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SUMMER 2017; VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2

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.

AEF BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT PRESI DENT ELECT PAST PRESIDENT

Les Oakes 403.540.9859 lesoakes@gmail.com Lauren Parker 403.813.1055 lmparker@shaw.ca Tara Gamble 780.945.7516 tcgamble@xplornet.ca

SECRETARY

Dena Squarebriggs 403.760.0512 dmsquare04@hotmail.com

TREASURER

Sandy Bell 403.700.7880 chinookcomm@gmail.com

INDIVIDUAL

Trish Mrakawa 403.938.6398 trish@willowgrovestables.com

INDIVIDUAL

Nicolas Brown 780.454.5001 bruchev@gmail.com

INDIVIDUAL

Lewis Hand 403.722.4690 lewhand@live.ca

INDIVIDUAL

Alison Douglas 403.762.8570 thealicat@shaw.ca

INDIVIDUAL

Jessi Chrapko 403.627.5696 jdc@platinum.ca

INDIVIDUAL

Robert Simpson 306.641.5579 rmsimps1@ualberta.ca

INDIVIDUAL

Christine Axani 403.816.8979 chrisaxani@gmail.com

AEF STAFF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Sonia Dantu execdir@albertaequestrian.com 403.253.4411 ext 5 MEMBERSHIP

Norma Cnudde membership@albertaequestrian.com 403.253.4411 ext 1 MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Ashley Miller marketing@albertaequestrian.com 403.253.4411 ext 6

PA G E 0 6

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

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BITS & PIECES Equestrian Canada awards, two students take in the Alberta Farm Animal Care Livestock Care Conference, the Social Bit, bursary and Pump Up Your Levels recipients.

PA G E 1 2

B E ST A L B E RTA T R A I L S If you’re headed out trail riding this summer, back country expert Tania Millen details some great sites on which to put hoofprints.

PA G E 1 8

TRAINER’S CORNER Judge and trainer Rita Condon relays her expertise to help you improve your score in the hunter ring.

PA G E 2 0

B R E E D P RO F I L E Profile of the ever versatile Canadian horse.

PA G E 2 4

HORSEKEEPING Evaluating your horse’s required vitamins and minerals.

PA G E 2 6

T H E R O YA L C A N A D I A N MOUNTED POLICE As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, this historical unit has some special events in the works.

PA G E 2 8

ASK ABOUT INSURANCE Extensions that can sometimes be found in an equine mortality insurance policy.

PA G E 2 9

CLUB & BUSINESS LISTINGS

PA G E 3 0

CLOSING THOUGHTS More than just rodeo, the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth creates meaningful equine experiences for urban and rural folk alike.

COACHING

Erin Lundteigen coaching@albertaequestrian.com 403.253.4411 ext 3 COMPETITIONS

Sophie Beswick competitions@albertaequestrian.com 403.253.4411 ext 2 FINANCE, GENERAL INQUIRIES

Rita Bernard info@albertaequestrian.com 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 ALBERTA BITS IS PUBLISHED BY WESTERN PERFORMANCE PUBLISHING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE AEF

FOR EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES CONTACT: ALBERTABITS@ALBERTAEQUESTRIAN.COM Jennifer Webster Natalie Jackman Ashley Miller, Sonia Dantu

MANAGING EDITOR ART DIRECTOR PUBLICATION COMMITTEE

CONTRIBUTORS

Esteban Androgue, Ewa Lee Photography, Tania Millen, RingSide Media, McKenzie Trails West, Alexandra Morris, Sheila Stienley, Van Royals Canadians, Equine Exposure Photography, Nicole Templeton Photography, Shellie Scott Photography, and Sheila Stienley. ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVES

Sally Bishop 403.815.1289 sallysuebishop@gmail.com 2017 ADVERTISING DEADLINES

FALL 2017: September 8, 2017 WINTER 2017: November 3, 2017 FOR A MEDIA KIT AND/OR RATE CARD PLEASE CONTACT ALBERTABITS@ALBERTAEQUESTRIAN.COM

or marketing@albertaequestrian.com. All material is copyright 2017. 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 execdir@albertaequestrian.com

ALBERTA EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION

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

albertaequestrian.com

THE AEF GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGES FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM ALBERTA SPORT CONNECTION

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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A M E S S AG E F RO M A E F P R E S I D E N T L E S OA K E S

President’s Message As I write this message, I have just returned home from a great weekend at the Mane Event in Red Deer. As always it is a pleasure to see friends, members and acquaintances who I haven’t visited with for some time. In other cases, it is great to mingle with those I see quite often but get to see them in this type of setting where we can compare notes and make plans for future rides or meetings that need to take place. It was wonderful to meet and chat with several Fort McMurray residents to hear how their lives are returning to a more normal existence. There were still tears from some and lots of emotion when they spoke of their losses but from all, there was a deep gratitude for the generosity of the horse community in Alberta and throughout the world. From a business perspective, the AEF renewed many memberships which is positive and necessary to continue as your provincial equine association, and it was also great to sign up many new members. The staff manning the booth always do such a great job explaining the value of the membership; the best kept secret in the horse community in Alberta. In any business, which can easily be impacted and slow with the downturn of the economy, it was positive to visit with many other vendors at the event that have been able to maintain their sales, despite the last couple of years. With so many Albertans still out of work, it certainly was great to see people supporting vendors with the purchase of things they needed and, more importantly, wanted. As I wandered throughout the show, visited with booths and took in several of the presentations throughout the weekend, it seemed to me that there was a greater emphasis being placed on competency by not only clinicians but also people in the body worker and farrier professions, amongst others. One organization, The International Equine Body Workers Association (IEBWA) had numerous presentations that included the sharing of knowledge and asking the audience to consider and think about questions horse owners should be asking of their body workers. Those questions were similar to ones I have mentioned in past issues of Alberta Bits, to ask those you hire to look after the health and welfare of your horses if they are a member of a regulatory body. Unfortunately, our industry is mostly unregulated and anyone can read a book or take a weekend or a week-long course and declare themselves a body worker. In the case of the IEBWA, they require their members to be certified and initially complete a minimum of 300 hours. Each year

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thereafter, they must complete Continuing Education courses of a minimum of 16 hours per year. Wouldn’t it make sense in the case of the body worker you are presently using to have a minimum level of credentials? I am highlighting one association in this example but the same is true of your farrier, your trainer and even your riding coach. We need to ask these questions. In addition, we need to ask if they carry liability insurance, do they have Workers Compensation Board? We all love our equines, therefore we should be asking these important questions since the patient, our horse, can not. Hopefully, when you receive this summer issue you have already logged many hours of riding your best friend and the weather has been favourable for not only great riding, but also a great hay crop. If you are not one already, plan to be a participant in our Ride and Drive program to receive rewards for all your hard work! Remember, the AEF is your organization, so if you have ideas or want the AEF to focus on another area, please contact myself or the office and allow us the opportunity to take your ideas and consider them. Thank you to everyone who took the time out to join us at our AGM and Stride With Us event in March. It was a tremendous success and the newly elected board of directors looks forward to working for you. If you have meetings or events that you would like us to attend, please let us know and we will do our best to be there! All the best and have a great summer. AB


BITS & PIECES

ALBERTA FARM ANIMAL CARE (AFAC)

Livestock Care

CONFERENCE

2017 AEF BOARD of DIRECTORS Thank you to all the members, guests, speakers and presenters who attended the

The AEF was pleased to support two students, Caitlin Anderson and Kaylee Doke to attend the AFAC Livestock Care Conference on March 21 & 22, 2017. The conference brings together industry experts, stakeholders and producers to discuss the latest progress, challenges and opportunities surrounding livestock care and welfare issues, all of which are significant to the equine industry. AB

AEF AGM and Stride With Us event. The following Board of Directors were elected to serve the AEF membership at the Annual General Meeting held in Calgary, AB on March 18, 2017. Back row (left to right): Robert Simpson, Individual; Les Oakes, President; Lew Hand, Individual; Nicolas Brown, Individual. Middle row (left to right): Sonia Dantu, Executive Director; Lauren Parker, President Elect; Jessi Chrapko, Individual; Christine Axani, Individual; Dena Squarebriggs, Secretary; Trish Mrakawa, Individual. Front row (left to right): Tara Gamble, Past President; Alison Douglas, Individual; Sandy Bell, Treasurer. AB

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The Alberta Equestrian Federation is proud to award the following recipients for their hard work and dedication to the equine sport.

