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DOL Withdraws Proposed Child Labor Rules on Farms

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 2, 2012 16:33


On April 26, the Obama Administration announced its plans to withdraw a Department of Labor (DOL) proposed child labor rule applicable to agriculture.  The proposed rule would have severely limited the ability of young people to work on farms and ranches. 

“We are pleased the Administration responded to the concerns of the agricultural community and decided against changing the current rules for young people working on farms and ranches. This was a poorly conceived rule and they did the right thing by withdrawing it,” said AHC President Jay Hickey.   

The proposed rule would have placed new limitations on the ability of young people to work for pay on farms or ranches not owned solely by their parents and would have effectively barred employees under 16 from working in most capacities in agriculture, especially around livestock, such as horses.

The AHC had been working with a broad coalition of agricultural organizations to convince the Administration and Congress that these rules were ill-considered, would prevent young people from becoming involved in agriculture, and would negatively impact family farms and ranches. In November 2011, the AHC submitted comments opposing the rule that can be found here.      

“When the DOL proposed this rule we don’t think they completely understood the impact it would have on young people who work in agriculture. Thousands of Americans from the agricultural community, including the horse community submitted comments to the DOL explaining the problems with this rule and also contacted their Member of Congress to express their concerns,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass.  “The Administration listened and withdrew the rule.  This is a good example of the way the system should work.”

The Administration has stated it will not re-propose any new regulations on this issue. Instead it will “work with rural stakeholders to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”

The AHC encourages members of the horse community to visit its website www.horsecouncil.org to learn how federal legislation and regulations impact them and how they can get involved.
If you have any questions please contact the AHC.

Link to Full Article on AHC Website


As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.                       

The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen's associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.


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employment | general

Spanish Equitation Clinic - Prince Albert

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 23, 2012 12:14

Maestro German (Her-mawn) Baca was born in Peru, and was introduced to the Classical Spanish style of training by his father, at an early age. In the tradition of Old Spain, He worked training horses and mules at his uncles hacienda, and in the tradition of Old Spain, eventually followed his father, and grandfather before him in achieving the title of Maestro(Master) Trainer.

He has developed the ability to connect with the horse, and sense the horses needs, wants, or fears. This instinct allows him to create amazing changes in the horse, in a relatively short amount of time. He also uses his instinct to help riders achieve harmony and balance with their horse. Buy teaching them what to look for the rider can begin to understand what their horse needs of them in order to perform to it's full potential.

He has combined the art of dressage, with basic horsemanship,  and years of experience, to become a truly breathtaking horseman. Always interested in learning more, he was fortunate to be able to attend several private schooling sessions with Jose Manuel Martin de Leon, of Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, Jerez (Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art)
http://www.realescuela.org/ing/home.htm  This was his introduction to the world of high school dressage, and when he was able to start shaping his own style of horsemanship.
The theories, methods, and skills he has developed allow him to work with all types of horses in a wide range of disciplines.

He has trained many horses, including several peruvian paso national champions in Canada and the US.  Some other note worthy horses that have been shaped by German are the Canadian Champion Andalusian Stallion El Santo, and the Kiger Mustang Stallion "Donner", who was purchased by Dreamworks studios, to be a living model for the Animated film Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron. German was hired to train him to work at liberty in the studio with motion sensors on to map the way his muscles moved. He had learn to do everything from run and jump to rear, buck, and kick on cue, with no tack to interfere with the readings.

His calm energy and keen sense of humor creates a fun, inviting environment for his students. Always the gentleman, he uses the same firm but gentle approach with his students as he does with his horses. Ever willing to share his knowledge, it is his desire to pass on what he has learned for the next generation to become Maestro Trainers.

Saskatoon Meet N Great- Paul Dufresne "Training for Courage" April 21, 2012

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 20, 2012 20:14

Due to truck breakdown Paul will not be in Saskatoon tonight, tentatively rescheduled for Monday/Tuesday, will post new time.

