area Chair Rebecca Cade said. “Angie coaches dressage to “This is a huge, huge job and these youth riders. She even with all this manpower then brings a group it still takes several hours. of them, ranging in We would hate to do it ages from six to 17, to without their assistance.� our show series each – Rebecca Cade winter to brush up on their dressage.� This group of young riders do more than compete at the show. Golley harnesses their energy and enthusiasm to work as volunteers. “A large number of Angie’s students and their parents help us put up and take down the dressage rings,� Cade explained. “This is a huge, huge job and even with all this manpower it still takes several hours. We would hate to do it without their assistance.� Golley is a graduate of the Olds College Equine Science Program. She worked at the Beckwith Veterinary Clinic and Dressage Center for five years, and has trained in Germany plus ridden with a member of the Canadian Team at the Pan American Games. Currently she is riding in Florida. AB









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B U S I N E S S P RO F I L E Photos by Lori Stewart

Breathing New Life into Old Horses

Assisting society while giving horses retirement with “purpose,” the new Spirit Winds Horse Centre offers a place for people to better connect with equines, the land and ultimately, themselves. BY LAUREL GRIFFIN

I grew up with horses. Horses were very much a part of my childhood and then, as I hit the typical pre-teen “horse crazy” time in my life, I was immersed in riding, jumping, showing and then into breeding. I was officially a “horse woman.” As much as I gained some success in all those areas of horses, the biggest joy I got was my (many!) years of teaching kids to ride and seeing how much confidence they gained, as they learned to communicate and work with their horses. After taking a long break from the horse world, I found myself wanting to be back in it – but not in the same way as before. Horses helped shape me so much, and as I met more people outside of the horse world, I realized that just recalling their first time meeting a horse would not only conjure up a smile, it would elicit a tear at the memory. People like Linda Kohanov (author, The TAO of Equus & Riding Between the Worlds) began to realize that it wasn't just that we could read horses – they could read us. We have a lot to learn from that. Horses have a language that relies on and feeds off of body language, energy and other non-verbal cues. As prey animals, their survival depends on it. If we can communicate well with horses, we can ultimately learn to better communicate with people. And especially, ourselves. My ranch had been rented out for years but this place, nestled in the foothills of the Rockies west of Cochrane, Alberta, has a special kind of energy and peace. I held on to it just “knowing” that I couldn’t completely leave the horse world forever. In late 2013, I started exploring the ground-breaking work being done in the area of equine-human interaction 16

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and communication and I knew I had found my true calling. I then met Wendy Golding of Horse Spirit Connections, and founder of FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning). A natural partnership quickly formed over mutual love and respect for horses, but more around how we both wanted to help people succeed in their lives through equines. Spirit Winds Horse Centre quickly came about as a place where people can connect with horses, the land and ultimately form a better relationship with themselves. In 2015, we are launching a number of programs focussed on serving the needs of autistic children, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferers and those who just want to learn to communicate more effectively. Spirit Winds is also a place where people can relive their childhood dreams of that first pony and find a new community with horses that is about connectivity and not competition. We set very strong goals and values at Spirit Winds. Firstly, it’s important that we bring new thinking to our relationships and interaction with horses. Secondly, we must make the centre and horses accessible to all. Thirdly – and a foundational aspect to all we do – give old horses not only a great retirement home, but also a rewarding and interactive job. We are in the process of building partnerships and relationships in the areas of equine communication and other natural practitioners and look forward to helping share the benefits of horse-human connections. For more information about Spirit Winds Horse Centre, check out AB









ENGL I S H , W E S T E R N , S A D D L E S E A T & D R I V ING

All Equine Canada coaching programs are nationally recognized programs developed by discipline-specific coaching committees comprised of the best equine professionals around. They allow for growth, development and training opportunities amongst those involved – and eventually certification in one of either two streams: instruction (teaching those who enjoy their horses outside the competitive ring; ideal for those who teach beginner riders, riding schools or day camps) or coaching (for those individuals who work with students who compete). F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C O N TAC T E R I N LU N D T E I G E N

