Edmonton Horseback Riding Lessons & Summer Camps
Wow, was it ever great to get out of the indoor arena! Even with the addition of the new footing during spring break, the four walls have felt a little all consuming lately. We combined two of the lesson groups Wednesday evening and made our way down to the local arena to practice riding outside of our normal environment. The girls and their horses handled it well and we had a great time! The horses were definitely feeling the Spring air and had lots of energy and animation in their gaits... yes, even Bart! The weather was perfect, company was even better and can't wait to do it again! Here's some photos from our evening! Enjoy!
Hi! We are Jordan and Kaija, two 14-year-old, grade nine, Nellie McClung students. Our passion is horses. Jordan has a nine-year-old mare named Cleo, and Kaija’s ten-year-old gelding is named Idol. As part of the Nellie McClung Program, we have participated in our school's Science Fair for the past two years. Last year, we had one of the top projects in grade eight, so we were invited to go to the Edmonton Regional Science Fair! What an honour! We were ecstatic when we placed third in our division (Life Sciences). We are super excited to get this year’s science fair on the road!
As part of this year’s Science Fair, we were fortunate enough to borrow an Electrocardiogram (ECG) from the Millcreek Animal Hospital. The ECG measures heart rate variability (HRV), and we are going to see if horse body language affects their HRV. Horses use body language to communicate with others in their herd. There are three types of body language energies they use: pushing, drawing and blocking. In general, pushing is considered a more aggressive form of body language in the horse world because they are telling another horse to move away from them. Drawing is a passive energy, allowing other horses to come to them. Blocking, which is neither passive or aggressive, is simply telling the other horse not to come any further into their personal space.
We hypothesize that when we use pushing energy with a horse, their heart rate will speed up and their HRV will become more irregular because of the adrenaline that is released from the aggressive behaviour. We believe that drawing will have the opposite effect of pushing. It will make the horse feel safe and calm, lowering their heart rate and making their HRV more regular.
During each trial of our experiment, we hooked up 10 horses (5 mares and 5 geldings), one at a time, to the ECG. Kaija would draw each horse to her for a couple steps, then hold up her hand to block the horse from coming any closer to her. She would then energetically push the horse by pointing to the middle of the horse's chest to make them back up. She did all of this body language without touching the horse, using verbal cues or pulling on the lead rope. While Kaija communicated with the horses using each of these three body language techniques, Jordan kept detailed records, monitored the ECG machine and video camera, and made sure that everything was running smoothly.
We want to thank Caitlin and all the horsey owners and their horses who helped support us and let us use their awesome horses! If anyone is interested in seeing the results of our project, we invite you to attend the Nellie McClung Science Fair at Avonmore School, on January 24th, 2013, between 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM. Thank you for your interest! We hope to see you there!
Kate left, Molly right.
Welcome to the family, Molly & Kate!
One of our dreams at Cadence Creek Equine has been to own a pair of draft horses and be able to have sleigh rides in the winter or wagon rides in the summer months.
We have been looking for a team of horses to match our needs and that would fit in with our family here. Well, we found them in Molly & Kate!
These mares are Clydesdales and 13 & 14years old respectively.
The Clydesdale breed is the pride & joy of Scotland. Their strength has made them a desirable choice for farm work, pulling carriages and logging. Today, Clydesdales are most recognized as the "Budweiser Carriage Horses".
Clydesdales can range anywhere between 16-20hh and weigh as much as 2400lbs! Molly & Kate are on the smaller end of this spectrum and while we haven't measured them exactly yet, I would guess that they are 16.3hh and probably 1900lbs.
Steve is going to be getting these mares fitted up and ready for public hay & sleigh rides for summer of 2013. We're so excited to bring this wholesome family activity to residents of Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Surrounding areas. I'm sure we will be creating many fond memories with these two!
Can't wait to see you and your family on one of our sleigh rides!
Now this was a hard secret to keep!
For a couple of months, Emma had been riding our new Arab mare, Pocket, that we brought up from California. It was pretty much love at first sight! See these two together, you knew it was a match made in heaven from the start.
Emma's gelding Summer had been off on rest for a few months due to a soft tissue injury, but talks had already started about if he was the horse for her to achieve her goals with in the near future.
Emma took the idea home to her parents to look at Pocket as her next horse. Her Mom was in love with her California hilights in her mane & tail, ok and her personality to! From there, vet checks, deliberation and lots of convincing (so Emma thought) was done. It was decided between us and Emma's parents the week before Christmas that we were all going to surprise Emma on Christmas day with her new horse. Emma however, had been convinced that her parents had no intentions of getting her another horse and that she would have to continue to work her tail off and save up on her own. HAH!
So, after we finished chores here on Christmas morning, Steve and I packed up the kids and headed to Emma's with a gift box in tow. Steve and I had found Emma a blinged out leather halter for Pocket and a matching lead rope. Tucked in the gift box under the halter, in a manilla folder were Pocket's papers. Sitting in Emma's family room, we were playing with the kids and waiting for all of Emma's family members to return from dog walking etc. Finally once they were all there we gave her the present. At first she was confused as to why the heck she'd need a pretty halter, until she saw the edge of the papers sticking out. The surprise and tears that followed were priceless!
It was such a blessing to be a part of this gift for Emma. I've been lucky enough to see Emma through many of her major milestones and I know this is going to be a stepping stone to help her achieve some of her dreams in the show ring. I'm so excited to see these two grow together as a team.
Congratulations, Girl! You two are going to be unstoppable!
Christmas came early for Clara this year!
Clara has been riding at Cadence Creek Equine for a couple of years. She started in our Kinder Kids program and has progressed up to a level 2.
There has been talk of a horse for a first horse for Clara for a year or so, but between myself and her family, we wanted to wait until she was a little bit more independent with all of her horsemanship & riding skills. It was apparent this fall that she was ready, so we began the search to find her a match made in heaven!
We ended up interviewing a couple of different horses, but none of them had the wow factor or held Clara's interest beyond the meet & greet. I always ask my students to go home and sleep on their thoughts before making a decision, after all, its not one you can take lightly!
And then we found Wyatt!
Wyatt has been shown quite extensively in the Arabian show circuit, but has slowed down a little as he was finding the full show circuit a little strenuous for his tastes! Clara & her mom Trisia were in love! Trisia decided this is the one, but kept it a surprise from Clara for a couple of weeks!
On Dec. 18, we told Clara we had another horse at the barn we wanted her to interview after lessons were done that evening. Trisia came early to welcome Wyatt off the trailer ride from Okotoks. We got him settled in his beautifully decorated stall and waited for Clara to arrive! (see photo below)
She didn't believe it was Wyatt to start and then when she did, didn't believe he was hers! It was so awesome to see this wonderful family find such an amazing horse. Can't wait to see how the relationship grows and all you get to experience together!
"It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!"... Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!" ~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Halloween is my favorite time of year! And we sure know how to have a good time around here in October!
On Sunday October 28th, 2012 our students joined together to participate in a fun Halloween themed horse show! We of course had our regular pleasure and equitation classes, but there were some theme classes, too! One of them was Spooky Dressage where riders had to create their own interpretive pattern of: a witches hate, cauldron, bat, broom and pumpkin! And who can have a Halloween show without costume classes? Our lesson horses were good sports being dressed up in their .... interesting.... attire! Have a look below to see the fun!
Cadence Creek Equine also played host again this year for the Aurora Youth Horse Associations Halloween Penny Carnival Fundraiser. While the turnout wasn't as great this year, the Youth still managed to raise some money for the club and have a really good time! We had a bouncy castle/slide combo this year that I don't think anyone wanted to stop playing on!
Can't wait 'til next year!
When witches go riding,
One of the most challenging parts of running a horse camp, is creating the theory portion of the camp that the kids can find fun! Not all aspects of horse care are entertaining! I know there are only a handful of us in this world that find sweeping and shovelling poop amusing!
So I've hit the books!
Its been really fun for me this week to cruise back through my 4H, Pony Club and CHA manuals. I've pulled together all sorts of fun crosswords, puzzles and theory sheets to compliment our programming this year. We like to do activites that talk about breeds of horses - so why not a crossword puzzle that brings those words back into play for memorization! It's important to know the basics of horse identification, so we have compiled magazines full of beautiful pictures for our summer camp kids to cut out and collage! What better to compliment the activity then a live "spot the horse" scavenger hunt?
Combining different activities that all surround the same theory project allow all of the different learning styles to grasp and understand the concepts. My goal is to have a visual, kinesthetic and audio activity for each one! This is my challenge I've set forth for myself as an Instructor and Mentor!
What's neat about each camp is that even though our activities stay similar week to week for the kids, each week is so different! The campers bring such diversity and give us such neat opportunities to better atune ourselves to their individual needs! I'm excited to see the impact the in-depth activity planning has on our camp kids this summer!
From Gail (Nito's hauler & Nito)
CAITLIN, AND MEMBERS OF THE “NITO” FAN CLUB.
JUST WANTED TO SEND A PICTURE POSTCARD OF “ME AND MY PALS” SUNBATHING AFTER BREAKFAST IN ANTHONY, NEW MEXICO. WE CAN FAINTLY HEAR THE “MARIACHI’S SINGING AND PLAYING AS WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO MEXICO. OUR “LIMO DRIVER” AND “LADY IN WAITING HAVE TOLD US IT IS TIME TO GO. WE SHOULD BE IN SUNNY, BEAUTIFUL SO. CAL. BY TOMORROW MORNING..
THEY SAID I COULD KICK BACK A FEW DAYS UNDER THE WARM SO. CAL. SUN WHILE MY OTHER “MATES” GET READY TO COME TO CANADA WITH ME.
“ADIOS” FOR NOW.
LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING EVERYONE, I HEAR THERE ARE A LOT OF GREAT “COOKIES” WAITING FOR ME, MAYBE EVEN A SURPRISE PARTY????????
WHINNIES TO EVERYONE,
**Gail also updated to let me know that Nito is still eating and drinking well on his journey. Its very important for her to continue to monitor Nito's hydration, food intake and how his poop looks! This gives her an overall idea of how he is handling the trip. Don't you all wish you could go rest with Nito in California
We are very excited to announce that WF Incognito is on his way to Canada from Virginia, USA!
Nito is an 8 year old Arabian/ Dutch Harness Horse cross who we are hoping will be a lovely addition for our riders who want to get into the Hunter, Dressage and Sport Horse Rings. Nito will be working with some of our Level 3 & 4 lesson students who are interested in leasing/showing.
Some cool information on Nito:
Registered Name: WF Incognito
Birthday: June 1st, 2004
Father (called a Sire): Horal - Dutch Harness Horse
Mother (called a Dam): Sammar El Sharruk - Purebred Arabian
Kilometers he has to travel to get to his new home:3858km
Here's some photos of him:
I think it's every little girls dream at one point or another. A horse for Christmas, Birthday or any holiday really that could justify a present. I know it was mine for years, too. For me, there was no way my parents could afford to purchase and support a horse. I learnt from a very young age the value of money, how to save and having strong work ethic to achieve my goal of purchasing a horse.
Approached appropriately, I think buying a horse for your kid can be one of the most rewarding journeys your family can embark on together. Here are some of the benefits of a kid owning a horse that I think need to be strongly considered as to why its a great idea:
To conclude, if you've been thinking about buying a horse for your kid, there's probably good reason for it. Sit down and think about some of these points. Enjoy the journey!