Paul Defresne of  "Training for Courage" will be at Forest Hall Andulusians, April  21, 2012  for a potluck meet and greet beginning at 6 pm, approximately 6 miles south of Saskatoon on Highway 219, west side of the highway, big red gates...if you get to the curve you have gone too far....for more info 306-220-5797



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clinic | general | symposium | workshop

Congratulations to DR. CAMILLE RYAN 2012 - Endeavour Executive Award

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 14, 2012 06:42

2012 Endeavour Executive Award

Media profile
“In order to achieve goals for food security and ensure
economic prosperity in agriculture, nations must work
together to develop methods to streamline agricultural-
based research, to optimize investment and to ensure
those agricultural innovations are adopted downstream.”
– Global Harvest Initiative, 2011
Dr. Camille Ryan, a Professional Research Associate at the College of Agriculture & Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, has received a 2012 Endeavour Executive Award in Australia. She will be hosted by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) in Canberra through June 2012.
GRDC is one of the world’s top leaders in sustainable research and development (R&D) within the agricultural grains industry. Dr. Ryan will work primarily at the head office in Canberra, but will also visit other sites throughout the country. Her professional development experience with GRDC offers a way in which to observe and participate in GRDC decision-making, management processes and daily activities.
With an interdisciplinary research background across disciplines such as intellectual property management, commerce and trade, political studies and agricultural grains, Camille will explore GRDC, its mandates and strategies as well as its links to and influence of agriculture in Australia. She will investigate how government policy can optimize practice and connections amongst firms, organizations and institutions along the agricultural value chain in order to enhance innovation for the advancement of agriculture.
“During the Award, I have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and learn about agricultural innovation and adoption practice. Working side by side with the GRDC, I hope to be part of the team effort to establish a framework to document and measure impacts of changes in practice that will lead to a better understanding of impacts in terms of investment decisions and on-going management of projects in Australia,” Dr. Ryan said.
Dr. Ryan received her Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies – Agriculture, Agribusiness, Economics – from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. She has written articles for several publications in her field and has extensive agriculture research experience in a number of crop varieties and is an expert in Canadian agricultural policy.
The Australia Endeavour Awards are the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing study, research or professional development opportunities between Australia and the world. Applications open annually April 1st and close June 30th. Visit www.australiaawards.gov.au for more information about the application process and to read stories from past Endeavour Award Holders.



Photo Captions Contest

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 13, 2012 15:22


Lets hear the captions people, we will pick a random winner at The Mane Event, Booth 2106.....and the winner receives a

" Half Bale Pull Over Net" by Eco Nets!   Eco Nets: Feeding Horses Like Nature Intended ...




" Half Bale Pull Over net"

Danger Detective Is Now Online For Kids!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 12, 2012 06:24


The hugely popular ‘Danger Detective’ workbook has come to life online at www.EquiMania.ca.  Interactive flash activities and videos make learning about safety on the horse farm fun!  Kids can click their way to a printable certificate after completing online games in five categories:  rider safety, safety around the horse, safety around equipment, safety in the barn and safety outside.

 ‘Danger Detective on the Horse Farm’ aims to take a “byte” out of the #1 causes of horse and equipment-related injuries and fatalities to youth. The way to keep our children safe is through education, and Equine Guelph has rallied with the industry to present this significant project.  Major partners include:  Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) which receives funding from Growing Forward – a federal-provincial-territorial initiative; Equine Guelph; Equine Canada; Kubota Canada; SSG Gloves; Saddle Up SAFELY; System Fencing and Tack; University of Kentucky College of Agriculture (The Equine Initiative); University of Kentucky HealthCare; and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services.  All equine federations are on-board, including:  Alberta Equestrian Federation, Alberta Farm Safety Centre, Equine Association of Yukon, Fédération équestre du Québec, Horse Council British Columbia, Island Horse Council, Manitoba Horse Council, New Brunswick Equestrian Federation, Newfoundland Equestrian Association, Nova Scotia Equestrian Federation Ontario Equestrian Federation and Saskatchewan Horse Federation.