B U R S A RY & P U M P U P Y O U R L E V E L S R E C I P I E N T S S O N J A B U RT O N E N G L I S H R I D E R B U R S A RY

KENNEDY FORBERG

AWA R D E D TO

of Edmonton, AB, is a recent graduate of the Olds College Equine Science Program and achieved her English Instructor with Jump designation. Kennedy completed the English Learn to Ride level 8 exam in 2016 in pursuit of her instructor certification. She has a passion for learning and for horses. Her background includes diverse opportunities, including working as a groom at Northlands Park Racetrack and participating in 4-H. As a teen, she spent most of her time focusing on jumping and dressage. Even as an English rider, she embraced western events as a new challenge and a way to increase her knowledge and skill base. Kennedy mentions, “Our community is small and AEF does an excellent job in bringing us together.” Furthermore, she states, “One thing I love about AEF is the accessibility they have created for equestrian with the Learn to Ride programs.” Kennedy is excited to commence her own beginner lesson program this spring, under EC Coach Stephanie Mah. She ends with “If I was to be awarded this bursary, it would be an incredible honor as I personally knew Sonja and rode and competed with her for many years.” She plans to use the bursary funds to continue her education through clinics and professional development.

C H A R L E N E B A K E R W E S T E R N R I D E R B U R S A RY

JUDY WILLISCROFT

AWA R D E D TO

of High Prairie, AB, was thrilled to complete her Learn to Ride Level 4 exam with EC Coach Raema Racher on September 4, 2016. Growing up in a rural area in northern Alberta, horses have always been a big part of Judy’s life. She enthusiastically shares how she used horses as a primary means of transportation until her late teens. Judy’s background includes volunteer work with her local 4-H program, drill team riding and performing opening acts at local professional rodeos and competing in the PRCHA. Currently, Judy’s family owns a beautiful ranch which provides many opportunities to work cattle and trail ride with friends and family. Judy’s long term goal is to become a certified EC Western Instructor. “Being a member of the AEF has provided me with vital equine information in all aspects.” Judy says, “There is no doubt in my mind that I could never have obtained the level of rider skill that I maintain today without the help of my certified equine coach and the Learn to Ride program.” Judy is looking forward to sharing her experiences gained in the program when she reaches her goal, and plans to use the bursary funds to further her education.

P U M P U P Y O U R L E V E L S ( I N S T RU C T O R / C O A C H )

LISA DOYLE

AWA R D E D TO

is an EC English Instructor with Jump designation for Whitemud Equine Learning Centre (WELCA) in Edmonton, AB. She became certified in 2013 and has since been enjoying teaching all levels in WELCA’s programming from beginner to adult. Ten years ago Lisa began as a volunteer for Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association Program, which she claims opened the door to many amazing opportunities and is what started her on the path to where she is now. Lisa is very proud of her title and wholeheartedly believes in the Learn to Ride programs. Lisa shares that the program was of benefit and helped her become the teacher she is today. She enjoys having a clear program with goals set for herself and her students. She states, “It is a great way to promote safe, fun learning in the equine industry,” and plans to continue to use the rider level guides to follow a structure and set future goals. Lisa conducted upwards of 20 rider level tests in 2016. She plans to put the funding back into her program and facility by using it towards teaching materials, such as Rider Level Books for students in financial need, as well as tack for WELCA’s school horses which are needed for rider testing.

P U M P U P YO U R L E V E L S ( FA C I L I T Y )

AWA R D E D TO

SILVERADO HORSE CENTRE

is a multi-discipline facility located north of Cochrane, AB. Their goal is to create a fun, positive environment for riders. They have three EC certified individuals at their facility including Gabriele Klotz (EC Western Competition Coach), Lynne Redmond (EC Saddle Seat Instructor), and Neacolette Pope (EC Western Instructor). This year many of the centre’s boarders and riders enhanced their riding level and knowledge by learning and testing within the Learn to Ride programs. Silverado Horse Centre owners, Melonie and Jason Myszczyszyn, state that, “Being a member of the AEF has connected our facility to equestrian groups and publications that keep us up to date on Alberta riding and driving activities. The Learn to Ride program has greatly benefited our riding patrons. We take pleasure in knowing that we were able to provide access to great coaches and instructors who have shown the riders how to enhance their ability over the year.” They plan to continue to support and allow for access to coaches and instructors for the riders who want to learn and test for their rider levels in the future, using the incentive funding to upgrade the lights in the arena for improved visibility during riding, post up riding patterns for western and English on the arena walls in larger sizes, and to build more obstacles for riders to use with their horses. 10

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LOCATION ONE:

Jasper National Park

Mountain riding and some of the area’s best kept secrets. If you’re looking for somewhere to camp with your horse, go day riding, try an overnight ride or enjoy a longer pack trip, Rock Lake Provincial Park is a great choice. Located northwest of Hinton, Alberta, Rock Lake Provincial Park is surrounded by Rock Lake, Solomon Creek Wildland Provincial Park and provides easy access to trails in Willmore Wilderness Park and Jasper National Park (JNP).

Rock Lake is situated on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, so trails are usually passable in June. However, snowmelt can raise river levels, making trails impassible in early summer, so the best time to ride is in July or early August. The horse campsites and Willmore trails are usually busy from August 1 onwards due to hunting. Plan your trip by reviewing the Canadian Rockies Backroads Mapbook, Northern Rockies Trails Map, Jasper National Park Backcountry Visitors Guide (map), Hinton and Northern Rockies Visitors Guide and 1:50,000 topographic map

Best Alberta Trails It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year, and what better way to celebrate it than with trail riding? Here are two spectacular trail riding spots to explore this year. B Y TA N I A M I L L E N

HERE: Hand grazing on a pack trip gives the horses a chance to rest. Photo Dale Russell ABOVE: Photo by Mckenzie Trails West 12

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83E/8. A GPS loaded with maps of the area would be helpful. There are a variety of trailheads at Rock Lake plus two horse campsites with corrals which may be booked by contacting Alberta Parks. Where you camp will depend on your riding plans and corral availability. There is space to highline at both horse campsites although it’s not encouraged, and you’ll still need to book a campsite.

If you’re a long way from home, consider stopping at one of the bedbale-breakfast or camp-and-corral options in Hinton and Brule, before or after your trip. Your horses need to be prepared for rocky trails – shoes are highly recommended – and comfortable with water crossings. For overnight or multi-day pack trips, you’ll want fit horses that are familiar with wildlife,

PLANNING FOR AN EMERGENCY Whether you’re riding for a few hours or a few days, it’s wise to have an emergency plan. Of course, it’s best to avoid emergencies in the first place by taking suitable horses, gathering information about the trails you plan to ride, and riding with partners. But what if a rider gets hurt and cannot ride out? What if a horse gets badly hurt? What if you get lost? Planning for potential emergencies is prudent.

mountain terrain and boggy footing. Trails from the staging area extend into Willmore Wilderness and JNP and are suitable for novice day riders and first-time pack trip riders. Willmore Wilderness Preservation and Historical Foundation preserves and clears trails in Willmore, while JNP is operated and maintained by Parks Canada. Contact these organizations for trail information. Permission is not required to ride, camp, or graze in Willmore; however, you’ll need a pass and permits for JNP. From the staging area, a rocky track (the Mountain Trail) heads northwest up the Wildhay River. After 1.5 km, the trail forks. The left trail continues 11.5 km to Willow Creek horse camp in JNP, on the North Boundary Trail and Snake Indian River. The right trail continues 6.5 km to a junction with the well-used trail west over Eagles Nest Pass (Mountain Trail). The Indian Trail continues north up the Wildhay River valley. This junction is a perfect place to camp for first time packers or those doing a one-night trip. It also provides a nice lunch spot for a day ride from the trailhead. From here, there is an extensive trail system north to Grande Cache and west toward McBride and Mount Robson in BC, including the best-kept-secret in JNP – Blue Creek Valley.

First, carry a communication device such as a cell phone, satellite phone, SPOT messenger, or InReach device. Know the device’s limitations. Take emergency contact information applicable to the trail riding area. Tell someone where you are going, who you’re with and when you plan to return. Give yourself leeway on the return time in case the ride takes longer than expected. Advise your contact what to do if you don’t return when planned. Should they ride out to find you? Call emergency services? When you return from your ride, connect with your emergency person so they know you’re safe. Hopefully an emergency never happens, but if it does you’ll have a plan.

