Skijordue 2017

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

There is an event happening in southern Alberta this February 11, that is more anticipated than the current blast of snow we’re receiving. With fast ponies, plus skiers or snowboarders looking for their next thrill, Skijordue 2017 promises to be the not-be-missed extreme sporting event of the year!

Held at the Calgary Polo Club and in support of the Prairie Sky Equine Assisted Therapy Association, Skijordue will feature sprint and circuit races, plus a long jump. Oh and there will be jaw-dropping trick riding stunts performed by Alanna Nolan and Western Horse Review’s own Sally Bishop!

There will also be Yodelling & Alphorn performance from members of the astonishing Yodel Club Heimattreu – Jodlerklub Heimattreu, Calgary Canada

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Gates open at 10:30am. Races start at 11:00am sharp.

Flaunt your fanciest furs & glammest glasses to win the most Stylish Spectator prize package from uber-chic modern western boutique Cody & Sioux!

Inside the Calgary Polo Club Cantina there will be a patio and heaters, bonfires, a Race Commentator, DJ and Cheese Fondue, Bratwurst & Beverage concession (*cash only*). PLUS! Freestyle ski/board exhibitions.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Your $5, (cash only please), grants you entry plus a bunch of door prize draws throughout the day, so keep your ticket close & your ears open!  DJ G will be spinning mad techno yodelling mixes to get the patio dance floor bumpin’. This is set to be the most exciting snow-equine-fromage event of the season!

IT’S SNOWING, SO COME CHECK IT OUT!

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

So much awesomeness coming together, here’s some of what the Alberta Skijoring Society #ASS has got lined up for you:

*FAAAAST horses & ninja skiers from far & wide.
*Groovy tunes & goofy door prize draws from DJ Graham Mitchell
*Entertaining erudite race commentary from the incomparable Alan Leys
*Jaw dropping trick riding from stunners Alanna Nolan & Sally Bishop
*Yodelling & Alphorn performance from members of the astonishing Yodel Club Heimattreu – Jodlerklub Heimattreu, Calgary Canada
*Epic images from Chad Rowbotham Photography
*Rad video coverage from Atomic10 Inc.
*Proficient paramedics Courtney Isbister & Radar Goddard
*Handsome handy marshalling by Dace Cochlan & Dave Callaway
*Judicious judging by Tracy Thorbjornsen & Anne Thompson

*Venue vistas with SNOW from Gordon Ross Remax

*Truck-Truck viewing experience extravaganza with uber host JR Cox of The Shooting Edge Inc & William Evans Canada

*Prizes prizes PRIZES!!! From: Little Monkey Metal Works, Smithbilt Hats Inc., SS Chaps, Bar T5 Agra Services, Country Living and Garden Centre, Monod Sports, LTD, Sporting Life, Cody & Sioux, Western Specialties, Cam Clark Ford, Water’s Edge Pub, Jane’s, Coffee shop, delicous food and fine art, Sweetgrass Deli & Eatery, Wild Rose Brewery, Knaughty Nets & Pets, Chuckwagon Cafe

Full Circle

with-christa

He came first, into the life of my husband. The sorrel horse was 18-months-old – unbroke, but had a solid temperament. He was sired by Super High Gear, out of the mare Ms Lyndi Lou, born in 1991 and came from John Miller’s breeding program.

My husband, Clay spent countless hours with the gelding who eventually became known as “Doc.” Clay could lead Doc by his tail, send him to the far end of an arena, make him wait patiently and then call him back again. Clay used Doc in his clinic demonstrations, rode him bridleless, brought the cows in at the ranch, and to help start other colts.

doc-at-clinic

Then as often happens in a trainer’s life, came a moment when Doc could become a safe mount for someone else. In 1999, Doc was sold to new home. But as fate would have it, we had the opportunity to buy Doc back in 2001. Clay and I had recently become engaged and shortly afterwards, I incurred a bad ankle break after coming off a polo horse. When I had healed up enough to ride, I needed something to help build my confidence again. Doc was the horse for the job.

I learned to ride western on Doc’s back. I got my first showing experiences with him and truly got a chance to refine my horsemanship. When Clay and I were married, our friend Gabriele Noll painted Doc’s portrait.

Painting by Gabriele Noll.

Painting by Gabriele Noll.

But again, as life sometime goes in chapters, Doc was sold again – to another loving person who really needed him.