“Equine Guelph is excited to provide this great opportunity for kids to learn more about horses and safety online through the help of our committed industry partners,” says Gayle Ecker, Director Equine Guelph.  “The online tool is interactive and kids will have fun while learning.”

Visit www.EquiMania.ca and use your cyber-savvy to become a Danger Detective on the horse farm!


Story by:  Jackie Bellamy

Photo Caption:  Kids can go online to learn about safety on the horse farm with fun interactive activities.

Photo available:   Illustration of kids by Ruth Benns

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Stunthorse.com Mane Event Pre-Orders

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 11, 2012 09:56

Trick Training Philosophy "Train with Trust and Communication"

Trick training is a great way to foster a fabulous relationship with your horse.  In order to have a great relationship, you have to have great trust, and great communication. 

In order to make trick  training enjoyable and achievable by all, I train with grace, rather than force.

Jackie Johnson


MANE EVENT PRE-ORDERS are now being accepted. If you would like to purchase any stunthorse.com training aids, you can get package discounts, and save on shipping by pre-ordering for Pickup at the Mane Event.

Mane Event Pre-Order Show Specials:
Step by Step Trick Training Book - $20
Stunthorse.com hobble - $40
V-Rope - $20
Stunthorse.com pedestal - $100

Purchase the whole package for $160 which ...is OVER $75 IN SAVINGS

To place your order, email jackie.johnson@sasktel.net. Pre-orders can be paid using paypal.com

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Mane Event

Trick Training School Series

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 11, 2012 09:40

Trick Training Philosophy "Train with Trust and Communication"

Trick training is a great way to foster a fabulous relationship with your horse.  In order to have a great relationship, you have to have great trust, and great communication. 

In order to make trick  training enjoyable and achievable by all, I train with grace, rather than force.

Jackie Johnson

Pleased to announce that the first ever Trick Training School Series will be held in Saskatoon at Riverview Meadows, starting April 14th and 15th with Beginner Trick Training instruction. This 4 part school series will allow students inter...ested in Trick Training to fully train one of their own horses, and will qualify both the horse and handler for future hiring opportunities through stunthorse.com. Register now by calling Makayla at 306-241-3642. Each weekend of this 4 part series is $250/person plus stabling if required. Stay tuned to www.stunthorse.com as we will be making more announcements regarding this educational opportunity.

How Can Horse Farms Practice Biosecurity?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 10, 2012 14:00




Biosecurity in the horse industry can be a difficult concept to comprehend, and put into practice, especially when the average horse frequently travels off property or encounters horses that have been off the farm.  However, lack of infection control procedures can leave a barn vulnerable to all kinds of diseases.  Indeed it is an important topic to discuss with your veterinarian.  This can include subjects such as:  cleaning, disinfection, considerations to make when moving horses around and testing of horses when they become sick.  According to University of Guelph Researcher and author of the “Worms and Germs” blog, Dr. Scott Weese, “Having a basic infection control plan in place is probably the biggest thing someone can do to reduce the risk of disease.”  Weese goes on to stress,  “It does not matter what you do with your horse(s), or whether you have only one horse, or a herd of 100, as an owner you should have a general idea of the measures you are going to take in order to reduce the risk of infection.”  Weese has been working in the area of biosecurity and infection control for over 15 years trying to find better ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases with a strong emphasis on prevention including giving talks at Equine Guelph’s new biosecurity workshops and two week e-Session.


Weese studies a wide range of diseases, one of which includes current diseases where the virus may change, like the Equine Herpes virus.  He also mentions diseases that spring up out of nowhere, like West Nile virus, and cautions even though the disease may first appear on another continent we are always at risk for new and emerging diseases.


