White House Equestrian Services
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Grande Prairie T8W1Y3
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10726 106 Avenue, Grande Prairie
c/o John Heikel RR2
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Operating as usual
All our Young Riders!!! Check this out!!
What an amazing opportunity for our young riders here in Alberta!! Make sure to check it out asap.
Looking forward to having my mare bred to this amazing young stallion!!
👋 This is a very important memo! 👋 Please make sure you always buckle your blankets and tack into your horse. When they face out they have the risk of getting caught on fences, buckets, and anything else your horse might find.
Good luck to all our members who will be representing Canada in the international (virtual) dressage competition in October this year.
We’re excited to be speaking at the Alberta Junior Young Riders Association Alberta Youth Dressage Development Program Symposium featuring clinician Courtenay Fraser, a top Canadian dressage rider along with presentations from other industry experts. This will be an excellent learning opportunity for ambitious young riders and spectators!
WHEN: OCTOBER 21-23
WHERE: Kaspian Equestrian Training Centre in Olds, AB
Be sure to check it out!
Don't miss out on this amazing pony!
Well... the Maeve Drew show jumping and cross country clinic is over!! What a great weekend! It was Maeve Drew's 3rd clinic (1st 2 were SJ) and 1st XC!! What an amazing clinician! Thank you to all who supported and attended this clinic. Please feel free to add any and all photos and videos!
⚠️⚠️⚠️ you don't want to miss out on this amazing 14hh pony gelding.
Located in Grande Prairie info in photos
If you want to make progress as a horseman, you have to hold yourself accountable.
An instructor can tell you to open your left rein, but only you can actually open your left rein! I can tell you to step right. I can tell you to step right more, or reword it until you do it enough that your right seat bone drops down where it belongs. I can remind you to do it every 30 seconds. I can remind you again every time we change directions, or change gaits, or after your horse tripped. But none of my riders take a lesson with me every day! At some point you have to remember it and execute it all on your own. And isn’t that the type of rider you want to be???
I mean, When you are doing a dressage test, I can’t remind you to sit back in the corner or to not over bend the neck in the shoulder in.
The only time I am the head trainer is when I am instructing myself. Otherwise, I am always the assistant instructor and YOU, THE RIDER, HAVE to be your own master. I am merely the Layman who tells you where we are at in this project, and what step needs to happen next. You are the lead contractor who needs to make sure it gets done. (I know enough people who have major projects going on at their facility that maybe this is a really bad example! Lol but you get my drift hopefully)
I’m not sure how I made it through the levels as far as I did knowing how long it took me to get accountable on actually keeping my inside rein open 🤦♀️. Now I’ve realized how often I, just for a moment, open my outside rein when I’m supposed to be using my inside leg. I’m NOT letting this habit go on for years. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not working on anything else until I’m so consciously competent when I do allow my subconscious to take over, it sticks! Even then, I’ll be checking in regularly.
I had an adult student say that she’s always ride with puppy paws/piano hands (thumbs turned in, fingernails posted down) and “good luck changing it”. My tone was light hearted, because that’s who I am, but I basically told her that if she can’t hold herself accountable for something so easy to fix, get off the horse- why bother! It helped that I gave her the REASONS why it was important- it isn’t just to be pretty. But fixing it was hard for her because it’s so tough to turn her wrist- it was “hard” because it took focus.
Put in the focus. Hold yourself accountable.
Wanting to see if there is a need or interest in having the Custom Saddlery Rep (also is a Bliss rep) come to Grande Prairie area on her AB trip in early April.
I have a horse who rode incredibly well in Custom saddle that I borrowed from a friend of mine, so now looking for one for myself, but am finding them hard to come by in Canada and she brings 40+ saddles with her!
I need 6 people min. for her to come here.
PM me if you are interested/wanting a spot!
I'm very excited about this year's clinics!!!! Superb lineup coming to Grande Prairie!!
The posts will be coming out very soon! Message me if you are intrigued!!!
I'll be sending out clues....
Bitter sweet day for me!
Soraya went off to her new home today! I am very excited to see what her future holds!!!
