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Alberta Bits is the Alberta Equestrian Federation’s official member magazine. It serves the equestrian community of horses and riders of all ages, interests and involvement as Alberta’s premier resource for education, information and support. T H E A L B E RTA E Q U E S T R I A N F E D E R AT I O N H A S B E E N I N C O R P O R AT E D S I N C E 1 9 7 8 Alberta Bits magazine is mailed four times a year (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) to all current AEF members and is made available at the office and special events attended by the AEF. Alberta Bits is distributed throughout Alberta with news and events on behalf of recreational, sport, breeds & industry and educational sectors of the Alberta horse industry. Alberta Bits is distributed to approximately 18,000 members; 9,000 households and businesses, an exclusive list of tack and equine establishments and at events and trade shows annually.


Les Oakes 403.540.9859 Dena Squarebriggs 403.760.0512 Tara Gamble 780.945.7516 Lauren Parker 403.813.1055 Barb Easthom 403.801.4111 Trish Mrakawa 403.938.6398 Nicolas Brown 780.454.5001 Lewis Hand 403.722.4690 Alison Douglas 403.762.8570 Jessi Chrapko 403.627.5696 Robert Simpson 306.641.5579 Darcee Gundlock 403.308.7500 Christine Axani 403.816.8979 Sandy Bell 403.700.7880

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AEF BITS & PIECES The Social Bit.

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L I V E O U T S I D E T H E B OX W I N N E R S The winners of the program that awards time away from television and computer screens, and more time with horses!

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C L U B P RO F I L E There’s an overwhelming need in today’s society for the Bear Valley Rescue located in Sundre, AB.

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O U T S TA N D I N G VO L U N T E E R Kelsey Lappin found her voice and her path through equestrian volunteerism.

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W I L D RO S E S H O W S P O T L I G H T Profile on the Fall Candy Classic BRAVE horse show.

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HELMETS DEMYSTIFIED The truths and myths about wearing a helmet for riding.

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B R E E D P RO F I L E The many talents and characteristics of the impressive Hanoverian.

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HORSEKEEPING Identifying barn air quality inhibitors is especially important during the winter months.

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TRAINER'S CORNER Pat Ross explains how to use feel and effective hand communication to guide your horse.

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ASK THE INSURANCE GUY Mike King offers a “cheat sheet” to help AEF members understand their automatic coverage.

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CLOSING THOUGHTS The AEF is pleased to present two new Honorary Lifetime Memberships to Trish Mrakawa and Lorraine Hill.


Sonia Dantu 403.253.4411 ext 5 MEMBERSHIP

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


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or All material is copyright 2016. Ideas and opinions expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of the AEF. Alberta Bits reserves the right to accept, and/or edit material submitted for publication. The AEF makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained therein, but assumes no liability in cases of error or changing conditions. Any business relations or other activities undertaken as a result of the information contained in Alberta Bits, or arising therefrom, is the responsibility of the parties involved and not of the AEF. We welcome signed letters to the editor, but reserve the right to publish, edit for grammar, taste and length. For reprint information, please contact


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President’s Message Knowing that everyone will be reading this issue as snow accumulates on our pastures and paddocks tends to bring a sense of reflection on the past year. As I mentioned in the fall magazine, it was an extremely hard year to get hay crops off the fields for most of us; but as usual, it was all eventually cut, baled and stacked, ready for feeding over the long winter we face. From talking to people across the province, it seems that hay prices have come down from the record prices being charged after last year's drought conditions. In the central and northern parts of the province, prices seem to be stabilized; while in and around Calgary and south, the hay prices, while less than last year, still have stayed above what we all consider to be normal. In the fall issue, I started a discussion about asking our equine care providers to reveal their certifications; and talked about the questions we should ask concerning their continuing education requirements, including whether or not they belong to a provincial or national association of their peers. I wonder how many of us thought to ask our farriers, body workers, nutritionists and other service providers that enhance the life of our equine partners, about their qualifications. It is up to all of us as owners to raise the bar and insist that those we entrust with the health and training of our horses realize that we are concerned enough to challenge those who work in the horse industry, and ask that they follow a path of professionalism. By the time this issue of Alberta Bits arrives, plans are well underway for Stride With Us, in conjunction with the AEF 2017 AGM. Expect an exciting day with equine topics and presentations of interest to the membership. In 2017, this event will be held at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping just outside of Calgary on March 18; we hope you will join us. As in previous years, there are one or two director positions available on the board of directors. As an AEF member, this is your opportunity to bring your ideas and passion to the forefront. Further, it is

a great opportunity to not only help your organization but a great way to learn more about how programs at the provincial and national level get formalized and help shape the future of the AEF. The great part of being an AEF Board member is “the sky’s the limit” as far as how involved you want to become, working for 18,000 horse enthusiasts in Alberta. In today’s world, I realize all of us are very busy, but the AEF would love to have more of you busy people join the Board! It is usually those who are the busiest who get the most done. To all of the members, supporters, staff and Board of the AEF, I would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2017. It is a privilege to be a part of the AEF and to be your President, and I look forward to seeing you again, or meeting you for the first time, in the new year. AB


The Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF) is built on the strong foundation of our members and volunteers. We are extremely proud of our equine community and would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your amazing support, passion and participation in the Alberta equine community. The AEF team would also like to wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and trust that you are able to ring in the New Year with your loved ones! THE AEF OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED DECEMBER 26 – JANUARY 2 INCLUSIVE


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Get featured by tagging the AEF on Facebook or Instagram (@alberta_equestrian) and using the hashtag #AlbertaEquestrianFederation on your posts!


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1st place prize – Pro Sport Video Camera (with helmet mount) 2nd place prize – Digital camera 3rd place prize – Ipod Shuffle Special thank you goes to Muck Boots Canada - McNiven Ranch Supply Ltd., for their sponsorship of the 2016 Live Outside the Box Program, and providing prizes for our monthly draws!



April – Rayla McKinnon May – Ayden Stephens June – Tiana Winkler July – Madeline Watkins August – Summer Charette September – Olivia Olivieri

This creative program has stirred up a lot of interest and enthusiasm over the years. AEF members from all over Alberta aged seven to 15 years old have been leaving the TV and computer behind to spend more time with their horse! Not surprisingly we receive a lot of support from the parents too! Between April 1st and September 31st, youth members keep track of how they are spending their time being active, either with their horse (but you don’t need a horse to participate), in other outdoor activities, and/or eating healthy, for their chance to win great prizes! There are also monthly draws for a pair of Muck Boots™. If you want to Live Outside the Box, mark your calendars and join us in 2017. Program starts again April 1st – be sure to register! The AEF is very excited to announce that our LOTB Alberta Buckaroo’s logged a total of 12,994 hours of horse time, 12,108 hours of outdoor activity time, and consumed 18,202 healthy servings of fruits and vegetables between April 1 – Sept 31!




