In 2015, Jessica McNutt, who lives with her family in Truro, Nova Scotia and competes in hunter classes at the amateur level, was approached by Dalhousie University Agriculture Campus to provide volunteer coaching for their equestrian team as their (then) current instructor was no longer available. The school did not want to lose the program and, as a Dalhousie alumnus, McNutt was eager to offer her assistance. She had attended the university for six years, then returned as a distance student to obtain her Masters in Social Work in 2017.
If building a barn is on your horizon, the first step is to make your wish list. Whether it’s a perfect four-stall barn with walk-out paddocks, or a large training and boarding facility, your dream barn will be a major construction project that should create a safe and comfortable home for your horses and their people, both at work and at play.
Canada’s prairie country always seems barren to me, as though something is missing and the ecosystem is incomplete. Probably because it is. For tens of thousands of years, as many as 30 million bison formed the cornerstone of a complex ecosystem, which dominated the Great Plains. In 1890, bison were perilously close to extinction, with less than 1,000 animals scattered across the continent. Today, largely due to conservation efforts by Parks Canada, bison thrive in parks and private herds, worldwide.
For a horse owner, there are few sights more welcome than the first signs of spring. As the snow melts away and the pastures begin to turn green, horse owners are glad to see the end of short days, frozen water buckets, and woolly coats. Springtime means longer, warmer days to spend working in the arena or hitting the trails. The season is also an ideal time to catch up on your horse’s healthcare needs.
The words Finally a Horse Back Ride in Cuba jumped out at me when searching through the Unicorn Trails website. The Tabaqueros Ride going right through Valle Viñales, my favourite part of the island, sparked visions of oxen-powered carts, tobacco fields, and memories of watching the sun burn off the mist in the valley of limestone mounds. Having lived in Cuba for just over two years in the mid-1990s, I had a strong desire to revisit the country to see how it had changed.