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From the Editor… Features Legalities with Harveen Thauli Standing Still for Mounting, Pt. 1 Choosing a Harness, Pt. 1 A Farriers Dream Client Canada Welcomes New Marchadors Clicker Training Pet Lover Show a Success Through a Horse’s Eyes Equine Foundation of Canada Marwari Horses Annual Fashion Feature
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Our Regulars Cariboo Chatter KIDS – It’s All About You! Top Dog! SECTION Horse Council BC Lower Mainland Quarter Horse South Central Quarter Horse Assoc. BC Rodeo Association Back Country Horsemen of BC Endurance Riders Assoc. of BC BC Paint Horse Club BC Interior Arabian Horse What’s Happening? Let’s Go! Clubs/Associations Stallions/Breeders Business Services On The Market (photo ads) Rural Roots (real estate) Shop & Swap
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ello April! Spring has sprung (for most of us)! Time to get up and out and ride! I am so looking forward to going to Red Deer for the Mane Event at the end of this month. Hope the weather holds out… those mountain passes can be miserable this time of year. But with a 4x4 and studded tires (which don’t come off till after Red Deer) we should arrive on time… unless of course there is an avalanche or rock slide closing the highway (let’s not go there!). This issue includes our annual Fashion Feature showcasing what is new and hot in riding and casual wear for 2013. Do check it out – there is something for everyone. Wanna see Saddle Up ‘Hot off the Press’ April 1st (no fooling)? – The magazine is up and ready for you all on the first of each month on our website – no sign in or registration, absolutely FREE to read. Get a jump start on the magazine before the ‘printed version’ hits the tack shops and other locations. I hope you enjoy this issue – see you at the Mane Event.
Nancy CONTRIBUTORS: Stephanie Kwok, Judy Newbert, Harveen Thauli, Monty Gwynne, Birgit Stutz, Barbra Ann King, Hannah-Mae Kaiser, Luke Walker, Nanette Jacques, Sasha Hopp, Lynn Kelley, Christa Miremadi, Steven Dubas, Jen Losey, Bruce Roy, Mark McMillan, Naomi McGeachy, Lorraine Pelletier, and all of our Fashion Feature contributors. ON THE COVER: Old Baldy Ranch “Babies,” Dawson Creek BC, www.northernhorse.com/oldbaldy 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., 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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Legalities with Harveen Thauli THE IMPORTANCE OF PURCHASE AND SALES AGREEMENTS
Hardly a week goes by when I donâ€™t hear about a dissatisfied horse purchase. In some cases, I think the purchaser is simply feeling some buyerâ€™s remorse, but Iâ€™ve also heard some â€œhorror storiesâ€? where the seller clearly misrepresented the horseâ€™s physical condition, behaviour or abilities to the purchaser.
always ask if there was a purchase and sales agreement in place, but more often than not, the answer is a resounding â€œNo.â€? In those rare instances where there was an agreement, itâ€™s often so poorly drafted that proving the intent of its terms would be difficult. I have difficulty reconciling why such important transactions remain undocumented, particularly in this industry. The horse trade is a largely unregulated industry that provides very little, if any, recourse to an unhappy purchaser. Some sellers are motivated by sales commissions and will unfortunately say or do what it takes to make those horse sales happen. I was recently told about a horse that was sold for $100,000 without an agreement between the parties. Fortunately, in this case, the purchaser was more than satisfied with her new horse. When making her decision, Iâ€™m assuming she relied on the sellerâ€™s
well-known reputation in the industry. However, if something went awry after the purchase, could she count on the sellerâ€™s same reputation to show integrity and help rectify the problem? Always the optimist, Iâ€™d like to believe that the seller would â€œdo the right thingâ€? in those circumstances but, unfortunately, Iâ€™ve read about instances where reputable sellers didnâ€™t return the purchaserâ€™s phone calls or denied having any knowledge of the horseâ€™s problems before it was purchased. If you wouldnâ€™t buy a house or car without an agreement, why buy a horse without one? In another case, I heard about a purchaser who decided to buy a horse from Ireland and have it shipped to Alberta. The cost of this horse together with the shipping was approximately $100,000. Again, there was no purchase and sales agreement in place. The purchaser was unable to travel to Ireland to see the horse, so he relied heavily on the
pre-purchase examination conducted by two veterinarians. What the vets failed to disclose to him was that they were also the horseâ€™s regular treating veterinarians. This proved to be detrimental to the purchaser because the pre-purchase examination report did not disclose that the horse had back problems. When the horse arrived in Alberta, his back was so damaged that he couldnâ€™t be ridden and was essentially worth very little money. This purchaser had to consult a lawyer in Alberta as well as a lawyer in Ireland. Since there was no agreement stipulating that the purchaser could bring his lawsuit in Alberta, he will most likely be forced to sue in Ireland. Meanwhile, he is incurring costs for a horse that he cannot use. In addition to a purchase and sales agreement, I would have also recommended that the purchaser ask for a copy of the horseâ€™s veterinary records prior to purchase. Purchase and sales agreements are
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Legalities, contâ€™d equally important when buying lower dollar value horses. An agreement for a horse that costs $5,000 will most likely be simpler and include fewer clauses than an agreement for a horse worth $100,000. However, at least it could include a clause stating that the seller represents to the purchaser that the horse does not have any physical condition or behavioural problems, except those that the seller writes into the agreement. I heard about another purchaser who bought a horse for $4,000 without entering into a purchase and sales agreement with the seller. The seller didnâ€™t disclose that this horse was previously used in the rodeo. It didnâ€™t take long before this horse began bucking off the purchaser and her lessees. The purchaser thought there was something wrong with this horseâ€™s back, so she spent money on treatments and training to help fi x him. In fact, she spent more money trying to fi x him than what she paid for him. Despite her best efforts, this horse continued to buck, so she decided to retire him. This purchaser only learned about this horseâ€™s rodeo career after he was retired. She thought about suing the seller but knew that without any documentation, it would be a difficult case to prove. Furthermore, she was aware of caveat emptor or â€œlet the buyer bewareâ€? and bought the horse in the condition he was in, including his vices. However, even if she had a simple agreement in place, she would have had good evidence proving that the seller failed to disclose important information to her before purchasing the horse and she could have