O R V I S I T T H E A E F W E B S I T E A L B E R TA E Q U E S T R I A N . C O M

Alberta Equestrian Federation


THE AEF TRAIL SUPPORTER FUND, FORMERLY KNOWN AS TRAIL SUPPORTER PROGRAM, WAS CREATED TO PRESERVE ACCESS TO ALBERTA’S TRAILS AND TO GIVE EVERYBODY THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY OUR VAST TRAIL NETWORK AND CAMP WITH THEIR HORSES. Everyone who enjoys this freedom must do their part to ensure that this access is continued. The AEF Trail Supporter Fund supports the efforts of Alberta trail builders by making funds available to support the development, maintenance and improvement of horse friendly trails, campsites and staging areas throughout the province. Many areas in southern Alberta sustained heavy damage from the floods last summer and repairs are still needed.

If you care about the future of equestrian access to Alberta’s trails, contribute to the AEF Trail Supporter Fund. Every dollar helps!

Any contribution is gratefully accepted, however thank-you gifts are available to those who wish to receive them, at the following contribution levels: $35, a ‘Leave No Trace’ handy reference card; $60, a ‘Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics–Horse Use’ booklet; and at the $100 level, both the reference card and the booklet.

visit for details






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 you to progress at your 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; 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




It is not bad for a horse to be in your space as long as you are both clear on the rules: either you have invited him there, or he is permitted to be there given the situation. In this image Spud is clearly in my space. The decision to be there was his alone. What did I do about it? Well, I totally relaxed and enjoyed every second of it. Earning Spud’s trust was not easy. His reward for his decision to trust me was to enjoy peace and contentment in my space. Photo by Max Tchikhatchev

Back Off!

How do you handle a nosey horse? It might be simpler than you think. BY SCOTT PHILLIPS

Several months ago I had a horseowner friend overnight at my place to break up an extended drive. After we had his horse settled, I was giving him a tour of my property and we were walking through the pasture. As expected, Chip came trotting up to see who the visitor was. He walked right up to my friend, and put his nose near his jacket. This was

Chip has just turned four. He’s playful and curious. I encourage these traits because they are such an incredible asset: they produce try, recognition of success, and comfort in exploring his environment. Does he get to do anything he wants? Absolutely not. However there are proper ways of teaching him that boundary. Photo by Linda Fitzpatrick 18

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a jacket with many zippered pockets, and Chip prides himself on being able to open and close a zipper. He’s pretty good at it. It’s totally non-aggressive. If he’s asked to stop and back off, he is fine with that. The key word here is ask. Read communicate. Unfortunately my friend took offense and took the very unhorsemanship-like action of clocking poor Chip in the face with his elbow. Chip was surprised and rightly so. While my friend’s motive may have been correct: “I don’t want you in my space,” his actions were anything but. Humans do not naturally have a handle on space when it comes to a horse. We are too quick to go to our hands before we try anything else. This makes sense; we’re used to manipulating our environment with our hands. Therefore we attempt this instinctively with a horse, because we need another method of communication – the horse doesn’t understand English. Horses, though, have a very functional form

of communication. Thus we have a powerful tool: emulating the horse’s behaviour. If you’ve ever watched horses interact, you’ll have observed that space is one of the most basic equine communication elements. Horses can move each other simply by pressing on each other’s space, with a variety of pressure intensity, without having to physically contact each other. Consider using your hands only to support and shape an action – not as a primary method to force your intention. We’ve all had those people who like to stand in your personal space when they talk to you. If someone intrudes on my space, I’ll increase my back off energy – kind of like puffing up and making myself bigger. If they don’t pick up on that, I will politely say, “Do you mind stepping back a bit, please?” I say this not to offend the speaker, but to allow us to have a conversation in comfort. What if, instead of asking the speaker to step back, I just hauled off and punched him in the nose the moment he