TAKE A SAFETY KIT

If a trail ride goes sideways, you’ll appreciate having some emergency gear in your saddle bags. So create a safety kit in a tough-sided, waterproof bag, which includes: a fix-it kit (multi-tool, cord, binder twine, duct tape, zip ties), first-aid kit, communication devices, trail refinding tools (compass, flagging tape), fire starter kit in a Ziplock bag (fire starter sticks, candle, lighter) and gear to survive an unintentional night out (head lamp, space blanket, food bar, toilet paper). I also recommend carrying a knife and a lighter on your person at all times in case your saddle horse decides to head down the trail without you. In addition to your safety kit, carry the following on your horse: food and water, GPS and map, sunscreen, bug spray for you and your horse, halter and lead shank, hobbles, spare hoof boot, axe in a scabbard, handsaw, rain jacket and pants, an extra sweater and a camera. Optional extras include spare gloves, binoculars and bear spray. With this gear, a safety kit in your saddle bags and a safe, sound horse – you’re ready to ride. A L B E RT A B I T S | S U M M E R 2 0 1 7

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campsite on the left has six corrals and is the best place to stay before or after overnight trips into Willmore Wilderness or JNP. The Willmore and JNP staging area (trailhead) and end of the road is 0.6 km past the second horse campsite. The trailhead has hitching rails, extensive parking for large rigs, water and signage.

LOCATION TWO:

Cypress Hills Riding through

Whether a day ride, overnight trip or travel little used trails through the backcountry wilderness, Rock Lake is an excellent place to go. GETTING THERE: From Highway 16, approximately 2 km west of Hinton, Alberta, turn north onto Highway 40 toward Grande Cache. Drive approximately 36 km to a signed turnoff to Rock Lake Provincial Park on the left (west) side of the road, approximately 5 km north of the bridge over the Wildhay River. It is about 30 km along a gravel forestry road to Rock Lake, the camping areas, corrals and trailheads. At an early T- junction stay left, then follow signs to Rock Lake and Willmore Wilderness. After 17 km, just past an industrial operation, a road to the left indicates the Moosehorn Lake trailhead. This trail extends south through Rock Lake - Solomon Creek Wildland Provincial Park about 18 km to Busby Lake and Moosehorn Lake – worthy end points for an overnight trip. The trail then continues south over Moosehorn Pass and down Moosehorn Creek through JNP. The trail through JNP ends at either the Celestine Lake Road or Ogre Canyon and may be in poor condition. Check with JNP before travelling this route. National Park passes and permits are required to travel, camp and graze in JNP. About 25 km along the access road, you’ll cross Mumm Creek. You can trailer your horses back here from your campsite for day rides. Follow the Mumm Creek Trail north on the east side of the creek or ride trails south of the road toward the Wildhay River. At 29 km on the access road, take 14

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the right fork. After 0.5 km there is a turn to the right (north) to the first horse campsite – a meadow with eight corrals. This is a great staging area for day rides. The Wildhay River is situated just 0.7 km north of the corrals and is a perfect place to cool off on a hot day, teach your horse about water crossings or just take lovely photos. Be sure to assess the river first – the Wildhay is swift and deep during spring runoff and after heavy rains. From the corrals, there is a 12 km return day ride that extends west through forest to the second horse campsite, then continues west and south to a fabulous viewpoint overlooking Rock Lake. Although the ride itself is a bit uninspiring, the end point is well worth the effort. Pack a lunch and your camera for this one. To access the second horse campsite, continue along the road 4 km past the first horse campsite. The

the highest land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. Ever wonder where the highest point in Canada is, between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador? It’s Cypress Hills, some of which are situated in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. This park straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan border just 75 km north of the USA, is the only interprovincial park in Canada and is a great place to ride. There are over 8,000 years of human history in the Hills, including the Cypress Hills Massacre. This awful event occurred in 1873 when American hunters from Montana massacred Assiniboine First Nations camped in the Battle Creek area. The incident threatened Canadian sovereignty and led to the creation of the North-West Mounted Police (which later became the RCMP). The Cypress Hills are ecologically and geographical unique as, unlike most parts of Canada, they weren’t glaciated in the last ice age. At 1,470 m – a similar elevation to Banff and about 600 m higher than the surrounding plains – the Hills create their own weather and provide extensive views for riders. With flat


RIGHT: Putting hoofprints on the highest point between the Atlantic Ocean and the Rockies is what makes riding in the Cypress Hills so special. HERE: A mule team at Mile 58. Photos by Tania Millen BELOW: River crossings are common in the backcountry, and can be treacherous after heavy rain. Photo by Dale Russell

tops and steep sides (which are a haven for rare orchids!), the southern slopes of the Hills tend to be grassy while the northern sides host pine forests. They also form a drainage divide, splitting water flowing north to Hudson Bay from water flowing south into the Gulf of Mexico. The interprovincial park is divided into three areas. The Centre Block is located 30 km south of Maple Creek on Highway 21 and is farthest east in Saskatchewan. It contains a Visitor Centre, year-round tourist facilities, campsites, interpretive trails and is not really horse-friendly. The West Block in Saskatchewan is totally horse accessible and considered a wilderness area. It contains an

equestrian campsite on Battle Creek, a multitude of horse-friendly trails including a portion of the TransCanada Trail, and provides access to Fort Walsh National Historic Site of Canada (former home of the NorthWest Mounted Police). To access Battle Creek equestrian campsite drive 27 km southwest of Maple Creek on Highway 271 then 7 km on a gravel road that is steep in places and can be slick after rain. Amenities at this well-developed campsite include 52 tie stalls, turnout paddocks and a grazing area with direct access to Battle Creek for watering horses. For riders, there are outhouses, picnic tables, barbecues, garbage cans and a large fire ring for group gatherings.

Cypress Hills provides many options for trail riders, and its unique geography and history is different from anywhere in Canada.

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Drinking water is available. Maps which illustrate the trails from the campsite, may be obtained at the nearby West Block Ranger Station. The 4 km (one way) ride from the campsite to Fort Walsh is definitely recommended. Riding through the gates of a historic fort steeped in Canadian history isn’t something you do every day! Follow the Battle Creek Road southeast to a gate then continue southeast along a little-used trail to the Fort. You’ll need to show a National Parks pass to enter the fort so either purchase one before your trip or ride north up the road to the Visitor Reception Centre (complete with hitching rails!), to buy one. Fort Walsh was formerly a breeding and training facility for RCMP and musical ride horses, so horses are welcome and there are hitching rails along the back wall of the fort specifically for horseback visitors. Well behaved horses may enter the Fort, and photos with period-costume Mounties are encouraged. Another ride from the campsite follows the Battle Creek Road west along Battle Creek to the TransCanada Trail and up to the Hidden Conglomerate Cliffs. This 7 km (one way) ride has several water-crossings plus passes historical sites. The trail up to the tops is steep in places and best in dry footing. Viewpoints provide extensive views south and east over the Hills and having lunch on the tops is a treat. Additional trails extend southwest and northwest from the equestrian campsite, offering various options for multi-day visitors. There are fees for entering the West Block and camping at the equestrian campsite plus a separate National Parks permit to enter Fort Walsh National Historic Site. More information about facilities, fees and permits is available from C y p r e s s H i l l s I n t e r p r o v i n c i a l P a r k (www. cypresshills.com), Saskatchewan Parks and Parks Canada. Equestrianspecific brochures are available from both Saskatchewan Parks and Alberta Parks. The Alberta portion of the West Block – located 32 km east of Medicine Hat on Highway 1 then 30 km south on Highway 41 - has a new equestrian campsite at the Spring Creek Trails System (5 km south of (Elkwater Lake). The campsite is small and rustic, with room for several trailers, a group fire pit, picnic tables and corrals. Depending 16

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on the season, water may be available for horses approximately 200 m east of the campsite. Campers must bring potable water and washroom facilities. Certified weed-free hay is encouraged, while hobbling and highlining are not permitted. Panels may be used. Recommended rides include Spring Creek Ski Trail (6 km loop with views from Head of the Mountain), Spruce Coulee Trail (up to 16 km), and off-

trail riding in the Nine Mile Area (choose your own route). Day riders not camping in the Alberta portion of the West Block must obtain a free Equestrian Trail Use Permit and Parking Pass. Overnight riders need a combined Equestrian Camping and Trail Ride Permit. For those who prefer bed and bale options, want more amenities than the Alberta West Block campsite

YA HA TINDA

Over 40 sites in this beautiful valley are available for riding.

