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Horsing Around With Cavalia When Cavalia - A magical encounter between human and horse premieres in Edmonton on September 11, audiences will discover that Cavalia brings new meaning to the idea of “horsing around.”
nder Cavalia’s distinctive White Big Top at Edmonton City Centre Airport, Cavalia’s equine and equestrian artists bring to life onstage a relationship between horses and humans that delights, entertains and touches the heart forever. “The horse is the most beautiful animal on earth, and if you let them express themselves, even just a few horses by themselves on stage with nobody around them, you have a fabulous performance all by itself,” Cavalia founder Normand Latourelle believes. Cavalia is a show about horses, not about competition. It’s about the nature of horses, and the nature of the bond humans and horses share. It’s about cooperation and understanding, mutual respect and love for the horse. On stage, Cavalia’s horses are like kids at play, running, exploring, horsing around with each other and with their human counterparts, performing under saddle, at liberty, and partnered with roman riders, trick riders, aerialists and acrobats. Behind the scenes, it’s all about the horses, from designing the stage where they perform, to training them with kindness and understanding.
Take Cavalia’s iconic White Big Top. Distinctive in size and design, it was created to meet the needs of the horses. “When I designed the stage, I wanted it big enough for the horses to feel this is their playground,” Latourelle explains. “We are there to play with them, and they really use the stage as their playground.” When play takes the form of running at full gallop across the stage, the stage needs to be long enough for the horses to accelerate, gallop, and decelerate. When the liberty horses need to move as a group, split up and then reform as a herd, the stage needed to be deep enough for them to move free. And when aerialists flying above the horses and riders create a dreamlike fantasy that romances the audience, the stage required spacious heights. Underlying the playful action onstage is a deep understanding of how horses behave, how they think, and how they move. “A horse that is performing needs to enjoy it,” says Equestrian Director and Choreographer Benjamin Aillaud in describing the training of Cavalia’s horses. “For him to enjoy it, he must understand it. When he understands it, he will do it with pleasure. You have to build him a body that is able to do the job he is asked to do, and you have to build him a head so he enjoys his work all the time.” “They are much more expressive when they have an audience,” adds Normand Latourelle. “They know! They look for the applause.” Cavalia’s stars clearly enjoy horsing around. (Cavalia opens September 11 in Edmonton.)
2 • Saddle Up • September 2012
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A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse
“BEST SHOW EVER!” Larry King, CNN
Opens September 11, under the White Big Top at Edmonton City Center Airport 1.866.999.8111 U c a v a l i a . n e t HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
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From the Editor…
Features Cavalia Stress and Transport, Part 4 Training For Courage A Little Healthy Stress Clicker Training Ironman Bronc Riding Training with Dana Hokana Relationship Riding, Part 2 2012 Summer Olympic Games AQHA Youth World Cup
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Our Regulars Dear Editor Letters Cariboo Chatter Cowboy Poetry Top Dog! SECTION NEW! Tails to be Told KIDS – It’s All About You! Horse Council BC Roman Ramblings Endurance Riders Assoc. of BC BC Paint Horse Club Lower Mainland Quarter Horse South Central Quarter Horse Assoc. Back Country Horsemen of BC Pine Tree Riding Club BC Rodeo Association Clubs/Associations What’s Happening? Let’s Go! Stallions/Breeders Business Services Rural Roots (real estate) NEW! On The Market (photo ads) Shop & Swap
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t is September now and that means… Fall Fairs! I hope you do your part and visit (or show in) your local fair – they depend on you. It’s all about ‘community’ spirit! Well I rode again at Twisted Terrain Horse Park, but this time on my own horse, Bobbi! We participated in Dawn Heppner’s clinic there. See story on page 44. Me and Bobbi (26 yrs) having a blast This is a busy month for us at Twisted Terrain Horse Park with the Fall Fairs, Horse Shows and… an exciting trip… we are going to the Dressage Festival in Red Deer AND Cavalia in Edmonton with VIP seats! I’ve recruited (buddy) photographer Cheryle Hickman of Rein-Beau Images to accompany me to Alberta. She could not say no! (Sorry Greg, someone has to stay home to look after the critters) It was nice to receive a Dear Editor letter (see page 5) from one club member referring to my club (volunteering) comments in the August issue. If more members got involved… clubs would be thriving… not barely surviving! Since I will be off gallivanting (and working!) around BC and Alberta could you all PLEASE meet our next ad (and news) deadline of September 17th – that would sure help me out! I would appreciate it. We’ll be taking the next issue to The Mane Event in Chilliwack! One event not to miss out on! See you in my travels!
Nancy CONTRIBUTORS: Stephanie Kwok, Paul Dufresne, Dana Hokana, Maryjo Turnbull, Barbra Ann King, Monty Gwynne, Christa Miremadi, Kevan Garecki, Steven Dubas, Marilyn Berglund, Mark McMillan, Greg Roman, Suzi Vlietstra, Lorraine Pelletier, Dagmar Funk. ON THE COVER: Otter Co-op 90th Anniversary, www.ottercoop.com MASTHEAD PHOTOS: (regular features) By Rein-Beau Images OFFICIAL VOICE FOR: Back Country Horsemen of BC, BC Paint Horse Club, BC Interior Arabian Horse Assoc., Pine Tree Riding Club, South Central Quarter Horse Assoc., Endurance Riders Assoc. of BC., BC Rodeo Association, Lower Mainland Quarter Horse Assoc. MEDIA PARTNER WITH HORSE COUNCIL BC www.hcbc.ca
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Dear Editor Nancy: Just a short note to let you know that my puppies have all found wonderful homes. The little blonde one went to Alberta, thanks to Saddle Up. I also got an unexpected call about our Welsh Ponies due to the puppy ad. Again, thank you. - Kathy Stanley, 70 Mile House, BC (P.S. I do appreciate that I got more results than just the puppies.)
Dear Editor: I am embarrassed to admit that we forgot to thank Country West Supply for supplying a round pen at our Okanagan 4-H Stock Show in July. We couldn’t have done the colt starting without their help. The other major thank you that was missed was to Gary Roberts who provided the majority of the young stock for the Colt Starting event. A big thank you to Country West Supply, Gary Roberts and others who I may have forgotten to mention.