got too close? Would there be anything wrong with that? Our societal norms would dictate that there is. Punching the close talker in the nose and clocking my horse in the face are the same thing and are handled in the same way. So what to do? What I won’t do is back away. This will just invite the horse back in. By doing so, I have submitted to him. This is not desirable. With a horse – particularly one like Chip – it’s a dangerous road to go down because now he has learned that HE can move YOU. We’re all familiar with pressure and release when it comes to working with a horse. What you might not have considered is that there are many types of pressure, and many levels of pressure intensity. Initially I will increase my energy to push the horse out of my space. I might try that one more time with a higher intensity and a step in toward him. If it’s not working, I won’t continue to repeat it, but change the type of pressure to something more obvious and try this new pressure at a low intensity. More pressure does not mean that you should get angry, forceful or even make physical contact. You’re striving to be a calm and effective leader. If there is still no response from the horse then you are having a leadership discussion: who owns this space? You need to clean it up properly. Hitting the horse is unreasonable at this point. If you feel the horse is threatening your life, then sure, do anything you have to in order to save your own hide. But simply stepping in my space? An offensive physical move like hitting is totally uncalled for and not the mark of a horseman. Instead, take this approach. Continue with your back off energy but put your hand on the horse’s nose. Firmly. Don’t push, because then you are just inviting a challenge – for instance, the horse pushes back with the same or more force. Simply make it clear that there is an invisible wall there. Now, just wait. Waiting is hard for people, but learn to wait. You’ll go way further when working with a horse if you give him the opportunity to be right and wait on it. The horse may push against you. He may move his nose to a different position in order to continue with his original mindset. Keep your hand in the same spot with the same amount of pressure. The horse may push against you; but you won’t push against him... [CONTINUED ON PAG E 2 0 ] A L B E RT A B I T S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 5


[ " BAC K O F F ! " C O N T I N U E D F RO M PAG E 1 9 ]


This new 2015 incentive program is geared and targeted toward certified coaches and facilities/stables to encourage more rider level testing within the province of Alberta through the English and Western Learn to Ride Programs.


The program will include (1) one $1,000 financial incentive for a facility/stable, and (1) one $500 financial incentive for current certified coaches per year for a total of $1,500 per calendar year. Coaches and Facilities/Stables interested in receiving this incentive, will be eligible by completing an application. APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 27, 2015. Those awarded the incentive will have to meet several criteria, including, but not limited to; the highest number of rider level tests conducted in the calendar year, how and where the incentive funds will be used, their passion for the program, etc. Criteria will follow that similar to the AEF educational scholarship application and rider bursary applications.


The goal of this new incentive program is to help grow the National Learn to Ride programs in the province of Alberta, and to increase LTED participation. For more information on the English/Western Learn to Ride Programs or available coaches/facilities for rider testing, please contact

...or you risk inviting a challenge. Eventually the horse will take a step back. It is totally expected that initially he might repeat the same challenge two or even three times. If he moves in again after he has correctly yielded to my pressure, then I will repeat the same exercise because now we’re successfully training with repetition. I don’t step up the pressure because he got it right: he yielded to my space. Be ready with a crop or the end of the lead rope, starting with a light tap on his chest, if he is hanging on your hand too long. Our goal is to eventually have him backing off from your energy alone. In short order, something amazing happens. The horse stands back and puts his head down and relaxes, or walks away contentedly. Why? Because I have answered a question for him, “Whose space is this, mine or yours?” And when I calmly provide that answer, he is no longer bothered by the question. Lack of clarity in space and herd order bother a horse. Once you provide that clarity your horse will find peace; you’ve answered the question and taken that stress off his plate. It’s simply how their minds work. The danger of becoming physically aggressive is two-fold. He may come into your space with more force since you have made it obvious that this is a challenge; or he might submit and leave shaking his head or kicking out as he trots off. In the latter you have taught him to expect physical aggression from you when things go wrong. You don’t want this. Instead, you want him to look to you for calm and effective leadership. I want any horse I work with to be comfortable and clear with our spatial agreement. I don’t want him to fear being around me. I want to make the space around me a good and peaceful place for him to be, but with a respectful boundary. This is absolutely essential because when you ride, you and your horse are intimately within each other’s space. Show him what to expect from you as the leader. AB