Ya Ha Tinda Ranch provides access to Banff National Park from the east side of the Rockies. The ranch is owned by Parks Canada and operated as a training centre for horses used by park personnel patrolling Canada’s western national parks. Public camping with horses is permitted (and very popular) at Bighorn Campground at the ranch; the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch Horse User’s Guide, produced by Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association, provides more information. To reach the ranch, drive west from Sundre, AB, on Highway 27; then follow Highway 527 along the north side of the Red Deer River to the ranch.


offers, or are concerned about road conditions to access the Saskatchewan Battle Creek equestrian campsite, Historic Reesor Ranch is a good option (www.reesorranch.com). The ranch is located just east of the Alberta/Saskatchewan border and abuts the north side of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Riders are welcome to bring their own horses to this 100 year old cattle ranch, and ride into the park at their leisure. It is 30 km return from the ranch to Fort Walsh through the Saskatchewan portion of the West Block. Cypress Hills provides many options for trail riders, and its unique geography and history is different from anywhere in Canada. So if you’re looking for new trails – go ride the tops. AB Tania Millen is a backcountry rider, author and environmental consultant. Her book Pack em Up, Ride em Out: Classic Horse Pack Trips in British Columbia and Alberta is published by Caitlin Press and the AEF Store. Visit Tania at: www.taniamillen.com

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17


TRAINER'S CORNER Good riding and attitude are two of the biggest requirements in the hunter ring. Photo by Equine Exposure Photography

TOP HUNTER JUDGE

RITA CONDON Top hunter judge, Rita Condon shares her perspective as on official and some insight as to what she looks for in the show ring. BY JENN WEBSTER

If you’ve ever wanted to improve your placing in the hunter show circuit, there are several points you might want to consider. Top hunter horses and riders must display poised riding, style and excellent attitude. When all of the above are executed, it might come down to only tiny aspects that make the difference in the winning ribbon.

Rita Condon owns her own show jumping facility near DeWinton, AB, and is a well-respected coach and judge with more than 40 years in the industry. She specializes in the coaching and training of elite equine athletes and their riders. Condon knows firsthand the effort and preparation it takes to bring a hunter mount to the competition ring and, while each judge may have a different perspective, Condon has an 18

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amazing eye for the hunter ring. In this question and answerstyle format, Condon relays a few tips on how she marks the cards to help you get a leg up on the competition.

What are the top five common-seen mistakes that lower a horse’s score?

1) Lack of rhythm. 2) Inconsistent lead changes. 3) Poor form across the jump. 4) Lack of smoothness of pace. 5) Lack of straightness.

Are there any qualities that might make a particular mount exceptional as a hunter? Conformation is a big

one. Typically, there’s a certain “look” to a hunter but at the end of day, the most important feature of a hunter is a horse that is well put together. It also must have a relaxed way of moving. A hunter doesn’t feel like a dressage horse. Instead, it has a low/flowing movement with a soft relaxed gait. The same thing can be said about the horse’s body. It should have


TRAINER'S CORNER an easy-going look, with its ears perked forward and a good attitude. A good hunter doesn’t need to be up in the bridle but it should have nice self-carriage, carry itself well and be balanced in its gaits.

Can you define what the horse’s knees and body should look like? The horse’s knees should be even, across the middle of the jump and up through the forearm. I like to see the horse use its forearm well and I want the knees and forearm to come up evenly. Conversely, I don't like to see the lower leg dangle off the knee. And I like to see the horse tighten the landing.

What are some examples of things that detract from a horse’s form over a fence? Straightness, distance from the jump and pace. Also, the rider interfering with the horse.

What lead-change issues can you define that might reduce a horse’s score? Cross cantering, a late change or no change at all.

What is the ideal rider turn-out? A show shirt with a

collar, a hair net, a proper black helmet and gloves. Show jackets are also required, preferably not in brighter colours (only neutral colours). Tall, black polished boots, and a belt. Also beige or light grey breeches, but not black.

What is the ideal horse turn-out? The horse should

be clean, trimmed and not scruffy. Ears and whiskers are optional. This is, of course, a personal choice because we have so many bugs in this area. The horse should appear well-groomed, polished, braided and should be wearing hoof polish. Clean eyes, clean nostrils and a nice shine to the coat – plus, the tail should be brushed out. Tail extensions are fine. The horse should be wearing clean, neutral tack, with no bling. No coloured brow bands, no coloured reins, no rubber reins, no bright coloured stirrup irons. Tack should also be properly fitted, including a properly-fitted saddle pad.

What is some commonly seen illegal equipment in the show ring? Figure-8

saying. Have yourself videoed and learn from that. Those are all really good tools to use to help you improve your score.

Do you have any particular pet peeves as a judge? Yes. Taking out a stride / leaving out a stride on the line – I dislike that, it’s dangerous. Same with cutting corners or not riding straight, when the horse and rider rides away from the jump they need to ride the corners. Use the whole ring! Improperly fitted tack is also frowned upon. If you are not turned out well, it shows disrespect for the coach and the judge. Dawdling and holding up the ring is annoying too, but that’s not really about performance. The above are mostly, the most important points to note. However, my biggest pet peeve is the use of the stick (whip) instead of the rider’s leg. Abuse to the horse is the biggest thing, in my mind. To go into the hunter ring you need to be polished in your attitude and turnout. Ride with respect. For me, the important thing is that you do what’s right for the horse. Everyone should ride every step in the ring as though they're being judged. Walk in and walk out with dignity. I hate to say, “Walk in there like you think you're best!” But that is what I tell my people. Ride in the ring as though you are very confident. Ride every step, with elegance. I think the biggest thing with hunters is that they should be prepared and not abusive. Picking up the whip is abusive and it will cost you if you hit your horse with your stick. The minute you pick it up, you’re decreasing your score. As judges, we don’t like to see it and we judge harshly against it. It can cost you your first place ribbon. If two horses are pretty evenly matched and one has to be touched by the stick, that is the one that is not winning. Of course, every judge is different and we all have our own opinions, but for me personally – that bothers me. AB Rita Condon has been in the horse industry for 40+ years. She is a successful certified coach, as well as a coaching evaluator and mentor. Born and raised in England ,Condon runs her own facility with successful competitive hunters and jumpers in DeWinton, AB. She has a hunter and hack judging card, and she is in the process of acquiring her Jumper Judges card.

nosebands, flash nosebands, boots. Square saddle pads. Running martin-gales are legal in hunter but everyone really only uses standing martingales. Gag bits, elevator bits. Hackamores – or versions thereof.

What can a rider do to increase their score? Come prepared. Do your homework and train at home. If you train at home, get help from someone who knows what they're doing. Watch the hunter ring and listen to what the top coaches are

Albertan, Anya Bereznicki is pictured here. Photo by Equine Exposure Photography

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B R E E D P RO F I L E

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

“The Little Iron horse” is one of Canada’s best kept secrets.

BY ALEXANDRA MORRIS

HERE: Canadian stallion Davidson Josua Ram, better known as "Rambo" exemplifies the breed. As registration #11575, he is owned by Mitzy TaitZeller. Photo by Sheila Stienley RIGHT (TOP): "Desperado" Photo by Van Royals Canadians RIGHT (BOTTOM): Waitnsee Colbert Nickels, driving. Photo by Van Royals Canadians

Le Petit Cheval de Fer or “The Little Iron horse” is one of Canada’s best kept secrets. This magnificent horse is a perfect representation of Canada, strong and tough, and yet, so beautiful and unique. This powerful, sturdy breed comes from a mixed variety of breeds such as, Andalusian, Barbs, Normans, Bretons and Arabians. Back in 1665, King Louis XIV sent a shipment of these breeds over to New France. The shipment contained two stallions and 20

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about 20 mares but by the time they arrived, only 12 of the mares survived the journey. The exact origin of these horses are unknown, but many believe they came from areas of Normandy. King Louis XIV sent two more shipments over. The second shipment contained 14 horses, one of which was a stallion, and the third and final shipment consisted of 12 more horses. The King leased these horses for money, or an exchange of a foal, to farmers and religious orders. He

encouraged the farmers and religious orders to breed the stock to strengthen and populate the breed. The breed’s population skyrocketed and by 1679, the mere 12 originals horses grew to 148. Since then the breed kept growing and by 1688, the population of the Canadian horse reached 218 horses. By 1709, the population of the Canadian had grown to the point that the government put a limit to how many of these horses farmers could have. They were each allowed two horses and a foal,


