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How to Host and Organize a Trail Ride

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 6, 2011 13:49

 A simple step-by-step guide

 1. Gather the following information:

a. Ride location (include directions if needed)

b. Day and Date

c. Ready-to-Ride time

d. For everyone's safety, dogs are welcome in camp, but dogs, loose horses

and stallions are usually not permitted on rides.

e. Short description of footing, etc. (Some riders will have to decide to shoe

 or bring boots for their horses.) If the trail is difficult, riders should be

advised. Elevation gain is useful info, if available.

f. Approximate length of ride, whether it will be overnight, a pack trip, etc.

g. Contact phone & email

h. What extra things do riders bring with them? Potluck/meal, chair, lunch,etc.

i. Will there be a limit to the number of riders? If so they should RSVP. A deadline for the RSVP is a good idea.

2. Contact the Chapter chair or other exec. to let them know the details so that

there are no schedule conflicts.

3. If not leading the ride yourself, ask for someone with experience who will be the

Trail Boss. Some rides do not need a trail boss, if there are less than 4 riders or

so in a group a trail boss is not needed.

4. Arrange for the Trail Boss to have a first aid kit and a copy of the pre-ride

checklist below.

5. Add the information to the club calendar or newsletter or website. (edited by www.horseownertoday.com)

6. That’s it! Wasn’t that easy?

Pre Ride Checklist

The Trail Guide can use a Pre Ride Checklist such as the one below during the pre

ride meeting. This is also a good time to re-evaluate riders and horses while saddling.

About 10 minutes before Ready-to-Ride time, gather riders (preferably unmounted) and

introduce self, drag rider, other assistants. Discuss trail features, planned stops, length

of ride. It is also a good idea to tell the group why we have these guidelines and offer to

let any riders who want to ride fast or would rather not be in a large group the option to

go ahead or follow behind about 10 minutes apart.Discuss any Trail Hazards such as:

Auto rewind cameras, camera flash

Carbonated Drinks

Putting on or taking off slicker or jackets while mounted, Velcro

Riding through dips, jumping creeks



Vertigo or fear of heights

Slick rock, metal surface bridges, etc.

Unnecessary stopping on trail

Meeting hikers or other riders.Discuss Ride rules such as:

Gait – walk only or? (Proceed according to the ability of the least capable rider)

Stopping for water, photos, bathroom breaks

Communication up or down the line, turn to talk to rider behind you.

Who rides behind whom, passing


Liability InsuranceSafety check:

Ask if any riders have medical conditions, tell everyone location of first aid kit

Ask riders to help each other by watching the rider in front & letting him/her know

about loose cinches, gear coming untied, etc.

Cinches tight, inc. back cinch

Cruppers, breast collars, bridles, etc. present and adjusted.

Lead rope for each rider


Water bottle

Missing shoes

Insect repellant applied?

Ask if anyone has any problems, concerns, or other questions.

 Author: Jack Breaks (currently our Vice President and a CHA Wilderness Guide and Master Instructor)

These articles have been  used with the kind permission of the Back Country Horsemen Society of British Columbia.  More interesting articles and downloads can be found at their website at www.bchorsemen.org


Glass Ponies by Sherri Yaskow Donohue

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   December 27, 2010 14:24

all credits for dreaming, creating and photographing the glass ponies, find Sherri and her creations on facebook 

Sherri Yaskow Donohue


Operation Lipizzaner

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   December 23, 2010 20:59

By Lynne Gunville

When Dr. Pat Hough (WCVM ’82) had the chance to visit the Lipizzaner stud farm near Vienna, Austria, the Winnipeg veterinarian never dreamed that one day she would be a key player in a mission to preserve the famous horses’ Croatian kin during the conflict in the Balkans.  

The story began in 1991 when a number of Lipizzaner horses were injured or killed during intense bombing at the breed’s historic stud farm near Lipik, Croatia. In an effort to save the remaining horses, the farm’s keepers moved the animals and kept them hidden. However, the horses eventually ended up in poor health and in urgent need of medical treatment.

During negotiating talks with the locals in 1993, the plight of the Lipizzaner horses came to the attention of Canadian peacekeeper Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Calvin, commanding officer of the Second Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. That’s when he decided to enlist the help of Haugh, one of his friends back in Winnipeg.

Haugh clearly remembers the call for help. “Jim told me the horses were dying because of lack of veterinary care, and he basically said, ‘What can you do for me? Is there any way you can find some help for these horses?’”

At first, Haugh seemed an unlikely choice for the mission: since her practice focused on cats, the small animal practitioner didn’t have much contact with horses. Undeterred, Haugh started making calls. With the input of local veterinarians and equine specialists, she compiled a list of items that would be useful for treating the horses. She then contacted several drug companies and asked for their help in gathering the badly needed medical supplies.  

Since public knowledge of Canadian assistance could have caused problems for the peacekeepers, Haugh had to advise the companies that there could be no publicity regarding their donations. “The companies were incredible,” she recalls. “They were willing to give without any expectation that they’d be acknowledged. None of them turned me down, and many gave me a lot of supplies.”