Sierra Paterson, Age 15

Rayla McKinnon, Age 11

Hannah Carlson, Age 15

Highest Number of Horse Time Hours I've been around animals for as long as I can remember. I’ve trained in many riding disciplines with my horses including 4H, jumping, gymkhana and cowboy challenges. Recently I've been doing competitive trail very successfully with my Canadian/Arab cross ‘Tambour.’ He has been a one-of-akind horse. We have overcome many things together and he has taught me so much. We even partnered under Pat Parelli at the Mane Event this year. I've also begun training and re-homing rescued miniature horses. These activities keep me very busy but I love them all.


Everything is more fun when it’s real! Dust off those boots, get outside and have some fun with (or without) a horse and win some great prizes while doing so!

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Highest Number of Healthy Servings

My name is Rayla McKinnon, I am 11-years-old and I have my own horse. She is a registered 11-year-old red roan APHA named Firefly. Something that others find quite amusing is the double sided head mark on her belly. I spend many of my horse hours vaulting competitively. At home I like to trail ride, practice barrel patterns, and do ground work training. Some of my goals for this year are to complete an endurance race and start Firefly as a walk vaulting horse.

Highest Number of Outdoor Activity Hours I have owned Lucy now for two years, we have worked hard and learned a lot from each other these last two years. We bought Lucy for me to continue jumping, because my previous horse was injured. When Lucy first came, I was very unconfident (new horse and all), but we worked hard, worked with my coach and now Lucy and I are jumping 2’6”–2’9” in competition and working on higher fences at home. This season we have done extremely well, won lots of ribbons! I’m so proud of our accomplishments and I’m looking forward to next year when we hope to compete at some bigger shows, like Spruce Meadows!




Nessa Ingram, Age 14

Jessica Wolfs, Age 9

Highest Number of Horse Time Hours

Highest Number of Outdoor Activity Hours

like to show youth rein/box classes, the Pinto shows, and other associations. Thanks AEF for running this great program! THIRD PLACE WINNER

Highest Number of Healthy Servings

Calla Van Beurden, Age 8

I started taking riding lessons at age six. I got my first horse after four years of riding. Prairie Rose is a 10-year-old Welsh Cob Section D. I joined Pony Club three years ago. Pony Club has given me the opportunity to explore many disciplines. Prairie Rose and I are both thrill seekers and we LOVE cross country. During the past few summers I was able to attend many camps and events with my horse. Every spare moment that I have, I spend it with my horse. She is my best friend!

I live on a farm near Rosebud. I’ve been riding since I was three-years-old and my first pony was named Skittles. I am in the Strathmore Rusty Spurs 4-H Horse Club and I ride a 10-year-old AQHA mare named Tia. I also have an 11-year-old jumper pony named Truman. I love to ride and enjoy jumping, gymkhana, trail riding, western and English pleasure and showing. I had an awesome summer with my horses and love the LOTB program!



Aspen Norman, Age 14

Tyne Alliban, Age 9

Highest Number of Healthy Servings

Highest Number of Horse Time Hours

My name is Calla. I am eight-years-old and I am a grade three student. I have loved fruits and vegetables since I was little. My mom calls me a fruit bat! In my spare time I like to read horse books, draw, play Lego, explore, swim, skate, and ride! My favourite horse to ride is named Ricky. Ricky is a chestnut with a star, stripe, and snip. He is nice and gentle; I have known him since I was a baby! I can walk, trot, and I am learning how to canter THIRD PLACE WINNER

Highest Number of Outdoor Activity Hours

Summer Charette, Age 11

Riding first became my passion at the Haunted Lakes Pony Club, thanks to the support of my aunt and uncle giving me my first horse, Frosty. Now five years later, and with my new partner, Fritter, I am loving exploring the world of dressage. I enjoy all aspects of English riding including dressage and show jumping; as well as working on training horses. I am part of the Alberta Friesian Horse Association and plan to join their drill team. I appreciate simple time spent out in the field with my horses and I even love morning chores (really!). I am looking forward to learning how to work with my Friesian driving team this upcoming summer, and working towards my equine green certificate in high school next year.

I own two horses, a 17-year-old Arabian finished reiner called Delicataa, and an 11-year-old Quarter Horse gelding called Gold who is also a finished reiner. I enjoy buying ponies and training them. The ponies I own are a miniature pony called Godiva, a Welsh pony called Harley, and a miniature mule called Biggie Smalls (or just Biggie). Biggie has really cute eye lashes that are white - Biggie looks like a miniature Appaloosa-cross mule. When I’m not playing around with my horses I like to make up a barn of Breyer horses. I live on a horse training farm in Carstairs. I really

In February of 2014 I started lessons with Jake. He was quite green with not a lot of training. By the summer time we decided to lease him. After a few months of working with him I learned to neck rein and leg yield. Shortly after that we started to jump. The first time we jumped it was an x-rail, Jake jumped it and then went around and jumped two feet, I fell forward off of him and landed on my feet, running backwards. I remember my coach and I laughing, while my mom sat in shock with her heart pounding out of her chest. Jake and I started showing this year and have been wining lots of ribbons! On Halloween, we were in the show at Amberlea Meadows we went as Beauty and The Beast and won best costume. We will be showing 2’3” next show! We have come a long way together. AB A L B E RT A B I T S | W I N T E R 2 0 1 6




Making a Difference “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” - Mahatma Gandhi BY JENN WEBSTER

When asked to describe the purpose of Bear Valley Rescue Society (BVR) in her own words, president and founder Kathy Bartley pauses for a moment and then says, “Basically, we take in horses that don’t have a home and try to find them new homes. But we will also keep them here forever if they can’t find new homes.” Located in Sundre, AB, on 40 acres, BVR was founded in 2003. Since then it has registered federally as a charity in 2005 and provincially as a society in 2008. In 2015, it also achieved verification status with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) and became the first GFAS verified equine sanctuary in Canada. It means BVR must uphold strict standards in order to maintain their accreditation. The rescue began after Mike and Kathy Bartley first learned about pregnant mare urine (PMU) farms and soon after, visited a feedlot with a two-horse trailer. The couple ended up purchasing 12 horses (most of which were later delivered to their property by the feedlot owner, free of charge). From there, they began buying PMU horses and their rescue efforts began to take on a life of their own. BVR is now home to approximately 150 horses, along with other resident animals including rabbits, chickens, pigs, goats, etc. “Once you start, you can’t stop,” Bartley chuckles. “Because you have all these animals who rely on it. You’re in it for life. It’s what I always wanted to do, even though I didn’t know it at first. When you’re young, you have your horses and you go riding. And we’ve all heard the ‘If that horse is bad – it’s going to the glue factory,’ line. As far as I could tell, no one 10