Christa Vindum purchased Doc back in 2008. Before that sale, we had said we never wanted to part with Doc again. But never, say never. Christa too, needed a mount that would build her confidence. Doc was 15 at the time. Considering his age, it would have been hard for anyone to take a chance on an “old horse.” But during her time with Doc, Christa has ridden him on trail rides, in cowboy challenges, in shows, clinics… you name it. All the youngsters in her family also learned to ride on his back. Christa would later move to Idaho and she took Doc with her, where they continued their adventures.

names-on-papers

So again as life turned over another chapter, Christa contacted Clay and I earlier this year (2016). Now at age 25, Doc was still in great condition and still, the miraculous type of horse that could teach riders and instill confidence in them. His brand is faded, he has a lot more gray hairs now and in theory, he might not have many more years left in him.

But Christa wanted to know if we wanted Doc back.

Obviously, we agreed to take him back immediately – although we weren’t quite sure how to work out the logistics of shipping him up from Idaho at the time.

Christa offered to trailer Doc straight up to us.

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And we found it ironic as she told us the story of crossing the border.

“The Customs officer wanted to know what Doc’s value was,” she chuckled. “I’m looking at the guy – telling him that Doc is 25, suffers from ‘excessive sleepiness,’ and requires some special supplements for joint maintenance because of his age. How do you put a price on a horse like that?”

With a smile on her face and perhaps a tear in her eye, Christa continued. “To me, a horse like that is priceless.”

doc-little-b

We think so too.

Doc has had amazing homes with the other people on his papers. But he has returned to us for his remaining years. We are so grateful to have him back for the things he will teach our young children, are invaluable. He’ll teach them to ride a couple times per week. He’ll teach them about responsibility and empathy. He’ll teach them about commitment and love.

Doc has come full circle. He will live in the barn, be turned out during the day and given all the necessary joint supplements. He deserves it.

While we can’t take all of our horses sold throughout the years back, there are definitely a few that deserve to live out their days with us. We could never regret giving the mounts that have given their wisdom and precious gifts of education to us, a good home in their senior years.

They’re worth it.

***

If you have a special story of a horse that’s come Full Circle, please let me know by firing WHR an email at: editorial@westernhorsereview.com

 

 

 

 

First Year Sell Out for Country Thunder AB!

Calgary love for Country Thunder AB.

Calgary love for Country Thunder AB.

Due to the overwhelming interest in the inaugural year for Country Thunder Alberta, organizers announced today that the festival has reached capacity and is officially sold out.

“We are so grateful to the people of Calgary for their overwhelming support. Our walk up sales were incredibly strong yesterday, helping to drive our attendance to capacity,” said Kim Blevins, director of marketing. “It is very encouraging to us as organizers of a first year show, to get this amount of support.”

Backstage Experiences are truly the best way to do Country Thunder, AB.

Backstage Experiences are truly the best way to do Country Thunder, AB. Some lucky Western Horse Review readers got to experience just that this weekend.

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Although no additional tickets will be sold to this event, current ticket holders looking to upgrade to the backstage experience, can still do so at the box office at each entry gate.

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Big-and-Rich

Big & Rich gave a thundering performance to kick off the first night of Country Thunder Alberta on Friday, August 19, in front of the gorgeous Calgary skyline. The entire day of entertainment was stellar, from Jess Moskaluke’s electric performance, to the sweet sounds of Chris Young later in the day.

Tim McGraw is one of the headliners at Country Thunder, AB, 2016.

Tim McGraw is one of the headliners at Country Thunder, AB, 2016.

Fans will be treated again tonight with veteran Neal McCoy, showman Phil Vassar, Bobby Wills, Chris Janson, and topping off the evening with superstar Tim McGraw.

Special thanks to Country Thunder’s official charity, the Rotary Club of Calgary South for providing most of the staff for the event.

Special Festival Information

The Child Find is located at the medical tent adjacent to the main entry to Prairie Winds Park. Families can bring their children for a special wristband to help locate them if they happen to get lost in the park.

As the temperature rises, festival organizers are offering a water filling station for patrons to keep people hydrated in the heat. In addition, patrons are allowed to bring in a sealed bottle of water with them to the event.

A Water Station is available...

Water Stations are available in Prairie Winds, to help patrons stay hydrated this weekend.

Parasite Burdens

by Clix Photography.

Photo by Clix Photography.

Article By Jenn Webster

When Dr. Ela Misuno, DVM, MVSc first came to Canada from Denmark to pursue her veterinary residency program, she was surprised to learn of the differences our country presented in terms of equine deworming strategies. By comparison, Denmark had been employing routine fecal egg examinations since the 1990s and dewormers were only sold to horse owners by veterinarians – after they delivered a fecal sample for testing. Only horses that were determined to be moderate and high shedders in respect of the level of parasitic eggs found in one gram of manure, were then given a dewormer.

“When I first came to Canada, it seemed as though no one was talking about fecal egg exams and pasture management,” says Dr. Misuno, now a technical veterinarian for Vetoquinol.  “And learning about parasites in vet school was not an exciting subject. I felt it was a highly important topic for horses in North America, so chose parasitology research project for my master’s studies.”

With internal worms developing increased resistance to deworming drugs, the war against equine parasites has changed. Rotational deworming is a thing of the past. Here Dr. Misuno guides us through new parasite considerations such as geographic location, herd management, manure control and targeted deworming for better practices to suit our needs as horse owners today.
Pasture-pic-(Deworming-)
GEOGRAPHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
All horses carry some amount of a parasite burden. The big questions are, are they carrying numbers high enough to cause disease? And are any of those burdens large strongyles, tapeworms or small strongyle encysted larvae? No amount of deworming will eliminate parasites completely however, the point of a parasite control program is to prevent horses from amassing such high parasite burdens that cause those animals to experience diarrhea, colic, weight loss or even death.

The parasitic cycle is such that to develop parasites, a horse will ingest larvae from their surroundings. Next the larvae develop and migrate through the body. They become egg laying adults in the gut and eggs are passed through the horse’s manure. The eggs hatch and larvae live in the horse’s environment – and the cycle starts all over again. The parasitic cycle is very dependent on weather conditions and the environment.

“A freeze / thaw cycle will kill larvae because they are sensitive,” states Dr. Misuno. “Except for one specific worm – parascaris (roundworms). In Canada the cycle is generally halted in the winter because the cold will stop larval development. It all depends on temperature and humidity. Larvae like moderate temperatures and high humidity, hence, they can develop quickly in the spring early summer and fall.

Eggs are much more hardy than larvae. Eggs can start to develop slowly in a cool, Canadian spring. Any temperatures above 30-degrees Celsius can kill both eggs and larvae however, the ambient temperature must also be dry – no humidity. That’s why the Canadian prairie provinces get a winter break from parasites, but British Columbia can have a problem all year long. Not all provinces are the same. Parasite burdens depend on susceptible horses and favorable environments.

Deworming-potential-lead-#3

MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
Dr. Misuno states that every equine property needs to be assessed on an individual basis. The best way to create a tailored parasite control program is to first identify “herds” of horses in each property. A herd is a group of horses who are in close enough contact to transmit parasites to each other. This would include horses who are housed together on one pasture or pen. Each herd would then have a parasite control program based on the concentration of horses per acre, feeding practices, age and fecal shedding levels. Horses kept in individual stalls should be treated individually.

“Larvae develop on grass where there’s organic material and moisture. That’s why their development is a bit halted on dirt paddocks. Paddocks aren’t perfect but at least they have less parasitic transmission. In a pasture, the concentration of horses to land is crucial. That’s why there are certain things an owner can do for management practices to help stop parasitic transmission.”
These include cleaning up the areas in pastures where horses eat regularly. In the wild, horses eat grass and walk away. In a pasture situation, they walk around in a circle and come back the eating area.

“If you can only do one thing like clean around those high-traffic areas in your pastures, you would be making a great difference in parasite control,” Dr. Misuno says.

“Notice the trends of your pasture to help you make a difference. And why are we talking about this in the first place? Because of the accelerating problem of resistance to current deworming drugs. We have to start thinking about what else we can do to manage parasites. The simple fact is, if you provide your horses with an environment that has very few parasites in it, you help decrease the infection level in your animals..”

Additionally, not all horses on the same property are the same. Based on research we have to date, it seems that adult horses tend to follow the 80/20 rule in regards to their egg shedding levels. If you follow a fecal egg exam on horses over the years, you will see that only 20-30% of horses will be considered “high shedders.” Why does this happen? Because the immune system of every horse is different.

“We believe that horses of three years of age and throughout their adult life, are consistent in their shedding levels. Young horses need time to prime their immune systems against parasites. An old (geriatric) horse’s immune system changes as they get older – so older horses may change their shedding levels.”

How-horse-ingests-larvae

How a horse ingests larvae.

 

FECAL EGG COUNTS – A HOW-TO
There is actually a proper way to submit a fecal sample for testing. Two to three fecal balls are necessary. Also, “A sample must be fresh (‘steaming’) but that still means it can be kept in the fridge for two to three days to be considered ‘fresh.’” says Dr. Misuno.

This allows horse owners, or boarding facilities time to collect samples from numerous horses for a simultaneous submission – since it’s often difficult to collect samples from several horses on the same day.

Ziploc bags are the best way to store samples and each bag must be clearly labelled on the outside as to which horse it belongs, the age of horse and the time of last treatment with dewormer. Samples should never be frozen or left at room temperature. When samples are submitted to a veterinarian, horse owners should also make the vet aware of any current symptoms occurring in a particular horse. These include things like diarrhea, colic or weight loss.

Ideally, another fecal sample should be submitted to your veterinarian two weeks after deworming your horse. It is called a fecal egg count reduction test and helps you choose the most effective drug for your herd of horses and assure that no resistance is developing to it. Parasites of foals may be sensitive to different dewormers than parasites of adult horses. It is recommended to perform fecal egg reduction test on around 30% of moderate to high shedders, and repeat it at least once every three years.

“If we can kill all the adult parasites, there will be no new egg production,” explains Dr. Misuno. “In a moderate to high-shedding horse, a rechecked fecal example two weeks after deworming means there should be zero eggs – we killed 100% of all adult forms.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE
The best way to develop a parasite control program for your needs is to contact your local veterinarian and have them devise a plan for you. Fecal egg samples are crucial for success as is appropriate pasture management. Do not spread horse manure on your pastures. Cross-species grazing is a smart technique to keep parasite levels down – it’s better to rotate one year with cattle, if possible. Also remember that if your system is to typically deworm only in the spring and fall, you’re not protecting any high shedders on your property.

With only four drugs to rely on and drug resistance becoming a very real problem, Dr. Misuno points out the time for action is now.

“Parasites are a problem that affect 100% of horses. Not addressing this problem is no longer an option.”

DeWormingInfochart

Q & A With the Calgary Stampede Queen

Where-to-next

The Calgary Stampede kicks off this week! Western Horse Review sat down with Maggie, this year’s Calgary Stampede Queen about her experiences, her Stampede horse and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

Can you please tell me what has been one of your most memorable experiences of being part of the royalty to date?

My most memorable experience so far has been our time spent at Aggie days. Not only was this our first time doing an even with our horses, it was our first grand entry! All of the kids were so enthusiastic which made the event even more memorable.

The Stampede Royalty on a promotional trip to London.

The Stampede Royalty on a promotional trip to London.

What have you learned about the experience thus far?

I’ve learned that this year is full of surprises. The committee works so hard and does such an amazing job taking care of us that we always seem to be being surprised with something special they’ve done for us or arranged for us to do. We are so lucky!

Can you tell me about your clothes and boots? Do you have a favorite outfit?

All of the clothing we wear is sponsored. Our cowboy hats are provided by Smithbilt, our cowboy boots from Alberta Boot Company and our clothing comes mainly from Janine’s Custom Creations and Lammles. My favourite outfit is our formal outfit that features Flores LaDue. The outfit is comfy but also formal and highlights this amazing cowgirl, giving us the chance to explain her role in the start up of the Calgary Stampede.

 

How do you ladies always look so beautiful? Any hair, make up or nail tips you can share?

Well thank you! Aria, our skin care and make up sponsor, definitely plays a huge role in keeping us looking our best. Katie Kempthorne keeps our hair looking fabulous and Lushus Nail Concepts keeps our nails fresh! All of these things are definitely difficult when you spend a lot of time with horses, so if you need some help in any of these areas those are the people to talk to!

Maggie on her Stampede horse, Kansas.

Maggie on her Stampede horse, Kansas.

Can you please tell me about your Stampede horse?

My Stampede horse for this year is Kansas. Kansas is a bit of a goof in the sense that everything seems to frighten him but that’s what makes him so unique. He’s always the one to walk up to you out in the pasture as if to say, “Yup I’m ready to go mom!” The girls and I decided that his celebrity personality match up was Jimmy Fallon because of his jokester personality.

In the Banff, AB, parade.

In the Banff, AB, parade.

Can you tell us about a day in your life, when you are required to appear as part of the Stampede Royalty? When we are required to make an appearance, the getting ready starts a few hours before we’re needed at the event itself. We always go to events in full make up and curling our hair can take a bit of time. I usually leave at least half an hour before attending the event to research what it’s about and the organization that’s hosting it.

Queen Maggie, being herself.

Queen Maggie, being herself.

For others who might aspire to try out for the Royalty competition, do you have any tips or advice to offer? Always be yourself! People can always tell when you’re being genuine and I think that really shines through and means a lot to everyone you meet. Also, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Although it may be terrifying, it is always worth it.

Maggie, in her spare time.

Maggie in her spare time.

Country Festival Survival Kit

Craven Country Jamboree, Craven, SK.

Craven Country Jamboree, Craven, SK.

 

Summer music festivals are a blast and may be a highlight of the season. But they can go downhill very fast if you don’t have the right essentials. With a long list of country music festivals happening this summer like Craven Country Jamboree, held in Craven, SK on July 14-17 (featuring Eric Church, Alabama, Kacey Musgraves and the Zac Brown Band!) or the inaugural Country Thunder in Calgary, AB at Prairie Winds Park on August 19-21 (headlining Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, and more!), you’ll want our list of hacks to make your experience that much better.

cocoa-beach-bound1

Sunscreen

The smell of sunscreen isn’t always fragrant, especially if you need to douse yourself in it to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. So why not get an amazing smelling sunscreen that can also double as a perfume or body spray? Sun Bum makes the perfect sun protection (that also smells amazing) and is available in travel size. You can find scents such as mango, pineapple and jasmine, fresh lavender or banana coconut daiquiri.

trustthebum.com

Walkie-Talkies

Don’t rely completely on your cell phone to communicate, while at an outdoor festival. Often, cell service slows or Wi-Fi stops completely. It may something to do with population density and overloaded networks. Plan accordingly. Walkie-talkies can be a concert lifesaver – especially if you want to split up from your group to see different bands or singers.

Festival-Lead-in

Backseat Air Mattress

If you prefer to camp in a car instead of a tent, these nifty amazing mattresses that fit the back seat of your car. This way you can still get a pretty good sleep – depending on if people party through the night in your camping area, without the worry of falling off the back seat of your car.

The Full Suite

Car-Back-Seat-Sex-Self-drive-Travel-Air-Mattress

Head Torch

Sometimes, walking back to camp in the dark after a night of partying can be somewhat difficult – especially if there is no light to guide the way. It’s always handy to pack a head torch to make that lovely walk back to camp much more safe and enjoyable.

fringefannypack

 

Fringe Fanny Packs

When anyone thinks of fanny packs, it’s likely to recall the ugly models of the 80’s and 90’s. Thankfully, fanny packs have been revamped to stylish, new country designs. A functional and fashionable fringe fanny pack could be the icing on the cake for your festival outfit, especially because it will hold all your necessities. Providing you with peace of mind from losing something important.

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Lip Balm

Lip balm is always important, especially if the festival is in a really dry, hot place. You could opt go for your typical cherry chapstick, but why not try something a little different? Long Winter Farms has created all kinds of unique lip balms and “Pony Breath” – with its apples and sugar cubes fragrance – is one of them.

www.longwinterfarm.com

Polaroid Camera

Polaroid cameras are a must have if you want genuine pictures of the memories you had at the festival. Sure you can use your iPhone or Android, but its not the same as a polaroid. You can easily get your pictures within a minute ans decorate your campsite with all the crazy adventure you had during the festival.

Temporary Metallic Tattoos

A fun accessory that will bring any outfit to another level is Metallic temporary tattoos. You can get everything to feathers, Aztec patterns and much more. The metallic shade will glimmer in the sun add more pizazz to an outfit. A Bonus about them is that they only last 4-6 days. Under $10

FlashTattoo2

 

If you have all these essentials and some of these fun accessories you’ll be sure to have a memorable time at any music festival you go to! Be sure to see our July/August Western Horse Review for a full summer line-up of country music festivals and gatherings!

 

 

 

Determining Towing Capacity

Wainalta Motors...

Wainalta Motors has the experience and inventory horse owners need, when purchasing a towing vehicle.

 

Are you in the market for a new truck? When it comes to vehicles built for hauling livestock, there’s a lot to consider. How do you determine the right kind of a truck for your needs? Wainalta Motors has been serving clients since 1962, carrying new Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles as well as a wide selection of used inventory. Their staff has knowledgeable and personal experience in the hauling of horses and truly understands what’s riding in the back. In this blog, Wainalta Motors answers several of our questions about towing capacity and the changing world of trucks. Here’s what they had to say.

Hat-on-dash

Q. If I want a vehicle that can tow a 4-horse + Living Quarters gooseneck trailer? And For Ex: If I just need a vehicle that can tow a 2-horse bumper pull?

A. It all comes down to two important factors; 1) how much you’re pulling and; 2) how often you’re pulling that weight. If you find yourself pulling a heavy trailer like a living quarters option, you’ll want to get into a 3500 dually. This would make pulling the LQ, a breeze. The 3500 Ram dually has the highest towing capacity while still getting you the best fuel mileage because your truck doesn’t have to work as hard.

For the 2-horse bumper pull, a 1500 would be more than enough to pull it, but this is where the question of how often are you pulling it comes in. If you’re pulling once every 3 months and just mainly using the truck to get back and forth from work or city trips, the best bet is the Ram 1500, however if you’re pulling all the time you should consider stepping up to a 2500 Ram or 3500 Ram to save money on fuel in the long run.

Q. What does GVWR stand for? (What does it mean?) How do I know I have the proper towing capacity I need?

A. GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating which is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle, as specified by the manufacturer including the vehicle’s chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo but excluding that of any trailers.

It’s important to understand that GVWR isn’t towing capacity – GVWR is the max your vehicle should weigh according to manufacturer’s specifications. GCWR is the maximum allowable combined mass of a towing road vehicle, passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle, plus the mass of the trailer and cargo in the trailer.

The easiest way to check what the capacities of your vehicle would be is to look in your owner’s manual. They also have the GVWR listed on the sticker by the VIN on the driver side door. If however, you want something more specific to your vehicle’s options, you can always call us with your VIN and we would be happy to find out exactly what your vehicle is capable of.

Q. The world is changing – are there any features on trucks today that can help me feel better about my carbon footprint? Is there such a thing as an electric truck, powerful enough to tow livestock?

A. Ram is constantly improving their vehicles. With the introduction of the 1500 Ecodiesel you can get up to 8.4L/100km in realistic driving conditions. Less fuel consumption means a lower carbon footprint. The Ram also has the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system which works with a catalyst to reduce nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions. There isn’t an electric truck yet powerful enough to tow. Perhaps we will see one in the future.

 

Showing-comfort-options

Q. What are some 2016/2017 features coming out in Ram Trucks that may add to the comfort my family can benefit from while traveling?

A. Ram offers a ton of comfort features from navigation built right into the console, to heated and ventilated seats. Push-button fold-able mirrors for those tight spaces, built in remote start works with the diesel preheat in the winter, and if you want even more options, you can get automatic windshield wipers and automatic high beams.

IMG_2252Q. Tell us about the back-up camera? How can it assist with hooking up a trailer?

A. If you ever went to back up to a trailer and had to jump in and out 5-7 times, then you’re in luck. The Ram offers two different back up cameras one for backing up to a bumper pull and one that shows the box of your truck. Both of them make hooking up to a trailer a breeze.

Park-assistQ. Are there any park assist / collision prevention / self-driving features available in Ram trucks?

A. The Ram trucks currently offer front and rear park assist. This is a device that senses objects in front or behind the vehicle. It alerts the driver with a tone increasing with volume and frequency, the closer you get to any object. This in conjunction with the backup camera means for less chance of having a fender-bender.

Q. What other safety features can you tell me about in the latest Ram truck models?

A. The big one everyone is talking about right now is distracted driving – and Ram has a solution for it. It offers a hands-free system build right into the interior that can sync up to your phone. It allows a driver to answer calls, or even have texts read aloud to you while you’re driving. Altogether, the system allows you to keep your eyes on the road

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A. We deliver all over Alberta and Saskatchewan. If you have any questions about vehicle tow rating or want to know if you need to trade up to something that can pull better, don’t hesitate to give us a call we’re here to help! (780) 842-4471

 

Good Advice

HBOC-lead-in

Sensible counsel prevailed at this year’s Alberta Horse Conference, hosted each year by the Horse Industry Association of Alberta. In the April issue of Western Horse Review, we featured 44 notes of advice curated from those two days of lectures. Here are 16 more.

Billy Smith (speaking on transitions in the horse industry)

Billy Smith grew up in the western part of Texas and is the current executive director of the American Paint Horse Association (APHA). He spent eight years as a practicing journalist before accepting a teaching position at West Texas A&M. Smith later joined the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) where he served as executive director of information technology and various marketing roles for 13 years.

1. One of the chief challenges we have today in equine organizations is that information is instant. At board meetings we know significant information has gone out before the meeting even ends. We live in a world in which information moves instantly.

2. Over the last 75 years of developing equestrian organizations we’ve done a lot of things right in the marketing and grooming of our breeds. We’ve also fallen into some traps that have left us short-term gains but have seasoned the horse community with long-term challenges.

3. We ought to take a very hard look at what our cattle guys have done in their industry. We should invest in the genetic evaluation of our horses. There probably are some performance genetics out there that we can tie into in the quality of our animals. We’re exploring that in the Paint breed now. The reality is that there are genetics out there that can allow us to be much more predictable, with some of the genetic tools that are available to us.

4. No matter where you go in the horse community, the hue and cry is the same. How do we get more youth involved with horses?

Dirk Stroda.

Dirk Stroda.

Dirk Stroda (speaking on mental coaching in equine sports)

Dirk Stroda, from British Columbia, is the High Performance Mental Coach for Equine Canada. He currently coaches the Canadian Dressage, Para Dressage and the 3-Day Eventing teams on their way and at the 2016 Rio Olympic Summer Games. He has helped international athletes and national teams towards 11 Olympic Summer and Winters Games, many world championships, and PanAm Games and countless national championships.

5. I’ve coached athletes towards some major awards. And what I discovered was there was a blueprint I was able to see in highly successful people, vs. the blueprint of an average person. I thought, “there must be something there we can all learn to help our own businesses and careers, because these are principles. We can really get towards success more directly, with less struggle and be happier.”

6. There are seven principles to success: Context Vs. Content. I’m not giving you content, I’m giving you context. You create the content and I give you the framework.

7. When you change your emotions, everything changes. It’s that simple.

Dr. David Wilson.

Dr. David Wilson.

Dr. David Wilson, DVM (speaking on the laminitis vaccine)

Dr. David Wilson (Saskatchewan) is a 1980 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. After completing an internship at Iowa State University and residency in large animal surgery at the University of Florida, he was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 15 years. His research includes implant biomechanics, development of orthopedic disease, minimally invasive surgical techniques and equine laminitis.  

8. The fact that pretreatment with the antibiotic, virginiamycin will prevent the development of laminitis, implicates microbial involvement in the disease.

9. Australian researchers have recently confirmed an overgrowth of streptococcal species in the hindgut and ex vivo studies have confirmed that bathing the hoof tissue in Streptococcus bovis exotoxins results in dissolution of the basement membrane and separation of the hoof wall from the underlying sensitive tissues.

Dr. Camie Heleski.

Dr. Camie Heleski.

Dr. Camie Heleski (speaking on using learning theory in everyday life)

Dr. Camie Heleski is coordinator of the two-year Ag Tech Horse Management Program at Michigan State University. As well as recruiting for the program, she also teaches and advises. Dr. Heleski earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

10. Operant / instrumental learning is when an animal learns to operate on its environment.

11. Signal learning or classical conditioning is the example of Pavlov’s dogs. Ring a bell, the dogs would salivate and they would get food.

12. There are fundamental key factors; consistency, predictability, contingency, appropriateness of reinforcements, and precision of cues.

Jim Anderson.

Jim Anderson.

Jim Anderson (speaking on developing the versatile horse)

Jim Anderson’s lifelong involvement with horses began with him starting colts and taking clinics with legendary trainers Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt. As a professional trainer, Jim has lifetime earnings in excess of $200,000 in several events. He has won the Canadian Supreme Reining Futurity, the Calgary Stampede’s Cowboy Up Challenge, and the Extreme Cowboy Association World Championships. Recently the Albertan won the Road to the Horse first ever Wild Card Champion, Fan Favorite and the Colt Starting World Championship.
13. In order to gain success with our horses we must prepare the horse to learn and this is a three-step process; 1) the horse wants to focus on you and learn; 2) the horse understands pressure and looks for the release and reward; and 3) the horse joins up.

14. I use outside riding a lot! Confidence to ride alone comes from the horse taking confidence from the rider, rather than another horse. My favorite thing is riding with friends outside but then I lope away from them. Then I’ll lope back towards them, but go straight past the group.

15. How long do I work with a horse per day? About10-20 minutes of groundwork if I’m going to also ride him. It depends on how the horse is being that day – he might need more, he might need less. I can feel the horse out, if he’s not being good on the ground he probably won’t be in the saddle. I need his mind in the state of “wanting to learn.” I do think you can overdo your groundwork and the horse can became grumpy.

16. I don’t numb my horse out with any tools or cues. I want to keep that “feel” in my horse. Confidence in the horse comes from understanding, rather than by numbing due to repetition.

 

Bucket List: Equine Vacations

Elephants

A riding safari in South Africa promises animal sightings of all kinds

 

If you haven’t seen the April issue of Western Horse Review yet, you must! In it we have reinvigorated our Getaways column, a regular feature that highlights adventurous equine-related travel ideas. With insight from Travel Professionals International consultant, Patricia Blanchard, this month’s installment features a riding safari in South Africa for the trip of a lifetime.

“There are many beneficial reasons to use a travel agent vs. booking online,” says Blanchard.

Primarily, a professional agent should be with you (theoretically) from the minute you step out the door until you return home safe with your luggage intact.

AZ-LOW-RES

A desert riding experience in Arizona? Yes please!

 

There are no real hard-and-fast timelines for booking specific vacations but it stands to reason that most things are based on availability.

“If you have a group that is traveling together, the earlier you book is better than later. There are people who book last minute too and in this case, we can usually find something wonderful for those clients as well. If you have something specific you want to do however, then waiting for last minute could leave you disappointed and settling for something else,” she says.

Horse-on-the-beach

 

“There are many things we can help clients with – we can assist with all types of travel. If a client wanted to book a trip to a dude ranch in Canada for example, I could help with that and help to cultivate the very best experience possible.”

 

"Glamping" at Paws Up in Greenough, MT.

“Glamping” at Paws Up in Greenough, MT.

 

Or if a client wanted to book a destination wedding with horses involved in some way, that’s possible too.

bigstock-Bride-On-A-Horse-By-The-Sea-82898453

A travel professional has first-hand knowledge of the places you are wanting to go. He or she has also likely been there in person, or has a friend who has. Here are a few more reasons why a professional can help you with your next vacation:

1) Convenience and Time Savings – You can surf the internet all night or you can make one call to a professional to source the best deal. This way,  you can spend your time on more important things.
2) Peace of Mind – A professional has your back and works for you! And actually cares about you having a wonderful holiday / vacation. “We are here and  are available to assist you throughout your vacation,” says Blanchard. “If you book on the internet there may not be anyone to assist you in an emergency. To them, you are just ‘data.'”
3) Expert Advice – A professional has invaluable knowledge and expertise about destinations, documentation, immunization, insurance, etc. They also have access to a multitude of airlines, hotels, tour companies and cruise lines to provide you with the best value!
4) No Cost – “Not only does it not cost more to book through me, I can also usually save you money with my Virtuoso worldwide travel connections,” Blanchard states.

5) Insurance – Travel insurance should be the first thing you pack when going on vacation. It’s the #1 item you can take with you and a professional can guide you to obtaining the best coverage for your situation, before you head out.

“Unfortunate things can happen to good travelers and they can happen anytime or anywhere. They can be also be expensive to deal with, especially if you need unexpected medical care. Travel insurance can pick up where your government plans or credit card coverage leave off, and offer up to $10 million to get you back in the saddle, (so to speak!)”

A baby giraffe sighting on a riding safari.

A baby giraffe sighting on a riding safari.

Whatever your fancy, there are many benefits to utilizing a professional on your next holiday. A pro can help you achieve that once-in-a-lifetime experience because everyone knows – memories, “Me-Time” and mental tranquility are precious commodities.

Swimming-w-horses

A ride in the water in Jamaica.

BIO – Thank-you to Patricia Blanchard for providing us with the research and details for this trip. Blanchard is an independent advisor with Travel Professionals International. She moved to Calgary in 1993 from Newfoundland and has always had a passion for travel and helping others. She made the leap to being a travel agent and is now doing travel full-time from Chestermere, AB. Blanchard has contended in both reining and western pleasure since moving to Alberta but now has just one retired horse. She loves to ride her Harley and travels at any opportunity. For more info please visit: tpi.ca/PatriciaBlanchardTPI/