The Okanagan 4-H Stock Show is a non-profit event and could not continue without the support of all our wonderful sponsors. - Lorna Kotz
Dear Nancy: I just wanted to personally thank you for your Editor’s comments in the last edition of Saddle Up on volunteering for your local riding club. It is sometimes hard to have the membership involved in the club to the degree they should be. Most do not realize how much work is involved in putting on the events, clinics, and shows for our clubs. Usually, there are only a few people in each club responsible for a tremendous amount of organizing and event coordination. We in the trenches really appreciate you putting this out and motivating riders to do more than just ride at their club. Great job! Thanks Nancy. - Roxanne Ronan
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
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6 • Saddle Up • September 2012
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Mane Event in Chilliwack MORE CLINICIANS AND EARLIER OPENING FOR THIS YEAR’S MANE EVENT
he Mane Event, Equine Education and Trade Fair is pleased to announce their opening line-up of clinicians at Heritage Park in Chilliwack, BC October 19–21, 2012. It will be a first time appearance in BC for Arizona horse trainer, equine behaviourist and clinician Karen Scholl who will be conducting sessions on Horsemanship for Women. This superb communicator will address all areas of horsemanship but will specifically address the Karen Scholl confidence issues that women encounter when working with horses. Joining Karen will be well-known Canadian reining trainer and competitor Clay Webster. Clay was one of the first reining clinicians that the Mane Event had the pleasure of working with in 2004 and they are thrilled to have him return. Nick Karazissis of California will be conducting sessions on jumping and equitation for the hunter rider. Nick is a USEF R Judge and helped produce the “Get Niki Flundra Nick Connected” DVD which is used by the USEF in their Karazissis hunter/equitation clinics. Dr. Cesar Parra, a leading dressage rider and Olympian will be conducting the dressage sessions at the expo, and if you have never had the chance to see him in action his sessions are not only educational but extremely entertaining – they are not to be missed! Clinics that were extremely popular in Red Deer this year are also being offered at the Chilliwack Mane Event as JoLinn and Mitch Hoover will be presenting a series of sessions on Extreme Trail, one of the fastest growing events in the equine world. A new component to this year’s Chilliwack expo is the addition of Dan James, Dan Steers and Niki Flundra. Niki will be presenting demonstrations on trick training and Dan James will be presenting sessions on liberty; this young Australian recently won the Road to the Horse competition in Tennessee with team mate Guy McLean and he and partner Dan Steers were featured as clinicians throughout the WEG games and were one of the acts during the opening ceremonies in Lexington, Kentucky. Dan is sure to entertain with his horses in the sessions and the Double Dan demonstration with Niki Flundra during the Saturday Night Equine Experience is going to be a crowd pleaser. Niki was just featured in the AQHA member’s publication America’s Horse and has entertained audiences six times at the NFR in Las Vegas , 14 times at the CFR and 8 times at the Calgary Stampede. Stay tuned for next month’s issue for more information on the Jonathan Field demonstrations and Teresa and Will Bron’s sessions on driving, as well as this year’s Trainers Challenge participants. Please note that the expo will be opening earlier on Friday, to allow visitors more time to attend the clinics and of course, shop. The new hours on Friday are 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. To read more about the clinicians visit www.maneeventexpo.com. Contact the Mane Event office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-578-7518 if you are interested in participating in these sessions. HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
COME FOR THE EXPERIENCE. STAY FOR A WHILE.
www.saddleup.ca • 7
Equine Celebrities are coming to NW Washington AN EQUINE EXPERIENCE YOU WILL REMEMBER
he Northwest Washington Fair is very excited to be producing their 1st Annual Horse Expo, October 5-7, 2012 in Lynden, Washington. For the first time Cowboy Hall of Fame Clinician Craig Cameron will be bringing the fast paced fun Extreme Cowboy Race to Northwest Washington. Check out the “PROS” - who would you like to ride with? Richard Shrake with Resistance Free Training has been inducted Craig Cameron into the International Equestrian Masters Hall of Fame and will be sharing inspiring horsemanship tips. Also demonstrating will be Greg Best, two-time Olympic Silver Medalist in Show Jumping and Raye Lochert, a John Lyons Certified Trainer. These are just a few of the equine celebrities coming out west. They will be joined by many other clinicians such as Allison Trimble, Heather Gastelum, Brent Rollins and Kim Barber who will be bringing a variety of educational Richard Shrake opportunities to the northwest corner of the United States. Take your pick from several different “Ride with the Pros” packages. Pre-Expo Clinic opportunities and demos during the expo will include, ranch roping, basic horsemanship, trail, ranch sorting, western dressage, mounted shooting, dutch oven cooking, vaulting, colt starting, and much more. MENTION THAT YOU SAW THIS IN THE SADDLE UP MAGAZINE AND RECEIVE $50.00 OFF YOUR ENTRY FEE! CALL FOR DETAILS! Enter the Cowboy Race Each rider entering will receive a gift; prizes include Trophy Breast Collar, Trophy Buckaroo Halter, Engraved Pocket Knives and Grooming Kits! Prizes to the top 10 riders! $500.00 added to the Jack Pot! Sign up 8 • Saddle Up • September 2012
The Cowboy Race
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Equine Celebrities, cont’d today, mention Saddle Up magazine and receive $50.00 off your entry fee. NW Colt Starting Project with Bren Rollins - come learn from one of the best in the region! He is only taking 5 horses and their owners, for this 4-day project. Free Charity Rope Halter when you enter! This is not a competition. It’s a hands-on experience. Take your horse from the halter to the saddle. Mention Saddle Up magazine and receive $50.00 off your entry fee! Other special events and activities will include a Kids Corral with Noodle Horse Rodeos, shopping at the Equine Emporium, relaxing at the Authors Corral and listening to some of the region’s top writers as they read from their new books and offer advice on how to journal about your horses. Equine health practitioners will be on site to answer questions, Backcountry Horsemen of Washington will have an Encampment all set up with packing Selling Consignment Clothing, demos, mules and Dutch oven Equipment and Saddles for Great Prices cooking and among all this is the September Month long... World of Breeds display. You will not want to miss a chance to see all the Heather Gastelum, magic that these beautiful horses have Inventory Reduction Sale mounted shooter to offer! Items Discounted 25% + Advance discounted tickets now available on line at http:// Open Mon - Sat 10-5, Wed 10-8 nwwafair.com/nw-wa-horse-expo/. Located at Cornerstone Farm on the SW Corner of Hwy 22X & Hwy 22. Contact Maryjo Turnbull - email@example.com - 360-35414.5 km West of Spruce Meadows 4111 for more details and to get your entries in to “Ride with the 403-931-2648 Calgary, Alberta Pros” or for any other information you may need. www.thetackcollector.ca
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
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Stress and Transport, Part 4 by Kevan Garecki THE “WHYs” AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
With increased awareness of transport-related stress in horses, some pivotal studies have been conducted in recent years, the most notable of which have come from the University of California, Davis Campus, arguably one of the leading equine research institutions in North America.