WHEN April 4, 2015 WHERE

Anderson Ranch Calgary, AB

WHO Caroline Jones EC Senior Hunter Judge



(includes GST, materials, coffee and lunch) Registration Deadline: March 13 2015

For more information including the Registration Form, please visit our website or contact Sophie Beaufils at 20

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Chip and The Hand – the palm of my hand is resting on Chip’s nose. He’s lifting his head up to resist backing off. I don’t increase the pressure; I simply follow his movements so that when he backs off he naturally finds release. Photo by Scott Phillips


Make a plan to rest and water your horses, especially on long hauls. This will help your animals endure the stress of trailering and come out at the destination in a healthy state. BOTTOM (RIGHT): Knowing about inclement weather before you hit the highway can help you avoid potential accidents. Photos courtesty of Jenn Webster

Trailering With Safety in Mind Minimize stress and the possibility of accidents with proper planning before hitting the highway.

As a horse owner, it’s likely that it will be necessary to trailer your horse at one time or another. Whether it’s a short distance to nearby trails or several hours’ drive to a competition, with a bit of care and attention, you can safely get your horse to where you’re going and minimize the possibility of any mishaps or undue stress. While it’s just common sense to ensure that your horse has been trained to load and unload safely and in a calm manner well in advance, proper planning ahead for any trip can ensure that the entire transportation process goes smoothly and is safe for both horse and handler. “No matter the distance, trip planning is the key to successful journeys, including knowing the weather conditions, road construction, etc.,” says Penny Lawlis, Humane Standards Officer with the Animal Health and Welfare Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) in Guelph, Ontario. Lawlis also currently sits on the 22

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National Farm Animal Care Council and teaches a graduate level course in practical animal welfare assessment for the University of Guelph. When transporting a horse, it’s important to plan out the route ahead of time, avoiding peak times in busy areas to avoid sitting in traffic. One should also be aware of any possible inclement weather. If the weather could make driving difficult, reschedule the trip for another day. Lawlis also stresses the importance of trailering only when the horse is healthy. “One of the issues we encounter frequently is animals [including horses] that are loaded and transported when they are not fit to be transported,” she says. “Unfit horses must not be loaded unless they are being shipped on the advice of a veterinarian to a vet hospital for treatment. Compromised horses should not be transported mixed in with fit horses in the same compartment.” Learn to assess your horse for health and fitness before trailering. Check and record your horse’s vital signs, such as

temperature, respiration and pulse, as well as how much it drinks ahead of time. This provides important personal information as to what is normal for your horse and will assist in spotting any problems on the day of travel and upon arrival. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian. The 2013 Equine Code of Practice also has a reference on Appendix H – The Transport Decision Tree. TRAILER BASICS: The type of trailer used, whether it’s a straight load, slant load or stock trailer, is primarily based on owner preference. While some horses will load more easily into a stock trailer because of its openness, make sure it offers sufficient head room for the height of your horse. “When it comes to stock trailers, smaller horses such as Quarter Horses can safely fit, but it’s considered to be unsafe for taller breeds such as Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods, Drafts, etc., as there is insufficient head room,” says Lawlis. “Too small of a space will hinder your horse’s ability to move and balance itself and could increase the

likelihood of your horse injuring itself during transit, as well as developing loading problems.” Horses are subject to the same laws and regulations as other animals during transport. Lawlis emphasizes that horse owners and others should be familiar with the regulations and policies administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The Regulations cover areas such as allowable time without feed, water and rest, and using equipment that won’t cause injury. HANDLING TRAVEL EMERGENCIES: Even with the best intentions, sometimes mechanical breakdowns or even accidents can occur. Knowing how to handle an emergency situation when on the road can be the difference between being helpful and helpless. Horse owners should inspect the trailer before every trip to make sure it is safe to operate and safely hitched to the truck. “Always check your trailer before starting out and recheck it after each stop, and always carry first-aid kits for your horse, yourself, your vehicle and your trailer,” advises Michelle Staples, a Horse Safety Specialist located in the Niagara Region of Ontario. Author of Save Your Horse! A Horse Owner's Guide to Large Animal Rescue, Staples also teaches CPR, CERT (disaster preparedness), Horse Awareness and Safety, Introduction to Large Animal Rescue for Horse Owners, and Emergency First Aid for Pets. In an accident when emergency responders are called in for assistance, chances are their knowledge of horses will be limited, and they will be looking to the horse owner or handler for guidance. Staying calm and quiet allows you to think clearly in emergency situations. “Safety is the number one issue in an accident,” says Staples. “If you are hysterical or interfere with a rescue in a way that makes the rescue more difficult or less safe, you will be set aside and disregarded.” In the case of a trailer rollover, Staples advises to check out all people and pets traveling with you so you know what to report to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. “Take note of where you are and advise them that emergency assistance is required and you may possibly require transport for your horse, and that you need a large animal veterinarian dispatched immediately,” she says. “While waiting, your first inclination is to open up the trailer and go in to help your horse, but that’s an action that can get both you