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ever took that statement seriously. When we were young, we never really considered we could do anything about it. Turns out, we can – and there’s a big need for something like this.” The broader mission of BVR is to promote animal welfare by educating the public on the plight of unwanted or aging horses and other animals. The team at BVR gets the job done by ABOVE: With so many to care for, hay is the single biggest expense of the BVR. If you or someone you know has good quality hay that could be donated, tax receipts can be issued for all hay donations. BELOW: A volunteer spends some time with one of the rescue horses. Photos by Carmen Walker

C LU B P RO F I L E saving usable and healthy horses from slaughter and finding them good homes; by rescuing injured or ailing animals from auctions and feedlots or abusive situations and rehabilitating them, or alleviating their suffering; and by networking with other rescue organizations and providing support for finding and placing distressed animals. It’s a big, expensive job. As such, the rescue relies heavily on generous donations of volunteer time and financial support from many people and organizations. Recently, the BVR (also an AEF Club Member), was the recipient of a grant received from the Alberta Equestrian Federation. “It’s something I applied for and was pleasantly surprised when we received it,” Bartley tells. “I wasn’t aware the AEF had that sort of thing at first. We received $700, which we can use against our hay bill this winter.” Which is a good thing, because there are no shortages of horses appearing on the BVR doorstep. “We used to go to the auctions mainly, but as we’ve become more well known, we’re getting a lot more owner surrenders,” Bartley solemnly relays. “We’re turning horses away all the time. Unfortunately, some people see us as ‘the easy way out.’ We’re trying not to be the easy solution. Some people who don’t want to deal with the guilt or worry – they would rather give those animals to us. We really do try and discourage owner surrenders of that sort. And we’re not a retirement place either. A lot of people try to retire their horses to us. If a horse is at that point in their life, then it should be put down. We’re not here for people to take the easy way out but as a rescue, we’re kind of stuck between a rock and hard place when that situation presents itself too. This is because we’re concerned for the animal. It’s a case-by-case thing and we have to evaluate the whole situation.” The BVR often faces many difficult decisions and unfortunately, judgement from the public. “We sometimes buy from horse dealers or feedlots. Many people don’t approve of that because they think you’re just lining the pockets of these people. But what most people don’t realize is the magnitude of the overall situation. The fact is that we can save 5-10 horses from the meat guy – but there are thousands of horses that are actually out there.” She continues, “For us, it’s always the individual animal that matters. It’s not about where the horse came from. You can’t please everybody all the time, so you must at least please

hooves,” Bartley explains. “Then when the farrier got to work on Warrior’s feet, they literally fell apart. It was so bad that we didn’t know if we should just euthanize him right there.” The BVR decided that the horse had been able to stand before he came to them when theoretically, his overgrown feet shouldn’t have allowed for it. So they opted to see what would happen. To everyone’s shock, Warrior was able to stand after the sedation wore off. “Our vet was flabbergasted. His feet healed up by the next time we had to schedule Warrior for farrier work. It’s likely abscesses were a result of why the feet fell apart in the first place and by the next round, they had healed up. Sadly, Warrior is still here because we will never be able to re-home him. He’s halter broke, but we don’t know if he’s broke to ride. And that’s one of our biggest hurdles – we don’t have time to work with ABOVE: There are no shortages of horses appearing on the BVR doorstep. BELOW: When Warrior arrived at BVR, his feet were so badly overgrown that he had to be sedated for his first trim. Then when his feet literally "fell away" after trimming, rescuers weren't sure whether or not to euthanize him. Miraculously, they opted to give him a shot and he stood after the sedation wore off. Warrior hasn't looked back since. Photos by Carmen Walker

“...the rescue relies heavily on generous donations of volunteer time and financial support from many people and organizations. Recently, the BVR was the recipient of a grant received from the Alberta Equestrian Federation.” yourself in the work you’re trying to do.” As you can probably imagine, the BVR has seen some extremely sad cases. One of them from last year is the story of “Warrior.” Warrior was first discovered by another lady involved with a dog rescue and came to the BVR grossly underweight, with long overgrown feet. “He hadn’t been handled so we had to sedate him to do his A L B E RT A B I T S | W I N T E R 2 0 1 6



ABOVE: When Beth first came to BVR a halter was no longer present on her face, but the damage it had done to her growing head was obvious. BELOW: The Bear Valley Rescue Society is home to more than 150 horses and several resident animals. Photos by Carmen Walker

horses. We’re so limited with the [CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15] ...manpower we have, especially as far as riding is concerned.” The BVR has volunteers for halter breaking and ground working the horses, but no one to really take the horse’s training beyond that point. Plus, as many of BVR horses come with an unknown history, the rescue cannot assume the responsibility of having someone get hurt from a potentially dangerous animal. “We have better luck re-homing the youngsters because they come here with no expectations of handling. We can do the ground work here. And then someone else can take them over. And we don’t get many broke horses here – if we do, they usually get re-homed really quickly,” she states. For the Bartleys, Christmas is a busy season, with not a lot of down time. In fact, since starting the BVR, Kathy says “There’s no such thing as holidays anymore.” Still, the Bartleys do what they do because they are passionate about the animals and feel they all deserve a humane and peaceful existence, no matter what their past or future potential. For more information, please visit: AB










E NGLI S H, W E S T E RN, S A DDLE S E A T & DRI V ING All Equestrian 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 TA C T E R I N L U N D T E I G E N

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Grateful for Change BY SUZANNE HALE

Call it chance, but likely it was more than serendipity that the hobby Kelsey Lappin happened upon as a young adult was all she needed to break the bonds of shyness. Sometimes all you need is a little shove in the right direction. On her entry into the equestrian world five years ago at the behest of her good friend, Lappin discovered she had so much more to say than anyone realized. Thanks to her horse and boarding stable, and all the new friends she has met along the way, this Calgary office manager has morphed from a self-professed very shy and quiet girl to a busy, friendly member of the close-knit horse community at the stable where she rides and boards, Riqueza Riding Academy. “Equestrian has become my whole life,” Lappin says. “It has really brought me out of myself.” Helping Lappin find just the right setting in which to shine was her friend Kim, who has ridden horses her entire life and, five years ago having just moved to Calgary, was looking for a new place to ride. Though she herself had never ridden horses, Lappin had always enjoyed them, and ready for something new in her life, she joined her friend. “I fell in love with riding,” Lappin says of the second home she discovered at Riqueza Riding Academy, the first place she ever rode. Lappin credits Riqueza’s owner Danielle Pennacchietti with helping her develop a special kinship with her sometimes-problematic mare. “Danielle knows when I need to be pushed forward, and when I just need to take it easy,” Lappin says. Lappin’s volunteer activities have acted as a form of payback for all that Riqueza has done for her personally. “I volunteer at pretty much every show Riqueza hosts,” Lappin says, most recently at the October 1st BRAVE (Beginner Riders and Valued Equines) show. Lappin remembers being a young rider who once needed the supportive environment offered by the BRAVE circuit. “My first ever show was BRAVE, and it was a really great time, so I like helping others who are experiencing that,” says Lappin. Usually working the in-gate, Lappin spends her time ensuring the show stays on time, and that everyone is ready to go when they’re up. Of this show day, she says, “It was a bit cold and rainy so we were inside, but all the competitors were helpful.” While Lappin’s favorite part of helping out is dancing to the music between rounds, she notes that it is never a certainty what a day of volunteering will be comprised of. Ever agreeable, she says, “I just do whatever needs to be done.” Lappin’s volunteering efforts show that she is a person who is always there if anyone needs her, but at times she likes to reflect, knowing that the benefits have been mutual. “I have met a lot of pretty awesome parents and kids,” she says, gratified for the new perspective that riding has given her. “I have become a different person since I started riding. I feel like I have found myself, and I’m not sure how I would ever give it up.” AB