C Davis’ studies in equine health and behaviour have consistently proven not only their dedication towards equine wellness but also their innovative approaches to providing knowledge and viable solutions. The most illuminating study was done in 2003 and focused not only on transport stress, but also on the recovery phase and what it took for the horses to return to a measured baseline in terms of health and wellness. The study was conducted with 15 healthy horses who participated in a 24-hour run through typical California summer conditions. The horses were transported in a professional horse van specially equipped to monitor each individual, and were assessed at each rest stop (every two hours). General health was measured by white blood count, temperature and body weights. The horses used in the study lost on average 6% of their normal body weight during a 24-hour
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period of transport. The consensus was that this loss was due to dehydration through perspiration and interruption of their normal feed schedules. It is important to note that this weight was recovered within 24 hours of post-transport rest, which echoes what caring, professional carriers have been preaching for many years - for each day on the road a horse should have at least one day of complete rest upon arrival. By measuring heart rate and cortisol levels in the blood, researchers were able to determine stress levels specific to each individual as they encountered the various phases of transport. Not surprisingly, cortisol levels were seen to rise steadily throughout the 24-hour period, as the horses were continually exposed to the stress of travelling. What did come as a surprise was the length of time it took for the cortisol levels to return to normal. Most of the horses had measured cortisol levels far above normal, even after the 24-hour rest period subsequent to the trip. As cortisol production negatively affects the immune system as well as reproductive and other vital functions, it is safe to assume that, from a general health perspective, horses subjected to lengthy trips may not be completely “out of the woods” until several days later. Professional carriers who have the chance to diligently observe their equine passengers after transport have noted that issues such as pleuropneumonia (shipping fever) can manifest several days later. This delay is likely due to increased susceptibility to infection resulting from the compromised condition of the immune system. While shipping fever is not always life threatening, it can be extremely debilitating for even healthy horses, and most certainly counterproductive to performance horses.
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10 • Saddle Up • September 2012
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Stress and Transport, cont’d The UC Davis study included a specific sub-focus on tying in transit, the results of which were quite predictable. It was found that horses tied while in transit showed much higher cortisol levels than the horses hauled loose. This suggests that they experienced considerably higher degrees of stress, and were subsequently more prone to post-transport health issues. I have preached long and often about the evils of tying in transit, and this is one reason why: horses tied in transit cannot effectively clear their airways, which vastly increases the chances of respiratory infection and can invite shipping fever. It is also critical to maintain constant clean airflow through the trailer to minimise airborne contaminants, and this can be a science unto itself! As discussed in previous installments of this series, heat stress is a very real concern in summer, so care must be taken to ensure adequate airflow when the temperatures rise. I’d like to conclude with some simple measures to reduce the effects of transport stress: A healthy horse has a better chance of enduring the stress of transport than one already compromised with disease or other health issues. Don’t tie unless absolutely necessary; transport loose in box stalls whenever practical. Free access to hay and water throughout the trip helps to reduce stress. Provide quality hay, free from mould and dust, and ensure water offered is clean and easily accessible to the horse. Frequent stops allow the horse to rest tired muscles and can help reduce overall stress effects. Stops should be long enough to allow the horse to feel secure enough to posture for urinating and to afford them time to take a drink. Don’t worry if they don’t drink at the first few stops; I don’t get worried about drinking until we’ve been on the road for eight hours or more. Ventilation is important at all times, but is critical in summer. Experiment with your own rig to determine how best to provide constant fresh air through the trailer while moving, and how to increase airflow at rest stops. Reduce airborne dust by wetting down the bedding or misting hay bags. It is not advisable to travel with drop-down windows in the open position
on angle-haul trailers. This can be extremely uncomfortable for the horses, and also expose them to increased risk of injury from flying debris. NEVER travel with both drop-down windows and bars or screens open, allowing the horse to get head and neck out of the trailer while moving! Not only is this extremely unsafe, but it is illegal in every jurisdiction in North America! Shipping fever seldom manifests immediately after transport; symptoms include depression, lethargy, lack of appetite or going off water and nasal discharge and coughing. If your horse develops any of these signs after a long trip, call the veterinarian right away! Special-needs horses may require additional considerations. I urge you to discuss any unique circumstances with a competent equine veterinarian. The final installment will look at some “real world” cases, and what was done to assess and correct the situations. In the meantime, happy trails and safe motoring! Kevan Garecki has invested much of his life in communicating with horses on their own terms. His photography is an example of this devotion, as is the care with which he conducts his own transport business. With extensive experience in rescue and rehabilitation, Kevan is active with the SPCA and equine-oriented charities. He was recently chosen to teach the Certified Livestock Transporter program in BC.