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sued for monetary damages. Although Iâ€™ve condensed these examples for the purpose of this article, the substance and intent of the stories remain the same. Having a qualified lawyer prepare a purchase and sales agreement at the outset will give you some security should a problem arise after your purchase. If you would like to share your stories with me or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at harveen@ myequinelaw.com. In future articles, I will continue to explore mistakes that purchasers make as well as issues that sellers should keep in mind. Harveen Thauli started My Equine Law as a boutique law firm that provides strategic advice to the unique needs of the equine community. Bringing together the two things she loves most, Harveen is both an avid rider and owner of a horse whose show name is â€œLegal Affairâ€? as well as a highly qualified lawyer with experience in the areas of personal injury, civil litigation, collections, corporate/commercial and securities law, investigations and professional conduct. This article contains general information only and is based on the laws of British Columbia. It is not intended to provide a legal opinion or advice. Please consult a lawyer before relying on any of the statements made in this article.
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Standing Still for Mounting, Part 1 By Birgit Stutz Standing still for mounting is a very common issue that a lot of horse owners are faced with. The first step in solving the problem is to find out why the horse won’t stand still. Is he stressed? Unbalanced? Scared? In pain? Is the rider inadvertently causing the horse to move? Is the horse walking off out of habit or because the rider is allowing it?
f pain is the cause, this obviously needs to be addressed first. Where and why is the horse hurting? You may need to get a veterinarian, an equine chiropractor or massage therapist to assess your horse. Is the saddle ill-fitting or placed in the wrong position? Is the rider’s way of mounting causing the horse discomfort or pain or throwing the horse off-balance? This is often the cause with young and/or green horses or riders who are overweight. You can test for this problem by having someone hold the far side stirrup as you mount and observing any difference in the horse’s reaction. It is important to remember that you still may get a reaction of discomfort because the horse is anticipating discomfort or pain, so you may need to do this multiple times to determine if the horse is merely anticipating. Is the rider’s position in relation to the horse inadvertently causing the horse to move away from the rider? This is a very common problem, which is easy to solve as soon as the rider starts paying attention to his own body language. For example, if the rider’s belly button is pointing at the horse’s hind end, it is sending impulsive energy into the horse’s hindquarters, asking the horse to move the hind end away from the rider. Or, if the rider is inadvertently sending impulsive energy into the horse’s sensitive head and neck with his hips and shoulders, the horse may move away sideways, or he may just invert and bend into the rider (pushing his ribcage into the rider’s space). Does the horse fear what happens once the rider is up in the tack for example an unbalanced, bouncy rider, or a rider pulling on the reins or constantly kicking or spurring the horse? Does the horse anticipate
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work when the rider starts mounting and is trying to avoid it? And if so, is there something about how the horse is worked that causes stress, discomfort or pain? All these are possible causes that need to be ruled out or addressed before we can reasonably ask a horse to stand still for mounting. Sometimes the rider just expects the horse to stand still for mounting, but isn’t actually doing anything to prevent the horse from walking off by proactively blocking forward movement with the reins. It Justine assists by flexing Buck’s head down and keeping him in a is always in the horse’s best interest relaxed frame while Birgit hops that we are proactive and set the up and down beside Buck. It would be a good idea to wear a horse up for success instead of helmet while doing this exercise. waiting for him to make a mistake and then correcting him. We should never force a horse to stand still. A horse has to want to stand still, and he can only do so if he is not stressed. Restricting movement is a common tactic used in the predator world to establish dominance, but in the world of prey it only causes stress and fear. If a horse is stressed, he needs to move, and we actually need to encourage movement in the horse instead of forcing the horse to stand still, which just compounds the horse’s stress. What we do need to do is control the horse’s movement and shape the horse’s body in such a way that it relaxes him. It’s important to understand that there is a big difference between
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Mounting, Part 1, cont’d forcing a horse to stand still (and punishing him for moving) versus asking a horse to stand still (and responding appropriately by redirecting the movement in a way that does not cause punishment or discomfort or stress when the horse declines the request). In order for a horse to be able to stand still for mounting, he needs to not only be calm and relaxed, but also balanced, meaning standing square with a level to low neck. In order to achieve that, we may need to help the horse find this position. Facing the horse’s girth, I apply blocking aids with the reins to prevent the horse from walking away and at the same time I ask the horse to bend his ribcage around me by gently massaging the horse’s bending button at the girth with my thumb. You should be able to find a small indentation just where the ribs start to curl under. Massaging the horse’s bending button encourages him to move his ribcage away from me and also bring his head down and towards me while softening his poll.
