June 15, 2012 12:00
Prairie Brae Donkey Jumping - above
Prairie Brae Grace & Spirit - right
By Carol M. Upton of Dreams Aloud Promotions
Karl and Grace Krautt had never even heard of Miniature Donkeys when they paid their first visit to a Breeders’ farm. Their lives had been busy with agricultural work and they were looking for something to fill that void as they neared retirement, but were not actually intending to start a business. All that fell by the wayside when the donkeys captured their hearts.
“Miniature Donkeys were such fun,” Grace explains. “We purchased a couple of bred Jennets and for the next few years, the business end developed itself.”
Little did Grace and Karl know that they would go on to breed and sell these loveable creatures, enter parades, show at events like the Calgary Stampede’s World Miniature Donkey Show, and do nursing home and kindergarten visits. Prairie Brae’s mission is based on the Three C’s of Confirmation, Character and Customer Satisfaction. Their donkeys are hardy, intelligent, gentle animals that love human attention and make excellent pets. They can be taught to jump, pull carts, carry packs on hiking trips, and participate in therapeutic settings. Prairie Brae Donkeys have also competed and won Champion Awards at many shows, both at halter and in performance.
Aside from getting the donkeys into the public eye, the Krautts have found their website to be their most powerful business tool. Professional development includes involvement in events with other breeders and organizations like the Canadian Donkey and Mule Association, where ideas for marketing, care and training are exchanged.
Grace describes spending time with the animals as the fun side of the business. Miniature Donkeys are easy maintenance, but feeding, grooming, trimming, training and public visits definitely are all part of the day. Grace finds her greatest joy in the smiles of children, seniors and others with special needs when they are in the therapeutic presence of a gentle donkey. She feels that public education is key in helping people to understand these animals more accurately.
“Donkeys are not stubborn,” she says. “They don’t kick, but they are cautious and clever. They become trusting with patient handling and will attempt difficult maneuvers, both in lead line and driven.”
After nineteen years of working with Miniature Donkeys, Karl and Grace are always thrilled to share their passion for these charismatic creatures with whom they have found a life of joy, companionship and entertainment.
“They have an aura of peace,” Grace says, “that you cannot explain in a few words on paper.”
Karl and Grace Krautt and Prairie Brae Miniature Donkeys live in Stettler, Alberta. They welcome inquiries and enjoy talking “Donkey” at 403-742-1144, firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.prairiebrae.com.
June 10, 2012 19:12
Strathcona Animal Bedding (SAB) was started because of our desire to see higher quality wood bedding that would help ensure optimal performance and health. Numerous stories abound about horses with heaves, stall hacking, owners leaving the barn with their eye glasses coated in dust, high levels of ammonia in barns, large wood shards and even paint chips in bedding. We had personally experienced poor quality bedding material and we were determined to find better bedding.
When we trialed Kentucky Komfort Platinum shavings in our own barn - we were amazed at the improvement of the air quality, the lack of dust, the absence of ammonia odour, and the overall freshness of our barn. We knew immediately that Kentucky Komfort Platinum Shavings was a premium bedding with an economical price tag. Strathcona Animal Bedding (SAB) now represents the Kentucky Komfort label across Western Canada through a network of dealers and small retail outlets.
Canadian horse owners and veterinarians are demanding quality bedding. Horses spend considerable time in their stalls. The bedding material is just as important as good nutrition and exercise. Owners are taking a "preventative" course of action – proactive action prevents expensive vet bills and eliminates the disappointment and guilt owners experience over a preventable disability. Horse ownership is an expensive venture, ensuring clean, dry bedding is an important part of keeping the horse healthy.
Kentucky Komfort bedding is one of the most cost effective brands of wood bedding on the market including bulk delivery. Kentucky Komfort bedding is compressed 4:1; you know exactly how much you receive in each bag. Kentucky Komfort bedding is manufactured from chemical free 100% pine, bored into soft, small flakes that sift easily, reducing the amount Kentucky Komfort bedding material that is removed with manure. The bedding is 100% dust-screened before packaging so you are purchasing all bedding with little or no dust in each vacuum-sealed bag.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Kentucky Komfort pine bedding is its natural capacity to absorb and break down both ammonia from urine and nitrogen in feces. Pine also has terpenes which are a natural antimicrobial that help to inhibit insects - terpenes are Nature's antiseptic and cleaning power.