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12 • Saddle Up • September 2012
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Missing Pieces By Julie MacKinnon, Laodas-Way Healing Ever wonder why your horse has minor day-to-day issues that may not require acute care but come and go as often as the weather changes? Most of us horse owners do, and we find it hard to put a finger on what the actual problem is.
or one thing, we aren’t horses and, for another, we are not that specific horse. In the end, it is no different from people trying to relate to other people and problems in their bodies. You can never really know how something feels or should feel if it is not your body. Most horse owners make a good attempt at pinpointing the horse’s symptoms and treating for Ben and Julie those symptoms, but what we all are coming to understand is that the symptom is rarely the cause or source of what is happening. Where does any one horse owner begin to look for a treatment? When we look at equine rehabilitation and therapy for any issue, we need to think about the building blocks: the brain runs the body, the organs keep it alive, the spinal nerves relay between the two and, lastly, the muscles and tissues aid in supporting the frame for function. But what, specifically, should you look at for each of these building blocks? For the brain, you can consider things like nutrition that keeps the function up (treatment using vitamins, minerals, healthy fats), and then response for glandular trigger (using essential oils, homeopathics) which is the base of a lot of natural healing. For the organs, you can consider parasite removal - there are over 100 different kinds of parasites in the intestines, heart, liver and, yes, all other organs. Use both chemical and natural treatments to get them all, to allow each organ to function normally and to its full potential. Also consider toxin removal (using zeolite, charcoal, clay) of heavy metals and pesticides that inhibit the function of organs long-term. Looking at the spinal nerves, you can consider misalignment (treated with chiropractics, massage therapy, nerve activation) for the reason that the brain may not be getting the messages to some organ or muscle tissue - even on a leg. Don’t forget to consider structure as a possible pressure culprit on major nerves and pathways (treat with farrier work, dental work, injury rehabilitation). Finally, for the muscles and tissue, you will need to consider reflexes (treated with acupressure, hot and cold therapy, massage therapy) to prevent injuries from reoccurring, and muscle memory activation (using muscle reflex, magnetic energy) to HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
relieve stress and trigger points that cause and create further “domino effects” in the body. Benefits of this approach: • You have a source or a cause and you have a treatment. • You can do it yourself or get a therapist you trust. • Treatments allow for “whole body health” based care. • Your horse becomes functionally sound. • You have a non-invasive way to treat your animal. • Quicker treatment when you give the body the tools it needs to heal itself. The body works like a “railway system” - one thing always leads to another. Find the break in the tracks and you’ll not only fi x your symptom but also decrease the chances of developing further issues. If you want to learn more, see the Laodas-Way ad on this page or contact us for more information on your closest therapist.
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Oct. 5-7 Valleyview, AB Non-Invasive Non Invasive Chiropractics 2.5 day clinic (Level #1) Jan. 11-13 Drayton Valley, AB Alchemy for Horses, People, Dogs 2.5 day clinic (Level #1) - energy work for changing the body
Clinic Instructor: Julie MacKinnon More to come. See us on Facebook or go to www.laodas-way.com
www.saddleup.ca • 13
Training for Courage By Paul Dufresne GAIT DEVELOPMENT: TROT, PART 5
Training performance movement begins at the walk, and when a horse begins to have more confidence in forward movement and balancing a rider it is good to encourage the horse to understand energy in a positive way by going to the TROT.
Two angles of 15-year-old Lyla asking for a walking roll-over or part of a serpentine phase; you can see the rein aid and simultaneous leg aid
n some cases, this causes anxiousness in both the rider and the horse, not knowing if he will explode with excitement or fear, while trying to balance you. If you prepared the horse in-hand to handle the changes in energy from walktrot-canter in a good bend with a relaxed poll, the chances are that your horse will be far less inclined to panic when asked to trot under saddle. Good preparation inhand applies to all horses, whether you are schooling a green horse or re-training an older horse, to ensure there are no holes in the foundation. You should work to accomplish a reasonably good serpentine (or the rollover phase) at the walk with some control of the reach of the forehand before moving the horse to the trot. The reason for this is that one can control the hindquarters to add impulsion, or to take that impulsion away should the horse be inclined to get excited. If the horse is unsure of the situation, you can turn the horse to a safer place, stop him and regain emotional composure. The best way I have found to get a horse to go into the trot is to do a step or two in the bend of the serpentine and ask 14 • Saddle Up • September 2012
Ian is a green horse going from walk to trot out of a serpentine; there is a bit of tail action as he is a bit anxious about being asked to move out
for forward energy as the horse crosses underneath himself. Adding the energy when the horse is engaged will make the transition into the trot smoother. Because you are performing a flexion in this move that causes the horse to relax, you can bump the horse with both legs to encourage him to go faster and the horse will almost surely go to the trot. The key is that once the horse goes into a trot, do not go very far before bending to prepare for another serpentine and transition to a walk. So the sequence would be to cross under with bend and a flexion, then push forward to a trot for five to ten strides, then prepare for another partial serpentine to a walk; then repeat the whole sequence again. The serpentine to a trot works well to facilitate engagement and calm. The trot to serpentine also works well because a serpentine at the trot at first is tricky for the horse to negotiate. This causes him to readily slow down to the walking rollover. The horse can coordinate it at a walk much more easily and this tends to diff use the energy of the trot. The accompanying flexion causes the horse to gain soft ness and calm. When your horse can do this
Ian has settled down and is being asked to move out from walk to trot after initial anxiousness (horses settle quickly)
sequence consistently with good energy control you are ready to add a bit more complexity. The next progression is to start with a walking roll-over to a trot, but in the next roll-over ask your horse to continue at a trot rather than dropping down to the walk. At first your horse may wish to drop to a walk, so you may need to keep bumping with your legs to keep the energy of the trot. If the horse switches to a walk, stay calm, don’t worry and try again. When you come out of the roll-over in a trot, use a half halt to transition to a calm walk for several strides to reward the horse for maintaining the trot. This technique will always work and with an experienced rider the horse will begin to understand in one to five tries. If you are less experienced, it may take five to fift y tries, but you will still get it. The only time this will fail is if you didn’t prepare correctly on the ground or at the walk under saddle. Just keep trying calmly. Continue practicing the transitions from walk to trot (and trot to walk) until your horse can maintain a trot while doing a series of roll-overs on one bend as well as from one rein/bend to another. HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Half of a serpentine/roll-over on one rein at a trot
Softening after a serpentine at the trot; well engaged and elevated (horses will also settle with even more float in the rein with more repetition)
You can then add a transition from a trot to a single rein stop, and a stop on two reins with a slight bend. The trotting serpentine is the best exercise/technique I have ever used to soften a horse at the trot while creating a positive energetic state. I continue using this technique until a horse can give me a very soft jog that I can easily ride on a loose rein. When the horse can support me in the correct posture with a soft poll I can move on to other progressions. Any time my horse gets anxious or tight on one side, I immediately go into serpentines until he finds that calm place again, becoming soft in the reins and steady in his energy and emotional state. The trotting serpentine is one of the best ways to calm a very energetic horse. It is also one of the best ways to soften a stiff horse. When applying this technique to a less energetic horse, I do not persist at the trot for long periods. I keep the trot phase short with lots of walking transitions so the horse understands how to energize positively. Staying at the trot too long tends to suck the life out of a low-energy horse. The serpentine is the most useful exercise in improving the walk and trot especially when combined with the next part, the “roll-over and reach at the trot.” As the horse becomes fitter, I will do serpentines from rein to rein for 5-10 minutes until the horse is TOTALLY SOFT! The horse should not lean on the rein and the trot should become very comfortable to ride or you have it wrong. Enjoy your soft horse. Paul Dufresne is a writer, performer, trainer and clinician in Pritchard, BC, who educates in Natural Horsemanship, Classical Arts, Liberty and Circensic Dressage. He teaches people to understand horses and, more importantly, how to tap into their relaxation reflexes in ways seldom seen in North America. In doing so, he is able to guide people in creative experiences where the human learns to be an effective, safe leader. The horse learns to be more emotionally secure and will respectfully follow while developing athleticism in a mutually courageous manner by having a deeper understanding of how they affect each other. Visit his website at www.trainingforcourage.com.