Once the horse stays in this relaxed frame (frame of body is frame of mind), I keep one hand (if I am mounting from the left side, my left hand) on the reins and grab a piece of mane with it. With my right hand I start putting some pressure into the stirrup. If the horse needs to walk off, I will allow him to move, but I will control the direction of the movement. I may ask him to do a very small circle around me, or a turn on the forehand or to back up, all the while keeping him in a relaxed frame, with his poll level or below the height of his withers. These are all exercises that are physically more demanding for the horse than just standing quietly. You are essentially showing the horse that it is a lot easier (physically less challenging) to stand still than to walk off while at the same time allowing him to move without adding to his stress. Part 2 of Standing Still for Mounting will appear in next month’s issue.
Birgit massages Buck’s bending button to encourage him to move his ribcage away from her and also bring his head down and towards her while softening his poll.
Birgit Stutz is a Chris Irwin Gold Certified Trainer and Coach and offers horse training, riding lessons, clinics, workshops, camps for kids and adults, as well as working student and mentorship programs at Falling Star Ranch in Dunster, British Columbia. Birgit’s mission is to help people have a better relationship with their horses through understanding of equine psychology and body language as well as fundamental riding skills. www.fallingstarranch.ca.
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Choosing a Harness for Your Horse, Part 1 By Judy Newbert NEWBERT Equine Enterprises $RIVING 2IDING ,ESSONS #LINICS $IAMOND . ULTRA LIGHT CARBON lBRE WHIPS #ARTS #ARRIAGES (ARNESS -INI TO $RAFT 3ADDLERY AND HARNESS REPAIRS See us att S #ARRIAGE LAMP REPAIR RESTORATION
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Coulmore Shadow, a Highland Pony, driven by Judy Newbert at Calgary Carriage Classic
Why is your harness important? Safety is paramount in anything to do with horses but particularly in driving. The harness is the connection between your horse and the vehicle and is the only means you have of controlling the horse. It is absolutely essential that the harness do its job of safely attaching the horse to the cart or carriage and not let you down when you need it.
What sort of driving are you going to do? Recreational driving is usually defined as driving on your own property or on the roads or trails for your own enjoyment. You can also take your friends for drives. Although recreational driving is sort of low-key (there is no competition involved), if you drive on the road, remember: an equipment failure there will be worse than in a ring or an enclosed area.
10 â€˘ Saddle Up â€˘ April 2013
Pleasure driving in open or breed shows is often a situation requiring specific types of harness and vehicles. You must consult the rule book for the classes you intend to compete in before you make any decisions or purchases to ensure you have harness that conforms to the rules. Combined Driving (CDE) (like threeday eventing but driven) uses harnesses of all sorts with the addition of some specialty pieces and things like quick releases. Simple recreational harness will do to start at the beginner levels. If you want to use your horses for farm work, you would need a draft-type harness suitable for pulling various sorts of farm implements.
What sorts of harnesses are available? Light horse harness, often called buggy harness, is ideal for the beginner or recreational driver or for low-level CDE use. This harness commonly includes a bridle, breastcollar, harness saddle or backpad, breeching, and may or may not have an overcheck or a sidecheck. It is lightweight but strong enough to do its job and the parts like the breastcollar and breeching are wide enough that the horse is comfortable pulling, even up and down hills. This harness will likely meet the requirements for lower-level pleasure driving in the show ring and for entry-
level CDE driving. Show or fine harness, used in the show ring in many breed classes, like Saddlebred, Arabian, Quarter Horse, and Shetland, is commonly a very thin (and expensive) harness, almost always leather and often does not include a breeching. This sort of harness, because of the narrowness of many of the parts, is unsuitable for hauling a vehicle up and down hills or for covering long distances. This harness is designed for flat smooth arenas, very lightweight vehicles and for use for short periods of time. This sort of harness is unsuitable for recreational driving. For more advanced Combined Driving, there are harnesses built with heavier, wider breastcollars and breeching than a light driving harness and with no check reins. At the lower levels, a light horse harness is adequate. Only at the more advanced levels do drivers usually choose to use a specifically designed Combined Driving harness. Draft harness is generally large sized and very heavy and is designed for heavy use and to pull heavy loads. This type of harness commonly uses full collars which are expensive and difficult to fit. Since a typical cart for recreational or CDE driving may only weigh 150 to 200 pounds, a draft harness is not required. Since draft harness is designed for heavy HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Harness, cont’d for almost anyone to lift onto the horse. Next month, we will cover the things you need to consider when buying a light horse harness (buggy harness).
