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Meet "Gillian" HOT Sales Force Consultant

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 13, 2012 12:44

Gillian hails from the Aspen Parklands region of Saskatchewan, Canada and has been in love with horses since her first pony ride at the local fair.
"Its not always about riding"- Gillian's personal motto, the relationship is the priority at work here.  "I may not be an expert in any of the disciplines of horsemanship, but I treasure the relationship I have with my mare, and her ability to help me develop trust and respect within myself."

Gillian brings a strong background in sales and public relations to the HOT Sales Force.

Gillian enjoys getting out and meeting like-minded horsey folks and looks forward to assisting Horse Owner Today in becoming the Go-To site for all things horsey.

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The Story Behind "Hoof Prints On My Heart"

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 10, 2012 18:56


All of my life I have had a deep and undeterred love for horses, since my earliest recollections as a child, I was enamored with horses. Even though my parents love of horses was not obsessive to the extent that my own was, they realized the great "need" within me and allowed me to have a horse when we moved to the farm when I was 10.
I was so crazy about horses that I put my creative and artistic talents to use by perfecting my drawings of horses and any other talent I found within myself and directed it horse-ward. If I learned a new creative skill such as cross stitch or crocheting I honed that skill to make something to do with horses. Not only did I love horses but I loved to be creative with my hands. During my junior and high school years I discovered that I liked to write creatively as well as read. I read any and every horse book I could get my hands on. I was a creative writer and wrote poems and short stories mostly for my own enjoyment. For family and friends, I wrote lengthy letters when I was away from home. I just enjoyed putting pen to paper. Over the years, I collected my own writings within a folder, for future reference.
My horse experience evolved over the years, I bought, sold, trained, traded and rode horses mostly for the sheer enjoyment of being with horses. The one thing I always did through all the years of horse ownership was love my horses and share my love with family, friends and many people that I met along the way. Somewhere I misplaced or lost my ability to write but I perfected my adventurous stories and told them with flair and flourish. I discovered many things about myself and horses along the way and as I matured I realized I had something to share.
At one point in my life I had plans to create a drawing and the title of that drawing was to be "Hoof Prints on My Heart". Life happened and I never got to draw that piece of art but in the back of my mind, I thought 'I might write a book one day.' Then, that day just happened.
A series of devastating life events motivated me to write "Hoof Prints on My Heart". I felt compelled to tell my story, I knew that I had something important to share with other horse owners and for those that have always loved horses but maybe never even owned one. Perhaps some horse owners have already discovered what I learned about horses but I also felt that the way I discovered this "magic" about horses was different than what many others may have experienced. It deserved telling.
My future writing plans may very well include a second, follow up book to "Hoof Prints on My Heart" depending on how well received my first book is. I would like to build up a fan base first. I will be planning to attend a local trade show and a few book signings locally and at Paradise Stable Horse Rescue near Saskatoon. I am donating a portion of my book sales to Paradise Stable Horse Rescue to assist in the excellent work they do for neglected and mistreated horses in Saskatchewan.
As for Zelta's Canadians, we are breeding only 2 top quality Canadian mares to our foundation bred Canadian stallion, Davidson Josua Ram this year. I have several horses to train under saddle this year and a few more horses than I can actually ride comfortably, so our showing plans are on hold for another year. I will be taking my children and a few riding students to ride in our local Canada Day parade this year as well as several trail rides throughout the summer months.

by Mitzy Tait-Zeller for www.HorseOwnerToday.com ,

Zelta's Canadians http://www.horseownertoday.com/vendor.aspx?vid=66

Hoof Prints on My Heart http://www.facebook.com/MitzysManeTales

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Proactive Horse Ownership

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 28, 2012 11:35

Photo credit:  Danette Stevenson - HOT Sales Force Consultant

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Meet Judi - "HOT" Sales Force Consultant

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 26, 2012 08:08

Judi "Hot" Sales Force Consultant & Lester


I am a career florist but at heart my true love is horses!  I am starting to ride this spring, after losing my beloved Lu two years ago, it is time to get riding.  A strong background in retail sales and real estate is providing a jump start to becoming a HOT sales consultant.  Give me a call or email and I will help you become HOT advertising vendor, enjoying the benefits of our amazing on-line traffic.