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
www.saddleup.ca • 15
Never Underestimate the Power of a Mare By Mary-Lou Ashton At the young age of 49, I decided it was time to fulfill my childhood dream of owning a horse. Up to that point, my entire equine experience consisted of 15 days of horse camp and many trail rides at various locations until I was about 21, petering off to the occasional ride every few years.
Me, Hisola and Appollo
was extremely fortunate to acquire a 24-year-old Morgan gelding, a previous eventer, that was retiring
16 • Saddle Up • September 2012
from the local Therapeutic Riding program. Thus began my journey. Sky Hawk Appollo (yes, spelled with two Ps), aka Polly, along with the wonderful ladies at our local Trail Riders Club had an awful lot to teach me. I was introduced pretty quickly to some of Polly’s personality traits which included, “don’t touch my face,” “I will push into you,” and “I am a stall dancer.” Let me explain this last item. A stall dancer is a horse who, after he has done his business in his stall makes it look like he has been dancing through the mess, doing the Cha-cha, Samba, Two-Step, Disco, Hip-Hop and possibly even some
Krumping. It is not a lot of fun to clean the stall of a stall dancer and can be very time-consuming, depending on the amount of business, dancing and bedding involved. It wasn’t easy to get people to clean his stall while I was out of town and I usually felt so bad I would pay them. Then, along came Hisola... Hisola, a Canadian mare in her early teens with dinner-plate-sized feet, was being leased over the winter and came to stay at the stable. For a period of time, Polly convinced her he should stay in charge, until one day things changed. It’s important to note that Hisola’s usual home was at a well-respected riding
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Power of a Mare, contâ€™d stable and breeding farm. The horses usually were only brought in to the barn for tacking and feeding. Feeding was done in a standing stall and they were then turned back out to the pasture. Hisola was not used to spending the night in a stall, however I quickly noticed some interesting behaviours. Hisola would only poop against the walls of her stall, never in the middle or by the front of the stall where her food and water were. She also would not urinate in her stall. When let out first thing in the morning, she would go straight to one of the two spots in the pasture where she relieved herself. I also noticed a large number of piles in the same vicinity of the pasture. Eventually Hisola let Polly know, in no uncertain terms, that she was in charge of this particular herd. Now, I had always erroneously believed it was the stallion that was in charge of the herd. I had never heard of a lead mare in my youth. I soon found out that the lead mare told the herd where to go, where to eat, where to drink basically she made all the decisions. And some interesting things began to happen at the barn. Hisola kicked a hole in the wall between her and the pony that
separated her from Appollo. We thought that perhaps she thought the pony was too close to where her hay was in the stall, so we moved it to the far wall. Over time another hole appeared, and then one more. One day, while on her way out of her stall, Hisola stopped into Appolloâ€™s stall and proceeded to poop directly into his food bowl. It was piled high and not one apple hit the floor. Hmmm... that was interesting... I wonder what that was about? Shortly after, I went in to clean the stall dancerâ€™s stall and it appeared he had not been doing much dancing. The next day was the sameâ€Ś and the nextâ€Ś and the nextâ€Ś and the next. Polly had stopped dancing! He was now neatly placing his piles along the back wall of the stall. He also stopped drinking the water in his stall and there was very little urination in comparison as well. I am certainly not pretending that I can read the minds of horses, however I do know these incidents preceded the change in behaviour in my horse. Whatâ€™s just as interesting was watching to see what would happen when Hisola left the barn and went home. Would Appollo go back to his old ways? The answer was NO!
He continues to abstain from dancing and has taken his new habits into the pasture, keeping piles along the edge and specific spots for urinating. Never underestimate the power of a mare... thank you, Hisola, for making my job easier!
UPCOMING SALES Sept. 6, Thurs. REGULAR THURS. SALE Miscellaneous 9:00 a.m. Goats/Sheep/Hogs 10:30 a.m. Cattle 11 a.m. Sept. 9, Sun. SALE FOR WILLIAM B LAMONT & ESTATE OF EILEEN LAMONT (creator of the Speckled Park cattle breed) General Merchandise 11 a.m. Estate 1 p.m. Sept. 13, Thurs. REGULAR THURS. SALE Miscellaneous 9 a.m. Goats/Sheep/Hogs 10:30 a.m. Cattle 11 a.m. Sept. 20, Thurs. REGULAR THURS. SALE Miscellaneous 9 a.m. Goats/Sheep/Hogs 10:30 a.m. Cattle 11 a.m.
