Equinews

Tucked away in the heart of one of Manitoba’s Provincial Parks, but only five or six miles from Winnipeg, is Manitoba Horse Council’s (MHC) Equestrian Facility. Built in Bird’s Hill Park for the 1967 and 1999 Pan American Games, it was passed over to MHC on a long lease to use, maintain, and improve. Covering more than 40 acres, there are two barns with 97 box stalls, two dressage rings, a warm-up ring and grand prix ring, and two Western rings suitable for cattle work, reining, and arena classes. Adjacent are two full-size polo fields, which are in regular use. The land is sited on a gravel moraine and is therefore extremely well-drained, allowing events to take place the day after the biggest downpours. Adjacent to the main area are two cross-country courses of all levels.

Every rider who comes along to a therapeutic riding program is considered as a unique individual. Therapeutic riding instructors are trained to make assessments of a rider's special needs and then design sessions that are both helpful and progressive. This is often with input from a physiotherapist or occupational therapist.

LIVESTOCK EMERGENCY RESPONSE COURSE 

“Calamity” was hard at work this past month with two Livestock Emergency Response Course (LERC) trainings in Barriere and Lumby. This life-size equine mannequin has travelled with livestock handling expert Jennifer Woods around the province of BC for over five years, helping train emergency protocol involving livestock.  

Course content includes:

equine foundation of canada, efac, bursaries for equestrians canada, wcvm funding equine

Since 1984, the Equine Foundation of Canada (EFC) has been funding projects, equipment, and students to improve the welfare of horses in Canada. Fundraising has always been a challenge for the EFC, but 2021 was particularly complicated by the pandemic, lockdowns, and the limitation of person-to-person contacts. This has been especially true in Alberta due to the economic slowdown. Several years ago, Eldon Bienert was instrumental in securing several significantly large donations that have sustained the foundation through these tough times.

When horses talk, we listen. But how good are we at deciphering what they have to say? According to a study published in November 2021 by Dr. Katrina Merkies, researcher and associate professor at the University of Guelph, and her master student Haley Belliveau, we are faring well. The study is titled Human Ability to Determine Affective States in Domestic Horse Whinnies.

The veterinary industry has been facing a shortage of registered veterinary professionals throughout the province of Alberta. There are more than 840 current vacancies in Alberta alone. In June 2020, the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) and the Alberta Veterinary Technologist Association (ABVTA) together with the Government of Alberta, partnered to commission a workforce study. The 2020 workforce study revealed growing concern around industry workforce shortages. If left unaddressed, these shortages can pose a risk to animal welfare, agricultural production, food security, and public health.

On April 12, 2022, Ontario Equestrian (OE) released a statement announcing the distribution of $250,000 to Ontario’s public riding schools from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, in an effort to stabilize sport and recreation due to the negative impact left by COVID-19.

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Canadian Quarter Horse Association