Strathcona Animal Bedding (SAB) has enjoyed terrific growth since beginning two years ago, with a wonderful group of clients which includes individual owners, large commercial barns, agricultural, show and veterinary facilities. SAB is slowly branching out with individual dealers who distribute under our banner across Alberta and Saskatchewan. Currently there are 13 locations where horse owners can obtain individual bags or pallets of material. SAB ships directly from the mill for large orders of over 1,000 bags. Strathcona Animal Bedding (SAB) is always on the lookout for individuals who will make exceptional dealers. They need to have exceptional knowledge about horses and believe as SAB does - horse health is holistic and involves all aspects of the horse's environment, bedding included.
Strathcona Animal Bedding (SAB) is beginning to handle products which increase effectiveness within barns in addition to consulting services focused on barn management, passing along tips and methods that are effective in providing a healthy environment for horses and handlers.
Strathcona Animal Bedding (SAB) strongly believes that Western Canada has a bright future; SAB will be providing quality bedding for many years.
June 8, 2012 19:02
By Carol M. Upton
Nettie Barr is the founder of Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc. and a recognized Horse Specialist, leading an extraordinarily busy life as a program developer, consultant, clinician and guest speaker for various clubs, businesses, organizations and universities. Her road to success included the challenge of a serious riding accident that saw her give up horses for a number of years. Over time, Barr’s husband introduced her to Natural Horsemanship and with his encouragement, she began taking and eventually teaching professional clinics.
As happens with so many equine businesses, one thing led to another. Before long Barr was studying Equine Behavior and not only facilitating clinics. but also speaking at conferences on such diverse topics as Natural Horsemanship principles, Equine Behavior, Effective Horsemanship and Safe Handling Procedures.
“I believe it is important to work as a team with other experts and organizations,” Nettie says, “Together we are stronger and can make a difference.”
Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc. has the mission of setting both horse and handler up for success with lasting results. It effectively reaches all levels of equine enthusiasts and applies to all disciplines of horsemanship.
A typical day at Six-Barr Ranch includes a 5 a.m. horse feeding, office work for a few hours, back out to the horses, and into the office again from lunch until 2 pm. When there is a clinic at the ranch, it will begin at 8:30 a.m. after a busy night of greeting participants and getting their horses settled in their stalls. Clinics run on a tight schedule over 4 days. Another typical day may include catching a 7 a.m. flight from Grande Prairie to a speaking destination, perhaps being away for 3 – 5 days.
No matter what’s on her plate, Barr’s love of her work is evident. She says that everyone has a dream with their horse or their horse-related profession, and her greatest joy is to see her client dreams come true.
Time management is a huge challenge. Barr prioritizes diligently and focuses clearly on what’s next. She sees the most important quality in her work as desire to learn and keep on learning. Added to that is caring about people, maintaining focus, and remaining professional in all circumstances.
There is a misconception that Natural Horsemanship is linked to anthropomorphism, giving horses human qualities/emotions. Barr quickly clears up that dangerous notion. A horse, she says, is 1200 lbs of opinion and it’s important that the handler be the leader.
Barr rejuvenates through family time and also by going on a peaceful ride through the woods with no particular destination in mind.
Barr attributes the success of her business to the love and commitment of family and friends. She now has a certification program in place for Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc. Future plans include having the entire program on DVD and on Audio CD, and continued speaking engagements, with the intention of reaching as many equestrians as possible.
Nettie Barr is a passionate force in the horse industry. As owner and founder of Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc., Nettie has been conducting clinics since 1999 and has developed her own style and teaching methodologies. She is on the board of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta. For more details, please visit: www.canadiannaturalhorsemanship.com
Nettie Barr with horse in River
June 2, 2012 10:28
Hello and Welcome!
Blogging and social networking as a communication environment is one of those great mediums that we are very excited to be a part of.