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A Little Healthy Stress By Christa Miremadi Many of us work very hard to make sure that everything is set up just right when we are working with our horses, especially when we are trying to teach them something new.
e make sure the weather is perfect, it’s the barn’s “low traffic” time, we clear the arena of anything that may be spooky and we work quietly and cautiously, being careful not to throw too much at our horses all at once. Many of you will have heard the saying “set your horse up for success” (or something like it) and even if you haven’t, it just seems like common sense to set our horses up for the best possible outcome. This is valuable and good advice, indeed. However, if we set things up too well, we will not be providing our horses with the tools necessary to deal with slightly more stressful situations that may be out of our control and may very well arise when we are far from home. I have recently come to appreciate the value of a little healthy stress in my training program at home. For years and years I have put a great deal of effort into keeping the learning situations for the horses I work with calm. After all, horses (like people) do not retain information well when they are stressed out. A stressed out brain does not learn well. This is a fact. For this reason, I always try to stay sensitive to the horse’s level of stress and his ability to learn. In fact, that very sentence is one that I go over with students almost every time I
18 • Saddle Up • September 2012
teach a clinic. Although it is true, in order to properly prepare our horses for the real world it may be necessary to expose them to a little healthy and controlled stress that will provide them with an opportunity to gain skills in making good decisions (or rather following our good decisions) during moments in which they may not be thinking clearly. If everything in their world is kept “just so” and then one day you decide that you and your horse are finally ready to hit the trails, you may be in for a surprise. Imagine heading out to the horse park to enjoy a quiet afternoon trail ride, or hauling out to your first local games day, only to find that there are horse-eating baby strollers, kids with balloons, little fluff y dogs that won’t stop barking, or a less-than-horse-savvy jogger who decided that hiding in the bushes down the trail would be the best way to not spook your horse... These are just some of the things that could send your horse into a tail spin, literally! Not too long ago, I took my gelding Cisco out for a ride with a couple of my students. We had just about finished a ride around Aldergrove Lake Park when a cyclist (one who had already spooked our horses a few times that day) decided to wiz around the corner behind the pony one
of my students was riding. She was riding at the back of our little line, I was in the middle and my other student was up front. Although the horse at the front was only a little startled, the pony at the back of the line was horrified! She leapt forward and gave the most flawless transition from a slow, meandering walk to a flat-out run in the blink of an eye! We happened to be just coming up a stretch that opened up to a driveway that led out to a main road bordering the park and this petrified little pony was heading straight for that opening... Cisco started, too, jumping forward into a collected canter, but when I heard my student behind me give a little shriek, I quickly asked him to turn and block the driveway so that her runaway pony couldn’t end up on the road. (This was both the pony and the student’s first trip to the park.) Cisco, like a pro,
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Healthy Stress, cont’d turned and let the pony run full tilt into his rump, blocking her and effectively redirecting her back onto the trail at a much more manageable pace. Cisco’s assistance at that time of stress could have been a life-changing moment and I was very thankful to have his mind, even in a moment like that. I have thought about that day a few times since and am reminded that we can’t control how others are going to act, what the weather will do while we’re out, or any number of other exciting factors that may pop up in the real world. Since we can’t protect our horses from a little unexpected stress one hundred percent of the time, it is important that we find a way to expose them to situations that are less than ideal from time to time. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t set our horses up for success. In fact, quite the contrary. I am suggesting that we set them up to be successful even in a stressful situation. Once they have started to catch on and are beginning to feel a little more confident with the lessons we have been trying to teach them, it may be a good idea to try practicing on a windy day, or invite the neighbour’s kids over to have a water fight while you’re riding, or leave a garbage bag tied to the fence in a light breeze while you’re working. This will give your horse a chance to get startled and practice listening to your directions, otherwise you never know if he will be able to keep it together when you’re far from home and you need his mind. Obviously, this is not something that I recommend doing without professional assistance. Please be careful and have someone who knows how to safely help you practice healthy, controlled stress. Horses can be very dangerous and unpredictable when they are scared and it is important that this is practiced only with the help of an experienced professional. The point is not to scare your horse but to stretch his comfort zone in order to make it stronger and
larger, giving him the skills to cope with unexpected and possibly alarming situations, keeping both of you safer in the real world. Christa Miremadi has been working with horses since 1984, and is a partner and facility manager in her family business in Langley, Silver Star Stables, where she also provides riding instruction and conducts horsemanship clinics. Christa is dedicated to creating harmony and building relationships between horses and humans through compassionate communication, and to strengthening partnerships by sharing the horse’s point of view.
(See her listing in the Business Services Section under TRAINERS)
The Largest and Most Attended Horse Sale in Canada!
HORSE SALE Selling some of Canada’s ﬁnest performance horses and prospects! Friday, September 28 at 6pm at the Westerner Show Grounds in Red Deer, AB. Held during the Canadian Supreme Show and Trade Fair Sept. 25-29th. Early Consignments featuring: The Partial Dispersal of “Northern Star Quarter Horses” of Rocky Rapids, AB. www.northernstarquarterhorseranch.ca
ANNIES LIL PLAYER
MACS DRY BETSY
2008 sorrel gelding Sire: Annies Cat (High Brow Cat) Dam: Playboys Sonita (Freckles Playboy) BCCHA Non Pro Maturity Champion, NCHA LTE $7,800. Solid Cutter, in training with Jason Hanson. www.equistarvet.com
2000 sorrel mare Sire: High Brow Cat (High Brow Hickory) Dam: Clarks Jewel (Clark’s Doc Bar) NCHA LTE $50,000, Champion Cutting mare. Diel and Jessica Hiner, North Powder, Or.
2002 sorrel mare Sire: Master Merada (Freckles Merada) Dam: Sneakin Cee (Maxi Lena) Well trained Show Cutting mare, in foal to Hydrive Cat. Diel and Jessica Hiner, North Powder, Or.
2001 sorrel mare Sire: Quixote Mac (Doc Quixote) Dam: Betsy Dry Doc (Dry Doc) NCHA Cutting earnings in excess of $8,000. 2007 Bonanza Am. Reserve Champion. Very Solid! Herle Holdings, Medicine Hat, AB.
OTHER EARLY CONSIGNMENTS NORTHERN DUAL CHECK
NORTHERN ROYAL CAT
CDS LIL RIO
2011 sorrel gelding Sire: I’m Counting Checks (Smart Lil Ricochet) Dam: RHL MS Double Pep (Dollys Little Peppy) The dam has produced offspring with NRCHA earnings in excess of $48,000 Canadian Supreme Eligible!