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General | training

Meet Danette- "HOT" Sales Force Consultant

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 26, 2012 07:20

HOT SalesForce - Danette Stevenson of Sherwood Park, Alberta


 I was and am in love with horses, for as long as I can remember,


I started riding when I was around 10, going to summer camps; I took lessons at the local stable.  When I was 14, I worked at the stable as the teacher’s assistant and cleaning stalls.  All my hard earned cash went back into buying things for the horses. 


I grew up riding English with a love for jumping. 


Several years ago I met my now husband, he grew up trail riding in the mountains with his Dad. Our first date was a trail ride in the country. 


We now live on acreage near Sherwood Park.  We have 4 horses. 


I now own a full set of western tack and we love to go horse camping to the Rocky Mountains a couple times a year.  I still train English and am in the process of working with my 4 year old Warmblood cross.


I attended NAIT where I earned my Marketing Diploma.  I have worked as an outside sales consultant for over 15 years.  My years of experience as an advertising sale rep have led to a great understanding of successful advertising campaigns and small business marketing. 

I look forward to working with Horse Owner Today and merging my career and my equine passion


"West" - as reviewed by HorseOwnerToday.com

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 23, 2012 12:40



West is a fascinating book, a riveting book.

It is rare that a book can appeal to the reader on so many levels. Aberg and Strandberg have accomplished combining folklore and documentary within the format of the coffee table book.
West is crafted in such a manner that you participate in a journey through the American West.   Lars Strandberg has created a collection of photographs that are stunning and heart wrenching, a very clear vision of the American West today.  Lars Aberg writes of their experiences throughout the journey, a European perspective of the American West including cowboy poets, country doctors, cattle drives, and surprisingly the economic impact of modern culture on the American West. Lars Aberg, Lars Strandberg, Ronnie Nilsson are an outstanding team.

The cover of West begs to be touched!   The texturing and stamping contrasted with slick binding, patriotic red and blue dividing ribbons and nostalgic photography makes it difficult to resist picking up. 

“Lars Strandberg works internationally with both feature and commercial photography. Lars Åberg is a journalist and author, writing for several of the major Swedish newspapers and magazines. Ronnie Nilsson is an acclaimed art director and designer, known for award-winning books.” http://www.gibbs-smith.com
West is a definite “must have” book. 

By author: Lars Aberg   By photographer: Lars Strandberg   Designed by: Ronnie Nilsson
Product Code: 23502
ISBN: 978-1-4236-2350-2
Size: 8 11/16" X 12 3/8" X 1.25"
Price:  $45.00
For addition information and ordering http://www.gibbs-smith.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=3293

Reviewed by HorseOwnerToday.com


book review

Horse as Teacher: The Path to Authenticity - Reviewed by Carol M. Upton

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 13, 2012 12:25

Horse as Teacher:

The Path to Authenticity

Editor, Marilyn Schwader

Clarity of Vision, 2009

Soft Cover, $19.95

ISBN: 978-0-9824494-0-0

Available at www.horseasteacher.com


Reviewed by Carol M. Upton


It has been my privilege to collaborate with the talented and dedicated authors who wrote their stories here. They have reminded me of the healing gifts and gentle mirroring a horse provides when you are willing to let the lessons in and open up to following your heart.  ~ Marilyn Schwader


Most riders are aware that they can benefit from interactions with their horses. Not all of them know how powerful those lessons can be or how far a higher level of connection and consciousness with a horse can actually take them. Horses as Teacher is a fascinating story collection, the first in a planned series, to present ten authors who thoroughly explore this topic using their personal experiences.