and your horse killed. An open door is an invitation for it to try and escape. Instead, find the smallest opening possible to peek in. Stay calm. Most horses survive rollovers if they’re in a well-maintained, sturdy trailer.” However, every circumstance is different and should be viewed in a separate manner. Staples recalls a trailering incident with an unexpected flat tire on the Golden Gate Bridge in California several years ago when she was traveling with a friend. “She chose to pull off at the nearest flat spot and change the tire with the horse still inside,” she says. “However, I don’t think I’d do that now.” Instead, she says she would have pulled over to a spot where she could safely offload the horse and call for roadside assistance such as USRider, a company that handles horses and trailers on a daily basis. Once assistance arrives, they would help her offload the horse and place it in some form of a contained area, such as pipe panels set up on the side of the trailer, or a roll of construction fencing with polls to keep it rigid or even something as simple as ropes strung around trees. “The problem with leaving a horse in the trailer is that when you jack up the side to remove and replace the tire, the horse will scramble, upsetting the balance of the trailer which could create a negative outcome for horse and handler,” she adds. When it comes to trailering, make every trip a positive experience by planning it out ahead of time to ensure that your horse arrives safe. Have a contingency plan available to address unexpected difficulties. Learning to be proactive rather than reactive goes a long way toward minimizing stressful situations for both you and our horse. AB Reprinted with permission from Equine Guelph

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TRAIL UPGRADES Merlin View Trail Construction Completed and East Telephone Trail Upgraded in West Bragg Creek. BY ERIC LLOYD Special Projects Coordinator, Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association

The AEF Trail Supporter Fund contributed $5,000 to the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association (GBCTA) in 2014 for continued implementation of the West Bragg Creek All Season Trail Plan. That funding was combined with $115,000 in funding from a variety of other contributors to complete 5 kms of tread construction on the 6 kms Merlin View all season trail loop and to upgrade 6 kms of East Telephone trail to sustainable all season and cross-country ski use. Merlin View Loop was completed in October 2014 and opened to the public for horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and snowshoeing (snow permitting). This extremely popular trail offers scenic views to the south through a foothills landscape of pine, spruce, poplar and natural meadows. East Telephone trail upgrading was completed in December 2014 and opened to the public for cross-country skiing (December 1 – March 31), horseback riding (April 1 – November 30), hiking, mountain biking and snowshoeing. 24