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

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Providing riders with positive show miles as often as possible is the main focus of the BRAVE series. Photos courtesy of Riqueza Riding Academy

BRAVE Beginnings The Fall Candy Classic. BY SUZANNE HALE

The October 1 Fall Candy Classic BRAVE horse show marked the final show of this season for this beginner’s circuit which offers new riders a safe and welcoming introduction to hunter/jumper competitions. The Beginner Riders and Valued Equines (BRAVE) horse show, which has an eight-year history, was the brainchild of several stable owners, including Jim and Danielle Pennacchietti, the Fall Classic’s host arena owners. The show was a culmination of this year’s BRAVE circuit which saw riders competing at various venues. This season-ending show was a success for the host facility, whose owners are pleased with the fun atmosphere they have cultivated. “My husband and I started this facility to offer a place for people to learn and have fun,” says Pennacchietti. “We want to offer others the opportunity and joy of being around horses, and to learn all they have to teach us.” Though entry numbers for this show were lower than last year, a fact that Pennacchietti believes is the result of Alberta’s current economy, the show featured a good 14

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variety of rider ages, including many of Pennacchietti’s own clients. “The BRAVE circuit prides itself on having all ages participate,” Pennacchietti says. “The circuit supplies a great variety of levels to riders,” she says, adding that over the last few years the BRAVE circuit has added more open divisions, which has enabled trainers to show younger horses, thus introducing another level of grass-roots participation. The response that organizers have seen indicates that the levels offered are well-received by participants. With competitions offered in the hunter and jumper divisions, competitors who entered two other BRAVE shows prior to this show were rewarded double points towards their year-end tallies. With several BRAVE circuit stops throughout the season, host facilities have enjoyed the opportunity to see the riders’ abilities develop over the years. “It is nice to see riders increasing in their abilities and moving up through the levels,” Pennacchietti says of the growth she has witnessed. “It is great to see the riders putting all their hours of training to the test, alongside their horse.”

Having hosted the BRAVE series for more than a few seasons, Riqueza has fine-tuned the routine, but nevertheless many hours are required to be spent getting ready both in the office, and in the show ring. Before the October show, volunteers and employees worked to ensure websites were updated, entries were received, necessary officials were organized, and classes and times were posted. Of equal importance was the show ring’s preparation, with the team ensuring all safety concerns were looked at and addressed, as well that the courses were prepared with proper fencing. The installation of the sound systems completed the preparations, and with multiple hours of work behind them, the team was prepared for any eventuality as show day approached. With the exception of the weather which proved too wet to host the show outdoors, the day’s events ran smoothly. “We were fortunate not to have any unexpected challenges,” Pennacchietti says of the day’s events. In order to keep the hard working competitors, judges, and volunteers sustained throughout the day,

an on-site concession was set up to offer a variety of reasonably-priced food. The one-day show saw ribbons awarded from first to sixth places, with champions and reserve Champions at the various levels enjoying a variety of prizes, including grooming supplies and stuffed animals. The circuit’s organizers are ever grateful for the support of generous sponsors, whose donations make prize offerings a possibility, but also critical to the show’s success is the help of volunteers whose assistance in advance and on show day is invaluable. “It is nearly impossible to run a well-organized show without the help of volunteers,” Pennacchietti says.

“The most rewarding thing is to see the riders challenge themselves and succeed,” Pennacchietti relays. “We do all we can to help the riders have a successful show,” she adds, “because the point of this series is to provide them with positive show miles as much as possible.” Pennacchietti welcomes anyone interested in finding out more about the BRAVE circuit to visit the website at Additionally, more information is available on the Riqueza Riding Academy website at “We are blessed to have this facility,” Pennacchietti says, “and we just want to share it.” AB

The BRAVE circuit prides itself on having all ages and levels of riders participate.


GENERAL MEETING AND PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS All members are invited to attend the AEF’s dynamic Annual General Meeting on


Bylaw amendments are being proposed to ensure further clarity within the current bylaws. 2017 Proposed Bylaw amendments are available on the AEF website at

and will be emailed to all eligible voting members a minimum of 21 days prior to the meeting. SNEAK PEAK OF EVENTS:

Pre-Purchase Equine Exam (what to look for), Polocrosse Demo (combination of polo and lacrosse on horseback!), everything you need to know about your insurance, awesome door prizes and so much more! Be sure to join us for an exciting day; bring your friends and family, too!

HELMETS DEMYSTIFIED Excerpted from the AEF New Rider’s Guidebook.

The single most important item to wear during riding activities is an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) certified riding helmet. Helmets that carry an ASTM certification have passed thorough and rigorous testing to prove their design is safe and will minimize or prevent riding related injury. Riding helmets are specifically designed to protect against the types of head injuries a rider could experience, without interfering with their ability to ride safely. While it is tempting to buy a used helmet, it is essential to purchase a new helmet which ensures there is no structural damage that may compromise your safety. A reputable tack shop will carry certified helmets and will be able to assist you in selecting a properly fitted helmet that meets your needs. As if it weren’t enough to convince you to protect your head, consider this: Severe brain injury is responsible for over 60% of all equestrian-related fatalities. The rehabilitation for a severe traumatic brain injury can cost from $1.5-$3 million and a full recovery is rare. Wear a helmet, every time!


Hair in the helmet is not ideal.

Wearing your hair up inside your a helmet is not ideal for a perfect fit. If you ride with your hair in a low ponytail, be sure that the elastic is not on the inside of your helmet.


Ensuring the correct fit is key to your safety. Start by measuring the circumference of your head by wrapping a tape measure around where the helmet will lie: one centimeter above the brow and around the slight bump at the base of the skull. The circumference in centimeters will determine the size range that your helmet will fall into. While most riding helmets are certified to meet at least one safety standard, the safest helmet is the one that fits properly.


Your helmet is still safe if the chinstrap is loose.

The chinstrap of the helmet should be snug with just enough room to fit two fingers between it and your chin. 16

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Helmets can be left in the trailer or wherever, when not in use.

Helmets are sensitive to extreme heat (70°C+/158°F+) and should be stored out of direct sunlight. Helmets should also never be dry-cleaned or put in the dishwasher. If your helmet becomes wet, allow it to fully dry before storing it.