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If you have questions, visit the Newbert Equine website (www.newbertequine.com) or contact me or drop by the Newbert Equine booth (Booth #14) at the Mane Event in Red Deer, AB, on April 26-28. At Newbert Equine, we are “Everything for Driving.” The company is owned and run by Judy Newbert who has been driving for over 25 years and is a certified EC Driving Coach. She has competed in Pleasure and breed driving as well as CDE. NEE is a dealer for both leather and synthetic harness and Pacific Carriages (the best North American-made horse vehicles). We can fit everything from Mini to Draft. We also can advise on restorations, turnout, fitness and most other topics for driving horses. Judy also travels to give clinics and lessons.
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Wild Rose Draft Horse Association By Bruce Roy
Photos courtesy of The Draft Horse Journal
The 2013 Mid-America Draft Horse Sale opened with a bang, for two Percheron horses won a $50,000 bid.
eld at the Gordyville USA Auction Center in Gifford, Illinois, February 19-21, a capacity crowd was ringside. The 268 Belgians and Percherons sold averaged $5,111. This signal event, operated by the Amish, is a barometer of North America’s draft horse trade. Buyers from 25 states and five provinces were present. Tack, harness and equipment was in demand; the trade for collector’s items was insane. Copies of the 1922, 1927 and 1937 Belgian Review sold upwards of $400 each. Budweiser beer steins won a roaring trade, as did bundled back issues of The Draft Horse Journal. Belgian Gelding Miknella’s Majic Lance
Wild Rose Draft Horse Sale Friday May 3 & Saturday May 4, 2013 Agricultural Fairgrounds, Olds, AB Invites Consignments of Horse Drawn Equipment, Harness, Tack, Shoes, etc; Purebreds, Crossbred & Grade Draft Horses; Draft Mules & Mammoth Jacks MAY 3 2:00 p.m. Preview of the Driving Horses 5:00 p.m. Social & Supper 6:30 p.m. Tack & Harness Sale MAY 4 8:00 a.m. Tack & Harness Sale 11:00 a.m. Equipment Sale 12:00 noon Draft Horse Sale
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One of two $50,000 horses sold, Soap Creek Etta, is a heads-up, 3-yearold Percheron mare. Jane Gray, of Trippcrest Farm in Harrison, Maine, purchased the black, Skyview Count On It daughter. She joins Trippcrest’s tramping hitch of Percheron mares. The grey Percheron gelding, Neels Becker, also sold for $50,000. This 3-year-old, purchased by Ames Percherons of Jordan, Minnesota, will be positioned in the handsome Percheron Six campaigned by Ames Construction Co. Neels Becker had a brilliant performance in the Sale Preview. Canadians were front and centre for the gelding trade. Stewart Crabb of Stittsville, ON, the RCMP Musical Ride’s long-serving farrier, paid $25,000 to own Miknella’s Majic Lance. This big, athletic Belgian gelding is sorrel in colour. Brian and Randi Thiel of Pleasant Grove, California, bid $15,000 for the Manitoba-bred horse Gordon Ruzicka, consigned by Rose Hill Percherons of Viking, AB. The 18.3hh black Percheron, Lone Oak 08 Glen, is a 5-year-old that is no nervous novice, in either a show ring or a parade. Jason Bexson, of Legacy Stables in Didsbury, AB, pocketed $14,500 for a 3-year-old Belgian gelding. His exciting colt, full of HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Wild Rose, cont’d style with lots of step, sold to Craig Hammersmith, of Hammersmith Belgians in Defiance, Ohio. Drew Mundie of Innisfail, AB, came home with two Belgian females. JSS Emily, a 4-year-old Thunderbranch Prince mare, cost him $7,000. She is in foal to Harbor Haven’s Extreme. Meanwhile, C Kandy’s Krystal Excel was a steal at $3,750. Sound as a brass bell and so very correct, this athletic 3-year-old is by Twin Oaks Excel, Grand Champion Stallion at the 2008 North American Belgian Championship VI. Wayne Lucas and Sons, of Lucasia Ranches in Claresholm, AB, paid $3,300 for Knepp’s Rachel. She was the only yearling fi lly in the Sale Preview that
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Natural Horsefriendship THE TRAINING METHOD MOST PREFERRED BY HORSES
At Gateway 2 Ranch in Kamloops, a 320-acre sacred land is home and playground to a herd of horses, ponies, steer and llamas, along with the family of cats and dogs. The animals are all at liberty or free to come and go, whether on the land, in the large shared paddock or in the open communal barn, which connects to the human house.