2011 brown gelding Sire: Smooth As A Cat (High Brow Cat) Dam: Rose Holly (Mr Play Holly) Bred to be a Cutting Horse! Dam a money earner! Canadian Supreme Eligible!
2010 bay gelding Sire: Bobs Hickory Rio (Bob Acre Doc) Dam: CD Otoetta (CD Olena) Sired by NCHA World Champion, Canadian Supreme nominated, BI Eligible. www.equistarvet.com
CAT N PEPPY
2010 bay mare Sire: Meradas Money Talks (Freckles Merada) Dam: BP Lucky To Get Even (Get Even) In training with Dale Clearwater, and a half sister to a money earner in NRCHA. Canadian Supreme nominated!
2004 sorrel mare Sire: High Brow Cat (High Brow Hickory) Dam: Tari San Peppy Star (Peppy San Badger) A very pretty, well trained “Cat” mare! Big stop, bright on a cow! Leonard McCullough, Morinville, AB.
NORTHERN LITTLE DOC 2011 sorrel gelding Sire: Kit Dual (Dual Pep) Dam: MS Peppy Lena (My Own League) Top Cutting Bloodlines! Nominated to Cutting Breeders Invitational for 2015. Canadian Supreme Eligible!
thewesternhorsesale.com Contact Elaine Speight at 403-845-2541 check the website for complete listings
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
www.saddleup.ca • 19
Developing Young Equestrians By Steven Dubas
ttending schooling shows and training with a qualified instructor are necessary parts of developing a good rider. There are a number of good coaches in Prince George who host schooling shows; one in particular is Sorine Winther, owner and manager of Dreamworks Farm. This facility has two schooling shows per year. Asked why she started her schooling show program, Sorine said, “We began with the shows last year to give people a good place to learn if they were interested in jumping. It’s so important for developing riders and horses to have venues with quality course design, good footing and arenas, as well as safe and practical classes.” Schooling shows are the best place to learn how to show competitively. Sorine is a certified coach and has a lot of experience. Recalling her own development as a young rider, she said, “I competed all through western Canada and the western and southern States as a junior and amateur competitor, and then began to step into national open divisions. In 1991, I was awarded a Premier’s Athletic award for my efforts. I continued to train with Brent and Laura, began to teach and train for others and started to compete more regularly in the open jumper division. In 1992, I was named to the National Show Jumping Talent Squad.” Sorine has taken 9-year-old Taylor Blair (Winther) riding a break from the show Dandito
circuit to focus on her family and her coaching program. Her daughter, nine-year-old Taylor, is following in her mother’s footsteps, riding Bandito, a Welsh pony she found in Oregon. The two are well matched, competing in equitation and jumping up to two feet. Dreamworks Farm has a number of horses that beginner riders can learn on. Having good schooling horses is pivotal to the program, because one element of the learning 4-year-old Jessabelle Atkinsonprocess, the horse, already Trelenberg riding Tic Tac knows what to do; only the rider has to learn it. One thing you might notice at one of Dreamworks Farms’ schooling shows are the giggles coming from the arena; the youngsters are having fun. If a rider makes mistakes at a schooling show, advice and encouragement comes from the coaches and fellow students, helping the rider overcome a problem. The early classes are set up for young riders - the youngest being 4-year-olds - and there are many in this age group. This is where it all begins. Taking the time to educate yourself about coaches and facilities in your area is important in order to make a wellinformed decision on where you or your child would be best served. Horse Council BC (HCBC) has a website (www.hcbc.ca) with 30 minutes from Kamloops at beautiful Pinantan Lake. * Conﬁdence Building information about finding a qualified coach * Safety Learn to communicate with your horse and riding facility. Trusted friends are another * Techniques for using principles of Natural Horsemanship. good source. Problem Solving Your horse or ours. We have a wonderful school herd Learning how to ride properly is * And… Fun! with Parelli training to Level 4. important for safety, enjoyment and selfAll ages, abilities and disciplines welcome. confidence of the rider.
Lakeview Guest Cottages, Camping, Quality Horse Board, Backcountry Riding at its best!
250-573-5800 Enquiries always welcome
Design your own clinic with Janice Jarvis s
Steve Dubas started riding late in life and got involved in endurance riding in the Prince George area. He has an Arabian, Jimmy, who’s been with him for 12 years. He is a recreational rider and very involved in trail development in Prince George. Steven has been a director of Horse Council BC for a number of years and is very active in the Zone. Photography is a passionate hobby, as well as writing!
MORE CLINICS AND EVENTS ON OUR WEBSITE
www.jandanaranch.com 20 • Saddle Up • September 2012
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Wild West In Williams Lake By Janice Sapp
ere’s a little introduction of the newest show on the rodeo circuit! The Wild West Riders of Williams Lake, BC are the new hot ticket for Grand Entry and Drill performances. These “Wild” Williams Lake Ladies are making an impression on the crowds at the 2012 rodeos. They made their first appearance in 100 Mile House at the BCRA Rodeo on the May long weekend and after riding an impressive routine the ladies could be found selling 50/50 tickets, and visiting spectators in the stands. Nothing but good vibes from there on out. Then 3 weeks later these community-conscious women could be found volunteering their time at the Famous Williams Lake Stampede, selling 50/50 and lending their hands anywhere it was needed. The month of July, Rodeo Road lead them to Quesnel, BC where they opened all 3 days of the Historical Billy Barker Days Rodeo, and after a flawless weekend performance they secured their spot as opening act for the annual BCRA Finals on September 14,15, 16, 2012! None of these women are new to the sport of drill. They each bring years of horsemanship and drill experience to the team. Comprised of 10 riders, the team, formed by coach Brenda Phillips, brings something special to the arena. A relaxed atmosphere and professional appearance, makes each routine a welcome addition to the rodeo. The riders come from all walks of life, and each adds something different and diverse to the team. Most all have ridden on other local drill teams and have found their niche within the Wild West. Practicing once or twice a week as needed, Brenda watches each horse and listens attentively to each rider, taking all of their questions and concerns into consideration. It takes many minds and ideas to have a fully functioning drill team and the knowledge and skill of these old pros is evident in all they do. Smiles grace the faces of these ladies as they race around the arena, proof that they truly enjoy every moment of their time performing. The anthem flags gracefully float by, honouring both countries and are packed by elegant riders and horses. Nothing short of poetry in motion. They are thankful and proud to be supported by B Horner Contracting, Log Haulers Assoc., Speedy Petey`s Lightning Lube & Carwash, and Shelly Colton who handcrafts their shirts and matching blankets. The Wild West also take their hats off to their handy ground crew who work up the ground in their practice arena, at the Williams Lake Stampede grounds, tote their flags for them and play their music too while they ride. For info and bookings visit their Facebook page under Wild West Riders or contact Brenda Horner at 250-296-3276.
