Found 32 Results from Adventures of a Wildie Colt

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First-Ever Driving Clinic

Last week this time I was white-knuckling it over black ice (trucks in ditches everywhere) on the road up to Olds College where the Chinook Driving Club (a chapter of the Alberta Carriage Driving Association, links here and here.) had rented just-the-right-facilities for the first of a series of introductory workshops. This particular one was […]
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A Passion for Teaching

Teaching’s fascinated me since the age of 19, when my first qualification came through as a British Horse Society Assistant Instructor at the Grade 4 sanctioned Harrogate Equestrian Centre, a very different animal to North American models. We are, er, I admit talking quite a few decades back, but a stack of qualified instructors teaching […]
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Mops Shows The Apache How It’s Done

It’s late now, winds fierce and smelling almost of rain on these Eastern slopes this January night, although a friend telephoned earlier from Golden in B.C. on the other side of the Great Divide where apparently it’s dumping metres, just metres of heavy sticking snow along the Columbia River basins there. I’m just in from […]
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Pushing Past the Cold

January’s roared in like a lion, not unusual for Alberta but character forming all the same. The normal lined work gloves cope to about –20, but when temperatures seriously zero down, down, down fingers have about 10 minutes before numbing begins. Canadian Tire had a special blowout sale and one stout pair appealed for all […]
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Giving Thanks and Getting Ready

Winter, say First Nation native people, is when nature slows down, sleeps, hibernates, re-charges itself, a time for reflections. Feeding this morning, just before the seasons turn into longer days again (oh yes please!), the hoar frost is spikily luxuriant along the fence-line, and a thick furline sits atop the round bale where yesterday the […]
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Of Books and Adrenaline Junkies

“Horse people,” remarked a fellow equestrian instructor a while back, “still buy books,” and surprised, I realized she’s absolutely right. Mind, my local library reports a decrease in Kindle-read literature, but a surprising 16 per cent increase from last year on books borrowed – all good news for writers, authors and publishers, horse books and […]
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Working on the Small Things

Chinooks – the Alberta foothills crazy heating system that load up temperatures sometimes twenty, thirty degrees at a time – have hovered around this week, melting snow, but now we have ice sheets everywhere after puddles freeze solid overnight. Working horses is tricky, lumpy pastures underfoot with frozen tussocks, hidden slide spots and watering late […]
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Long-Lining in the Snow

Alberta’s weather sharpened into deepest winter temperatures and powder snow last week, dreadfully character forming when late-night haying – as I do to give the home herd boys a metabolism boost in those colder dark hours last thing around midnight. Pile on another couple of layers, Asheton, slide on Thinsulate gloves (so good!), padded-out trousers […]
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It’s-all-Good Update, Then Into the Backcountry

For a five-year old the Mops-horse (his pasture name) is going through a real ugly duckling phase as muscles and ligaments shape shift and more circle work comes onto the agenda. Odd, but true and perhaps not helped by a pot belly that’s suddenly exploded from nowhere, the product of his never-ending enthusiasm for food, […]
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Time’s Up

Monday morning was an exquisite late Indian summer day. My neighbours to the south – with two huge hayfields cut incredibly late due to crazy weather this year, and turned once already, so heavy was the crop – were praying. The weather forecast hammering in was appalling with huge snowstorms, wet and severe and predicted […]
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Next Challenge: Finding a Saddle to Fit It’s-All-Good

Sports psychology fascinates me, and often inspires a new line of approach on how to think about a horse, a situation, a competition ride. Proponent of positive thinking, Martin Seligmann’s definition of ‘being-in-the-zone’ has proven accurate beyond measure, and recently Robert Holden’s revoltingly titled book “Be Happy” has enough mental exercises to keep a Zen […]
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Mops Gets a Trim and It’s All Good

Mops, aka It’s-all-Good the Challenge colt, is the first of the horses to call a greeting, always, as the back porch door opens every morning. Ears curved sharp forward, eyes watching too as I move around the property. Visitors have commented on the bond, the constant deep nickering when we start working together. Those calm […]
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It’s-all-Good Gets an Adjustment

Challenges everywhere right now – not ‘just’ the North American Horsewoman’s Challenge. That’s an understatement, but let’s keep to the youngster right now, and he’s throwing ‘em up everywhere – my brain cells are tired! When he arrived back at Easter, underneath that cascade of thick black mane was one supremely knotted neck, with ligaments […]
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So Many Firsts

We are experiencing firsts for everything lately that are piling one into another now: first time the colt’s worked out with other humans, first time he’s been pastured with other horses since arriving, first time he’s worked ‘flagged’ in the century-old corral, and, a bonus, he’s really starting to get ‘unblocked’ on that left side. […]
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Of Body Language and Blankets

A young American has been staying with me these last 10 days, on an impromptu kind of intensive crash course (with no crashes, mind!) in learning horse body language, then adapting long lining for horse therapeutic purposes. She will put this knowledge into practice for her fourth-year degree course in equine entrepreneurship down in Ohio. […]