he Herd” is part of the family, pampered and loved as children (or more so, the human children say). They are invited to play rather than work and the work they do is changing consciousness and lives. Liz Mitten Ryan (their “partner”), an animal communicator, has co-authored four award-winning books with The Herd and recently won Best Documentary for “One with the Herd” which was based on the first book and is now available as a DVD; it is about the healing connection that animals and nature have to offer humans. Since the horses are part of the family and share in an open line of communication, they have made a few amendments to horse keeping on the ranch: bare feet, no whips, no bits, no instruments of torture, treeless saddles or bareback pads, no force, no restraint, invitation and reward (rather than pressure and punishment). The horses believe they should train people rather than people training them. The title of the second book is “The Truth According to Horses” and it was entirely “dictated” to Liz by the horses. It won the coveted Nautilus Award, in company with
Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and the Dalai Lama. As a result, the horses, now quite famous, have visitors come from all over the world for Equinisity retreats. During May to November, The Herd, though free to roam in the meadows, forests, hills and lakes of the property, returns each morning to teach and heal humans. Subjects include liberty play and herd language, fine-tuning focus, intent and feel. Trust and love, along with praise and treats, are shared during activities in the playground where horses leap up on tires, walk over “bridges” and teeter-totters or through swim noodles, following like dogs, or quietly cuddling, their heads on laps. The entire herd will drop to the ground, allowing people to share their rest time or morning meditation, snoring comfortably amongst a crowd of onlookers. The horses and other animals also help on healing tables, raising and clearing energy like reiki masters. At Gateway, the horses are not haltered and led to work healing humans. They invented the “Equinistic Healing” method, which is orchestrated by the horses and is completely different from other horse therapy in that the entire herd, at liberty, chooses when and how the healing will take place, working individually and together, using pattern and rhythm, while sensing and seeing the
truth of each person. Miraculous healings and life changes are the result. Animals and nature interface with a higher wisdom, the creative force that is within all life and when they are invited to connect and share, rather than forced to perform, they are only too happy to be friends and companions, connecting and raising human consciousness to a place where we are all spiritual equals, each contributing our own special talents. Offering a kind word, a scratch or a treat, is similar to how we treat our friends and goes a long way to establish a relationship that is as much fun for the horse, dog, steer, or any of our other animal friends as it is for the human.
To learn more and experience transformational journeys with horses visit
www.equinisity.com Or you can call Liz Mitten Ryan 250-377-3884 14 • Saddle Up • April 2013
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
www.saddleup.ca • 15
Five Essential Skills for Your Horse’s Future By Christa Miremadi Every horse owner I meet has good intentions and a desire to have a great relationship with his/her horse. They want to be able to emotionally support and direct their horses’ behaviours and do what’s best for them physically.
hey want to provide them with an appropriate diet, regular trimming or shoeing, consistent dentistry, productive exercise and plenty of stimulation with “away from home” activities like riding at the local park, attending horse shows or taking part in clinics. As I said, the intentions are there, but not all of them know how to maximize this opportunity for more than just adequate care. I’d like to share five tips that I have found to be invaluable for maximizing the care your horse can receive. 1. No hoof, no horse. Take the time it takes to help your horse learn to stand on three legs for an extended period of time. As horse owners, it’s our job to emotionally and physically prepare our horses for things like standing for a farrier. As someone who has recently become the sole hoof care provider for my herd, I can honestly say it’s my opinion that farriers aren’t paid enough money for the job they do! It’s hard work physically, not to mention dangerous, and it takes a lot of attention to detail: looking for levels, checking for balance and what not. This
16 • Saddle Up • April 2013
is hard enough with my well-behaved horses let alone those who are physically or emotionally unprepared for the task. A little focused attention paid to helping a horse find comfort with one of his legs being held by someone he trusts for a little while can help him accept having that same foot taken away and confined between the knees of a stranger once every six to eight weeks. 2. A level head in all situations. Many folks out there may already be aware of the correlation between the height of a horse’s head and how he is feeling but for those of you who aren’t, it’s pretty simple: A high head displays high anxiety, a low head displays low anxiety. Obviously, just like every other aspect of horsemanship, there are always exceptions to every rule but generally speaking, this is a pretty safe assessment to make. Physiologically, when a horse throws his head up suddenly, or maintains an elevated head position, adrenalin is released, causing feelings of excitement or anxiety to be amplified. Conversely, when a horse lowers his head (say, to graze) the spine is stretched and endorphins are released, creating a feeling of peace and calm to spread throughout the horse. Now, horses have a very hard time separating how they look from how they feel so, to a certain extent, you can provide an excited horse with an antidote to his adrenalin if you can cause him to lower his head and release endorphins into his system. This will not be a “fi x all” solution to every situation in which a horse gets excited but it can certainly help your horse to relax for those crucial moments before a vet slides a needle into his neck in order to draw blood or administer possibly lifesaving medications. 3. Stand here, there and everywhere. This may not seem like that big of a deal or may not even occur to many people
