4 Reasons to Join Your Provincial Horse Sport Organization

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Do you need money for a clinic or competition? Do you want to attend free webinars and equine programs? How about insurance to help pay for damage done by your horse? Or connections with like-minded horsey folk? 

If you said yes to any of these, then buy a membership in your equestrian provincial/territorial sports organization (PTSO). Every organization is different, but they all provide great benefits to members. 

Funding is one example. 

“Alberta Equestrian Federation [AEF] has tons of funding for individual members to participate in a clinic or an event or to take a Rookie Riders clinic or buy a Western helmet,” says Sonia Dantu, Executive Director of the AEF. “We have scholarships, bursaries, and club funding. We provide a lot of funding for trail development province-wide. Plus, we have over 100 business members who offer discounts to members.” 

Horse Council British Columbia (HCBC) offers similar funding options, such as for athlete assistance, trails projects, regional clubs, educational grants, and travel assistance to individuals. 

Ontario Equestrian (OE) members can access comparable programs plus a youth bursary. “It provides funding for members who are still in high school to continue to grow within the sport,” says Brandon Hall, OE Director of Marketing & Communications. 

PTSOs also provide educational opportunities. 

“Your provincial organization can help you find the right person to take lessons from. Somebody that’s a certified and credentialed coach,” says Dantu. 

OE offers a Ticket to Ride program where people who are new to horse sports receive a free ticket to take a learn-to-groom session or an assessment ride at an accredited facility.  

In September 2022, HCBC launched a free Horse Play program which replaces their Ride and Drive program and encourages riders to record the hours they spend with their horse.  

PTSOs also offer P’tit Trot and Rookie Riders programs for young children. Plus, long term athlete development is supported by funding, coaching, and programming for riders working towards upper-level competition. 

And there’s more.  

PTSOs provide free webinars on road safety, first aid, nutrition, parasites, hoof care, horse camping, and other topics. They subsidize the cost of Equine Guelph courses for their members on topics such as equine business, senior horse care, gut health, horse welfare, sickness prevention, youth safety, injury prevention, rescue, and emergencies. OE members receive 15 percent off Equine Guelph online short courses. Some PTSOs mail a free magazine to their members. 

Then there’s insurance. 

Each member automatically gets two insurance policies. 

1) $5,000,000 of personal liability insurance 

“This policy covers the member against legal actions made against them because of something their horse does,” says Mike King, National practice leader and partner at CapriCMW Insurance. “When liability claims occur, they can be quite serious.” 

Common claims include damaging property at a boarding facility; horses getting loose and causing car accidents; a friend riding someone else’s horse, falling off, and getting hurt; someone getting kicked at a horse show; and a horse injuring another horse in a paddock. This insurance can save members from paying legal and settlement costs out of their own pocket. 

2) Accident, Death, and Dismemberment (AD&D)  

This insurance protects the member if they’re seriously injured — or worse — as a result of an interaction with a horse. This is important because horses are unpredictable, especially for those new to them. The Principal Sum Limit is $40,000 (increased for 2023) plus there are additional coverage options. 

Your PTSOs draw the equine community together, too. 

PTSOs are the recognized organizations for horse use in every region. They address issues that affect the whole equine community. 

“By joining their PTSO, members can find coaches, facilities, educational opportunities, and a place to be in common company — regardless of discipline, interest, or participation level,” says King. 

There are thousands of people in every province who are involved with horses. By coming together, the broader horse community — and every PTSO member — has a voice. There is power in numbers and as society changes, everyone’s voice is needed to ensure that horse sport remains accessible and accepted by Canadian society. 

Join your PTSO and take advantage of their benefits. The low cost of annual membership will not only save you money but will help the horse industry have a strong voice now and into the future. 

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