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s 2015 rolls along, CanTRA is enjoying a typically busy year. While reflecting back on its history in the past 35 years, a key theme emerges - education. As we have developed and upgraded our national standards and programs over the years, we have emphasized opportunities for education. Our CanTRAcertified therapeutic riding instructors maintain their qualification through clocking ongoing “professional development” hours. Our CanTRAaccredited centres maintain theirs by a schedule of site visits at which they learn new and improved ways to operate their programs. CanTRA also maintains a variety of other educational resources available to its members. This year, a series of 35th Anniversary workshops are rolling out across the country to bring learning opportunities in each region. Some of the subjects include Autism, Hippotherapy, Instructor development, Volunteer management, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and Self-regulation in special needs children. Heady stuff! The presenters are highly qualified and experienced CanTRA instructors/examiners. We

are so fortunate to have built up over the years a “stable” of people with such great depth of knowledge to share. For example, a workshop on Hippotherapy is slated for Alberta. Hippotherapy is the involvement of the horse for therapeutic purposes - a rehabilitation strategy using a mobile and live instrument called “horse.” The horse possesses motor and emotional neuro-sensitive stimulation qualities never equaled by a machine, offering 110 multidimensional movements by impulsion every minute. No therapist, no matter how motivated or talented, can compete with this quality stimulation. The presenter is Pippa Hodge, a CanTRA Examiner/Coach and pediatric physiotherapist, an internationally recognized expert in this field. Lucky those who attend her workshops! At the other end of the country, participants from the Atlantic provinces recently enjoyed the opportunity of two back-to-back workshops. One focused on instructors, their own development and techniques for mentoring instructor candidates. The other addressed that crucial component of any therapeutic riding program,

volunteers -- how to recruit, train and retain them. Jane James, a CanTRA Examiner/Coach from British Columbia, presented both workshops for a very busy weekend. And delicious 35th Anniversary celebration cakes, an integral part of each workshop, are also hitting the spot!

Jane James discusses details with a participant during a 35th anniversary workshop for instructor held at Cavalier Riding Club, Moncton, NB. Photo by Daphne Davey. For more information on CanTRA visit

Alberta Donkey and Mule Club By Marlene Quiring


n July at Beaverlodge, AB, we finished up the last leg of our clubsponsored series of Jerry Tindell clinics. Some clinics were predominately filled with horses while others attracted mostly mules. The flood of responses we received by the owners of their appreciation of being able to study under Jerry was overwhelming. He is scheduled to return to Canada next year.

Mary Ann Scannell’s mammoth donkeys; (L-R) Bella, Lovely and Asshlee 34 • Saddle Up • September 2015

While we are an “Alberta” club, we do have quite a few members in BC and other provinces. One of our BC members is Mary Ann Scannell from central BC. Mary Ann has three mammoth donkeys, two of which came from mule and donkey breeders, Mavis and Tom at Cedar Hill Ranch in Falkland BC. She says the donkeys are her retirement plan and she hopes to ride, pack and drive them. Having had and loved donkeys previously, she spent many years breeding, raising and training the old genetics sport/working western Morgans. While being able to use the Morgans’ energy to help train them, Mary Ann finds it sure is different training donkeys. However, she says loving them is just as easy... even easier. She uses clicker training to help motivate the donkeys and feels that has worked well for training them with new things and then she phases it out. In the same way she trained her Morgans, she is taking her time and doesn’t plan to have them deal with weight and physical stress until they are five years old and their bones have nearly finished maturing. Mary Ann is very open to having contact with other donkey owners and sharing in experiences and training techniques. Her email address is Having her life dramatically slowed down by a stroke two and a half years ago, she has hung onto the three donkeys and has done all their chores throughout. She says they are her best therapy. HCBC 2010 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Profile for Saddle Up magazine

Saddle Up September 2015  

Horse Magazine, Western Canada, English and Western, Club News, Equine

Saddle Up September 2015  

Horse Magazine, Western Canada, English and Western, Club News, Equine

Profile for saddleup