Congratulations to Amelia Korfmann on her purchase of the Beautiful TB Mare, Soraya!! She is turning out to be such a wonderful mare with so much potential and talent!! I'm very excited to see what your future holds!!!❤❤❤
Our first Division 2 Symposium held at Extreme Stables on May 6-8. Act now as we fill up quickly!!
I am truly blessed to have such wonderful students and horses in my life. I wouldn't change it for anything!! Looking forward to 2022!!
I sure love his mare!!! Soraya is just so sweet, she would melt anyone's heart.
I have some fabulous horses for sale!! Quick preview....
Soraya being so vain!! She just wouldn't stop looking at herself in the mirrored windows!!
CONTEST TIME - WHO WANTS TO WIN? We are giving 1 lucky winner a $500 Keddie's Shopping Spree...FREE! Help us spread the word about our upcoming Customer Appreciation Night. How to enter? Easy...
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Customer Appreciation is Thursday Nov. 25th and for ONE DAY ONLY, you can purchase Keddie's Gift Cards at 20% off! Don't miss out
What is the longest a horse can safely go without food?
More and more I see horses and ponies stood for long periods of time with no hay or haylage. Usually under the guise of a “weight control diet”. So how long can a horse be without food before damage is done? And what damage is done?
For those with a short attention span, I’ll give you the answer to begin with - 4 hours, maximum.
Horses are grazers. They are designed to eat constantly. They have no way of storing their acids and digestive enzymes, they’ve never needed to. They have no gall bladder to store bile and their stomachs release acid constantly, whether or not there is food in the stomach and intestines.
A horses stomach only holds approximately 8-15 litres. Depending on the substance eaten, it takes on average 4-6 hours for the stomach to completely empty. After this, the acids and enzymes start to digest the inside of the horses stomach and then the intestines. This causes both gastric and intestinal ulceration. It has been estimated that 25-50% of foals and 60-90% of adult horses suffer from ulceration. But I won’t go into detail about this, there is a lot of information around about ulcers.
So is that it? Are ulcers the only concern?
No, having an empty stomach is a stress situation for a horse. The longer they are starved, the more they release stress hormones, cortisol predominantly. Cortisol blocks insulin and causes a constantly high blood glucose level. This stimulates the body to release even more insulin, and in turn this causes fat tissue to be deposited and leptin resistance. Over time this causes insulin resistance (Equine Metabolic Syndrome). All of these mechanisms are well known risk factors for laminitis and are caused by short term starvation (starting roughly 3-4 hours after the stomach empties). Starving a laminitic is literally the worst thing you can do. Over longer periods, this also starts to affect muscle and can cause weakness, and a lack of stamina so performance horses also need a constant supply of hay/haylage to function optimally.
Let’s not forget horses are living, breathing and feeling animals. We talk about this stress reaction like it’s just internal but the horse is well aware of this stress. Door kicking, box walking, barging and many other stable vices and poor behaviour can be explained by a very stressed horse due to food deprivation (we all have that Hangry friend to explain this reaction). Next time you shout or hit a horse that dives for their net, remember their body is genuinely telling them they are going to starve to death. They know no different.
But surely they spend the night asleep so they wouldn’t eat anyway?
Not true. Horses only need 20mins REM sleep every 24 hours (jealous? I am!). They may spend a further hour or so dozing but up to 22-23 hours a day are spent eating. So if you leave your horse a net at 5pm and it’s gone by 8pm, then by 12am their stomach is empty. By 4am they are entering starvation mode. By their next feed at 8am, they are extremely stressed, physically and mentally.
Now I know the cob owners are reading this mortified. I can almost hear you shouting at your screen “if I feed my horse ad lib hay he won’t fit out the stable door in a week!!”
I will say that a horse with a constant supply of hay/haylage will eat far less then the same horse that is intermittently starved. They don’t eat in a frenzy, reducing the chance of colic from both ulcers and over eating. Cobs included.
However I’m not suggesting you sit your cob in front of a bale of haylage and say have at it! There is a difference between ad lib and a constant supply. There is much we can do to reduce calorie intake and control weight whilst feeding a constant supply.