Learning from and healing with horses is still a relatively new field, in which horses are used to assist in human emotional growth. Horses are large herd animals that have the ability to honestly mirror what their handler’s body language is telling them. Horses provide an ideal opportunity for humans to shift deeply from within.


Horse as Teacher distinguishes itself from other books in the field, not only because the stories are exceptionally well-written, but because readers are treated to each author’s heartfelt discussion of her own beginning path toward a gentler horse consciousness. This often involves encounters with very difficult horses, and experiences of fear, depression, anger, and other challenging life circumstances.


These authors come from varied professional backgrounds – Stormy May, Founder of Stormy May Productions, Melisa Pearce, CEO of Touched by a Horse, and Kathy Pike, Founder of the Mind Body Method, to name only a few. They all have one thing in common – they learned to listen and see in new ways what the horse, with exquisite sensitivity, was offering to teach them.


This book will educate and inspire anyone who is looking for a fresh approach to greater partnership with horses. Readers are sure to learn something new about themselves along the way.


The Horse as Teacher Book Series is dedicated to providing thought-provoking books for individuals who love horses and want to experience the special relationship possible between species. For more information on the authors and the series, or to become one of the authors, visit www.horseasteacher.com.

Ride from the Heart DVD - The Art of Communication By Jenny Rolfe

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 28, 2012 07:10




Ride from the Heart DVD

The Art of Communication

By Jenny Rolfe

Cracking Media

50 minutes - $37.00

To purchase on-line, go to: http://www.spanishdressagehorses.com

Also available on Amazon


Reviewed by Carol M. Upton http://www.dreamsaloud.ca

Training is about connection with our horse with love, harmony and respect. The more we understand the ways of the horse, the more we understand our own feelings. As a result we can live in more harmony - not only with our horse - but with ourselves. ~ Jenny Rolfe


U.K. riding instructor Jenny Rolfe teaches innovative techniques of core breathing to connect with the horse and help the rider to find harmony in body, mind and spirit. Now these techniques are available in progressive and well-organized detail on the DVD Ride from the Heart.


Rolfe’s principles are based in dressage, but applicable to all forms of riding.  She demonstrates with her Iberian stallions using liberty work, not only as a training aid, but also as a warm-up, re-establishing connection on the ground prior to riding. The object is calm, assertive leadership, and total empathy between horse and handler.


The DVD includes common training tips such as not pulling on a horse’s head when leading. There are also excellent demonstrations of Rolfe’s exercise system to improve the rider’s body awareness. Exercises, loosely based on Tai Chi, are done in standing positions. The rider is then soft and relaxed when mounted, and thus the horse is as well. Most athletes already use such techniques prior to competition, but not much has been offered on DVD for the equestrian.


Instructors will value this DVD as a teaching tool for all levels, but it additionally offers fresh perspectives on position and groundwork. It is really for anyone who wants to help their horse become a more confident athlete and simply create a better ride.


Jenny Rolfe’s clients come from all over the world and include those professionally involved with horses, among them BHS trainers, physiotherapists and natural horsemanship instructors. She is also an artist and author of the book Ride from the Heart and her upcoming 2012 release Breathe Life Into Your Riding.

HorseOwnerToday and Elaine Ward of Western Dressage in Canada

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 11, 2012 16:05



1.  Tell HorseOwnerToday about your journey to developing Western Dressage in Canada to where it is today.
I've been involved with Western Style dressage for the past 30 years. I was a successful youth rider, and did the 4H, Paint and Quarter Horse Shows. I was learning dressage at the time also. My first dressage lesson was back in 1973! When I started teaching professionally, I would have students that would come to me with their Western horses.  I would work on really basic dressage exercises to improve the gaits and suppleness of their horses, and work on the rider's  position. It's really no different for me. Good training is good training. I teach the horse to use his hind end, and teach the rider how to achieve it.  Ideally we want the horse to carry it's self. My best analogy to riders is to imagine the horse is like a motor boat. Without the power of the engine (the horses' hind end) to lift the bow (the horses' front end), you will never have a horse that is light and can carry it's self.
Western Style dressage as a discipline is so new, that our job right now is to educate riders to the benefits of it. To develop a better level of communication, and a higher level of learning. What's really cool about Western Style dressage is that it is a progressive training, and the levels of tests increase in difficulty to reflect that. Even if someone has no interest in showing, the tests are just that, the ability to ride patterns of increased difficulty and to ride to a standard.