because they have never experienced issues with the way their horses stand when tied, but many horses (I would even say most horses) learn many things by location. A horse who is used to being tied in the cross ties at the end of the barn may be completely fine with standing tied for an extended period of time as long as he is in the cross ties at the end of the barn. But if you were to change the location of this activity, you may find that standing quietly while tied would not come so easy. “Why is this important?” you might ask. Simple - you never know when there will be an emergency out on the trail, a natural disaster that requires standing tied or even just because one day you may want to tie your horse to your trailer in a strange place. This life skill for your horse could help him to safely deal with a situation sometime down the line that you couldn’t have predicted. 4. Head and shoulders, knees and toes. In the event that your horse becomes injured and a veterinarian requires the ability to touch your horse in a strange place, this should not be the first time your horse has experienced this touch. The shoulders, knees and toes aren’t always such a big issue but often the only time a horse is HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Five Essential Skills, cont’d ever asked to tolerate a human’s hand in his mouth is at floating time. In fact, any other time a human’s hand has ended up inside his mouth it has probably ended pretty badly... for both the horse and the hand! Spending a little time familiarizing your horse with the right way* to have his mouth and lips touched will make the yearly dentist visit much more enjoyable for both your vet and your horse; I know that, over the years, I’ve really appreciated having a happy vet who’s willing to drop what he’s doing to come and attend to an emergency. A willing, calm and tolerant horse can mean the difference between the vet getting a good look at their teeth, eye, nose or ear and a poor look. 5. Load in, load out and travel quietly. In my experience over the years working with horses and trailers, one thing has been made very clear. Many people put plenty of work into teaching their horses to load into the trailer but not nearly as
optimal care but these five tips seem to help get the ball rolling in the right direction. As I said, we all have the best of intentions when it comes to preparing our horses for all the things they’ll need to do, but many of us don’t quite know what to do. I hope these tips are helpful! *Do not attempt these lessons without a professional’s help. many people put the same kind of time and effort into un-loading from the trailer. Even less people take the time to practice tying in, closing divider doors or standing in a stationary trailer. Many of the issues I see are actually more about the anxiety of being closed in or getting back out than they are about climbing in. A little extra time spent on these other aspects of riding in a trailer can help your horse to arrive at his destination calmly and help you get your ride started on the right hoof. Of course, there are thousands of ways to maximize your horse’s opportunity for
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)
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www.saddleup.ca • 17
Becoming a Farrier’s Dream Client By Hannah-Mae Kaiser “The hospital? What happened?” When a farrier’s wife got a call from her son, asking her to persuade his dad to go to the hospital, she started to panic. The son replied, “He got kicked in the face by a horse, and half his nose is smashed in.”
espite Barton Lybbert’s attempts at convincing his wife that it “wasn’t that bad” and that he “really needed to finish this horse,” he agreed to go to the hospital. Lybbert, a Certified Journeyman Farrier, never did finish that horse. At the hospital, he learned that his nose was indeed broken. His injury could have been avoided if someone had taught the horse to stand quietly for the farrier. “Most horses we meet don’t fail to amaze us with the rudeness they display,” Lybbert says, “These horses wreck tools and equipment. It’s an unnecessary complication and one that, as farriers, we don’t really appreciate. It makes it more difficult to maintain a rhythm and energy level when these animals put you through the ringer early or late in the day.” It doesn’t have to be this stressful. According to horseman and clinician Josh Nichol, much of the problem is that people don’t have enough commitment from their horses. He says, “The farrier has to pick up the foot for a long period of time - a lot longer than most people would practice. If a farrier needs to be able to pick the horse’s foot up at a commitment of five, and I’ve only ever picked the foot up at a commitment of two, then, all of a sudden, this is outside the “rules” that have been established. The farrier just comes in to pick the foot up and go to work, but
ur o y d buil
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now he has to deal with a lack of commitment that is actually the owner’s fault. When the horse is asked to give more than he is comfortable with, any problems that he has with leadership or personal space will generally surface. It becomes the farrier’s problem and results in injuries such as a broken nose, cuts, overstressed arms, and hyper-extended knees.