B R E E D P RO F I L E with the additional stock to slaughter. However as the law wasn't enforced, it failed. During the 1700’s the “French Canadian horse” lived a feral existence due to many escaping human control, spread through what is now known as eastern Michigan and Illinois. There was an estimate of 150,000 Canadians in existence around 1849, with many being exported annually to other countries. Canada exported many of the horses to the United States for use as artillery carriers and cavalier. Through exports and war, Canadians almost became extinct. The Canadian Breed Association decided to inspect and approve stock for breeding to create a studbook for the breed in 1885 and Quebec law forbade Canada to export Canadians out of the country by the following year. A program was developed in 1913 to breed larger stock and retain the endurance and vitality for which the breed is known. The federal breeding program ended due to World War I and World War II and all breeding stock was again sent to auction in 1940. By the time the 1970’s came around, the breed’s popularity fell significantly, to the point that there were approximately only 400 Canadian horses worldwide and only five registrations of the breed annually from 1970 to 1974. A campaign full of promotions and preservation for the breed came about by several breeders during this time, which resulted in a Canadian team winning the 1987 North American Driving Championships. The win in 1987 increased the popularity in the breed and numbers jumped from 2,500 to 3,000 by the mid 1990’s. The

“their willingness and docile temperament give them an edge, especially to their diverse set of abilities. It makes the Canadian the perfect horse for a multi-discipline rider...” breed rose from critical to rare by the Livestock Conservancy. The breed’s standard had to change with its increase in popularity to meet the demand for modern show and market trends. Breeders wanted to improve the breed by producing taller horses with more

In 1909, the Canadian horse was declared the national breed of Canada by Parliament, and in 2002, it was made the official animal symbol of Canada by The Parliamentary Act. Quebec named it the heritage breed of the province in 2010, and it is now the common animal symbol of Canada.

refinement. In 2002 the Canadian Horse Heritage and Preservation society was formed to help preserve the original Canadian horse body type. The Canadian horse studbook is maintained by the Canadian Livestock records corporations. Since the beginning there have been over 13,900 Canadian horses registered and in 2012, 208 new horses were registered. The breed is still considered threatened with less than 5,000 globally and fewer than 1,000 U.S registrations. The influence of their ancestors really plays a part when it comes to the elegant arch of the Canadian’s neck, the gorgeous heavy flowing wavy mane and tail, and the fine-bone head that's reminiscent of the Andalusian and Baroque breed. They tend to have a sloping shoulder and croup, with a high set tail; and the chest, back and loins are strongly muscled. Canadians are known for their good strong bones and feet. Because of this, and their ability to survive in tough weather and harsh conditions, they have earned the well serving name of “The Little Iron Horse.” A L B E RT A B I T S | S U M M E R 2 0 1 7

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B R E E D P RO F I L E

“They have an abundance of long, wavy hair, show symmetry of shape and stand square on the ground. They tend to have shorter heads with clean lines, small, shapely ears, large, expressive eyes, and smaller mouths. They embody strength, power, and balance,” says Vanessa Ulmer, owner of Van Royals Canadians near Stony Plain, AB. Ulmer has owned and raised Canadians for the last 14 years. Typically when we see the breed, we often see the most common colour Canadians come in, which is black. They do however, come in a variety of colours, chestnuts, palominos and even, 50 shades of bay. The one odd thing is, you hardly ever see them with markings. So if there is a Canadian with markings is it considered a flaw? Ulmer explains, “Canadians can have white markings, and it is not considered a flaw. Although relatively uncommon,

stars, strips, snips and occasionally blazes add a delightful flair to the breed. For legs/feet, coronets are more common, although socks are also found.” Canadian height can vary between 14-16 HH and they weigh around 1,000-1,400 lbs. These gorgeous horses with envious manes aren’t extremely high maintenance either. “They are known to be easy keepers. While there are always exceptions to the rule, most Canadians do well with good quality hay or pasture, and often need to be watched for weight gain,” says Ulmer. Ulmer first met the breed at a friend’s barn at the age of 14. She was impressed by their sturdiness, docility and of course, the luxurious mane. Several years later, newly married, Ulmer and her husband Leroy were researching what horse to breed. She picked up Lawrence Scandent’s book, The Little Iron Horse. “I began reading snippets to him

from it about their clever, quiet temperaments, hardiness, robust good health and the excellent quality of their feet and bone,” she tells.“Leroy said, ‘That is the breed I want right there.’” Overall this hearty breed of strength and agility, with their willingness and docile temperament give them an edge, especially to their diverse set of abilities. It makes the Canadian the perfect horse for a multi-discipline rider. “They excel in jumping, dressage, trail and in harness, but have the temperaments and builds to handle mounted shooting, vaulting, trick riding, or performing tricks, or just being an all-around family horse and companion. Many people think their conformation makes them unlikely to do well in speed events, yet, they are surprisingly speedy,” states Ulmer. The governing body of the Canadian breed is The Canadian Horse Breeders Association (CBHA). The CBHA uses a point system and divides the body into eight sections, seven of them correspond to the horse’s anatomy while the eighth section evaluates the exterior, the horse’s skin, weight, action and height. Each section is allowed a certain number of points, the greatest number of points going towards the body with 20. It’s the most important as it contains the chief organs of blood circulations, respiration, digestion and nutrition. The quarters have the second highest points with 13-14 points. Fore-Foot third with 10 points. Next is the lower legs with each, five points. The scale is made easy by the fact that the points allotted to a region are distributed among the various parts constituting such regions. The only exception is in the case of the head. To register a Canadian, both parents must be registered and DNA recorded for a foal to be registered. “The registry was briefly opened to outside stock, in order to save the

GETTING STARTED IN CANADIANS

If you’re interested in the Canadian breed, check out the Canadian Horse Association of the Rocky Mountain District (CHARMD). CHARMD is affiliated with and supports the Legacy of the National Canadian Horse Breeders Association (Societe Des Eleveurs De Chevaux Canadiens) which was established in 1985 to preserve and improve the Canadian Horse. CHARMD represents members from a vast Canadian geographical region stretching across the Prairies to the Rocky Mountains (BC, AB, SK, MB). The Canadian Horse has attracted young and old, novice to experienced horsemen and women, hobby to professional interests, english to western disciplines, trainers to breeders and private individuals to public organizations. This diverse background of CHARMD members ensures that anyone contemplating association with CHARMD will find a warm and welcoming reception. For more details: www.canadianhorsebreeders.com 22

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breed in the 1960's. The inspected, but unregistered mares were chosen because they looked of type, were designated as ‘souche’ mares. The registry was once again closed in 1984,” Ulmer explains. Canadians have a unique way of naming their offspring. By using their process, the name identifies the breeding program and discerns it from others across Canada. Ulmer explains, “The first part (I will use my stallion's name as an example), is the name of the farm that owned the mare at the time of the breeding. So in the case of my stallion, Waitnsee Ranch owned his dam at the time she was bred to produce him. The second, or middle part, is the last word in the sire's registered name. My stallion's sire's name was Temis Brilliant Colbert. The last part can be anything-but it must start with the designated letter of the year, which goes in alphabetical order. The year my stallion was born (2003) was an ’N' year. Hence, his full name is Waitnsee Colbert Nickels.” Having two horses with the same name doesn't necessarily make them related – it just means they were owned by the same farm at one point. AB

ABOVE: Canadian mares. LEFT (TOP): Waitnsee Colbert Nickels, a black Canadian stallion. Photos by Ewa Lee Photography BELOW: Jade and Wishes. Photo by Van Royals Canadians

BITS & PIECES

EQUESTRIAN CANADA

AWARDS

Special congratulations goes to the following Equestrian Canada award recipients from Alberta: ARABIAN HORSE OF THE YEAR

PA Julius Caesar OWNER: Lorraine Prowse

(PICTURED BELOW)

SADDLE SEAT RIDER OF THE YEAR

Sara Sheppard

EQUESTRIAN CANADA MEDIA AWARD (The Susan Jane Anstey Trophy)

Spruce Meadows Television

HALF-ARABIAN HORSE OF THE YEAR

Qaracas CSF OWNER: Kristen MacGarva

COMMUNITY COACH OF THE YEAR

Gabriele Klotz

COMPETITIVE COACH OF THE YEAR

Sandra Donnelly

CONGRATULATIONS!

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23


HORSEKEEPING

Vitamin

&Mineral REQUIREMENTS What nutrients does your horse truly need?