You should replace your helmet if you’ve had a fall.

If you have hit your head in a fall, your helmet should be replaced. Even if there is no visible damage to the outside of the helmet, the material inside the helmet can be compressed upon impact and will no longer offer you the same protection should you fall again. It is also recommended that you replace your helmet every five years even if you have not fallen in it.


Bike helmets are suitable for riding.

Riding helmets are designed with the latest in safety technology and are tested to international standards so that they are guaranteed to offer the most comprehensive protection possible. Helmets designed for other activities such as bicycling or skiing, are not tested for the same fall scenarios that an equestrian will encounter.

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The Hanoverian

We see this impeccable breed soar over six-foot Grand Prix courses and dance across a 20x60 dressage ring. Interestingly enough, these purposes were not why they were originally bred. BY ALEXANDRA MORRIS

ABOVE: The Hanoverian presents elegance, strength, and sturdiness. RIGHT: Hanoverian Stallion Quidam Blue competing in Ascona, Switzerland for Canada, rider is Jill Henselwood. Photo by Foto Garbani


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The Hanoverian breed originates back to Germany, to the 17th century. Back then, a state-operated stable of stallions founded at the behest of King George II, aimed to produce robust carriage horses that were also suited for military service. Breeders crossed domestic mares to Thoroughbreds, Holsteiners, Cleveland Bays and Andalusians to refine them. Hanoverians had become high-class coach horses by the end of the 18th century. By 1844, a law had passed that only granted stallions

approved by the commission could be used for breeding and by 1888, the first stud book was established. At the end of the 19th century, Hanoverians became the most popular breeds in Europe for coach and army work. Following WWI the demand for the breed declined, but still had the use for farm work despite having the blood and gait to be a good coach or riding horse. The demand for Hanoverians increased after WWII for general riding horses, sport


Over 50 local breeders and 10,000 members unified with the society and later became known as the Hannoveraner Verband. The Verband is in charge of issuing passports, inspections, registration, performance statistics and educating members about the breed. North America has two different associations that are under the Verband: The American Hanoverian Society and the Canadian Hanoverian Society (divided into a Western and Eastern Breeding club).

horses and therefore the breeding was changed to adapt for their new purpose. The breed’s success has been due to rigorous breeding selections, large populations for breeding and the willingness of breeders to adapt to changes in demand for the breed. In 1888, the Royal Agricultural Society founded the first Hanoverian studbook, which contained official documentation regarding pedigree, matings, and following offspring. The Chambers of agriculture kept the book from 1899-1922 until the Society of Hanoverian Warmblood Breeders was established, giving them the right to the book. Over 50 local breeders and 10,000 members unified with the society and later became known as the Hannoveraner Verband. The Verband is in charge of issuing passports, inspections, registration, performance statistics and educating members about the breed. North American has two different associations that are under the Verband: The American Hanoverian Society and the Canadian Hanoverian

Society. The Canadian Hanoverian Society is divided into a Western and Eastern Breeding club. Rigorous testing is in order when trying to incorporate your stallion or mare into the studbook. “The parents of each Hanoverian that get registered, have to be inspected and meet certain breed requirements,” says Gerrit Brinkmann of Equitop Farms, located in New Norway, AB. These tests prevent horses with heritable defects from continuing to pass on their genes through breeding. “There is a very high standard of selection for this breed,” he continued. Horses that are registered have excellent health, and breeders want to continue keeping it that way. As Hanoverians are often used for demanding work, osteochondrosis – a disease that affects bones and cartilage in growing joints – can sometimes affect them. The joints commonly affected include the fetlock (front and hind), hock joints and stifle. Oseotochondrosis lesions

include tiny fractures, fluid buildup, loose flaps of cartilage, or chips of cartilage. The last lesion can lead to Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), and develop further into degenerative joint disease. Between 7-10% of Hanoverians develop OCD in their hocks and 12-24% develop OCD in their fetlock. In Germany, the Hanoverian Breeder’s society and all its daughter societies mandate that in order to get a breeding license, all stallions must be free of OCD lesions. Horses are examined with radiographs. Some of the characteristics strived for within the Hanoverian breed include a noble horse with a cooperative temperament, elastic gaits, correct conformation, and outstanding ability in international equestrian disciplines. The Hanoverian presents elegance, strength, and sturdiness. The breed is known for being very trainable and also its willingness to learn. These horses have a straight-outlined head, clear eyes and petite ears. They also have A L B E RT A B I T S | W I N T E R 2 0 1 6


B R E E D P RO F I L E RIGHT: The Hanoverian breed’s success can be attributed to rigorous breeding selections and the willingness of breeders to adapt to changes in demand for the breed. A Hanoverian foal by the imported stallion Casparo. Photo by Emmie Cor Photography OPPOSITE PAGE: The original purpose of the Hanoverian breed was more for agriculture and military purposes than general riding and sport. Photo by Equitop Farm

“...characteristics strived for within the Hanoverian breed include a noble horse with a cooperative temperament, elastic gaits, correct conformation, and outstanding ability in equestrian disciplines.”

a slender neck that is well muscled, in addition to brawny shoulders, and a deep, broad chest. The breed tends to have a very powerful body with smooth muscles, athletic movement and powerful limbs. Hanoverians height can vary between 15.3-17.2HH, but 16-16.2HH is the average. Aside from the Hanoverian’s outstanding attitude, they are also docile, determined intelligent and a very disciplined breed. But does that docile nature indicate they good for children? “They are good for competitive children, aged 12 years and older,” says Brinkmann. Colours found most often within this breed include bay, chestnut, gray and black – although you will occasionally see Hanoverians as cremellos, buckskins or palominos. Some regulations prohibit

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B R E E D P RO F I L E the registration of these colours. The Hanoverian is a very athletic breed. “They are mainly used for Olympic disciplines. Dressage, jumping and three day eventing,” says Brinkmann. “They are also used as hunters, carriage horses, vaulting, trail horses as well as pleasure mounts,” Brinkmann explains. H a n ov e r i a n s h av e a n a t u r a l impulsion and a nice, light elastic gait characterized by a ground-covering stride. The breed has succeeded in dressage. Since the 1956 Olympic games, Hanoverians have won three individual gold medals, four individual silvers and four individual bronze medals, and have been members of no fewer then seven gold medal dressage teams. As for show jumping, Hanoverians have been members of six gold medal teams since 1960. AB


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Ammonia build up and tiny dust particles can be incredibly damaging to your horse’s respiratory system. Luckily, air quality problems are largely preventable with proper barn management. BY JENN WEBSTER

Tiny particles from shavings and hay, road dust, or tractor and vehicle emissions are common in barns and stables. They can irritate one’s eyes, nose or throat, and generally make a visit to the barn unpleasant. That’s why one of the key tasks in barn management is keeping the damage associated with the airborne particles created in stables, to a minimum. Secondly, when horses excrete urea (a molecule containing nitrogen) in their urine and manure, the urea quickly converts to ammonia – another tiny molecule with an irritating smell that can almost “sting” your senses. Not only does ammonia build-up make a barn an unbearable place to be, it can also affect your horse’s performance, with the potential to cause serious diseases. Ammonia is very aggravating to mucous membranes lining the mouth, eyes and respiratory tract. This is why an ammonia smell can cause your eyes and nose to water too, when you walk into a poorly ventilated space. Can you imagine what it’s like for horses to spend hours inside the same environment? Dr. Dennis Rach, DVM, 22

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The threat you can’t see, but can likely smell.

