“Unless we reach their hearts today, they will hurt ours tomorrow!” – Brent, ranch manage Brightwood Ranch, Entwistle, Alberta.
What a strong statement. Yes, not all young adults or kids will ever have the opportunity to experience the world in a good way. Coming from difficult family situations, often already intruduced to substance abuse and violence in their young lives, yes we need to reach their hearts today. That is what the Brightwood Ranch is all about. Providing summercamps in which kids can have positive experiences, open their souls, when working with horses, learn to live in a group and just plain have a good time, for at least a little while. We support this great cause, kids are our all future and that’s why we ride on June 2, with the Brightwood Ranch. A full day of good riding, good fun, good meals, together with about 150 – 200 other horse enthusiasts of any age.
If you are in the area on June second, if you like to ride your horse or reserve a horse from the Brightwood Ranch, register now for this great cause and be a part of this annual fundraiser ride. Wonderful scenery and a great time on horse back awaits you. For more information, drop us note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Horses in spring can be a hand full. After a long winter of not much riding and now filling up on the first, young, sweet green grass, riders often are faced with misbehaving, spooky or frisky horses in the arena or on the trails. This situation is not only quite dangerous, but is although not much fun either. So, what can we do to get through this as safe as possible. Here are some tricks which have worked for us in the past.
Regulate the sugar intake
By sugar I mean the energy in feed. Limit the grazing time per day and supplement with hay only. Oats, cubes or other prepared feed will undermine your efforts and are not helpful. By offering hay, best served in a slow feeder, horses can eat the whole day (keeps the stomach acid low) and get enough energy to maintain a healthy body weight. Unless your horse works for many hours per day, than it would need more protein. In that case, check the overall conditions of your horse regularly and have a feeding plan place.
Mental and physical fitness
It is a good advise specially for female riders, to always empty the bladder before riding. Although stretching excersises on the ground help to warm up the muscles and makes the body more flexible. Start your riding season on days when you feel very good. Your horse picks up on negative energy right and copies your feelings.
Ask for help
A riding partner with an experienced, older horse accompanying you on your first few trail rides, will calm your horse and helps you to get your confidence back.
Specially young horses learn lots from older horses on the trails or in the pasture. If you don’t have a friend who can come ride with you, you may like to pony the frisky horse and ride an older, calmer horse yourself. You’ll see, this “buddy” trick works great for rider and horses.
A certified riding instructor is experienced to help you and your horse get over the initial spring time anxiety. Positive advice and guidance will help you get your groove back and makes it easier for your horse to accept a frequent work schedule. Although, I find it wonderful to get together with like minded horse lovers and have a good time.
Last but not least, since the most of us horse lovers can look back on a short or very long time collecting experiences with horses, I find it always helpful to talk about problems and receive ideas and advice which are helpful to over come problems safely and efficient. If you feel at this point, that there are important tips missing or if you like to share some of your experiences, drop us a note a we are happy to publish what has worked for you dealing with frisky horses in the spring. We like to hear from you.
Ever thought to just go on a weekend drive and visit rural events? No? You may should consider. Rural events are a fun option to big city action. They are versatile, family friendly, close by and they offer tones of fun to reasonable rates. Have you heard about events like: “Polynesian Days”, “Pirates of the Pembina”, “Park Party”, “Show and Shine”, “Tractor Pull”, “Barn Burner Festival” or the ” Onoway, Wild West Show”?
Well, if you never heard about these events, I really recommend to get in your vehicle and do a short drive to check it out this season. There is a different vibe to it. A small town mentality with big heart, these events are organized by local groups, volunteers and tones of ambitions, providing major fun, often unnoticed due to the lack of marketing. No, you don’t have to be an insider to figure out how, when and where these events happen. The new Travel Alberta website has a pretty good number of events listed for the whole Province, but on www.lakeviewguestranch.com you’ll find the most interesting events in the area between Jasper and Edmonton. Have a good time in rural Alberta, there is lot’s going on.
Ever wondered what really happened in the last 100 years?! In the old continent, 100 years don’t seem to much of a time frame in the big picture, but here, in Alberta, Canada, a hundert year celebration of a community is really special, because this country is still so young in it’s development. During the last 100 years this area has been cleared and home steaded by the first settlers. Most of these pioneers did arrive from many different country overseas, hoping for a better life in the West. From the Ukraine to the Netherlands, from Switzerland to Sweden. A large variety of cultures met here with the same goal. 100 years is not a long time, but Sangudo and the surrounding area has changed big time since then. From horse and buggy, wilderness and mud, to an infrastructure with natural gas access to almost every place, telephone and lately high speed internet coverage. Wow, what a journey, it happened so fast.