BY ESTEBAN ADROGUE & JENN WEBSTER

REQUIREMENTS WILL VARY DEPENDING ON: #1 - Horse’s Body Weight #2 - Horse’s Age #3 - Psychological Conditions #4 - Activity Level 24

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Balancing a horse’s diet while meeting its energy requirements is very important when it comes to maintaining a healthy body condition. The health of individual animals relies on their forage intake to provide them with enough energy, protein, vitamins and minerals to perform their jobs. Through evolution, horses were designed to graze large areas of grass to meet their needs. So what happens to those animals who are housed in small areas without constant access to forage? Luckily, through science, we have learned how to meet the nutrient requirements of the horse and provide consistent, quality nutrition. Vitamins and minerals are two of the essential nutrients required by horses. The other four are water, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Specific amounts of each of these required nutrients depend on your horse’s weight and activity level. Most adult, non-working, non-breeding horses on good quality pasture can obtain these required six nutrients from their forage only, (in addition to free choice water and salt). However, if forage is low in a required nutrient, it can cause a detrimental effect on your horse’s health. “Hay is the most widely used feed source for horses and cattle,” says Dr. Matt McMillan Ph.D. of Pleasanton, Texas, an equine nutritionist with HiPro Feeds. “It works, and is usually sufficient. For quality alfalfa hay to be available, the weather must cooperate. It must be put up just right, stored correctly, be free of Blister Beetles and not be consumed by other animal agriculture interests. No matter how good all of the previous expectations are met, as soon as hay is cut, the quality diminishes with vitamins E, A and D leaching first. Availability of minerals and proteins also diminish over time.” Dr. McMillan explains that hay quality varies from flake to flake, bale to bale, cutting to cutting. Even the best agronomist would have to send samples to get an idea about the quality in any variety of hay. However, one rule of thumb is that hay quality improves with each cutting as there is more leaf and thinner stem and hay quality improves in conducive climates. If you suspect your horse might be lacking in specific vitamins or minerals, speak with your veterinarian or equine nutritionist. Also, never assume that if something is good, a lot of it would be better. Excessive supplementation of some vitamins can be toxic or excessive supplementation of some minerals can interfere with the absorption of others. Horses only require fairly small quantities of vitamins or minerals. Depending on a variety of factors however, maintaining a proper balance is always key. AB


HORSEKEEPING

NOT ENOUGH MINERALS

BALANCE IS KEY!

TOO MANY MINERALS

Always remember Calcium to Phosphorus ratio The Ca:P ratio should be about 2:1 with twice as much Ca as P.

Dietary Deficiency

fat soluble A/ D/E& K These vitamins are only able to dissolve in fat. They are absorbed from the intestinal tract with the assistance of fat-droplets and can be stored in the body’s fatty tissues and in the liver.

Results in Toxicity

VITAMINS

Vitamins are often divided into two groups as either fat or water-soluble. These nutrients have a diverse range of functions, including enzyme cofactors, hormones, and anti-oxidants.

water soluble C &B -co mp l ex

v i tami ns.

As the name implies, these vitamins are water-soluble and not typically stored in the body. Therefore, the horse must have a consistent intake of them.

where can we find them?

Fresh green forages, premium alfalfa pellets, grains and equine supplements.

Ca

MINERALS

major K

In horses as in all animals, minerals support biochemical processes that serve structural and functional roles.

MINERALS

Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium and sulphur. *Don’t forget! Minerals are just as important as vitamins!

P

Fe Mn

trace

Zn

MINERALS

Iron, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, iodine and cobalt.

3 Easy Ways to Compliment

Your Horse’s Feed:

complete 1 Commercial mineral supplements 2 Trace mineral salt

3 Commercial grain or pellet mix. A L B E RT A B I T S | S U M M E R 2 0 1 7

25


Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Known the world over, the musical ride has been an integral part of the RCMP since 1873. BY ESTEBAN ADROGUE

The early history of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) saw skilled riders charged with policing duties, ride across the Canadian prairies, since its inception in 1873. When the NWMP merged with the Dominion Police in 1920, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was formed. The RCMP are Canada’s national police force and are widely known for their scarlet-coated officers and wonderful, jet-black horses. Many would agree that the RCMP are the most famous mounted police unit in the world.

FUN FACTS • A maple leaf pattern adorning the horses rumps is required at show time. The design is created by using a metal stencil and brushing across the hair with a damp brush. • Young Horses are called “remounts”, and begin their training at three years of age. Once they turn six, they start Musical Ride training and take their first trip.

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The mounted unit initially carried out police duties across the prairie provinces. Patrolling vast and sparsely inhabited areas, members were often the only government officials new settlers would encounter and were essential to preventing prairie fires. In the early days, members of the Force commonly competed amongst themselves and performed tricks on horseback. In 1876, some of these tricks and exercises were performed at Fort Macleod, AB. This is believed to be the first public performance of what would eventually evolve into the Musical Ride. The mounted unit had a much-needed purpose as well, and was originally used for patrolling areas (such as provincial parks, plazas) inaccessible by any other aspect of policing. Nowadays, the RCMP are responsible for a large number of duties across the country, including enforcing federal laws and providing domestic security. The main duties of a mounted officer involve: conducting patrols, assisting with crowd control at events and parades, etc. Mounted officers are extremely effective when it comes to crowd control roles. It is said that, “…a mounted officer is comparable to ten or more officers on foot.” Other duties may involve search and rescue operations, traffic control, pursuit of suspects and maintaining public safety. These officers and their horses, play a key role in facilitating the interaction with members of the public who wouldn’t normally approach an officer of the law. Mounted


“The performance consists of intricate figures and drills choreographed to music and their movements demand the utmost coordination, control, and timing.”

Photo by Nicole Templeton Photography

officers are recognized by the community as “high profile,” which is why they visit schools or community groups, participate in parades, offer protection to dignitaries and provide escort for police funerals. Horses have always played an integral role in the RCMP. Today, they help create the world-renowned spectacle known as the Musical Ride – a living symbol of Canada. It is performed by a full troop of 32 riders and their horses. The performance consists of intricate figures and drills choreographed to music and their movements demand the utmost coordination, control, and timing. The Musical Ride offers the amazing opportunity to experience the traditions and heritage of the RCMP. All riders must act as role models or ambassadors of helpfulness and kindness, and promote the RCMP’s image throughout Canada and all around the world. They perform in up to 50 communities across Canada between May and October, helping to raise money for local charities and non-profit organizations. This year, the RCMP will be celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary. If you’ve ever been curious as to how the RCMP stable generally works, the Musical Ride is based at the RCMP Rockcliffe, Ontario facility. Members of the Ride are first and foremost police officers who, after at least two years of active police work, attend a five-week basic and a six-month intermediate riding course. Members only stay with the Ride for three years and this ensures an annual rotation of about 33 per cent of the riders. The RCMP breeds its horses at Remount Detachment near Pakenham, Ontario. Each horse is approximately 16 to 17 hands high; weighs between 1,150 lbs. to 1,400 lbs. and up until recently were 3/4 to 7/8 Thoroughbred blood. However, in 1989 black Hanoverian broodmares and stallions were purchased to improve the horses’ bloodlines. The equitation staff is responsible for the horse breeding program, remount training, equitation courses, ceremonial escorts, parades, displays and of course, the Musical Ride. EDUCATION AND TRAINING: The first step towards becoming a mounted officer is graduating from the RCMP academy. After three years of loyal service, if the officer is in good physical shape and is willing to commit to the unit for another three years, an officer can apply for a specialty unit, such as mounted police. Training for this unit may last between three to six months. Officers are provided with riding lessons, several clinics with top instructors and specialty training courses, like equitation, equine behaviour, horsemanship, equine anatomy and physiology, among others. Training is performed at the Mounted Police Training Academy. A certified school that requires 400+ hours of riding experience to graduate, with a fully insured program and the

2017 ALBERTA MUSICAL RIDE DATES EDMONTON

AUGUST 6th & 7th

Amberlea Meadows Equestrian Centre

BANFF

SEPTEMBER 2nd & 3rd

Town of Banff Banff Community High School Park

CALGARY

SEPTEMBER 6th-10th Spruce Meadows Masters Spruce Meadows

only accredited mounted police academy in the nation. THE HORSES: The selection of horses for the unit is as difficult as becoming an officer. All the horses are geldings and are chosen for their size, colour, and disposition. Because police horses face many dangerous and unusual situations on a daily basis, they require a calm disposition that allows them to remain steady and tolerate environmental factors most horses wouldn’t. They go through a rigorous process to desensitize them to an array of sights and sounds. Solid colours are chosen for uniformity. Before becoming a police horse, a six-week trial period must be completed to test the horse’s skills and potential. If successful, the horse is purchased and formal training begins. Since all horses possess their own unique personality, the training is designed based on their ability to learn and accept new things (trainers, obstacles, new skills) and previous experience. During the training period, the horse is assigned to one member of the unit, based on experience and knowledge of both officer and horse. Mostly, a bond is developed between rider and horse, and in several cases, these relationships can last a lifetime. However, due to retirement of horses and personnel changes, partnerships can change. It isn’t uncommon for the newest officer to be paired with a senior, experienced horse. This allows the officer to learn and focus on his/her job, while being able to rely on the calm and serene disposition of the experienced horse. Because of the strong bond that develops between horse and rider, oftentimes retired horses are purchased by members of the unit and kept on light duty or in handicapped riding programs. AB A L B E RT A B I T S | S U M M E R 2 0 1 7