Ammonia levels start out low when stalls are cleaned but can quickly increase once horses are inside, and they can be affected by air quality in either the lower or upper respiratory system. of Moore Equine near Calgary, AB, puts the issue into perspective. “The inner surface of a mature horse’s lung which is exposed to air is very large as compared to a human lung. If one were able to take the total surface area of a human lung exposed to room air during inspiration and expiration and lay it on a flat surface, it would equal the total area of a single tennis court.” He continues, “That is a very large area that is directly exposed to the environmental air when a human is breathing in and out. The total surface area of a mature horse’s lung, if laid out flat, is equal to that of an American football field. The exposed area is gigantic in comparison to humans. It is obvious that it is important to create the best air quality in a barn that is possible.” Luckily, barn dust and ammonia build-up can be prevented with proper management. Here are a few tips for targeting that noxious smell and damaging molecules commonly found in a barn atmosphere.


IDENTIFY INVADERS: Identifying key particles that are invading the two-foot breathing sphere around your horse’s main breathing zone will go a long way in contributing to his airway health. Understanding the microscopic particles that are believed to contribute to airway inflammation can help identify management strategies to minimize the dispersion of these particles. Clinical signs of airway inflammation include coughing at the start of exercise, increased respiratory effort (including at rest) and a nasal discharge with the absence of a fever. Additionally, a “heave line” (a line running diagonally from the point of the hip to the lower edge of the ribs in the external, abdominal oblique muscle) caused by increased breathing effort may be noticed, or weight loss. When such symptoms are noticed, a veterinary diagnosis is important and he or she may also be able to impart suggestions for bettering the horse’s environment. UNDERSTAND SEASONAL CHANGES: It’s important to note that airway contaminants are highest during months with little rainfall and lowest during humid times. However, there is no significant decline in particle concentration during cold and snowy weather – probably because many Canadian stables must keep doors and windows tightly closed during these times. CREATE VENTILATION: Barn ventilation is a key component in dealing with airway obstruction. In clinical studies, it’s a well-known fact that completely enclosed barns with little ventilation have significantly higher particle and ammonia concentrations than open-sided stables. Fans are a good way to allow for more air exchange, and a proper air exchange should... [CONTINUED ON PAGE 26]

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HORSEKEEPING ...occur four to eight times in an hour during winter. Ventilation that exchanges stale air for fresh air is essential (especially in winter), therefore a barn should have openings on each end of the building. The absence of such air escapes will cause condensation to build up inside the barn and mildew the roof, walls and structure. Plus, high levels of humidity can cause the barn to feel cold. That’s why it’s recommended to keep an opening on both ends (even in cold weather) to allow the barn to maintain good air quality. Fans throughout might serve to push the air around, including heated air. REGULAR CLEANING: Next, frequent removal of manure and urine is key to keeping ammonia levels down. Good drainage in stalls is also important (to help get rid of urine), as is clean bedding. Other than that, frequent turn out for stabled horses will also contribute to a cleaner, quality air environment for everyone. STALL AGENTS: Ammonia-absorbing agents applied to stall floors might also lessen a horse’s chances of harmful inhalants. There are many stall products available that contain urease inhibitors and reduce ammonia by creating a high pH environment that decreases the survival rate of urease-containing bacteria. AB [CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25]

WHY AMMONIA BUILDUP IS HARMFUL When a horse breathes in ammonia molecules from the air, his eyes, mouth and respiratory tract are all affected. Ammonia levels are commonly at their highest near the floor, in stalls. In an average stall, ammonia levels might start out low when the stall is cleaned but they can quickly exceed 200 parts per million with a horse inside. Interestingly enough, humans have a 15-minute exposure limit for ammonia levels at 35 parts per million. At average levels in a barn, ammonia usually only affects the horse’s upper airways but at higher than typical rates, ammonia can cause lower airway (lungs and bronchi) inflammation and pulmonary edema. Mucous accumulation, difficulty breathing, coughing during exercise and decreased stamina can also be further results of ammonia inhalation. Secondly, particles less than 10 microns (a unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter) in diameter have the potential to reach the horse’s lower airways. Obviously, barns with shavings, arena dust and hay, are full of these dust fragments. Particle concentrations are typically highest in barns during the morning, when chores take place and usually tasks like cleaning, sweeping, feeding and grooming are done. Normally, a horse’s respiratory system is designed to prevent dust and debris from entering deep into the respiratory tract. However, ammonia and tiny particles in the air increase mucous and interfere with the cilia which serve as a natural defense and line the horse’s airways, keeping harmful inhalants out.


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“The total surface area of a mature horse’s lung, if laid out flat, is equal to that of an American football field.”

INFLAMMATORY AIRWAY DISEASE The horse can be affected by air quality in either the lower or upper respiratory system. The upper respiratory tract runs from the horse’s nostrils to the top of the trachea and slightly past the larynx. Conversely, the lower respiratory system runs from the larynx, down the horse’s neck and into the thorax. In the thorax the trachea bifurcates into two tubes (two bronchi), the right of which is slightly larger than the left. Each bronchi lead to one of the horse’s two lungs. The bronchi then branch into smaller and smaller bronchioles until they reach the alveoli (which absorb oxygen from the air and release carbon dioxide waste). The bronchi and bronchioles are all held within the lungs of the horse. The horse’s airways continue to branch and end at the alveoli, which are microscopic sacs located at the end of the bronchioles where respiration occurs. When small particles (dust, mites, mold and small molecules such as endotoxins from bacteria), and ammonia molecules are inhaled and reach the lower respiratory tract, they cause mucous accumulation and inflammation. Secondly, the horse’s airways (bronchioles) constrict. If this situation occurs again and again, permanent changes in the horse’s lungs can occur and the airway walls become thickened – making it increasingly difficult for the horse to gain air flow to and from its lungs.