Our clear objective in joining all of you at HorseOwnerToday is to post information on the web about risk management and insurance as it relates to horses and equine activity for everyone’s benefit.
That said, let me tell you about myself and how I got to where we are today.
Some of you may know me as, Mike King the “Insurance guy”. I am proud to say that my articles regarding insurance over several years in a variety of publications and public speaking Q and A sessions across Canada have been read and seen by a wide and large audience.
However, many of you may not know that I have been involved in the horse industry for more than 40 years – riding, training, managing a barn, competing, teaching, judging, horse show organizing. I seem to have seen just about all of it – and for the last 17 years I have been a dedicated insurance broker specializing in the development and delivery of insurance products and services across Canada – all related to horses.
Drawing on these years of interacting with horses and their people there is no doubt in my mind that the basic needs of the equine community are the same no matter where the horses are. We all thirst for information on ways to deal with life with horses and the best information comes from others who have been there, done that.
I am hopefully that over time, I can share solid, consistent and non-partisan information about many insurance related topics including:
a) What insurance is (and what it is not)
b) How you can use insurance to your advantage
c) How to avoid duplication in coverage
d) What type of insurance you ‘really need’ for you and your horse
This great thing about this site and blogging in general is that all of us get to have a conversation and with that all said, I really hope to hear from you with questions/comments – whatever!
Mike King is the horse industry specialist at Capri Insurance and is responsible for the risk management and insurance programs which benefit various regional, provincial and national equine associations.
June 1, 2012 14:27
Heather has been providing quality financial and tax services to clients in the Kamloops area for over 20 years. Heather’s focus is on owner-managed businesses. She provides assurance, business advisory and taxation advice as well as support for electronic accounting programs such as Quickbooks and Simply Accounting. Heather takes pride in providing personal service to clients which is reflected in the high level of confidence they place in her.
Heather began her public practice career in 1989 with a local firm and joined Munro & Company in 1995. She received her Certified Management Accountant designation in 2000. When not working, she enjoys traveling, adding to her penguin collection and reading.
Heather will be a featured blogger in "Equine Enterprise".
June 1, 2012 14:14
By Carol M. Upton
As a young girl, Randi Thompson dreamed she was a horse. She says that was the beginning of a life long journey where the spirit of the horse inspired her to reach heights that she never could have imagined. Today, Thompson is CEO and Founder of the award-winning How to Market Your Horse Business and Horse and Rider Awareness, and is internationally recognized for her pioneering work in social media.
How to Market Your Horse Business was launched experimentally on Facebook in February 2010 to see if it was possible to create effective marketing without a website. Over 600 people joined the fan page in the first week. Since then, it has grown even more rapidly, been featured in national equestrian publications and won multiple awards, including the Equestrian Social Media Awards (2011/2012) and the Top Ten Best Small Business Facebook Pages for Social Media Examiner (2011).
What does all this mean to the average horse business owner? In a nutshell, you can do it too.
Thompson says, “If you are in the horse business, do yourself a favor. Get into social media and see what it can do for you and your career.”
A typical day for Thompson includes networking behind the scenes, creating educational content, programs and products that make online equine business marketing so much easier. Future plans include live events and a TV show.
Thompson lives her belief that business opportunities are only limited by imagination. Her own inspiration comes from seeing those around her succeed. She was delighted to find that this year, most of the finalists and winners of the Equestrian Social Media Awards were fans of How to Market Your Horse Business.
“Once people discover how to create online comments that sell and engage people, they will find that their business will take off in ways they do not expect.”
Time is a major challenge for Thompson, as it is for all business owners. In her other enterprise, Horse and Rider Awareness, she trains dressage riders for competition. She continues to expand by creating online programs for horse trainers and instructors.
We hear much these days about following our passions and living our dreams. Thompson is a strong example of this vision. Whether you have been working with social media or are thinking about it, How to Market Your Horse Business is the perfect place to discover the most effective ways to market yourself online or anywhere.
Randi Thompson is internationally recognized in social media for her award winning “How to Market Your Horse Business” and “Horse and Rider Awareness." She is a keynote speaker at national events, author, and expert legal consultant for the horse industry.