This June 15 – 17 th., Sangudo will celebrate it’s journey and invites it’s founders, founders children and great grand children and great great grand children to come back home, to share memories and to celebrate the achievements. A program packed with activities down at the arena and adjoining park, as well as a parade in town, music, games and a party will make this weekend fun and entertaining. Many families have already announced their homecoming and Sangudo welcomes many visitors from all over. For additional B&B accommodation as well as space to park the camper, Lakeview Guest Ranch will reserve this weekend for guests to the homecoming to discounted rates.
A milestone in Canadian history. A time to reflect, to party to realize the past and celebrate the future. Be a part of it, mark your calendar and make Sangudo your destination to celebrate it’s birthday.
As a horse enthusiast and outdoor lover, I’m looking every year forward to go to some fundraiser trail rides. What I like about them is to meet new people, to ride for a good cause and to be catered to with always great food. Most popular rides in our area are the Drayton Valley Cancer ride along the Pembina River, the Brightwood Ranch ride for underpriveleged kids, the Klondike Trail ride in Fort Assiniboin to fight MS. All rides can be reached within about one hour drive from Lakeview Guest Ranch. Make a getaway out of it and stay for the weekend in our B&B&Bale. If you and your horse want to get ready for great trail riding season, here is your opportunity to get back into your groove. Mark your calendar for May 6, May 19, June 2, Sept. 4. and ride for a good cause as well. For more details, please drop us a note by e-mail at email@example.com
Quite often Easter falls into the month of April and you can be quite sure to get ”wet feet”. For example this year, Edmonton is covered in 60 cm of heavy, wet snow in some areas. It is + 3 degrees Celsius and nature is soaking up all the moisture it gets. April is although the month of “rebirth”. As nature wakes up from winter, so are the bears, hungry and still probably a little disorientated. In the pastures you can observe young born calves enjoying life and wild geese and other birds are arriving back home after their long journey from their winter quarters. Wildlife is on the move, to find good areas to give birth and raising their young. There is still ice on the lakes, but the ice fishing season has officially come to an end with warmer temperatures and the melting of the ice. The ode coyote is still using the short cut across the lake to get to the other side, but that will soon end as well. Easter long weekend in rural Alberta, feel like battle of the seasons, you never know how the weather will be and you have to be prepared with all weather clothing to enjoy the outdoors. We now start go horseback riding more often further away from the ranch into the wilderness. After the quiet winter time, we do spot Moose, Elk, Wolf or Deer, since we are invading their territory. Easter time in Alberta feels nice, since the first warm spring days give us an idea of what is coming, summer. Many travelers gather in mountains now for skiing. This year again, records are broken for the amount of snow received in some areas. No, that’s not for me. I’d rather prefer to go for a walk and see what I can spot on birds or wildlife tracks on the ground. Every day now is different and the air fills up with more and more songs of different birds. Alberta in spring, around Easter time is exciting for me worth while to be explored away from the ski hills.
How do Horses Show Affection?
Horses are extremely affectionate. If you get a chance to see them in the wild they are mutually grooming each other, scratching each other, leaning gently into each other, sharing breath with each other (a very intimate activity done by putting their noses together and sharing the air). These are all manifestations of affection. Mares and their foals are always nuzzling each other and the babies are always rubbing up against their moms. Sometimes they hang their heads over each other’s necks and gently hug with their necks. When a horse gently brings his head even slightly in your direction, it is affection and acknowledgement (unless you are holding a treat in your hand or pocket, then it is probably about the treat). The low, soft ‘nickering’ sounds they make at each other are other ways they show affection. However, love is the great carrot and the great treat. Real, unconditional love is the best form of affection and the greatest gift we can bring to our horses.
On the human end this is usually what occurs: We unconsciously reach into the animals face and want to pet and touch his muzzle (nose). If I reached into someone’s face and petted their nose, it would be rude, thoughtless and disrespectful. We do it to horses all the time. We think because he brings his head to us curiously checking us out that it’s OK to pet his nose. Or if he is sniffing us to investigate and get to know us that they are all right with us touching their faces. They do not have arms and hands and do not touch each other in this manner and, additionally, what we are doing is uninvited. We are touching their faces for us not for them. Most of the time they try to move their heads away from the oncoming hand, but to no avail. They react to the intrusion by moving their heads sideways or up and down. But we do not notice this reaction. We want to pet that soft nose and what we want takes all our attention, not the horse’s reaction to what we are doing. This is unfair and disrespectful to the horse.
When we reach into a horse’s physical space, no matter what, we stop its affection coming back towards us. Horses focus on one thing at a time. They are consciously either giving or receiving input, but not both simultaneously. So if the horse is trying to show us affection (which they really want to do) and we take it as an opportunity to input (touch or pet) them, we immediately stop their attempts at being affectionate towards us. This creates lop sided relationships with humans and horses where the human is always inputting the horse with what they think is affection. The horse, meanwhile, never really gets a chance to show it’s affection to the human. Stand and receive the horse’s affection. Keep your hands and arms down. Let them nuzzle you and gently bring their heads to you. Be still and quiet with your mind and body if you want to join with them. Empathize with the feelings you get from the horse. They live empathetic lives and look for that in their companions. Certainly you can put your arms around your horse and hug him, scratch him or reassuringly stroke him. He will get that you mean to be affectionate. But wait and do it when invited by the horse’s demeanor and body language.
