Merle Coleman, 90, spent decades leading 4-H projects and training harness racehorses with her late husband, Ron, from their farm near Virden, Man. | Karen Morrison photo

Working with horses a family tradition

VIRDEN, Man. — Merle Coleman met her husband, Ron, by accident. The 90-year-old diminutive horsewoman and former nurse recalled him needing medical aid after getting hit in the face with a pulley. He recovered and went on to live a long life, passing away last year, while Merle gave up nursing at age 60 after […] Read more

Horses imported to Canada from the United States or other countries will have to remain in Canada for six months if the horse meat is destined for Europe. | File photo

CFIA confirms new EU horse meat rules

New regulations that might hamper Canada’s horse slaughter industry will take effect early next year. Horses imported to Canada from the United States or other countries will have to remain in Canada for six months if the horse meat is destined for Europe. “(CFIA) received a letter from the European Commission on Sept. 28, 2016, […] Read more

The federal government is waiting for clarification on a European Union rule that will affect horse slaughter in Canada. | File photo

New European rules may hinder Canadian horse meat exports

A new European restriction may create operational headaches for Canadian horse slaughter plants. Starting in March 2017, horses imported into Canada from the United States must remain in the country for six months before they are slaughtered. The European Commission says the six-month residency requirement is needed to ensure the safety of horse meat because […] Read more


Designing a saddle for women includes many gender-specific features such as a wider front as shown here. Although this is an English style saddle, the criteria for finding the proper fit applies to western saddles as well.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Building saddles for females

RED DEER — Men and women do not generally wear each others’ trousers or shoes, so there may be a case for different saddles too. “There is no guy wearing girl’s breeches and then try riding in them. Something doesn’t feel right,” said Jochen Schleese at the Mane Event, an equestrian weekend in Red Deer […] Read more

Edmonton centre drops horse racing

One of Alberta’s largest agricultural societies has announced it is getting out of horse racing. Tim Reid, Northlands chief executive officer, said this would be the last year of horse racing at Northland’s racetrack in Edmonton. The facility will become an athletic complex with seven sheets of ice across two levels, with the ability to […] Read more


Horse owners should make sure their animals are well hydrated. There are several simple tests to help.  |  File photo

Simple tests ensure horse is well hydrated

Year round requirement | While dehydration normally occurs in summer, horses can also lack sufficient water in winter

Many people recognize the need to make sure animals get enough water during summer. The rodeo and show season highlights that need for horses. Julia Montgomery, assistant professor in large animal clinical sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, said horse owners can use two simple tests, the capillary refill and the […] Read more

Horse trainer Russ Krachun teaches a horse how to lower its head to receive the bridle. Krachun, originally from Ukraine, was taking part in the trainers’ challenge at the Mane Event in Red Deer.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Trainer uses gentle touch to earn horse’s respect

Body language key | Trainer uses round pen to build relationship between horse and rider

RED DEER — The most important message from Russ Krachun’s horse training clinics isn’t about hand position or leg aids — it’s love. “Everything comes from your heart,” said Krachun, one of three trainers who competed in the trainers’ challenge at the Mane Event horse expo and show in Red Deer. “If you want to […] Read more

Results of a prepurchase exam belong to the buyer and can be potentially contentious if a problem is found with a seller’s horse, says a veterinarian.  |  File photo

Get the skinny before you own with pre-buy exam

Exam starts at $400 | Horse examiner determines soundness and serviceability

Buying a horse is a lot like buying a used car, says a senior clinician at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon. “The one thing in the horse world they always talk about is buyer beware,” said Sue Ashburner of the college’s equine field service. “When people are buying horses […] Read more


David Esmond of Eyebrow, Sask., takes a test ride on a display saddle from DK Saddlery, shown by Cory McAllister of Calgary during the Equine Expo trade show, held in Saskatoon Feb. 14-16.  |  William DeKay photo

Saddle fit becoming priority

A revolution is happening in the saddle fitting industry. “Horses are changing and saddles are trying catch up,” said Jonathan Field, a horse trainer, equine educator and saddle designer. Based in Abbotsford, B.C., and the James Creek Ranch near Merritt, B.C., Field spends a good part of his year travelling to horse events in North […] Read more

Recommended vaccines depend on the horse’s activity, but for tetanus, ‘every single horse should get it every single year,’ says a veterinarian and instructor in large animal medicine.  |  File photo

Vaccination programs best if individualized

Tetanus tops recommended vaccines | A drop in vaccinations for West Nile Virus increases danger of epidemic, warns expert

Spring vaccination appointments for horses are one of Dr. Ashley Whitehead’s favourite times. It’s a quiet chance to look over a horse, chat with the owner about problems and do a physical examination as part of a preventive medicine package. “We’re not dealing with fire en-gine medicine,” said Whitehead, an instructor in large animal internal […] Read more