Millen, Tania Articles

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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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“Show jumping is a sport of millimetres. You can’t wing it.” — Tiffany Foster.

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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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Across Canada, non-veterinarians offer a potpourri of services, including massage, chiropractic, farrier work, homeopathy, and more. But these non-veterinarian service providers may be practicing veterinary medicine illegally under provincial veterinarian acts. Also, few regulatory organizations oversee non-veterinarian practitioner training, certify expertise, or offer recourse if horses suffer, and provincial veterinary organizations only pursue non-veterinarian service providers when horse owners complain.

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Twenty years ago, the Oregon Horse Center in Eugene, Oregon held an indoor trail competition using log obstacles, water ponds, and dirt embankments to transform their arena into mountain trails. That event was the beginning of competitive mountain trail, where neatly dressed riders navigate an untimed, subjectively-judged course of obstacles typically found on wilderness mountain trails. In Canada, two organizations promote the sport — International Mountain Trail Challenge Association (IMTCA) Canada and the British Columbia Mountain Trail Association (BCMTA)— and each has their own rules, judging criteria, and obstacles.

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Galloping after hounds for over 150 years - In 1873, Canada’s Governor General Lord Dufferin started the Ottawa Valley Hunt (OVH) for Ottawa’s upper classes. It was popular with politicians of the day.

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How flies spread parasites and disease - Flies are the bane of many horses’ existence from spring through autumn. In Canada, horse-biting flies include gnats (no-see-ums), black flies, stable flies, deer flies, horse flies, and mosquitoes, all of which create painful sores. Non-biting flies include house flies, eye gnats, face flies, bot flies, and warble flies, and can be just as irritating. It’s not just buzzing and biting that’s worrisome; flies may transmit parasites and diseases, can cause a horse’s immune system to overreact, and some use horses as hosts, all of which impact horse health. Preventing horses from being bitten is key. Before diving into solutions, here’s a summary of the damage that flies can inflict on Canada’s horses.

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Our group of 17 horses and riders had taken shelter from the brutal midday sun beneath a massive overhang created thousands of years ago when water roared through the valley, and our chosen lunch spot was also home to several rattlesnakes.

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A riding vacation through a place that changes you.

By Tania Millen

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Rider Down! It’s a trail rider’s worst nightmare: getting hurt and requiring evacuation from a remote area. Whether out on the trails for a few hours or on an overnight trip, the reality that every recreational rider must face is that emergencies can occur. Preparation is key and the success of emergency evacuations has a lot to do with planning for their possibility. It can also determine whether a rider survives.

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Horseback riders across Canada are advocating for horse use on provincial and regional trails. In Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia (BC) that often means resolving potential conflicts with other user groups. On Prince Edward Island (PEI) it’s meant trying to gain access to the Confederation Trail — a 470-kilometre stretch of Canada’s Great Trail, previously called the Trans Canada Trail, which follows a former railway bed across the island.

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Spending all day with your horse, visiting with friends, and riding a variety of trails pretty much describes horse camping, so it’s no surprise that many riders consider horse camping to be the ultimate adventure. Although performance riders often haul to a different facility for a clinic or competition, put their horse in a stall, and camp out in their rig, trail rider-style horse camping is a bit different.

ian millar family, amy millar, jonathan millar

Parenting is a difficult job. Parenting while working is even tougher. But parenting while working as an equine professional has unique challenges. “Horses are as demanding as kids,” says Carmie Flaherty, an upper-level dressage rider and high-performance coach based in Langley, British Columbia. “So, it’s a lot to juggle. You’re at the beck and call of both, all the time.”

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Fitness contributes to far more than aesthetics and performance, making it a constant goalpost for domesticated horses. In terms of health and well-being, it serves a protective role, safeguarding from illness and injury. But how long does a horse need to exercise daily to reap these benefits?

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In the last few years, teenaged horses have been making headlines by winning some of the biggest competitions on the planet. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games (held in 2021), over half of the three-day eventing horses were aged 13 through 19. The oldest horse was Tayberry, a 20-year-old ridden by Hong Kong’s Thomas Heffernan Ho.

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If you need a break from listening to music or the news, consider tuning in to a free podcast. With thousands of episodes available, you should be able to find something that grabs your interest. From horse industry news to expert help, insider tips to business ideas, there’s a program for everyone.

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For generations, riders and horse lovers have been enthralled by the mystique of horsemen (and women), but many struggle to define what a “horseman” actually is. Is a horseman someone with a laundry list of skills such as starting young horses, nailing on shoes, being knowledgeable about horse care, and having the ability to train horses to the highest levels? Or is a horseman someone who lives in the moment, has mastered their emotions, and understands a horse’s mind? Perhaps a horseman embraces all of these attributes; perhaps none.

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Horse events are expensive to host, so event managers love to have sponsors help fund their events. Top events put on shows with good prize money that competitors, spectators, and sponsors flock to. However, attracting and retaining sponsors can be challenging. We asked the sponsorship managers for The Royal Winter Fair Horse Show and Angelstone Events to share how they do it. Plus, we asked a smaller company which has provided sponsorship to share their perspective. Here are the eight steps they recommend to help garner top-notch sponsors for your next horse event.

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From Fat to Fit - It’s spring and that means more time spent riding. Is your horse ready? Regardless of whether you want to trail ride, compete at a certain level, jump, do endurance or dressage, your horse needs to be fit for the job.

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It’s common for riders to compete at high levels today without advanced horsemanship knowledge. A rider’s success in the show ring seems to have greater value than their horse management skills, but that wasn’t always the case. Many of Canada’s former top riders credit Canadian Pony Club (CPC) for their horsemanship knowledge and acknowledge its importance to their success. The horse industry has since changed and now, riders rely on coaches to know what’s best for their horses.

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