Weese and Dr. Maureen Anderson of the Ontario Veterinary College's Centre for Public Health and Zoonoseshave been tracking diseases and infections all over the world.  For the last three years they have been posting helpful information for horse and pet owners, first with “equIDblog” and now via the “Worms and Germs blog.”  Keeping tabs on emerging diseases in the area is valuable information when discussing the importance and timing of a vaccination program with your veterinarian.  This will help ensure the program is a good fit for the needs of your horse.  Weese cautions that vaccination should not be the only biosecurity practice horse owners engage in.

Any time a horse goes off the farm and encounters other horses it has a chance of contracting an infectious disease.  A few ways to lower those risks include:  avoiding nose to nose contact, not sharing water buckets and grooming equipment and avoid having people that are handling other horses handle your own horses. 


This brings us to the topic of what to do when returning from a trip off the farm.  Ideally a horse that leaves the farm and is exposed to other horses should come home to a quarantine protocol to reduce the chances of spreading infections to the entire herd.  Although this is not always possible, due consideration should be given to keeping the housing separate for horses that travel frequently especially if you also keep horses at greater risk of infection such as broodmares or foals.


Weese was the first speaker at the launch of Equine Guelph’s “Beat the Bugs” biosecurity workshops and says, “These workshops are great for getting people thinking in a broader context when it comes to infection control and putting into practice the easy day to day steps which can reduce outbreaks of disease.”


To view the Report on Research video on Biosecurity for Horse Owners go to: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9ACE18F9180735B1&feature=plcp

To learn more about protecting your horse from infectious disease- sign up for Equine Guelph’s upcoming  Biosecurity e-Session April 16 -19 at www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php

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disease | general | workshop


posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 4, 2012 09:28





Recognizing the ongoing need for equine welfare awareness, War Horse Toronto has extended the duration of its partnership with Equine Guelph until the end of June.  Mirvish Productions will generously donate $10 to the Equine Guelph-OEF ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund for each War Horse ticket purchased by OEF members for performances between February 10 – June 30, 2012. And, as a special thank you, at the performance, OEF members will receive a complimentary CD (one per order) of the music of War Horse. To order tickets, call 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333 or go online at www.mirvish.com and indicate this special benefit code – WHFUND. 

Over 160 passionate horse lovers helped raise funds for horse welfare education programs at War Horse on May 8th during the Equine Guelph Fundraising Gala.  Congratulations to Lesley Kahan of Etobicoke;  prize winner of a luncheon with Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker and Equine Guelph co-chair of research, Dr. Jeff Thomason plus a  tour of OVC and Civic Museum featuring OVC’s 150th anniversary display.  The evening was a huge success and attendees were mesmerized by the enchanting puppets!


Equine Guelph will be hosting another special evening on May 10th, 2012 for its students and avid horse enthusiasts interested in horse welfare education.   Don’t miss out on Equine Guelph’s second and final War Horse Gala:


·       Premium orchestra seating can be purchased for $100 – $140.


·       A pre-show reception with delicious appetizers will be held at 6:30 pm before the show. 


·       Attendees will be entered in a raffle to win tuition for the Equine Guelph, 12 week online Equine Welfare course (over $600 value) which begins September 2012.


·       Breyer (through Kroeger Distributing in Canada) has donated a limited number of Traditional 'Joey' model/War Horse book box sets (limited collectors' edition of 3,500) as an additional fundraiser for Equine Guelph’s evening at War Horse .  These special collector items, signed by David Mirvish himself, will be (available on a first come first serve basis) for $50.  All proceeds will be directed toward the Equine Guelph-Ontario Equestrian Federation ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund.


·       Enjoy a talk given by University of Guelph professor of veterinary anatomy, Dr. Jeff Thomason, explaining the mechanics of movement in the horse which the puppeteers have learned to perform. 


Support Equine Welfare through Education and experience the enchanting War Horse theatrical experience at the Princess of Wales Theatre.   Tickets for the May 10th Gala can be purchased by cheque only through Equine Guelph.  Contact Jackie Bellamy 519-824-4120 ext 54205 or jbellamy@uoguelph.ca for your opportunity to be a part of this very special evening. 


Story by:  Jackie Bellamy

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entertainment | general