Oldstoberfest Returns for Second Round

 

Oldstoberfest returns for a second round of rodeo, beer and lederhosen.

The unique event that combines rodeo with an Ocktoberfest swing to it is returning to Alberta this September 15-16 at the Olds Regional Exhibition grounds.

In 2015, the event brought over 8,000 visitors into the town with a professional rodeo, an authentic Biergarten and world class concerts. Under new ownership of C5 Rodeo Company, Oldstoberfest will now return as an annual event once again.

“We are so excited to bring this event back to Olds and continue a tradition that brought many together in such a fun, unique celebration.” said Gillian Grant, C5 Rodeo Coordinator. “Our goal is for Oldstoberfest to be the premier fall community event in the town of Olds for years to come!”

Oldstoberfest will continue the tradition of combining the World’s First Bavarian Rodeo and Cow Palace Biergarten, with exceptional outdoor concert entertainment. A volunteer meeting will be held at the Olds Cow Palace on April 13th, 2017 at 6:00 pm and is open to anyone who would like to be involved.

Canvas Auction Numbers Up

In a show of strong community support for the sport of chuckwagon racing, the total auction proceeds this evening are $2,420,500 up $123,000 from 2016. Kelly Sutherland takes home the top bid of the night, $110,000, courtesy of Friends of the King.

“This sport has deep roots in our city and in our country, and tonight’s bidding makes that very clear,” said Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon committee chair Mike Piper, following the auction. “The support pledged to these drivers helps to ensure we will continue to enjoy chuckwagon racing for years to come.”

In total, more than 175 groups and companies registered for the opportunity to advertise with the 36 men who will be competing in the 2017 GMC Rangeland Derby during the Calgary Stampede, July 7-16. The proceeds of tonight’s auction will help those drivers cover the expense of caring for and travelling with their horses, not just during the Calgary Stampede, but throughout the racing season.

In addition to gaining valuable exposure for their brand, successful bidders now have the opportunity to offer clients, employees, friends and family a one-of-a-kind experience in the chuckwagon barn area during the 2017 Calgary Stampede.  For interested parties, a select few of those opportunities may still be possible post-auction by teaming up with successful bidders. More information is available at calgarystampede.com.

 20172016
Total Auction Proceeds $2,420,500$2,297,500
Average Bid$67,236$63,819
Top bid driverKelly SutherlandKurt Bensmiller
Top bid$110,000$120,000

6th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo

 

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Prairieland Park organizers and the Saskatchewan Equine Expo committee would like to thank their partners The Saskatchewan Horse Federation and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, along with all the sponsors, the media and volunteers who helped to make the 6th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo such an amazing success.
The 6th Annual Equine Expo achieved a record attendance with 11,725 people taking in the 4 day show.

The Saskatchewan Equine Expo showcases many elements of the Equine industry through demonstrations, clinics, competitions, awards and an industry trade show.
The Saskatchewan Equine Expo would like to thank their three incredible trainers for the entertaining performances, and congratulate Kade Mills from Sundre, Alberta on being named the winner of the NAERIC Trainer Challenge. Both Glenn Stewart and Dale Clearwater captivated the audience demonstrating their expertise in Natural Horsemanship demonstrations and a Working Cow Horse clinic this year.

Congratulations also to the winner of the Ultimate Cow Horse Competition, Geoff Hoar, Red Deer Country, Alberta. The Battle of the Breeds was a highlight for the audience watching 6 breeds compete in 4 events to determine the overall winner – Team Quarter Horse was awarded 1st place, followed by Team Arabian in 2nd place and Team Andalusian in 3rd place.
“The weather definitely cooperated with us this year and we are so pleased that the 6th Equine Expo again attracted such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd”, commented Lori Cates, Agriculture Manager.

Saskatchewan Equine Expo 2017

The sixth annual edition of the Saskatchewan Equine Expo is set to take place this upcoming February 16-19, 2017 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK. The park, in conjunction with volunteers from Saskatchewan Horse Federation, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and various equine breed groups work together to facilitate this annual event. The objective is to present equine related lectures, presentations, demonstrations, entertainment and opportunities focusing on the equine industry. As a participant or spectator, you can experience the newest equine products, techniques and technology.

Tickets are on sale now and the show includes the extravaganza, tradeshow, demonstrations and clinics. Tickets are available online and can be found here: http://saskatchewanequineexpo.com/

A schedule of events can be found here: http://saskatchewanequineexpo.com/schedule

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Organizers of the event realized there was a need within the Saskatchewan horse industry for a quality event that showcased the newest technological advances, the latest developments in equine health, and a demonstration of horsemanship excellence that was equally entertaining and educational.

The Saskatchewan Equine Expo was the answer. On February 16-19, the event will once again celebrate the diversity of the equine industry with live demonstrations, breeds on display, and outstanding horsemen and women. Make plans to be there!

www.saskatchewanequineexpo.com

 

Next Level Horsemanship

BY PIPER WHELAN

Natural Horsemanship clinician Glenn Stewart leads this challenging event, culminating in the obstacle and task competition.

Natural Horsemanship clinician Glenn Stewart hosts this challenging event, culminating in the obstacle and task competition.

You’re in for a fun, stimulating weekend of schooling and competing at the Horse Ranch’s 2015 Extreme Horsemanship Challenge Clinic and Competition on Aug. 28-30 at Fort St. John, British Columbia. Now in its 13th year, this event is led by Natural Horsemanship clinician Glenn Stewart.

During this challenging and enjoyable weekend, participants have the opportunity to both improve their horsemanship skills and show off their abilities in an obstacle course and a number of tasks.

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Sharpen your horsemanship skills in sessions with Stewart, preparing you for the competition component of the weekend.

“I wanted to have an event that tested all four savvys: the two on the ground and two in the saddle,” says Stewart, who was the 2010 Calgary Stampede Extreme Cowboy Champion. “I wanted to see how people and their horses handled going all six directions: forward, which is (used in) most events, backwards, right, left, up and down. I wanted to test as many different areas as possible, looking for speed, softness, connection and understanding.”

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The entry fee for this three-day event is $600. The event is open to riders of all levels and disciplines, and entries will be accepted until all 16 available spots are filled. Participants are welcome to camp at the ranch, where they will enjoy campfires each night. Last year’s participant feedback included statements like, “I had no idea how much I could learn in such a little amount of time,” and “What a cool weekend filled with a lot of different aspects of horsemanship, and the competitions was so exciting.”

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This clinic and competition is a chance to “learn about the horsemanship skills that the judges will be looking for and how to prepare and develop a great horse on diverse obstacles, as well as build your fundamentals and skills” relating to elements of a variety of disciplines. Stewart’s clinics feature his particular method of horsemanship, in which he introduces horses to concepts in a way they can more easily understand.

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“The first two days are a clinic where we help them with the four savvys, and give them tips on how to get and lose points in a competition,” says Stewart. “It is also a chance to improve or get help in areas they feel could be better.” The third day begins with more horsemanship, and then moves into the competition. There will also be demonstrations throughout the event, on “anything from trimming, conformation, colt starting, liberty, bridle-less riding and anatomy. Each year is unique.”

As for what Stewart hopes participants will get out of this event? “I hope they have a lot of fun, learn something and bring their best chili for the chili cook-off Saturday night.”

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For more information, visit the Horse Ranch’s website. Also be sure to check out their Facebook and Twitter pages and Stewart’s YouTube channel for more on Natural Horsemanship and the Horse Ranch’s upcoming events.

Joining Forces

Story by Carrie Trout

They call him the Duke. Rod Olsen, Brent Trout and Kateri Cowley managed to help ten horses get a good start. All were ridden by their owners.

They call him the Duke. Rod Olsen, Brent Trout and Kateri Cowley helped ten horses get a good start at this June 5-6 clinic. All were ridden by their owners.

“It was a fantastic weekend!”

“Can I quote you on that?” I laughed as I looked up into the elated face of clinic participant Jen Downey. It was June 6, 2015. The event: a colt starting clinic with Brent Trout, Rod Olsen and Kateri Cowley, held at Cheadle, Alberta. The two-day clinic, organized by Darla Connolly, welcomed ten horses and their soon-to-be riders, who were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get a proper start on their colts. They were not disappointed – all ten horses were started on the first day and all the riders were able to get on them.

I asked participants what brought them to the clinic. “I found the clinic online and I have a little two-year-old filly who has never been really worked with at all, apart from the basic confidence-building stuff with her, and she is going to be my forever saddle horse, I hope,” said participant Erin Power. “I want to start her right on the ground. So I came here with the intention of ground work and the obstacles, so we can start building that partnership.”

Rod working the flag from one colt, while helping another.

Rod working the flag from one colt, while helping another.

Partnership was key to the weekend. Darla Connolly was the organizing force of the clinic, lining up the arena, round pen, obstacles, ground crew, food and horse accommodations. She was prompted to organize this clinic in order to expand her current knowledge of colt starting.

Brent Trout is well known for his partnership with his liberty horse, Chexmate. Together they have demonstrated their skills across Alberta by leading clinics and colt starting demonstrations. Darla met Brent when she was a participant of the Canadian Colt Starting Competition.

Brent helping a colt learn to lunge.

Brent helping a colt learn to lunge.

Brent has been following his vision of working with other trainers who can offer specialized training. After being asked to be part of Darla’s clinic, he, in turn, contacted Rod Olsen to join forces. Years ago, while living in southern Alberta, Brent was invited to do a colt starting demonstration at the Pincher Creek Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This is where he met Rod, who was also giving a demonstration, and it became a yearly event. When Brent became involved in the Canadian Colt Starting Competition, he encouraged Rod to participate. Rod has now won the event two times.

Joining forces helped in another way, too. On May 11, Brent had a kidney transplant. This was an opportunity that could change his life, but it would debilitate him in the short term. Rod was able to carry the workload at this event, and Kateri Cowley, recent participant of the Mane Event Trainer’s Challenge and winner of last year’s Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge, was also invited to come on board.

Rod introducing obstacles to a colt participant.

Rod introducing obstacles to a colt participant.

Darla and the participants found that while the three trainers have different approaches, they complimented each other; seeing different methods in action added to the learning experience. Darla is looking forward to organizing other colt starting clinics in the future.

Vaquero Lore – The Spanish Spade

SpadeBit2

By Rod Honig

Much maligned, misunderstood and sometimes even feared, the spade bit has been in the hands of horsemen in one form or another for centuries. The current versions we are familiar with date back to the vaqueros of Old California. So what makes a spade bit and how was it really intended to work in a horse’s mouth?

Spade bits are made with many different cheek configurations, with varying height to the mouthpiece or spoon. The size of the mouth is a combination of the spoon height and the staple height (the staple being the inverted U-shaped piece rising about the solid bar joining the cheeks.) The spoon can be found in a simple teaspoon or a shape that resembles a violin, sometimes referred to as an alligator mouthpiece. The common parts of a spade bit are the solid cannon bar, the staple with a copper “cricket” roller in the middle, the spoon, and braces arching from the cheek just above the bar to each side of the spoon and wrapped in copper or with copper beads on them. Either slobber chains or a slobber bar join the two cheeks at the bottom and rein chains are attached to stirrups or loops at the bottom of the cheek pieces. Named very traditionally, cheek pieces can be of the Santa Paula, Santa Susanna, Las Cruces or even cavalry styled s-shanks variety. The most traditional and prevalent design is some variation of the Santa Barbra cheek. Bit makers speak of this cheek being the most balanced as the shape itself lends to the bit returning to a neutral position quickly and easily.

Spade-Bit

Many people question the form and function of the mouth of the spade bit. Before you jump to inhumane conclusions, perhaps consider a few facts. The intention always was and is for the horseman to first train the horse through signal via a hackamore and then transition to an under-bridle ‘bosalita’ in conjunction with a spade bit. It was all about teaching signal only, not the force of pull. To protect the mouth, the horse is able to pick up the bit with the tongue, therefore the solid bar (one that does not collapse like a nutcracker) and braces serve to give it more surface area. The horse could use the braces to hold the bit easily and receive signal clearly. By pure physics, the more surface are that comes in contact with the horses tongue, the more any weight or pressure would be distributed if deployed.

Then there is the physiology of the mouth. A human can fit their entire arm in a horse’s mouth, so at the point where the spoon could touch the palate, the horse’s mouth is quite tall in structure. With a properly adjusted curb strap to curb bit rotation, it is a system designed to protect not harm.

Lastly, an essential part to remember is that the educated bridle horse, at te stage that he is introduced to the spade, has developed a headset that is conductive to carrying the bit in a manner such that through balance, the spade points towards the inside of the mouth, not the roof.

As per the old saying, a bit is only as gentle as the hands using it and the classic spade bit was designed for skilled hands – hands with patience and time to develop a signal.

How To Crack a Whip

Have a hankering to whip-break your horse? Here are a few tips from professional cowboy, Sam Morrison for desensitizing your mount properly.

By Jenn Webster

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1) Start this process from the ground. It works best with a halter and lead shank, but as you can see in these pictures I am demonstrating the technique with a horse that has approximately three days of experience with a whip already. It can be done with or without a saddle. I start by gently swinging my whip one of two swings at first over the horse’s withers, without any sound. I continue repeating this process until the horse is calm and standing still and tolerating the touch of the whip laying over him. As the horse becomes better with it, I swing the whip over the wither three to four times.

If at any point the horse decides to leave, that’s okay. He may have to move his feet to help him become more accepting of the whip. Holding tight to my inside rein or lead rope, I simply allow the horse to move in circles around me and I start swinging the whip in a gradual motion in front of the horse’s front feet. I never touch his front legs with it, nor do I try and scare him with the whip. I simply want to use it to discourage any more forward motion. Then I can go back to swinging it over the withers. In the meantime, it gives him some experience with the sensation of a rope (or a whip) near his lower legs.

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2) Once the horse is quiet with the whip going over his withers three or four times in a row, I progress to constant swinging. I will finally add one crack of sound in and let the horse process what just happened. In doing so, however, I must ensure that I start out with a soft “pop” as opposed to a full-on crack of the whip and that the sound is always directed away from the horse’s face or ears.

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3) When the horse can consistently handle step #2, it’s time to work the whip down the horse’s body. Standing on the same side as I began, I gently begin throwing my whip over the horse’s back, just the same as I did at the wither. Once he can handle that, I advance to his hind end- gently throwing my whip around his hind legs and so on. I will do this repeatably in each spot and get the horse desensitized to the whip being tangled on, or around each part of the body until he is no longer afraid of it. If at any point the horse shows that he is uncomfortable, it’s best to keep going at it but retract back to a point on the body where the horse is comfortable with the whip being laid over. For instance, many times the wither is a great point at which to revert back. My advice is not to progress forward to the next point on the horse’s body until he is consistently relaxed with the last phase.

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4) After the horse can accept the whip being gently laid over each part of his body, it’s time to move forward and begin introducing the sound of the whip to the horse. Up until this point, I’ve only begun to acquaint the horse to soft “pops,” but as we all know the sound of a whip is much more piercing. Once soft pops are tolerated, I can begin making my whip sound much louder. I’ll start with one loud crack and then two loud cracks in a row, taking note to ensure my horse is comfortable with everything before I progress further. Once I’ve gotten all of these aspects really solid on the ground, even if it’s my horse’s first day with the whip, I could get on his back and slowly start swinging and cracking my whip around. By the next day, I would start on the ground again, before progressing to the horse’s back. The key is to work on everything at least three days in a row- three days ensures you get the information locked into your horse. After that, you should be able to work on cracking your whip loudly right off the at without any problem if you have properly worked to build confidence in your horse when introducing the whip into his training regime. Any shorter than three days, however, may not be enough to properly ingrain whip-brokenness into your horse.

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Sam Morrison has years of experience in feedlot situations, using a whip to ease the task of moving cattle. He has studied the art of whip-ology from Australian master whip maker, William Gough. Gough, now residing in Saskatchewan, has 41 accumulating years of whip handling and was the Australian Whip Cracking Champion for five consecutive years.

Smart Showmanship

NRHA Professional Jordan Larson gives insight and tips on how to prepare your horse for the “big day” and how to show smart.

By Deanna Beckley

Larson believes the key to success in the show pen is preparedness in your home arena.

Larson believes the key to success in the show pen is preparedness in your home arena.

Becoming a good showman is an art that takes time, practice experience and feel, with a dose of confidence and a little “natural talent”. When you watch someone have a good run, it looks effortless and smooth – the movements flow into one another for a seamless performance.

That’s exactly how it looks when reining horse trainer Jordan Larson rides into the pen. Larson has worked and shown his way to many championships, and has earned the title of NRHA Millon Dollar Rider – the youngest among his peers. He has become known as one of the industry’s greatest showman – showing his horses to the best of their show ability and sometimes even beyond.

Home Preparation

Good showmanship and having good runs starts long before you ever enter the pen. The quality of preparation at home will be a factor in how well your horse shows. Larson practices each maneuver how he expects his horse to perform in the pen so they are comfortable with the pressure of the show pen.

“Practice the maneuvers like you expect them to show, but not every day,” explains Larson. “I do a lot of work at plus half speed in order to build their confidence and keep them relaxed. It is much easier to as a horse for a little more everyday then it is to have to back off if they become scared. Focus on the correctness of the maneuver and mental confidence before adding speed.”

“I try to realistically know my limits. I teach a horse how I want it to show by going to small shows and not asking him for his life every time. I make a game plan for each horse and how it need to be prepared.”

No matter what arena you are competing in, showing horses take a great deal of concentration and preparedness.

“I think about showing everyday while I am riding,” says Larson. “By the time a show rolls around, it should be second nature for all of the preparation that took place at home.”

Show Time

The level of competition today makes the reining discipline very challenging. Riders are expected to do things very quickly and crisp, while maintaining absolute control.

Larson builds up to showing by first visualizing each part of the pattern he is about to run. “Know your weaknesses and strengths and try to never take anything for granted,” explains Larson. “A great leaded horse doesn’t always change leads. It is your job to make sure your horse is in the correct position to be successful.”

Patterns that flow freely are those that are ridden every step of the way – not just from movement to movement. It’s all in the details.

“I have an idea of what position I need my horse to be in for each part of the pattern. I am more concerned with the little things like lead departures, approaches to stops, waiting to rollback, starting the turn-arounds, steering and setting up my horse for lead changes. If your horse is broke, the big maneuvers will take care of themselves. Take each maneuver and make it the best it can be for each horse.”

When it comes to showing, Larson puts emphasis on being in a positive mind frame. “Try not to react to a maneuver while showing, instead prepare for the next one. You will lose focus if you are thinking about what you just did, good or bad. Let the judges judge you; your job is to show your horse in the most effective manner possible.

“Stay relaxed and focused. I am very critical of myself, but I use that to drive me to get better. We have to learn from our mistakes and move forward. I have missed so many finals by half a point, but I let that inspire me to keep learning and use it as an incentive to get better. Trusting your horse is the key to a great run – you must have faith in your horse to be successful. Do you best and trust what you have worked for.”

Jordan Larson’s top 9 tips for showing horses.

1) Know your pattern.

2) It’s the little things that count. For example, a great stop is nothing without a great rundown, rollback or back-up.

3) Understand what the judges are looking for.

4) Don’t overlook pattern placement.

5) Don’t be scared to learn from other trainers.

6) Watch your videos and be optimistically critical of yourself.

7) Preparation is important.

8) Horsemanship. Learn to recognize lameness, sickness, scratches, etcetera.

9) Don’t be afraid of failure.