When a herd leader wants to allow affection from another horse, she turns sideways and seemingly ignores that horse (goes about her business of grazing). She allows the other horse to approach her and show acknowledgement and affection. It may not involve actual physical contact. But, rather feelings of acknowledgement and acceptance shared and demonstrated through body gestures, postures and mutual awareness (empathy).
I encourage humans to be more like horses and perhaps understand that less is more with horses. By that I mean we could try not to be so forward with horses. We could try to make our desires requests rather than demands. We can chose to lead like Gandhi; lovingly, firmly and quietly. We could abandon leadership like Mussolini, with his loud, controlling, fear based dictatorship. I can now understand the kind of humans who only want to be with horses. There is no self-serving ego to deal with, nor trickery or dishonesty with the horse. There is not much drama either. The horse is impeccable and that’s a fact. They are honest, no matter what. They have personalities and disorders like we do but not the ego.
When your loved ones are affectionate with you know how it feels. It’s the same with horses. Loving touches are noticeable and stand out more than casual physical acknowledgement like hand shakes and pats on the back. Tune in to how you feel when your horse is showing you attention. Receive the attention/affection and just say ?Good Boy?. There is no need for anything else. You will both understand what has occurred. You will have been mutually affectionate as giving and receiving are actually the same thing.
If you are able to establish a great amount of mutual trust with your horse, this will lead to more affection and a stronger bond. Being a great parent/leader is a wonderful way to show affection for your horse. Being the great Mom or Dad for your horse means you are there for his feelings of safety and trust first and foremost. What kinder and more wonderful way to show affection than attention to another’s sense of well being. What is more affectionate than kindness? What feels more wonderfully loving than kindness? In the face of the most fearful and potentially dangerous horse, kindness is the major component in its rehabilitation (just as with an abused human). Giving your best is affection also. When your horse gives you his all and the best he’s got that is his affection coming straight to you.
I guess I could sum this up by merely saying; if it feels like affection and you are not holding a carrot, it probably is. Don’t try to figure the horse out too much. I think it is better to experience and empathize with how he feels. That is the real key.
Essay by Franklin.
Thank you for this, it is written clear and easy to understand.
Has small talk still a social value? Small talk happens less these days, because people are more engaged in texting, phoning or playing on their electronic devices, rather than looking into someones face. By doing so, people repel any action to interact and send the message ”leave me alone”, I’m busy in my own electronic world and don’t want to be bothered. I find it sad, since I always enjoyed to have a small talk. A smile, a friendly gesture can lead to small talk. Giving and receiving friendliness is for me still a source of rejuvenation. Is our energy drained from being available 24/7? Are we mentally caught in antisocial networks? Doesn’t that leave an emptiness in you? A black hole, a disconnection to the rest of society? Kids grew up without cell phones not too long ago. Companies survived, without torturing their employees or customers by phone. How much can a healthy mind take?
Small talk, it can start with, a smile a friendly gesture, every day. I will stick with it, no matter what advertisers tell me, because it makes me feel good. I cherish my time having the cell phone switched off, because I know, the world will continue to turn. I will nurture my soul by interacting with people face to face. By going out side and feel the weather on my skin. By giving a smile or friendly gesture and enjoy a warm and positive human reaction.
Albertans are spoiled by nature. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because it is so beautiful here in any season. In winter the powder snow sparkles like millions of diamonds, in spring you can observe the joy of life in many new born animal species, in Summer, sandy beaches, lakes, rivers invite to have fun in the water and in fall nature show its most beautiful colours. By the way, Alberta alone has 5 UNESCO world heritage sites and Reader Digest readers voted the Maligne Lake boat tour as the world best. This said, if someone asks me what I like best about living in Alberta, I do answer. The sunshine! Alberta has in average over 200 sun filled days per year and is Canada’s sunshine state. But Alberta weather is often unpredictable and insider know to………read more next time.
We are happy to finally have a place to talk to you about interesting stuff in a quick and frequent manner. We will post insides about horses, travel in Alberta, Western lifestyle, heritage, fun things to do, things about this area and much more. OK, that does not mean, just WE are talking. No folks! We would be honourd to hear your comments and suggestions.
We like to invite you to send us your blogs by e-mail and receive the chance to win a free stay when your blog attracts the most readers till July 30 2012.
Anyways, 2012 is promising to be the most exciting year ever for Lakeview Guest Ranch. With new fun things to do and new partners, we can’t wait to welcome you and have a good time together.
So, here is to you!