Millen, Tania Articles

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Horse welfare is complex, partly due to the myriad uses, values, and husbandry arrangements for horses. They’re backyard pets, ridden and driven in competition, raced, raised for meat, and used for therapy, recreation, and rodeo. Horses are regularly transported, kept in rural and urban areas, stalls, pens, fields, and pastures, plus managed according to their use. Many horses live on individual properties and their welfare relies on individual owners, making poor welfare difficult to identify.

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Keeping horses sound is one of the most difficult and important aspects of horse sport. Given that horses have an uncanny ability to injure themselves, at some point every rider or horse owner will need their veterinarian to conduct a lameness evaluation.

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When Canada becomes a winter wonderland shrouded with snow, many riders hang up their boots or disappear into indoor arenas. For teamsters in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, winter means hitching their horses to wagons, cutters, and bobsleighs to drive the trails at fundraising rallies.

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In March 2024, Skijor Canada will once again hold Skijordue — a skijoring event billed as “a blistering blend of snow, speed, style, and cheese with gritty cowboys, gnarly free-riders, fur, fringe, and fashionista.”

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“There’s huge demand in Canada’s horse industry right now for grooms and caretakers,” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

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On November 21 to 23, 2023, students in the Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management (BBRM), Equine Management program at the University of Guelph in Ontario hosted their eighth annual Equine Industry Symposium. The theme of the free virtual event was “Stable Solutions.”

john swales million dollar club, National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA)

John Swales is the first Canadian rider to win over $1 million in lifetime earnings in National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) classes and join the prestigious NRCHA Million Dollar Club. Swales earnings surpassed $1 million during the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity, Derby, & Cow Horse Show in Claresholm, Alberta at the end of August 2023. He’s only the 27th rider to achieve the feat.

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This enchanting little book follows a bay ranch horse and his ginger feline companion as they wander through their ranch on an autumn day. Throughout their conversation, the two disagree about what is good and bad, and how they feel about different things.

OEEEP Brian Tropea Ontario Harness Horse Association, Ontario Equcation and Employment Program, horse people in canada

Helping others live their horse-filled dreams - “I do everything I can to make sure that anybody that has a dream or a wish to be around horses gets that opportunity,” — Brian Tropea.

BOOK REVIEW the turcottes, best horse books, great books about horses, non-fiction horse books

Secretariat is a household name in the horse industry. The video of “Big Red” winning the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths in 1973 and cementing his Triple Crown win is jaw-dropping. But few know about the Canadian jockey who won those spectacular races — Ron Turcotte. He hails from small-town Drummond, New Brunswick, won 3,032 races over his 17-year career, and was the first of five Turcotte brothers to exchange logging and picking potatoes for the glitzy world of Thoroughbred horse racing. Cumulatively, the Turcottes won over 8,200 races and almost $60 million in purse money.

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In 2023, 29 percent of surveyed Americans said they got their news from Facebook; 24 percent got their news from YouTube. However, social media platforms are rife with fake news. Consumers know that’s the case but it’s often difficult to discern misinformation from truthful content. So what to do?

Canadian Equine Sector: Socio-Economic Insights 2023, equestrian canada 2023 study, equine industry studies, statistics on canadian equestrians, canada's horse industry economic contribution

Impacts and Opportunities - Horses are pets, performance athletes and livestock. They’re kept in backyards, on farms, at boarding stables, and working ranches in Canada. The horse industry encompasses professional riders, everyday horse enthusiasts, animal care experts, and thousands of businesses in the farming, ranching, sport, agriculture, and entertainment sectors.

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Canada’s farriers can now become Approved Journeyman Farriers of Canada (AJFC) through the Association of Farrier Trainers of Canada (AFTC). This means horse owners can now hire farriers that have Canadian journeyman credentials.

tania millen horseback riding, telegraph trail on horseback, blackwater river, rob lafrance telegraph trail, trail riding in canada

“Let’s take a break here,” Rob LaFrance called from behind me. It was late May, 2019 and three of us were riding a 60-kilometre stretch of the historic Collins Overland Telegraph Trail in central British Columbia, which hadn’t been ridden in its entirety in at least half a century. The trip was an opportunity to ride along a piece of history, experience the challenges of those who had traveled before us, and celebrate the reopening of the trail.

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Horsemen and women around the world are enjoying horses in more unique ways than ever, especially here in Canada. From mounted archery to combat and tent pegging, cowboy mounted shooting to working equitation, and Indian relay racing to skijoring, there are challenging horse sports for everyone. Many of the seven sports described are relatively new, but the skills these sports require originated hundreds of years ago when good horsemanship meant staying alive during battle.

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The horse will teach you if you listen - Spanish cowboys (vaqueros) who came to North America over 500 years ago left a lasting legacy — not only in words such as chaps (from chaparreras) and rodeo (rodear) which are engrained in today’s Western lifestyle — but in their riding and horse training skills, too. In the early 1500s when Spanish cows and horses were imported into what is now Mexico, cattle ranching and bridle horses were introduced to North America. Vaquero bridle horses were highly trained, handy stock horses that worked as partners out on the range and were in tune with their riders’ every aid. Making a bridle horse was and is a multi-year process whereby horses are started in a hackamore (bosal), then advanced through a two-rein bridle (small diameter hackamore beneath a spade bit bridle each with a set of reins) until they are ready to be ridden “straight up in the bridle” in a spade bit.

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Grooming is an enjoyable way to bond with your horse, and most horses love to be fussed over, but cleaning a male horse’s sheath is an unpleasant chore that owners and riders tend to avoid. From potentially being kicked, to lack of knowledge or squeamishness, those with geldings and stallions often shirk the task altogether. However, veterinarians agree that cleaning and inspecting a horse’s sheath is a necessary and regular part of maintaining their health.

earning extra income horses, making money horses, tania millen, leasing a horse, composting manure

As property values increase and everyday equine management expenses go up, keeping horses on your own property is becoming more costly. All across Canada, horse and property owners are undertaking myriad activities to make money from their farms and acreages without operating commercial boarding stables or becoming professional coaches. While every potentially money-making activity has benefits and drawbacks depending on the property’s size, layout, and infrastructure, as well as the owner’s interests and talents, there are many options for creating additional income. By implementing a few of the 24 innovative ideas summarized below, owners can start earning additional income from their property to help pay the bills.

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Eighteen lucky riders participated in a horsemanship clinic with Al Dunning at Silver Slate Arena near Nanton, Alberta, on June 24-25, 2023, while about 50 auditors watched.

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