Over $5,000 worth of supplies including vaccines, antibiotics, syringes and bandaging materials began arriving at Haugh’s clinic and eventually spilled over into her home.  Haugh prepared the products for shipping by labelling them and purchasing refrigerator packs for perishable items such as vaccines.

With Air Canada providing free shipping, the Canadian embassy in Vienna accepted and stored the medical supplies until they could be delivered.  In June of 1993, a member of the Canadian peacekeeping forces transported the goods to the horses which, by that time, were located behind Serbian lines.

In 2007, after years of advocating for their return, the residents of Lipik and Croatia tearfully welcomed 66 Lipizzaners back to their stables. Only eight of those horses were from the original herd; the rest of the horses were descendants of the mares and stallions spirited away in 1991.

Now retired, Haugh is still amazed at all the people who were willing to step forward and help with the effort to save the animals. “I think it was the fact that this was the stud farm for an entire breed of horses; it was the knowledge that the very basis of the breed was threatened here.”

She also thinks back to her visit to the Viennese stables many years before: “In my mind, this was who I was helping — these fabulous animals that I had seen both in a show and at the stud farm. They were spectacular.”


EQUINE VETS WITH HEART: Do you know a veterinarian in Western Canada who has gone beyond the call of duty to help a horse in medical distress? Send more details to
sm.ridley@sasktel.net or call 306-225-4479 and your story may become a feature in a future issue of Horse Health Lines.

Reprinted with permission of Horse Health Lines, news publication for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Equine Health Research Fund. Visit www.ehrf.usask.ca to sign up for Horse Health Lines’ e-newsletter.

http://www.horseownertoday.com/vendor.aspx?vid=12 to view Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s www.HorseOwnerToday.com verified vendor advertisement.


Photo by Crystal Crilley Neudorf

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   October 31, 2010 12:53


Two of our boys, full brothers - Perestroikaa & In The Limelight by Perdition VF x JMF Carousel Showgal.

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   October 13, 2010 18:36

 Photos by Perdition VF - Arabian stallion at Bartongate



Bartongate Arabians, Morgans & Morabs

Prue Critchley, Box 487, Hamiota, Manitoba, R0M 0T0, Canada.
1 204 764 2650 email:  


Arabian stallion, Perdition VF

March 29th 1989 - August 12th 2011


Personal Interest - Show Barn Manager Software

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 30, 2010 13:09

View our Verified Vendor Listing

Tell HorseOwnerToday.com about your journey in developing Show Barn Manager version 2 to where it is today.
As the manager of, on average, between 20 and 30 horses at an 'A' hunter/jumper and sale horse barn, I know the importance of being able to keep track of information pertaining to a revolving door of horses. Typically, this information has been scrawled in a tattered notebook on a random basis. But with horses continuously arriving and leaving, it can be difficult to keep up with records on who is due for what as far as shoeing, Coggins, dentist, vaccinations, etc., as well as medications and treatments for different health issues, and even feed supplements. As a lover of anything computer-related, I naturally decided to get this information organized on the computer. I tried adapting several different general software programs to my needs, but none of them proved as useful as I hoped. With the roster of horses in the barn changing frequently, those programs still required storing a lot of old information on the chance that a horse would return to the barn at a later date, as they often do.

So I decided to start from scratch to develop a system that met my needs completely. The result is Show Barn Manager software. When peers heard about the software I had written, they convinced me that it was just the thing that had been missing in the horse world to keep simple, informative, and pertinent health care records. The software was designed around the ideas of one person, but all are encouraged to contribute ideas to improve the product and make it useful for many. The intention of releasing the software for public purchase is that it will fill a void in an industry that is moving quickly to embrace technology. It is designed to be user-friendly and to make it simple to retrieve information literally "at the push (click) of a button." Although written originally for a hunter/jumper show barn, Show Barn Manager software is applicable to any equine operation of any discipline, or even to a handful of horses kept at home. Version 2 adds some features that people had commented were missing from the original version that would make the software pertain to more diverse types of barns, rather than just hunter/jumper show barns. These new features include being able to enter 4 additional recording numbers for horses and people in addition to USEF and passport information, breeding records and mare cycling charts, and pedigree back to grandparents. Also added for any barn type- much improved records for vaccinations that give more control over the information, several forms of reminders lists, and individual customization for the next due date for each record, rather than only a single due date interval for the whole category.

What changes have you seen in the barn manager software market in the past?
Honestly, I did not look much at the barn manager software market in the past. I started from an idea in my head and used that vision to end up where I am today with the software system I created and currently use. Because the software system is set up to use the ideas I had about how it should work, it is the system that works for me and I have not had much experience with any other software.

What changes do you predict for the future in the barn manager software market?
As to the future of barn management software, I think it will become more commonplace as technology takes over more and more. The upcoming generation is growing up using technology for everything and so they will be more inclined to use barn management software than any people in the past, who are used to using some other way to keep track of records, if they do at all. Also, as more vets, farriers, and horses shows move their recordkeeping onto computers, being able to keep up with one's own barn's information becomes more important than ever, and the best way to do that is on a computer.