The easiest is small holes nets. There are many. Trickle nets, greedy feeders, nibbleze, trawler nets etc. My personal favourite is the Shires Soft Mesh 1”. They don’t cost the Earth, they are easy to fill and they don’t have knots so are much gentler to the teeth. Now often I suggest these types of nets to owners and the owner tells me “Oh no, *** won’t eat out of those” 🙄 this is nonsense. If he was left it, he would. Remember, you can give a normal net and one of these for them to nibble at after. Better than leaving them with nothing at all.
A few other tricks, hang the net from the ceiling/rafters, it’s harder to eat out of a net that swings. Soak the hay, a minimum of 4 hours to be effective. Mix with straw but be sure to introduce the straw slowly and make sure it’s top quality and a palatable type eg Barley or Oat, otherwise they won’t eat it.
Don’t forget exercise. The best way to get weight off a horse is exercise. Enough exercise and they can eat what they want!
And lay off the bucket feed and treats! Horses on a diet require a vit/min supplement in the form of a balancer but that’s it. The odd slice of carrot or swede won’t do any harm but no licks, treats, treacle, molasses, cereal based rubbish. Even if it says low sugar or the marvellously misleading “No added sugar”! Your horse would rather have a constant supply of hay, I promise.
Written by Vikki Fowler BVetMed BAEDT MRCVS
A few edits for the critics-
Firstly, feeding a constant supply does not mean ad lib feeding. It means use some ingenuity and spread the recommended amount of daily forage so the horse is never stood with out food for more than 4 hours. I am not promoting obesity, quite the opposite, feeding like this reduces obesity and IR. This can be done whilst feeding your horse twice a day as most horse owners do. Just think outside the box for your own situation.
Secondly I am in the UK and this post is UK specific, use some common sense when reading. Yes in warmer climates, soaking hay for 4 hours is dangerous and studies show 1 hour is plenty in hot weather but in the UK’s arctic climate, a minimum of 4 hours is required. Equally the UK feed exclusively grass hay. I can not comment on other types.
Thirdly, yes every horse/pony and situation is different, but this is a law of nature and all horses have this anatomy and metabolism. How you achieve this constant supply is individual, the need for it is not.
Fourthly, the use of hay nets in the UK is very very high. I’d estimate 95% of horses I see are fed this way and very very few have incisor wear or neck/back issues as a result. Yes, feeding from the ground is ideal, but a constant supply, I feel trumps this. Again with ingenuity both can be safely achieved.
Finally, straw can be fed to horses safely, introduced very slowly, with fresh water always available, plus a palatable and digestible type of straw which will depend on your area. Again many horses in the UK are bedded on straw and most of them eat it. This is not a new concept to us.
Final finally 🤦♀️ and I feel I must add this due to the sheer number of people contacting me to ask, feed your horses during transport!!! I am astonished this is not normal in other countries! Again in the UK, we give our horses hay nets to transport. We don’t go 10 mins up the road without a haynet and a spare in case they finish! Considering we are a tiny island and we rarely transport even 4 hours, we never transport without hay available. I have never seen an episode of choke due to travelling with hay available. If you are concerned, use a slow feeder net so they can’t take too much in at once.
If you get to the end of this post and your first thought is “I can’t do this with my horse/pony, they’d be morbidly obese”, you haven’t read the advice in this post thoroughly.
So happy with my student's, Kiptyn, new pony Pepper!! I got the chance to compete her in the South Peace Horse Trials last weekend and she won her division!!! The dressage judge complimented me on her after her dressage test!! I did make a couple small errors but other than that, she rose to the challenge!! Went clear in the show jumping phase with her easy flying changes and clear cross country with no time penalties!!! She is becoming increasingly more adjustable and easier to ride... Such a joy she is!!! Looking forward to witnessing Kiptyn and Pepper's journey together!!!
This is a fabulous opportunity for a talented rider!!!