Preparing Your Horse for the Farrier “We pick the hooves up, pick them out, and put them down,” Nichol says. “If your horse is at all uncertain, you need to be able to pick them up and put the leg between your legs like a farrier would, pick them out, fuss on them, bump them around. Get your horse to the place where, when the farrier picks the hooves up, that’s quieter than you’ve ever done it. So the farrier can say, “Whoa, this is easy!” and your horse is saying the same!” Nichol stresses the importance of understanding pressure. Some people use too much and some people use too little, but both are equally imbalanced. People need to be able to use pressure neutrally, like horses. They use pressure, and then it’s over. He calls it the difference between relational horsemanship and emotional horsemanship. Relational horsemanship is understanding what the horse’s needs are; emotional horsemanship says the horse is doing what it is doing because it is acting like you would, if
ccustom om m barn in Langley ngley g BC gley 18 • Saddle Up • April 2013
Misbehaving horses wreck tools and equipment that are very expensive and necessary for farriers to do their jobs well. (Photo courtesy of Sandy Lybbert)
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Farrier’s Dream Client, cont’d you were upset. “Therefore, on the emotional side, we treat them like that. We get after them,” Nichol says, “but all they’re doing is showing that their needs are not being met, that what you’re doing is not satisfying their [need for] leadership.” According to Lybbert, space issues are the most common problems he faces. “The horse doesn’t understand that he’s only welcome in my space if he’s invited.” He says, “When I ask to pick up one leg, they might walk off or brace the leg I ask for and move the other three. They walk over their owners and me. This can be as big as running right over someone and causing injuries or as minor as being heavy and leaning.” The best way to fi x any problem is to simply prevent it. But when there already is a space issue, the first question is, why? “My analysis of any situation is based on the needs, mind, space or pressure,” Nichol says. “So, what I ask is, does this horse want to be back with his buddy? Is this horse scared? Am I a pressure he is struggling to deal with? If it’s not space, then it’s either mind or pressure, and usually these horses haven’t been taught to think under pressure.” When the farrier reaches down to pick up the hoof, he is a pressure to the horse. If the horse believes you have put him in a negative position, he will either flee or push in. Nichol uses the round corral to teach horses how to deal with pressure. “I’ll put the horse in there and he’ll start running around; then I’ll gently add a little bit of pressure until he looks at me, and then put the pressure away. So the horse starts understanding he can control pressure by staying.” Another important piece is teaching your horse to lower his head by softening to a pressure on the lead. “If a horse is braced, it’s because negative minds are showing up. If a horse is staying soft, it’s because he’s okay. Our job is to keep him relaxed and soft,” Nichol says. “I put different pressures on him, make sure he’ll soften, and when the farrier’s there, just stay on the line. When the horse starts to show that he’s getting unsure, ask him to soften.”
Consideration and Communication “When the farrier is left to manage the horse as well as do his job, it usually involves shortcuts and those are seldom completely effective,” Lybbert says. “It also puts undo stress on the farrier, horse and owner.” If a horse had a bad experience with a farrier, you need to be picky about which farrier to call the next time that horse needs his feet worked on - get someone who is When a horse respects the farrier and going to be patient and will stand still, the farrier can do his take the time to work work quickly, without having to use shortcuts or risk injuring himself or slowly, if needed. Nichol the horse. (Photo courtesy of Sandy recommends paying a Lybbert.) good farrier not only for trimming your horse, but also for taking the time. “Plan ahead and get the farrier on your side,” Nichol says. “A lot of farriers come in and they’re so bothered by people that don’t get their horses handled.” But if the farrier is told beforehand and paid accordingly, he will be able to take the extra time, and get it done right. With you taking care of your horse, the farrier can simply do his job and shortcuts can be avoided.
Seek Professional Advice If your horse is behaving aggressively, the best thing to do is seek the help of a trainer. A lot of farriers will not work on an continued on page 20
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Farrier’s Dream Client, cont’d aggressive horse that has dangerous problems such as kicking and striking out with the front hooves. After suffering a broken nose, Lybbert says he is learning to walk away from dangerous horses. “If a horse gets to the point where it’s aggressive, the farrier has to encourage the person that they need assistance,” Nichol says. “You cannot fight with aggressive horses because they already know how to win. The way I go about it is trying to be the human they’ve never had, someone that can give them what they need. Help them understand how to soften to pressure, keep their mind present and slowly engage the space. Don’t engage the space in confrontational ways, until the horse starts to show it’s actually turning around. Then you pick the foot up, and put it down. Because this isn’t a situation of longevity.” In order for these horses not to become worse, the owner must also commit to putting the time and effort in. Whether it requires you becoming a stronger leader, teaching your horse to soften and handle pressure, or getting the help of your farrier or a trainer, it is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. Hannah-Mae Kaiser lives on her family’s farm near Rochester, Alberta, with her two horses and dog. She considers herself a freelance journalist and student of natural horsemanship.
Barton Lybbert. (Photo courtesy of Sandy Lybbert)
BARTON LYBBERT, a Certified Journeyman Farrier, has been trimming and shoeing horses for 38 years. “Sometimes it feels like I started yesterday and sometimes it feels like it’s been an eternity!” he says. He lives with his wife Sandy in Glennwood, AB, and the couple have four children, Daniel, Bethany, Ryan and Devon as well as seven grandchildren.
JOSH NICHOL has been training horses for 18 years, but becoming a clinician was never his intention. He says, “I just wanted to be a cowboy!” He teaches clinics throughout Canada as well as from his family-owned Eagle’s Wing Ranch near Meanook, AB, where he lives with his wife Cindy and their two children, TaylorRae and Jackson. “I guess everybody’s got their thing,” he says. “This is mine.”
