Horse Industry

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There is a certain allure to purchasing property. For most people, this means a quaint home, a cute front porch, and a white picket fence. For horse people, this dream is multiplied. We seek limitless green pastures, a barn built for royalty, crisp and clean horse-safe fencing, and more.

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Vibrant Life Beyond 20 - Recently, I spent time with a horse named Sparky who is estimated to be over 40 years old. Understandably, you may be visualizing a tottering shell of a being, held together by medication and hay cubes, but this could not be further from the truth. Sparky is a sound, vital, cheeky, engaged fellow and the leader of the pack, although his teeth no longer work well for chewing hay. Out of curiosity, I studied his lifestyle, diet, way of being, and exercise routine with hopes of gleaning some insight to help me support my more “mature” equine clients as well as my own mare Diva, who turned 22 years old this past May.

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Nearly everything to do with horses seems to be continually rising in cost. Yet cutting corners in any way that might compromise your horse’s health and welfare is never the solution to saving money. So how can we add higher costs to what is already a tight budget, and how much further will our finances stretch?

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In England, the Romans were the first to build canals as irrigation or land drainage waterways. They used mules to haul boats loaded with cargo along those canals and it became a highly effective and economical way to transport goods. A horse towing a boat with a rope from a towpath could pull 50 times as much cargo as it could pull in a wagon on the road.

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Part of the solution for a commitment to equine welfare in Canada - The philosophy of our modern day society is often described as impermanence. Instant gratification through acquisition of “things” is a common theme in life for many and accompanying this is the reality that things which are no longer useful are readily disposed of.

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Parents of horse-crazy kids and other prospective beginners often feel at a loss as to how to get involved with horses and make the best choices in an industry they know little about. At the same time, the number of participants in the equestrian community has been steadily declining in recent years, and the increase in the average age of those remaining involved points to a strong need to encourage new people to enter the horse industry.

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How Teamwork Makes the Dream Work - High performance riders often attribute their success to a team of committed supporters and professionals who help them achieve their best while keeping their horse’s best interest at heart. But successful teams aren’t simply a collection of farriers, grooms, owners, saddle fitters, sponsors, sports psychologists, and veterinarians. According to three top-level Canadian riders — amateur jumper rider Stephanie Valdes, 2020 Paralympian dressage rider Winona Hartvikson, and veteran three-day eventing Olympian Kyle Carter — there’s a lot more to it.

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