Well another clinic completed!! The Maeve Drew Show Jumping Clinic was another huge success!! She is truly outstanding ... Thank you so much Maeve Drew for yet another amazing clinic. The Peace Region Pony Club loved having you be our very first clinician!!!
Music Monday | London 2012 Olympics - Patrik Kittel
I so love this!!
Peace Region Pony Club is SUPER excited to offer a Maeve Drew Show Jumping Clinic to the Grande Prairie Area.
Please Contact Sheila White to Register
Just want to congratulate Kiptyn Gour on his purchase of the new pony Pepper!!! She is absolutely beautiful!!!! Its been quite a journey finding her with so many amazing horses out there.... So happy we found a great fit! Looking forward to seeing all you will accomplish with her!!
Big thank you to Dawne and Teigan Tkachuk for trusting us with your lovely, well trained little mare, and Jenn Pugh for all your help, was so appreciated!!!
I just love my beautiful black KWPN beauty! He is turning into such a phenomenal horse!!! Feeling very blessed. This is me riding Alpha at the Eiren Crawford clinic in April.
Loved watching Caitlin ride him today. Her smile was ear to ear... Great Mothers Day with her and my granddaughter Jayden!!
ISO 2 medium/large ponies for 2 of my students. 6-12 yrs preferably. Show experience an asset. Solid wtc, jumping experience an asset.
Both kids are in Pony Club and in a consistant program.
Thanks in advance!
Dear Horse industry,
Stop being awful.
Stop putting others down for the sake of one's own prosperity.
Stop the whispers in the warm up ring.
Stop the snarky remarks behind closed doors.
Stop with the clicks and underhanded complements.
Stop with the need for newest and latest fashions or tack sets but never riding your horse in fear they may get dirty.
Stop manipulating others words or actions.
Stop normalizing poor sportsmanship and start normalizing folks who work hard.
Chances are if you've had horses long enough you've encountered some sort of this. From the competition world, to trail riders, to rescues, to top level riders, it's everywhere and it's terrible and it's got to stop. It's got to.
I've met riders, young and old, who are petrified to ride infront of people because some where along the line, someone told them they weren't good enough. I've seen talented people quit because of gossip and I've seen people give up on what they believe in because folks made them belive they were only 1' tall.
When you see a rider kicking them selves after a bad ride, tell them great job for hanging in there and give them some tips.
When you see that girl show up in the rusty old bumperpull, know she likely put everything she had into her entry fees.
When you see an organization fighting for what they believe in, fight with them.
When you see the girl too shy to ride, ask her to help you out by hopping on to keep your horse company because it would be an awfully big help.
When you see the girl scared to death in line up remind them why they are there and they have this.
When you see the girl discouraged over progress, remind them how far they have come.
The world is full of ugliness, horses should be our escape, not a place we feel belittled. We are all incredibly blessed to have Equines in our life. Becoming better Horseman is hard enough without having folks tear you down.
Please start normalizing raising each other up.
-Erin O'Neill 🌿
Breaking News! New U18 Tier added to our Alberta High Performance Eventing Program!
We are very excited to announce the addition of a third High Performance Team Tier. We have created an Under 18 (U18) Program for eventers ages 12-18 who have completed a minimum of 2 Pre-Training's or higher.
This program is designed to support a wide variety of riders. Whether you want to continue moving up the levels, make the High Performance Team someday, or have an interest in representing Alberta at the North American Youth Team Challenge, this program is for you!
Applications are being accepted now! The deadline is February 26th.
For more information, the U18 Program Guide, and the Application Form, please visit http://albertahighperformance.com/index.php/about-us/
I want to thank Scope Equestrian Lifestyle again for sending my kiddo this beautiful scope outfit. I’m so excited to wear our scope gear to the barn and competitions in our upcoming 2021 season.
If any of my friends want to check out their apparel, you can go to www.scopey.ca and use my discount code KATIE10 at checkout.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE 🥳🥳🥳
🌟🌟🌟 Get READY!!!! 🌟🌟🌟
Last minute stocking stuffers anyone??
Every Equestrian’s favourite stocking stuffers!
I've been blessed in my lifetime to have had some amazing coaches. My goal is to emulate them.... I felt this was a good read and worth sharing!!
WHEN GOOD COACHING BECOMES GREAT
Some people say that a coach can do only so much.
The argument goes like this: after a certain point, there is only so much a riding instructor can say to change a rider's skills. Most of the results come from the rider. After all - if the rider chooses not to (or simply cannot) do what the instructor says, then how much can one person do?
Although it is true that most riders go through difficult learning moments at some point in their riding career, and they might be faced with frustration in a different way than in other sports simply due to the nature of riding a horse, it cannot be said that across the board, riders don't want to put in the effort it takes to improve.
Most of us are riding because of our lifelong passion for horses. Most of us want to serve our horses by being the best rider we can be. Most of us are internally motivated in the first place just because we want to do well and love the feeling of good movement.
Most of us want to do the right thing.
So, assuming that the rider is in fact interested in performing well, how much can an instructor really do to help a rider improve?
When Good Instruction Becomes Great
Great instructors repeatedly show characteristics that make positive effects on their students. They are the ones that make a difference in their riders in one single ride. They are able to send the student home with concrete feedback that can then be used to continue developing independently.
What are these traits?
1. Great instruction begins at the student's level.
Great instructors quickly recognize the rider's skill level; then, they meet the student with instruction that works to that level. If the student is more of a beginner, the skills being taught might be simplified so that the rider doesn't become too overwhelmed and can achieve success.
The instructor might focus on one or two main points that need to be developed during that ride. For more advanced students, the instructor may come across as more demanding, more particular, more exacting. In each case (and all those in-between), the instructor assumes a different teaching approach that meets the student's needs.
2. Great instructors can explain the basics of the basics exceptionally well.
There is nothing more difficult than trying to explain the most fundamental skills to a rider. The experience of the rider is irrelevant - if there is something that needs to be addressed, then there is no point in going onwards until the basics are addressed. The learning might be the rider's or the horse's - and great instructors will know what to do in each case. Even the most advanced movements are rooted in the basics.
3. Great instructors have an excellent command of the language.
Communication is key, especially for someone who must stand in the middle (or at the side) of a ring while the student is in perpetual motion. The great instructor can change the rider's behavior with only words - well, ok - maybe in conjunction with sounds, energy, gestures and weight shifts to the left and right! But there can be no replacement for a varied and rich vocabulary that can effectively pass on feels and ideas.
4. Great instructors have relevant personal experience.
"There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path," Morpheus explained to Neo in The Matrix. The truth to that statement cannot be overestimated especially when the instructor is trying to teach something new to a rider. Having a good feeling of what the rider is going through can make the great instructor relate to the stumbling blocks and find a way around them.
5. Great instructors are great problem-solvers.
Many top level trainers speak of the tools we need to collect on our mental toolboxes to solve problems. But toolboxes are not critical to just riders - great instructors have superior problem-solving tools that they have used in different conditions with different riders. Experience is key - not from just a riding perspective, but from a teaching point of view as well.
6. Great instructors help the student set goals but know when to break them.
There is a certain amount of flexibility involved in great instruction. Although both instructor and rider should be in perpetual evaluation mode, setting new goals and changing them as they are met, the biggest key to meeting goals is the willingness to break from the beaten path when the necessity arises. Despite having a plan for the day, if during the ride, a completely off-topic situation arises, the great instructor will meet that event head-on without any pre-planning.
7. Great instructors are willing to wait.
They are patient - not only with the rider, but also with the horse. Additionally, they teach their students how to have the same patience when it comes to training the horse.
8. Great instructors are ethical.
They maintain the highest standards of care and welfare for the horse and they teach their students to do the same.
We're excited to announce our 2021 tournament dates!
New for 2021 👀: All-new grass derby field with hacking trail, ring road around the show barn for easy access, 4-acre trailer parking area.
We can't wait to see you again and show you all the improvements we've been working on. Stay safe and we'll see you soon! 👋
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Red Willow Wilderness Camp is a place for young people to have the opportunity to experience natur