20 • Saddle Up • April 2013
HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Canada Welcomes New Marchadors! By Lynn Kelley For more information please visit their websites or contact Rick Schatz, Flying Oaks or Dana Johnsen, Nickers Saddlery.
Original photo of the “boys”
he population of Mangalarga Marchador horses in Canada will almost double in April with the importation of 4 new Marchadors into British Columbia from Flying Oaks Ranch of Kaw City Oklahoma! The Mangalarga Marchador is the National Horse of Brazil, bred there for over 200 years. This versatile horse of ancient Iberian heritage is bred to be the ultimate saddle horse with beauty, stamina, soundness and a wonderful, comfortable, ground covering gait called the “marcha.” Some of the new Marchadors will be trained, shown and offered for sale by Dana Johnsen of Nickers Saddlery of Penticton BC. Nickers will be adding the Marchador horse into their product line and promoting the Marchador breed in Canada!
Flying Oaks Ranch www. flyingoaksranch.com Flying Oaks Ranch is the largest Marchador breeder in the US. They began breeding Marchadors in Brazil and never stopped, bringing them back to the US when they returned. They raise their horses in a natural herd environment on the grassy plains of central Oklahoma.
One of the Marchadors coming to Canada – “Flying Oaks Diablo”
Nickers Saddlery www.nickerssaddlery.com Nickers Saddlery is an innovative Tack Store located in beautiful Penticton BC. They specialize in alternative horse care including natural supplements, barefoot hoof care, and horse friendly tack and equipment. They are the creator and home of Sensation Ride Treeless Saddles.
The grand opening of this collaboration between Flying Oaks Ranch and Nickers Saddlery will be at The Mane Event in Red Deer, Alberta on April 26-28, 2013.
30 minutes from Kamloops at beautiful Pinantan Lake.
May 5 OPEN HOUSE - 1 - 4pm Natural Horsemanship Clinics with Janice Jarvis MAY 24-26 ~ JUNE 29-JULY 1 ~ JULY 20-23 Check calendar of events on our website.
* Conﬁdence Building * Safety * Techniques for Problem Solving * And… Fun!
Backcountry Riding at its best!
Design D i your own clinic with Janice Jarvis
Enquiries always welcome
NEW! Art Workshops! * La LLakeview kevi ke view iew e G Guest uest ue st Cotta t ge ges s Cottages * Camping * Quality Horse Board
See us at the Mane Event, Booth 807 Home of the
108-197 Warren Ave. E., Penticton BC 1.888.492.8225
www.nickerssaddlery.com HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
www.saddleup.ca • 21
Clicker Training By Monty Gwynne, The Pony Fairy MY MOTHER DRESSES ME FUNNY
Being inherently lazy, or being the kind of person who likes chores to be efficient, or maybe just from blanketing a lot of horses over the years, I like my horses to help put on their own blankets, just as I like them to help put on their halters or bridles or hold up their feet for cleaning.
ow can you use the foundation lessons that are in place already to train this blanketing behaviour? You could use stationary targeting, hand targeting or mat work (which is really a form of targeting) to teach blanketing. For this discussion, I will focus on targeting to a stationary target. You would start by reviewing basic targeting if you havenâ€™t done it in a while with your horse. Does he know this behaviour? Does he target quickly when the target is presented? If not, then you need to spend more time here first. Can
22 â€˘ Saddle Up â€˘ April 2013
you send him to a target that is away from you - a stationary target perhaps on the wall of his stall? (See the video, â€œEggo Stationary Targeting,â€? at www. theponyfairy.com to see what I mean by this.) If you havenâ€™t taught your horse this targeting behaviour, then you will need to teach this as well before proceeding to the blanketing lesson. Do you have a cue that you give to send the horse to the target? If not, you can add that in here as well. A cue is added only once you can predict that the behaviour will happen - not before! Once I know that my horse will touch the target quickly after it is presented, I can add in my verbal or hand cue just before he touches it. I use the verbal cue â€œpark,â€? as I use it a lot with my driving ponies to have them station while I get the carriage, but you can use any cue you would like - just make sure that it sounds different from other verbal cues you may have. Gradually increase the distance the horse must move to touch the target; eventually, have the target where you would like him to station for blanketing. Once this â€œgoing to the targetâ€? behaviour is solid and predictable, you can start to build on the blanketing behaviour. As always, you are going to break this down into small steps so that the horse is successful, ideally, every time. How far you need to break the steps down will depend on your horse. Some horses
are bold and brave and wonâ€™t need as many steps; others are not, or have issues, and they will need a lot more tiny steps. Keep in mind, all the time, the emotions of the animal and do not make him force down a negative emotion in order to perform the task. Remember, it has to be a good experience for both of you! How you proceed to the next step will depend a bit on how tall your horse is and how he is about putting his head under something. Start with something easy, such as a lunge whip, held horizontally far above his head but between him and his target. Can you give him the cue and
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