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TRAINER'S CORNER “The quieter your hands are, the easier it is for the horse to do his job,” she states. Photos by Jenn Webster

Soft Hands for Best Results Professional trainer Pat Ross explains how to use feel and effective hand communication to guide your horse. BY JENN WEBSTER

When professional horsewoman Pat Ross of Cochrane, Alberta, loads a horse into a trailer to take it to a show, you can count on three things: Ross’ turnout and presentation of the animal will be impeccable, the horse will move in complete fluidity with her astride, and it will display extreme softness in the bridle. Ross is an expert in making it all look effortless. Her hands are virtually motionless while executing flawless changes of direction, turn on the haunches, spins and flying lead changes. Ross uses the connection and feel she has honed through her extensive history with horses to guide her mounts. Together they move in complete unison and perform difficult movements with the ultimate in balance and collection. “Hands are your lines of communication to your horse. Communicating with your hands with extreme softness first, should be the goal of every rider,” she says. In the following article, Ross details how to use ‘feel’, balance and proper hand communication to develop a very light and responsive mouth in your horse. Here are a few things we picked up from this private lesson. 26

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THE LITTLE THINGS Ross’ observations throughout her history as a professional has made her witness to one common snag experienced by riders of all ages and all levels: improper hand control. “Our horses are looking for clear, concise direction. If you are thinking about supper, or dropping the kids off somewhere, etc., the message is not clear to your mount,” Ross states. Unfocused riding results in a breakdown of communication to the horse, which in turn produces a mount that doesn’t react properly to a specific cue. “If the horse doesn’t respond correctly, typically riders will answer to this with a punishment, when in reality, they have caused the problem. That’s why it is so important to focus yourself !” Ross knows this lesson a little too well. A few years ago, the dark-haired trainer had a horse-related accident while attending a show. She sustained injuries to her back that were so extensive, they put a stop to her showing career for three years. “I know that accident happened for a reason. I had taken on too much at the time and I was going through some

tough times. I got on my horse and it all blew up in my face. Consequently, that accident brought me to a better place today, both physically and mentally.” In the numerous clinics, 4H discussions and lessons she teaches these days, Ross is adamant that her students source out the breakdown of communication before succumbing to emotion. “If your horse is being undisciplined, don’t get angry. Anger does not belong with horses.” She suggests breathing exercises – breathing long and slow – to assist relaxation in your body prior to setting a foot in the stirrup. Also, any tightness in the jaw will extend to a rider’s tight, hard hands. “If you are stressed and not able to become soft yourself, it might be better not to ride that day,” the trainer explains. “Do activities from the ground instead.” There may be other circumstances, as well, that could be causing the horse to react improperly. “Are you sitting balanced? Have you communicated your wants clearly? Are you using your hands and legs properly? After you have figured it out, repeat that maneuver until you get it,” she says.

TRAINER'S CORNER IDLE HANDS There are many riders who have finetuned their skills so well, they barely have to move their hands to get their horses to do amazing things. “This person uses their body position, mind and hands to the ultimate level. They have repeatedly asked their horse to do these maneuvers in practice. Now their horse has become so sensitive to the slightest movement of the hand and body. It’s only the rider’s mind that is communicating what they want done.” Ross says that plain old hard work, dedication and repetition are what bring great results. She also suggests that novice riders do a lot of observation of top riders in the field in order to expand their learning horizons. “Notice the softness of their hands, how they move into the horse’s mouths and then use their legs (or vice versa) to develop a very responsive mouth and body.” Some events demand more of a draped rein, which is achieved by cueing the horse into the rider’s hands and followed by a slow and complete release of the reins. “You should be able to release your reins and guide your horse where you want them to go with just your legs or seat bones eventually,” she remarks. “In other events, you may want a soft contact, asking the horse’s body to move into the bit – where the horse releases when he feels the bit and then your hand. You can stay in that ultimate position by maintaining your ‘feel’.” Ross goes on to say that softness can be achieved in speed events as well, in the same way. The difference with a speed event being that a rider must break everything down and execute the parts slowly, until the horse understands. Then, speed is increased gradually. “My motto is, ask once softly and with focus and then get more direct with your horse, until he figures out what you want. Always work your hand and legs

Pat Ross trains and coaches out of Springbank, Alberta and has made horses a part of her life since she was very young. She has mentored many 4H groups throughout her years and continues to do so today. It is extremely important to Ross to impart the basics of handling horses to young riders. As is making children understand what their hands are doing to a horse’s mouth when they are hurried and brisk. Ross has several National Championships, futurity wins and Top Tens at the All American Congress to her name. She has additionally coached many youth and amateur riders to high placings. Teaching clinics and judging events has become a high priority in her career.

until your horse is balanced underneath you and carrying themselves properly. Find the balanced horse and release.” When holding the reins in two hands, Ross advises her students to have their palms facing downwards at a very slight inward angle (not upward and not with the palms together). The rider’s grip should be light, almost as if the grip were coming from the fingertips only. Holding reins this way enables the rider to communicate effectively to the horse, by offering only subtle movements in the wrists and fingers. It gives the rider the option of several rein cues with minimal movement from the hands – which is desirable from a judge’s point of view in the disciplines of horsemanship, western riding and western pleasure. She also uses the visualization of a box around the saddle horn to help her students understand where to keep their hands. “You have to imagine a small square around the horn, or just out from your belly button in other saddles. I try to teach my students to keep their hands within this box so they’re staying on either side of the horn. If they need to change direction or need to pull back on the reins, their hands do so all while staying within that square.” The ‘square’ is akin to an imaginary three-dimensional cube around the saddle horn. Ross explains that to go to the right, for example, the rider would pick their hand up to the right corner of the cube for the cue. The hands

cannot leave the box, in an effort to limit the amount of hand movement and ultimately, create an overall, more pleasing picture for the judge. All rein cues – pulling back, lifting up, or moving sideways, etc. – should happen within that square. The horse’s mouth is more capable of following your hand this way. Additionally, care must be taken to ensure the horse doesn’t receive an unjustified “jerk” to the mouth from the reins. A jerk on the reins on a horse’s mouth makes the horse think more of the pain instead of the task at hand. In this case, the rider becomes disunited with the horse. Taking a soft feel of the horse’s mouth and then performing a quick pull back or “up” of the rein is an entirely different way to ask. It means the slack is taken out of the rein first, before a correction is engaged and there is much less chance of hurting the horse or bruising his mouth. “I use my baby fingers to communicate first, then the rest of my fingers to follow if need be.” Hands, fingers, wrists and arms should be free from tightness for maximum performance. Ross also starts her training with the softest bit she can use and will go back to that same bit periodically when she needs to soften her horse again. She points out that if a horse can’t handle a specific bit, he will become scared and may charge into the mouthpiece as a result, due to fear alone. It’s the exact opposite reaction a rider would be hoping to achieve. The goal of it all is to have the horse’s mouth follow the rider’s hand without resistance, and with softness and immediate compliance. For this reason, the slightest give from the horse should be rewarded by a small or large release, appropriate to wherever you are in your training and for whatever disciplines you are doing. States Ross, “Your horse will then respond positively. Horses will look for the reward.” AB A L B E RT A B I T S | W I N T E R 2 0 1 6




MEMBER INSURANCE COVERAGE 101 A “cheat sheet” to help AEF members understand the insurance coverage they are provided automatically as members.