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
September Horse Sales WILLIAMS LAKE Friday, September 7 Tack at 4:30 p.m. ~ Horses at 6:00 p.m. Call 250-398-7174 to consign
VANDERHOOF Saturday, September 8 Tack at 12 Noon ~ Horses at 1:00 p.m. Call 250-567-4333 to consign epted Tack acc ours /2 h up to 1 1 only. le before sa
Friday, September 21 Tack at 4:30 p.m. ~ Horses at 6:00 p.m. Call 250-573-3939 to consign
www.saddleup.ca • 21
Clicker Training By Monty Gwynne, The Pony Fairy BRUCE, THE RESCUE FOAL, LEARNS TO LEAD
The story and training of Bruce continues this month. With haying season upon us, I have had very little time to work with the rescued mares and foals. However, I did teach them how to put on their halters. Yes, THEY put on their halters.
ll I do is hold the halters up in front of them and they stick their heads in. This is a far cry from the hard-to-catch, fearful mares that arrived here. Bruce had only had minimal work as well. It had been a good stretch of time since they’d been played with, so I was curious as to how well they remembered their lessons. The power of clicker training never ceases to amaze me. In my pre-clicker days, there would have been no way I could have spent as little time as I had with these mares and even hope to have them respond as they did... they both came right up, away from grass, and offered to put on their halters! As for Bruce, who had only been clicked for being touched (and rewarded with a scritch, not even any food yet), he happily came up to be touched and was clicked and then rewarded with a lip-curling scritch. So what to do with Bruce now? It had been a bit of a chore getting him from the pen to the pasture when we moved them down as he is a curious, self-assured guy - he would wander off, get distracted and
22 • Saddle Up • September 2012
no picture on the box to give you a hint. really not seem too worried about mom. Seeing as he will soon be weaned, I thought leading or, more accurately, “following a feel” would be a good place to start. With clicker training, we like to break things down into “easy to be right” steps. I had just started Bruce on targeting his nose to my fist in the stall. This is, or can be, a precursor to leading. I presented Adding in target Following the target my fist to him and he touched it without hesitation. Click and treat Some of us find this kind of learning (scritch). What a clever boy! (Free Shaping) frustrating and mentally I repeated this several times to make tiring. On the other end of the learning sure he understood and then moved my spectrum is Directed Learning, which fist so he had to move to touch it. Bruce is like driving your car and following caught on right away and was happy to someone else to a new place, but you don’t follow me away from his dam. Now this is remember how you got there - you are sort a great start on leading and giving to the of on autopilot, only part of the brain is traditional “pressure” idea that most of us working. The learner in this case is highly associate with leading. But you might be dependent on the teacher. wondering how touching and following a Free Shaping and Directed Learning fist can teach giving to pressure. are at opposite ends of the learning Have you ever tried to learn to do continuum. In clicker training, while we something without some help or guidance do use each of these techniques, we often that you are on the right track? Imagine use Guided Learning (in the middle of trying to do a jigsaw puzzle when there is the learning continuum) with the goal to produce an animal that has the tools to problem-solve and generalize using the skills it has learned. My next step in teaching Bruce to “lead” was to put my hand on his shoulder close to me with very light pressure. I would then quickly pair it with my “fist target” placed so that he would shift his weight away from the light pressure of my hand to go touch my fist; I would click and scritch, often before he actually touched my fist (because even HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Clicker Training, contâ€™d the slightest movement toward my fist target was a â€œstepâ€? in the right direction). He quickly figured out that the light pressure on his shoulder (we are talking just the weight of my hand) meant he should move, which also earned him a click and treat (scritch). If he had trouble understanding, I would add in my fist cue, so as to give him a bit of directed learning and not just leave him there trying to put the puzzle together with no picture! Yes, I could have just placed my hand on his shoulder and waited for him to figure things out, but this little bit of directed learning gave him the opportunity to be right sooner. I then added in a rope around the base of his neck and using the same target, my fist cue, combined with a slight pressure on the rope, got him to follow the feel of the rope around his neck. If he hesitated in moving away from the pressure of the rope, I would
maintain that same pressure (NOT add more pressure) but also add in the target cue. This way, he quickly figured out to move from a very gentle pressure. He had learned how to give to pressure without all the thrashing and pulling that usually comes with teaching a foal to lead. When we do add in the halter, we will also still use the target fist cue to help him generalize that light pressure anywhere on his body means give to it. The pairing of the cues will allow him the chance to be right more often and become confident in his ability to learn and understand what is being asked of him, without the fear factor that so many horses experience during training. Bruce will be a thinking horse that will know how to deal with pressure... the light-as-a-feather pressure you should only ever have to use to get the desired response.
Monty Gwynne is the only Canadian approved instructor for Clicker Training using Alexandra Kurlandâ€™s program (the founder of Treat with a scritch Clicker Training for Horses). She has been clicker training full time now for over 13 years. Monty is based in Cochrane, AB, and has done clinics throughout Canada. She is available for clinics and video coaching. (See The Pony Fairy listing in Business Services under TRAINERS)
Innisfail Auction Market REGULAR R CATTLE SALES Every Wednesday, starting at 9 am
PRE-SORT R SALES Every Monday (starting soon)
DWIGHT UNGSTADâ€™S Production Sale Friday, Sept. 21 Starting at 7 pm ALL BREED HORSE SALE Saturday, Sept. 22 Tack at 10 am Horses at 12 noon Consignments welcome. Listings taken until sale time
www.innisfailauctionmarket.com 3T s )NNISFAIL !LBERTA 4'