2.  What changes have you seen in the the Dressage in Canada market in the past 5 years?

I think the market has really not changed. You have two types of riders out there. The competitive and the recreational rider. It has always stayed that way. But on the other hand, the generations are getting older. What I have discovered from talking to people is that the older riders no longer wish to sit in a dressage saddle. They find the Western Style of riding much more relaxed and less restrictive. Those riders have also gone out and purchased a more average moving horse with a good mind. They still want to learn dressage, but not on a big moving, active minded horse. They love the camaraderie of riding with friends, and still want to go out there and learn, but not with the big warmblood or hot Thoroughbred types anymore. I'm not saying that Western Style Dressage is for the older riders, but from looking at several studies, the demographics point to the over 45 rider. I have discovered the same thing from talking to people interested in Western Style Dressage.  WSD also is important to the youth out there too. We would like those riders to develop a good foundation for training, no matter which discipline they choose to ride. Dressage is the French word for Training. Training done correctly.

3.   What changes do you predict for the future of Western Dressage in Canada in the next 5 years? 

The goal of the Western Style Dressage Association is to get WSD out there to every corner of Canada, through demos, displays, clinics, etc. Our long term vision is to have Equine Canada except WSD as an actual discipline with a section in the rule book. In the mean time, it's all about education!  We would like to see WSD included in regular dressage competitions. We would like to have an affiliate in every Province!  http://westernstyledressage.ca/

"Gumption and Grit" Edited by Sage Birchwater, Reviewed by Carol M. Upton

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 10, 2012 17:46

Gumption and Grit:
Women of the Cariboo Chilcotin
Edited by Sage Birchwater
Caitlin Press, 2009
Soft Cover, $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-894759-37-3
Available at bookstores and on Amazon
Reviewed by Carol M. Upton – www.dreamsaloud.ca

They just do what they have to do, with love and humor, be it making a home in the wilderness, writing books, breaking horses, trying to make the world a better place, raising families, raising spectacular gardens, putting their lives back together after some disaster, sometimes all of the above.
 ~ Diana French, Foreword to Gumption and Grit

The women of British Columbia’s Cariboo region were and are strong souls, experienced with hardship and adversity. Gumption and Grit is the first book in a new series that will showcase the lives and history of these women. This collection of 35 stories, some beginning in the early 1900’s, will resonate with ranch folks and history lovers everywhere.

Often living miles deep in unpredictable wilderness, Cariboo women had to summon their courage to overcome the day-to-day hardships. Jessie Moon had her foot stepped on by a horse while in late pregnancy, triggering premature labor, leaving her crippled and needing help to care for the new baby. Josephine Gregg recalls how her family coped with the toughest times by living entirely from the land – hunting, trapping, fishing, canning and preserving. Maddie Jack was 12 years old when she traveled with relatives through icy wilderness by horse-drawn sleigh to celebrate Christmas Mass with the one priest at Burns Lake. Chiwid was a reclusive first nations woman who lived outside, shunning the company of others and surviving the extremes of the frigid Chilcotin winters, for 50 years.

The women all had to fulfill multiple roles – from mother to trapper to rancher to homesteader, volunteer and business owner. Gumption and Grit is a fascinating tribute to their triumphs and survivorship.

Royalties from book sales will go to the Williams Lake Women’s Contact Society whose members originally started collecting stories back in 2002.

Sage Birchwater is the author of several historical books. He was a staff writer for the Williams Lake Tribune until his recent retirement. He still lives in Williams Lake and he has seven grandkids, a dog and a cat.