As a member of AEF you are provided with two important insurance benefits; a) Personal Liability insurance $5,000,000. “Personal” in this context means the insurer will protect you against legal action brought against you if your horse(s) causes damage to another person or their property and that third party decides to sue you – but only in a situation where the horse is being used for Personal endeavors. “Commercial” use (not covered) means that the horse generates income (or could) for you as the owner. Liability imposed upon you when the horse is being used for Commercial purposes is not covered by the individual liability insurance policy provided automatically in the AEF membership, but can be purchased directly from Capri Insurance. Examples:

PERSONAL Pleasure use


Horse showing with or without prize money


Lease of a horse between two AEF members


COMMERCIAL Horse used in lesson program for fee


Horse used in a public trail riding facility


Carriage or sleigh/wagon rides for fee


b) Basic Accident Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) $30,000 (Principal Sum). The included AD&D insurance with your AEF membership provides compensation if the member suffers a serious / permanent injury as a result of an interaction with horses. The compensation paid depends on the injury and is either a multiple of the Principal Sum or a portion of the Principal Sum. The insurer has a schedule of injuries and it is that list that is used to determine the benefit paid. Important notes on the Basic (included) AD&D policy: • A Death benefit of $30,000 is included in the policy. • Coverage includes injuries sustained while travelling to or from equine activity. • Coverage includes some assistance for rehabilitation costs arising from an insured injury not covered by Government Health plans. • Benefits are paid in a one time and single lump sum payment.


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• Benefits are not paid for fracture or dental; fracture and dental can be added to your AEF membership by purchasing optional AD & D. • Benefits are not paid for lost wages/short term disability; loss of wages can be added to your AEF membership by purchasing the optional Weekly Accident Indemnity; some restrictions apply such as ‘you must be employed full time and filed income tax for the most recent year.’ The above polices do a great job of providing protection for all AEF members, but we know that some members want / need more. Over the years, the AEF and Capri have worked hard to create other value added products for members that can be acquired through your membership such as Travel Insurance, Enhanced AD & D which includes dental, fracture and higher limits; this policy also stacks with the policy that’s included with your AEF membership. There are also many other products at preferred rates for AEF members through Capri Insurance, including: • Commercial general liability insurance for equine business enterprise; • Horse mortality – EQUI CARE; • Property insurance for farm and urban homes; • Coach liability insurance (for instruction or training activities). Capri Insurance insures over 70,000 equine members across Canada and is extremely proud to be the preferred insurance provider for AEF and its members. With these numbers, Capri has worked hard to ensure costs and prices have remained very reasonable over the years. After all, for an AEF membership as low as .14 cents a day, where else would you obtain such comprehensive coverage? As we enter our 20th year of service to the equine community in Alberta (much of which in partnership with the AEF), we remain committed to providing risk management and insurance solutions to YOU, THE MEMBER. If we may be of assistance in any way, please contact us – we will be happy to offer assistance. *This article is a general summary only for informational purposes. Full

coverage details are found within the policy of insurance. For clarification or questions, please contact Capri Insurance at 1-800-670-1877. AB Mike King is an equine insurance specialist with Capri Insurance Services Ltd. and is responsible for the insurance programs that benefit the Alberta Equestrian Federation and its members. Do you have a question on insurance? “Ask the Insurance Guy”...and we will provide an answer in the next issue Comments or questions can be sent directly to Mike at


as of

Nov. 15th 2016

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

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






The AEF board of directors is pleased to present Trish Mrakawa (left) and Lorraine Hill (right) with honorary lifetime memberships for their hard work, countless volunteer hours, and dedication to the development of athletes, instructors and coaches in Alberta. Throughout the years, Trish and Lorraine have been remarkable ambassadors for the instructor/coaching programs, both being huge supporters of the AEF. Both have continually and effectively mentored many candidates through their certification successfully. Additionally, they have assisted in succession planning by identifying and helping train future coach developers to ensure AEF programs will continue on throughout our province effectively. Trish is a certified High Performance Jump Coach and Certified Coach Developer. Trish also holds her Senior Hunter and Hunt Seat Equitation Judge credentials, as well as status as a jumper and hack hunter judge. She has served over 25 years to this programming and is a dedicated member of the AEF Board.


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Lorraine is a certified English Competition Coach Specialist and Certified Coach Developer. She holds her EC “M� Dressage judge and EC senior recorded combined driving judge credentials. She has played an integral role in the development of the instructor/coaching programming for AEF and EC for over 15 years. Both Lorraine and Trish have contributed countless hours, days and years to the development of the EC English instructor/coaching programming, by providing a voice for Alberta instructors/coaches at national meetings, and working tirelessly on policies, procedures, and technical documents to ensure an effective and quality program is available to be delivered throughout the country. The AEF is proud to recognize the many accomplishments of these two well-respected individuals who tirelessly give of themselves to better the sport. A very special thank you to Trish and Lorraine for your commitment and service to the AEF and the horse industry in Alberta over the years. AB

ALBERTA HORSES Horse Industry Association of Alberta

Horse Industry Association of Alberta


the 35th Annual

AlbertA Horse ConferenCe January 13-15, 2017 • Sherwood Park, Alberta

We have moved to Strathcona County Live presentations!

A weekend of world renowned speakers, equine

education and fun!

Jim Anderson (Alberta).. Live Horse Demonstration & Educational Talk on Liberty dr. Heidi BAnse (Alberta).........Which and When NSAID’s to Use? GAry millAr (Alberta).....................Using Equines for Assisted Learning dr. elA misuno(Alberta)............Effective and Updated Deworming Protocols dr. merle olson (Alberta)........ Veterinary Product Development for Equine Industry dr. stepHen o’GrAdy (Virginia).Proper Physiologic Horseshoing-Starts with the Trim .................................................. Long Toe / Low Heel - Common Conundrum Jed puGsley (Colorado)....... Tradition, Progression, & Education in the Equine Industry KAren roHlf(Florida) ...................Finding the Sweet Spot of Healthy Biomechanics dr. miKe scott (Alberta)...............Using Technology in Lameness Diagnosis cArolyn stull (Alberta)..................Making “End of Life” Decisions for Your Horse scott trees (Texas)...........................Using Video and Photos in Equine Marketing ............................................................Because of Horses - Lessons Learned, Lessons Lived Plus...

• • • • • •

Equine trade show of Sponsor Exhibits Friday evening Reception Saturday evening Cowboy Dinner with Scott Trees Presentation Exhibits open during Saturday afternoon to General Public Register by December 1 to be eligible for an Early Bird prize Just $100 for the weekend and $45 for the Cowboy Dinner

For more information or to register contact: Horse Industry Association of Alberta (403)420-5949

Alberta Bits - Winter 2016  
Alberta Bits - Winter 2016  

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Equestrian Federation