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ASK ABOUT INSURANCE

(Still) All about the Horse 2017

REGISTRATION FORM

Leave the TV and computer behind and get outside to spend more time with your horse! AEF youth members are invited to keep track of how they are spending their time from April 1st until September 30th to win great prizes! If you are 7-15 years old and want to participate, contact the AEF for details: 403-253-4411 ext 3, or coaching@albertaequestrian.com or register online at albertaequestrian.com

FU L L

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28

A L B E RT A B I T S | S U M M E R 2 0 1 7

In the last issue of Alberta Bits, we provided some information and insight into Mortality insurance for horses. As promised, we now want to turn our attention to extensions that can sometimes be found in a horse mortality insurance policy. MEDICAL / SURGICAL: The intent of this extension is to offer relief to insured clients who incur unexpected veterinary medical expenses. An example might be as follows: Your horse colics and a vet is called to the farm to assess and treat. We all know there will be a cost associated with this, typically composed of a call fee and perhaps some medication. If the colic cannot be dealt with adequately at the farm, and the horse needs to be shipped to a veterinary hospital, this will equal more expense. If that leads to a surgery to rectify the situation – another (possibly significant) expense. If the owner has the major medical/surgical extension on their horse mortality insurance policy, then coverage will be provided, subject to a deductible and other conditions that vary from insurer to insurer. Major medical/surgical coverage can also be called upon to assist with diagnostic expenses. Lameness is a good example. With current science, the veterinarian community has many tools available to them to help them diagnose the problem, which in turn can lead to a treatment regime to bring the horse back to soundness. For some horse insurance programs (including Capri Equi-Care) diagnostic expense is covered (subject to limitations). It is worth noting that major medical does NOT cover expenses for routine, voluntary or anticipated medical costs associated with maintaining a healthy horse. Examples are inoculations, floating of teeth, and joint injections for maintenance. Major medical/surgical extensions are a good risk management tool for the horse owner who is concerned about the rising costs of vet care. LOSS OF USE: The intent of this extension is to provide coverage in the event that the insured horse suffers a permanent injury or sickness that precludes it from continuing in service for the intended use. There are limitations in these wordings and caution should be exercised to thoroughly understand what the limitations are. In many cases, the insurer’s obligations are limited to 50% of the value of the horse and payment even at that may be a challenge to collect on. The insurers who offer this coverage are few and far between and may not be suitable for the average horse owner due to cost and restrictions. DEATH CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT: This is a coverage that is found in some horse mortality policies to help cover the costs associated with a horse that has died from an insured peril. Inclusions in this automatic extension are things like a post mortem (if asked for by the insurer to confirm the cause of death), the removal of the carcass etc. Although this is always a bit of an unsavory discussion, it is also a reality that needs to be managed. Horse Insurance like “Equi-Care” is a valuable risk management tool. The professionals at Capri Insurance are your partners in taking care of the unexpected and you are encouraged to contact them – toll free at 1-800-670-1877 for more information. AB Mike King, Equine program manager at Capri Insurance Services Ltd. is responsible for the insurance programs that benefit the Alberta Equestrian Federation and its members. Do you have a question on insurance? Send them our way and we will provide an answer in the next issue: albertabits@albertaequestrian.com Comments or questions can be sent directly to Mike at mking@capri.ca


MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS

as of

May 10th 2017

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 !

4-H Alberta Provincial Equine Advisory Committee www.4h.ab.ca Alberta Carriage Driving Association www.albertadriving-acda.ca Alberta Donkey and Mule Club www.albertadonkeyandmule.com Alberta Dressage Association www.albertadressage.com Alberta Equestrian Vaulting Association www.vaultcanada.org/AEVA Alberta Friesian Horse Association www.afha.ca Alberta Horse Trials Association www.albertahorsetrials.com Alberta Morgan Horse Club www.albertamorganhorseclub.com Alberta Mounted Shooters www.albertamountedshooters.ca Alberta Paint Horse Club www.northernhorse.com/aphc Alberta Pony Clubs (North, Central & South Regions) canadianponyclub.org Alberta Trail Riding Association www.atra.ca Alberta Walking Horse Association www.walkinghorse.ca Alix Agricultural Society www.facebook.com/alixagsociety/info American Saddlebred Horse Association of Alberta www.saddlebredsofalberta.com Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada www.appaloosa.ca Banff Light Horse Association lbhardin@gmail.com Bear Valley Rescue Society www.bearvalleyab.org Bezanson Agricultural Society discoverbezanson.ca Black Diamond English Riding Club www.eversfieldequestrian.com Border Cowboys Mounted Shooters Association bordercowboysmountedshooters.com Bow Valley Riding Association bvra.wordpress.com Calgary Arabian Horse Association www.calgaryarabian.weebly.com Calgary Area Alberta Dressage Association www.ca-ada.com Calgary Regional Appaloosa Club www.calgaryappaloosa.wildapricot.org Calgary Regional Trail Riders www.calgaryregionaltrailriders.com Calgary Western Riders coreenc@shaw.ca Canadian Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association robpiasta@hotmail.com Canadian Horse Breeders Association Rocky Mountain District www.canadianhorsebreeders.com Canadian Registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse www.crtwh.ca Canadian Sport Horse Association - AB Chapter www.c-s-h-a.org Cassils Trail Blazers cweestra@live.ca Central Century Team Ropers Association centurycentralteamroping.com Central Peace Horse Association cpha@live.ca Chinook Country/Alberta Dressage Association www.albertadressage.com Cleardale Riders Club sandyrichardson@abnorth.com Clearwater Horse Club clearwaterhorseclub.com Cochrane Horse Trials Committee www.cochranehorsetrials.com Cooking Lake Saddle Club www.cookinglakesaddleclub.ca Cottonwood Corrals Association (Jasper) cottonwoodcorralassociation@gmail.com Coulee Winds Saddle Club kheapy@outlook.com Davisburg Pony Club donnellydigs@gmail.com Delacour Agricultural Society & Community Club www.delacourhall.ca Didsbury Agricultural Society www.didsburyagsociety.org Dunmore Equestrian Society www.dunmoreequestrian.com Edmonton Area /Alberta Dressage Association www.albertadressage.com Electric Strides Drill Team www.electricstrides.ca Endurance Riders of Alberta www.enduranceridersofalberta.com Evergreen Park (Grande Prairie Agricultural & Exhibition Society) www.evergreenpark.ca Extreme Cowboy Alberta Association www.extremecowboyracing.ca Fairview Sport Horse Society alainaarchibald@hotmail.com Foothills Roping Group lahure@xplornet.com Foothills Therapeutic Riding Association foothillstherapeuticriding.com Fort Calgary Wheel & Runner Association bojanglesboy@platinum.ca Four: Thirteen Therapeutic Riding Association info.fourthirteentherapy@gmail.com Fun Country Riding Club of Strathmore www.funcountryriders.com Gladys Ridge Riding Club lisamckeage@gmail.com H.E.D.J.E. Society lundkrista@gmail.com Hastings Lake Pleasure Horse Association www.hastingslakepleasurehorseassociation.org High Country Carriage Driving Club www.highcountrycarriagedriving.org High Country Pony Club www.canadianponyclub.org Highridge Thundering Hooves Gymkhana Club hthgymkhana@gmail.com Hoofbeats For Hope Equine Team Society sites.google.com/site/prairiedustersmusicalrideteam Horse Industry Association of Alberta www.albertahorseindustry.ca Irricana Riding & Roping Club Association teasieo@hotmail.com Journeys Therapeutic Riding Society www.jtrs.ca Jump Alberta Society www.jumpalberta.com Lacombe Light Horse Association lacombelighthorseassociation.webs.com Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association www.ltra.ca Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association www.littlebits.ca Meadow Creek Vaulting Club www.mcvc.ca Millarville Musical Ride www.millarvillemusicalride.com Miniatures in Motion Horse Club www.miniaturesinmotion.ca Mount View Special Riding Association www.mountviewriding.com Northern Trails Riding Club www.northerntrailsridingclub.org Opening Gaits Therapeutic Riding Society of Calgary www.openinggaits.ca Over the Hill Trail Riders fjhorses@wildroseinternet.ca Peace Area Riding For The Disabled Society www.pards.ca Peace Draft Horse Club thedrafthorseclub.com Peace Region Alberta Dressage Association www.peaceregiondressage.com Performance Standardbreds Association www.p-standardbreds.org Polocrosse Calgary www.polocrossecalgary.com Ponoka Riding & Roping Association ponokaridingandroping.com Prentice Creek Equestrian Center angie.maclean@yahoo.ca Quarter Horse Association of Alberta www.qhaa.com Rainbow Equitation Society www.rainbowequitationsociety.org Ranahan Polocrosse Club sites.google.com/site/ranahanpolocrosse Red Deer & Area Western Style Dressage Association www.albertawesternstyledressage.com Ridgeview Riding Club joanne-dunbar@outlook.com Rimbey Sleigh, Wagon & Saddle Club rimbeyswsclub@gmail.com Rocky Mountain Equestrian kuhnklan@efirehose.net Rocky Mountain Gymkhana Club www.rockymountaingymkhana.com Rundle Riders Therapeutic Riding Association www.rundleriders.com Saddle Seat Canada www.saddleseatcanada.com Shortgrass Riding Club www.shortgrassridingclub.ca Society of Tilt and Lance Cavalry www.joust.ca South Country Team Penning Association dunz@cciwireless.ca