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This former ski trail was upgraded to provide a well drained, mineral soil tread trail with a minimum tread width of 10 feet. This required the removal of 160 large trees, roots and organic soil, the placement of large quantities of mineral soil, and the installation of 20 culverts and one bridge. East Telephone trail can now be combined with a variety of new all season trails such as Long Distance and Disconnect to make loop trips up to 16 km in length. The West Bragg Creek All Season Trail Plan was created to improve the trail users’ experience with the development of a sustainable multi-use summer and winter trail system, while minimizing the The AEF Trail Supporter environmental impact Fund contributed $5,000 of recreational use. to the Greater Bragg The plan provides the expansion Creek Trails Association for and upgrading of the (GBCTA) in 2014 for Bragg Creek continued implementation West Trail System in the of the West Bragg Creek Eastern Slopes of the All Season Trail Plan. Rockies in Kananaskis Country. The goal of the plan is to better meet the needs of all types of nonmotorized users while reducing impacts on the local watershed. The plan includes 48 kms of new all season multi-use trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and snow shoeing, 13 kms of new snowshoe trails, 15 kms of new cross country ski trails, upgrading of several existing trails, widening of 10 kms of ski trails for skate skiing and other improvements. Since September 2010, 62 kms of new trails have been completed, 15 kms of ski trails have been upgraded, $625,000 in funding has been raised and spent, and over 11,000 volunteer hours have been donated by trail users. The GBCTA is working in partnership with Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, the Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance, the Friends of Kananaskis Country and others. For West Bragg Creek trail maps, please see: projects/west-bragg-all-season-trail-plan/maps.html The GBCTA was incorporated as an Alberta not-for-profit society in 2004 and as a federally registered charity in 2007. The mission of the GBCTA is “to develop and maintain trails in the Bragg Creek Area for public recreation.” AB

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. HORSE OWNERSHIP IS NOT REQUIRED!


For more information please visit our website

OPPOSITE PAGE: East Telephone Trail in progress. BELOW: Nathan Froehler operates the mini excavator building Merlin View Loop trail. Photos courtesty of Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association

A L B E RT A B I T S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 5





Understanding the basics of equine mortality insurance. QUESTION: I have just spent a fair amount of money on a new horse for our daughter to ride and possibly compete on. I spoke with my current general insurer and he did not seem to know much about how to insure this significant asset. Can you help? ANSWER: As one of the largest providers of horse insurance in Canada, we know something about this topic. In an effort to keep this simple, I have broken down the answer as follows: PART 1 - WHAT IS MORTALITY INSURANCE? MORTALITY INSURANCE - This is the foundation portion of horse insurance products sold by specialty insurers, which provides life insurance on your horse. Mortality insurance, as provided by most carriers who offer such products, is available under two coverage types; a) FULL Mortality - Which means that the life of the horse will be insured against death arising from ANY accident or ANY sickness and includes humane destruction by a veterinarian. Full Mortality coverage is (typically) available for horses aged between 30 days and 17 years. The annual cost (premium rate) for full mortality coverage is calculated and charged as a percentage of the insured amount and we welcome your inquiry for current rates. b) Named/Specified Perils - Will also insure the life of the horse, but only for death arising from a “named” or “specified” list of perils that are detailed in the policy wording. Named/specified perils covers losses from such causes as fire, lightning, collapse of a building, transport, entrapment, drowning, impact by a vehicle (escape) and others. Named/Specified Perils does not cover death arising from sickness. Horses aged 30 days or older are eligible for named/specified perils coverage (no maximum age). * PLEASE NOTE - Full Mortality coverage includes all of the Named /Specified Perils. PART 2 – WHAT IS MAJOR MEDICAL COVERAGE? Major Medical coverage is an option that many of our clients take advantage of and can be purchased if the horse is also insured for full mortality. Major Medical will provide coverage if you incur emergency veterinarian expenses for a life or health threatening situation, including surgical and non-surgical procedures. Major Medical does not cover incidental and routine vet expenses (inoculations etc.) and is subject to a deductible. This optional coverage provides an annual limit of $5,000 or $10,000 at your option. *Also important to note is that the major medical extension cannot be purchased as stand alone coverage under any circumstances. PART 3 – DOES HORSE MORTALITY INSURANCE COVER MY HORSE IF HE IS AWAY FROM HOME? Most programs follow the horse and provide coverage automatically anywhere in North America. (We also offer worldwide coverage as an option to clients who may need this extension.) 26

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PART 4 – DO I HAVE TO NOTIFY THE INSURANCE BROKER / COMPANY IF MY HORSE BECOMES SICK OR LAME? The answer to this is yes. The insurance policy contract requires that the insured notify the insurer if there is potential of a loss. This means that if the horse needs the attention of a vet due to injury or sickness, a quick call to the broker will keep everyone informed and ensure that the policy contract is fulfilled. Capri Insurance sells comprehensive life and medical insurance for horses under an exclusive program called “Equi-Care” which has proven to be an affordable risk management tool to horse owners. For more information you are encouraged to contact Capri Insurance directly (see our ad on page 2.) 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



VOLUNTEERS As an organization, we would not be who we are, without the help and dedication of our tireless and selfless volunteers. The AEF would like to thank everyone who volunteered at the AEF Casino on December 28 & 29, 2014. This important fundraising initiative would not have been a success without the help of the many volunteers who donated their time.


Amanda Easthom Barb Easthom Carol Douglas Chantale Entz Charlie Bates Dena Squarebriggs Don Scott Donald Smith Hilary Oakes Jackie Gemmill Jay Mills Jordan Williamson

Karen Nordmann Lauren Parker Laurie Friesen Leilani Smith Les Oakes Nicolas Brown Robert Orser Robin Barron Sabrina Oakes Susan Clark Trish Mrakawa Zoe Brown

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39 certificats





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To order:


Western riding


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Including the 98 page colour manual and a note pad with tracing patterns OR a colouring book.

403 253-4411 • 1 877 463-6233


JAN 27, 2015

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 Carriage Driving Association Alberta Donkey and Mule Club Alberta Dressage Association 780-656-0406 Alberta Equestrian Awareness Society Alberta Equestrian Vaulting Association Alberta Friesian Horse Association Alberta Horse Trials Association Alberta Morgan Horse Club Alberta Mounted Shooters Alberta Pony Clubs (North, Central & South Regions) Alberta Trail Riding Association Alberta Walking Horse Association 403-747-2240 Alix Agricultural Society American Saddlebred Horse Association of Alberta 403-762-2762 Banff Light Horse Association 780-372-2080 Bashaw Light Horse Club Bear Valley Rescue 780-518-3329 Bezanson Agricultural Society 403-862-1591 Black Diamond English Riding and Driving Club Black Diamond Polo Club 780-449-5600 Blackfoot Trail Riders Border Cowboys Mounted Shooters Association Bow Valley Riding Association Calgary Arabian Horse Association Calgary Regional Appaloosa Club Calgary Regional Trail Riders 403-804-3277 Calgary Western Riders Canadian Horse Breeders Association Rocky Mountain District Canadian Registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse Canadian Sport Horse Association - AB Chapter 403-885-5222 Central Alberta Adult Riding Cooperative Central Alberta Special Equestrians Association 780-500-3599 Central Peace Horse Association Certified Horsemanship Association Chinook Country/Alberta Dressage Association 780-685-3305 Cleardale Riders Club Clearwater Horse Club Cochrane Horse Trials Committee Cooking Lake Saddle Club 780-852-8520 Cottonwood Corrals Association (Jasper) 315-854-5474 Davisburg Pony Club Delacour Agricultural Society & Community Club Didsbury Agricultural Society Edmonton Area /Alberta Dressage Association Electric Strides Drill Team Endurance Riders of Alberta Extreme Cowboy Alberta Association Family Fun Rodeo Series Foothills Therapeutic Riding Association Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association Fun Country Riding Club of Strathmore 403-652-7391 Gladys Ridge Riding Club Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association 780-835-1280 H.E.D.J.E. Society 780-903-3665 Hastings Lake Pleasure Horse Association Hay Lakes Riders High Country Carriage Driving Club 403-931-3361 High Country Pony Club Horse Industry Association of Alberta 403-935-4817 Irricana Riding & Roping Club Association Journeys Therapeutic Riding Society Jump Alberta Society 403-782-6472 Lacombe Light Horse Association 403-328-2165 Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association 403-556-6266 Meadow Creek Vaulting Club Millarville Polocrosse Club Miniatures in Motion Horse Club Mount View Special Riding Association Northern Lights Driving Club 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 Quarter Horse Association of Alberta Rainbow Equitation Society Ranahan Polocrosse 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 !

780-674-5191 Ridgeview Riding Club 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 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 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 780-829-3628 Traildusters Horse Club of Smith 403-843-6873 Tri-Country Riding Club Triple R Riding Club 403-362-2581 Uplift Therapeutic Riding Association 780-685-3305 Valley Riders Saddle Club Valleyview & Districts Agricultural Society Welsh Show Association 780-675-2572 Western Canadian Wagon Train Wildrose Mounted Shooting Society


403-556-1104 Back at the Ranch BMO Bank of Montreal Calgary Stampede Can Praxis Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc. Capri Insurance Services Ltd Chinook Communications 403-556-6266 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 403-933-3348 J. W. (Jim) Lawton Professional Corporation Julie's Natural Hoofcare Lane Moore Hoof Care Courses Martin Deerline 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 Ventures 780-721-9826 The Art of Movement The Horse Store The Mane Event Equine Education & Trade Show 403-845-4020 The Tack Trunk Ltd 403-242-6162 The VisionsWest Studio UFA Western Horse Review Westwood Warmbloods Whispers Equine Learning Willow Grove Stables Inc.



MEMBER PICK “I went to Marcus Oldham College and studied Horse Business Management there and graduated with High Distinction. There I continued to work with the racehorses, track riding for a local trainer. I also began to event more seriously.” —Samantha Pritchard RIGHT: Pritchard started riding when she was 12 and quickly took to jumping. She competed as a hunter/ jumper growing up, then moved into eventing as a teenager. Photos by Jessica Kerschbaumer

Elated Equestrians

With an enthusiastic client base, eventing trainer Samantha Pritchard sees numerous benefits in AEF membership. BY JENN WEBSTER

Samantha Pritchard first began taking riding lessons at the age of 12. From there, she never looked back. Attending the Marcus Oldham College in Geelong, Australia, where she graduated with high distinction from the Horse Business Management Course, Pritchard was also awarded top awards in Horse Husbandry and Veterinary Care. Upon moving to Alberta in 2009, she became an AEF member and furthered her education in the world of eventing and dressage under the tutelage of Olympic rider, Sandra Donnelly. After training, coaching and competing with Alborak Stable, Pritchard opened up her own business called Elation Equine Services servicing the Calgary, Alberta, eventing and dressage community. “I run a training and coaching program north of Cochrane, Alberta. We focus on eventing, but have clients from all sorts of 30

A L B E RT A B I T S | S P R I N G 2 0 1 5

disciplines,” said Pritchard. “I start horses under saddle and prepare them to be sport horses. We do a lot of commission sales and sale preps.” The majority of Pritchard’s clients ride off-track Thoroughbreds and her own personal horses are all Thoroughbreds. Upon returning to Canada, Pritchard became an Equine Canada Coach One and spent a year working on her dressage with coach Carolyn Rathwell. “In 2009 I moved to Alberta and began to work for Sandra Donnelly, becoming more immersed in the eventing scene,” she explained. “In 2010 I started Elation Equine Services and began as a mobile trainer, eventually settling down at East Acres Equestrian in Cochrane, Alberta, where I have been fortunate to gain an enthusiastic client base, a fun string of horses and great friends.”

Pritchard said she enjoys being an AEF member because of the great insurance it offers. “In order to compete we must be members of the AEF. Aside from the requirements, the insurance is so important for all horse owners in order to protect themselves from many possible liability issues. We encourage all our boarders to get a membership, and the extra insurance for tack, and the environmental death insurance.” AB

ABOVE: Pritchard’s Elation Equine Services is based at East Acres Equestrian, near Cochrane, AB.

B A , r e e D d e R , k r a P r Westerne

5 1 0 2 , 6 2 APRIL 24 Clinicians

ssage Anne Gribbons- Dre ern Dressage anship st m e e W rs o n H so in ll a re w a S P ff a li d C Lin g in p m Merritt- Driving Ju e n n A e n Ja Geoff Teallip sh n Country Horsema k c a B ye n in K c M i nnounced soon! a Terr e b to s n ia ic n li c Watch for more

e g n e l l a h C s r e n i Tra lvania Patrick King- Pennsy sin TJ Clibborn- Wiscon rta Kateri Cowley- Albe


Phone: (844) 57

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Alberta Bits - Spring 2015  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation

Alberta Bits - Spring 2015  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation