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The Flying U Guest Ranch, one of North America’s only unsupervised riding ranches, is a horse lovers’ dream. Over 100 horses graze on the expansive Cariboo pastures that extend from the large barn, which was constructed 150 years ago. The barn stands central to the hustle and bustle of the stockyard, paying homage to the region’s rich history.

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Do you have an overweight horse? Chances are he is insulin resistant. Excess body fat leads to elevated insulin. Elevated insulin leads to more body fat storage, which leads to greater insulin resistance, and the vicious cycle continues. Even horses of normal weight can be insulin resistant, exhibited by regional fat deposits along the neck, shoulders, tailhead, and back.

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Along with my travel mates Ali and Heather, I leave the Calgary airport in our rental car, stock up with snacks and refreshments, and head to The Grandview Stage Inn just outside of Rocky Mountain House, AB, where we bed in for the night. The next morning, we start off for the Cutoff Creek Staging area in the Bighorn Backcountry. The herd of wild horses grazing in a small clearing at the side of the road is so complacent with our presence that the foals remain lying down as we snap photos. Upon arrival, we spot a group of women gathered in the staging area, their gear laid out on the grass. Introductions reveal that our fellow riders are from Manitoba, Winnipeg, New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia, and as far as Australia and New Zealand. Most are new to Wild Deuce Outfitters, and a few are repeat visitors like me, although it was eight years ago.

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Sponsored Feature - Have you ever considered what’s really important for good barn health – bedding, mats, feed systems, biosecurity, staying dry, or arena dust control? The list is exhaustive, but there are key areas that improve horse and rider health and these areas are the focus of Strathcona Ventures.

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A Guide to Getting Jack Into the Box - The most common transport-related injuries to horses are from failure to adequately and properly train the horse to load and haul. It’s solely a matter of investing the time and having the willingness to teach the horse in the way he can best learn and accept the concept. Think about the second half of that statement for a moment; as with any form of teaching, if method A isn’t working, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet!

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