South Peace Horse Show Association Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association Springbank Equestrian Society Springbank Pony Club Spruce View Gymkhana Club Steele's Scouts Commemorative Troop Association Stone Bridge Carriage Driving Club Strathcona All-Breed Horse Association Tennessee Walking Horse Association Of Western Canada The Calgary Hunt Club The Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association Thompson Country Pony Club Trail Riding Alberta Conference Traildusters Horse Club of Smith Tri-Country Riding Club Uplift Therapeutic Riding Association Valley Riders Saddle Club Valleyview & Districts Agricultural Society Vegreville Agricultural Society Welsh Show Association Western Canadian Wagon Train Wild Rose Draft Horse Association Wildrose Mounted Shooters Will For Riding Foundation Xtreme Wild Rose Club

www.southpeacehorseclub.com www.satra.ca normaansloos@gmail.com plastiras@shaw.ca dwedmondson4@gmail.com www.steelescouts.ca www.stonebridgedrivingclub.com www.sahaalberta.com www.twhawc.com www.calgaryhuntclub.ca www.braggcreektrails.org www.thompsoncountryponyclub.org www.trailriding.ca 780-829-3628 lindagblack1@gmail.com sturgeonlynn@gmail.com sandyrichardson@abnorth.com www.valleyviewagsociety.ca www.vegag.ca piperp13.wixsite.com/wildroseshow gsissons@hotmail.com www.wrdha.com www.wildrosemountedshooters.com willforridingfoundation.com xtremewildrose.webs.com

B U S I N E S S M E M B E R S

Alberta Association of Complementary Equine Therapy www.aacet.ca Alberta Carriage Supply www.albertacarriagesupply.net Bar T5 www.bart5trailers.com Beaver Dam Creek Horse Boarding bdchorseboarding.wixsite.com/mysite Caeco Ranch www.caecoranch.com Calgary Stampede www.calgarystampede.com Canadian Thoroughbred www.horse-canada.com Capri Insurance Services Ltd www.capri.ca/horse Cartier Farms Equine Assisted Learning www.cartierfarms.ca Cavallo Pulse Therapy kgphoto@hotmail.com Colchester Farm rcolchesterfarm@gmail.com Creekside Equestrian Centre www.mcvc.ca Darn That Blanket www.darnthatblanket.com Daryle Schmidt Horse Training Centre www.daryleschmidt.com Days Inn Medicine Hat www.daysinnmedicinehat.ca El Caballo Ranch linda.atkinson@me.com Equestrian Factory Outlet - Red Deer www.equestrianfactoryoutlet.com Equi-Health Canada Inc. www.equihealthcanada.com Equine Connection Inc. www.equineconnection.ca Foothills Horse Transport foothillshorsetransport.com G & B Portable Fabric Buildings www.gandbbuildings.com Gendron Stables 403-866-0546 Glen Valley Farm glenvalleyfarm@platinum.ca Greenhawk Calgary jennlmcginn@yahoo.ca Greenhawk Cochrane www.greenhawk.com Greenhawk Grande Prairie www.greenhawk.com High Country Equestrian Center www.hcequestriancenter.com Higher Trails Equine Ltd www.highertrails.ca Hi-Hog Farm & Ranch Equipment Ltd www.hi-hog.com Horse Canada www.horse-canada.com Horse Sport www.horse-canada.com Horse Trekking Adventures www.horsetrekkingadventures.ca Just Passing Horse Transport & Bereavement Services www.justpassinghorses.ca Kaspian Equestrian Training Centre www.kaspianequestrian.com KGPHOTO www.kgphoto.ca Lawton & Co, LLP jwlawton@telus.net LIM Canada - Devoucoux Inc www.devoucoux.com Martin Deerline www.martindeerline.com McNiven Ranch Supply (Hansbo Sport) www.hansbosport.com Millennium Equestrian Ltd. www.millenniumequestrian.com Outpost at Warden Rock www.outpostatwardenrock.com Performance Equine Veterinary Services performancevet1@gmail.com Polysols GGT Footing polysols.com Purina Canada www.equipurina.ca Rocking Star Ranch Equine www.rockingstarranch.ca Rocky Mountain Show Jumping www.rmsj.ca Saddle Up Magazine www.saddleup.ca Sandridge Stables www.sandridgestables.ca Selected Bio Products www.horseherbs.com Spirit Winds Horse Centre www.spiritwindshorsecentre.com Spirited Connections Counselling www.spiritedconnections.ca Spring Lake Equestrian Camp byron.bue@gmail.com Strathcona Ventures www.strathconaventures.com Sunwest Equine Services www.sunwestequine.com Syner G Apparel & Solutions www.synergyapparel.ca TD Equine Veterinary Group www.tdequinevet.com The Dressage Boutique & Equestrian Wear www.dressageboutique.com The Horse Store www.facebook.com/theHorseStore The Mane Event Equine Education & Trade Show www.maneeventexpo.com The School of Equine Massage and Rehabilitation Therapies www.equinerehab.ca The Tack Collector Ltd www.thetackcollector.ca The Visions West Studio smithpr1@telus.net Ulterra Equestrian Ltd. www.ulterraranches.com Vitality Equine www.vitalityequine.com Western Horse Review www.westernhorsereview.com Westerner Park westernerpark.ca Westwood Warmbloods www.westwoodwarmbloods.com Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association www.welca.ca Willow Grove Stables Inc. www.willowgrovestables.com Winning Strides www.winningstrides.com

E RT B SI TTSO| ASEUF MMME EMRB E2 R 0 1S 7 B E S U R E T O S U P P O R T O U R B U S I N E S S M E M B E R S ! T H O S E L I S T E D I N B L U E P R O V I D E ADLI B SC O UAN T V I S I T O U R L I S T O F S TA B L E S A N D FAC I L I T I E S AT O U R W E B S I T E !

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CLOSING THOUGHTS Photo by Alexandra Morris

Calgary Stampede More than just rodeo, the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth creates meaningful equine experiences for urban and rural folk alike. BY JENN WEBSTER

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A L B E RT A B I T S | S U M M E R 2 0 1 7

As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017, the Calgary Stampede is sure to deliver all the best rodeo action, entertainment and agriculture showcases your heart desires. With over $2 million on the line in the rodeo events, the calibre of cowboys and cowgirls coming to Calgary, AB, this July 7-16 will be the world’s finest. Inspired to constantly improve their events, this year the Stampede parade will proceed backwards in its route through downtown Calgary on Friday, July 7, ending with free admission for spectators to the Calgary Stampede once the parade has passed. From flaming high-wire acts, to flying pianos – you never know what to expect at the Transalta Grandstand show. This year will be no exception as the Grandstand show brings us Together, hosted by Jann Arden and promising more spectacular surprises. This year the show will bring the spirit of Canada to life in what producers are calling “…a show 150 years in the making.” Aside from the midway lights and all the events that make the Stampede the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” there are also a medley of equine events that puts our horse industry in front of millions of visitors. From Horse Haven, to the world class team penning competition, to the fabulous displays of heavy horses, to the $30,000 now offered in prize money in the Cowboy Up Challenge, spectators can peruse the many facets of equestrian sport in Canada at the Calgary Stampede. Discover all the horse breeds found throughout Alberta and the activities in which they excel. AB


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Alberta Bits - Summer 2017  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation

Alberta Bits - Summer 2017  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation