Horse Industry

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Climate change is substantially impacting Canadian horses, horse properties, and their owners. Almost 90 percent of Canadians in recent surveys say they’ve already seen climate change effects in their communities. Horses are increasingly affected by respiratory diseases from wildfire smoke and dust; skin disease and damaged hooves from variable weather; and unforeseen parasites and diseases. Horse owners are struggling to purchase hay, treat unexpected health issues, and adapt to weather-related riding limitations. Meanwhile, property owners are repairing damage from sudden storms, drought, excess water, and wind. So, it’s worth understanding how climate change will affect horses and properties into the future, and what you can do to prepare for these changes.

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There are gadgets and gismos used for countless applications when it comes to handling or training horses. Some are of the gentlest nature, others stem from a long history of proper horsemanship, and some still exist that maybe never served much purpose other than to inflict pain. Regardless of how we may personally feel about a certain training tool, there is one constant piece of equipment that is used in many different areas of the horse world: the chain.

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The Environment and Climate Change Canada website lists the top ten weather stories of 2021. Topping the list is the extreme heat (Record Heat Under the Dome) that hit the province of British Columbia in June and is described as the deadliest weather event in Canadian history. Second on the list is BC’s Flood of Floods in November. These two climate events were also ranked among the world’s most devastating this year.

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Sharing Costs, Spreading Risks - Racehorse syndicates have been around for a long time, but it’s only in the last 20 years that sport horse syndicates have become more common. In the horse world, a syndicate is generally a group of people who pool their funds to invest in a horse together and share the horse’s annual costs. Everyone who “buys in” is a shareholder and owns a portion of the horse for a set period of time, or until the horse is resyndicated or sold.

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I smiled, walking past the airport hat kiosk, en route to a judging adventure at an exhibition in Eastern Canada. I’d be wearing several hats and judging a kaleidoscope of classes at the show — equitation, road hack, reining, Western riding, working hunter, pleasure driving, driven dressage, conformation, showmanship, miniature horses… and more!

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A recent study has identified factors associated with an increased risk of falls during the cross-country phase of eventing and has suggested modifications that could reduce the risk of injury, making it safer for horse and rider. Higher-level events, longer courses, more starters in the cross-country phase, and less experienced horses and athletes all showed an increased risk. Identifying these risk factors allows riders and event organisers to assess the level of risk for individual horse, rider, and event combinations.

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How to Bounce Back - As I sit down to write about burnout, I step back through time into memories of moments where I felt overwhelmed by frustration, exhaustion, and an agonizing feeling of not achieving. A feeling of not measuring up to expectations. When I was in this mental place, every unsuccessful show and difficult ride left me feeling stressed, anxious, and like a failure. The thoughts, Why do I do this? and I can’t do this any more! played on repeat in my head. I was spending so much time and money and I wanted success badly.

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Manitoba Horse Council