Zoe's Story

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Team Riding in Wainwright

Strydr and Nicole riding in our Canadian Horse Drill Team on Canada Day, 2011
photo courtesy of Star News, Wainwright 

Team riding is one of my favourite ways to enjoy horses.  It  involves precision riding like dressage, showing off your Canadian horse, working together with a partner, pacing, and performing a pattern with music.  Nothing like a group of horses performing to inspire people to become stewards of the horse. Better yet, horses truly enjoy working as a herd; it is a much more natural way to work with their human partners.  You could say, they love it.  The young horses learn from more experienced horses and gain confidence in new places. Nicole, our WWOOF guest this year, skillfully navigated Strydr with the team, on the grounds of the Wainwright Army Base Canada Day Celebrations!  After only a few practises, Strydr and Piper (AKA Grinner, I think that is us in the back!) were looking for their equine partner from the team, a new horse they had only met during practises. They naturally set the same pace, put the same hoof forward and concentrate - as you can see in this photo!  

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Piper Official Pony of Windy Coulee Canadian Horses

Piper at the Claresholm Gold Dressage Show
Piper pushing the ball in jeopardy trail!
Windy Coulee Piper, our Little Iron Horse mare is competing at dressage this year; with a few parades, horse shows and trail classes thrown in just for fun!  We enjoyed riding the "cutest" horse at the show in Claresholm Gold Show June 11 and 12th; thanks Kathryn for all the support! Piper then headed up to the Anderson Ranch for the Calgary Dressage Gold Show June 24th.  She is competing at training level tests and will continue training and conditioning this fall and winter.  July 1, saw her take part in the Canadian Horse Drill team at the Wainwright Army Base Canada Day Celebrations and the next two days at our annual Canadian Horse Show held by the Canadian Horse Association Rocky Mountain District (CHARMD).  Piper won second place in the mare halter class giving our Windy Coulee breeding program a nice boost of confidence.  This little mare will do pretty much anything, now all that is needed is time to practise!

Click here to follow Canadian Horse Association Rocky Mountain District (CHARMD) Events. 

The Scoop on Strydr

The Scoop on Strydr
Strydr turns five in early August 2011.  The only way to describe him is “Wow, what a horse”!  From day one he was outstanding.  He cantered around Mum and changed leads for fun.  He is named after the Ranger known as Strider from Lord of the Rings (and future King of Middle Earth), but my friends suggested I spell his name differently, hence Strydr.  Strydr trotted around the farm like he owned the place and still has status near the lead of the herd; he is the colt showing off in this short Farm TV segment:fifarmtv.blogspot.com/2006/11/canadian-horse.html.  

Strydr and Emma in Waterton Lakes National Park in 2009

With that confidence also comes a rather showy attitude but also a much appreciated sense of cooperation with his rider.  Brent Trout started him in 2009 on the old Imperial Ranch just east of Rumsey Natural Area.  The great thing about Brent is that he rides his colts outside the round pen in the open range, at the first opportunity.  So with two months of riding across the native prairie of one of Alberta’s historic ranches, Strydr returned home a safe outside horse, ready to learn the lessons of the trail.  He spent the first summer and fall riding outside around the farm and in the mountains improving with every ride.  Our Willing Workers of Organic Farms (WWOOF) guest Emma from France enjoyed riding him.  All involved had fun and enjoyed themselves - this was the time to let Strydr get to know his job, become more confident with riding and gain experience in different situations.  It is so great having WWOOF guests with riding skills because then we can take the youngsters out in the mountains with one of the more experienced mountain horses; a great way to continue the young horses training. 

Strydr at Grande Peaks Ride a Test April 2011
Heidi and Strydr began practicing in arenas and traveling to new places the fall of 2010 where they made “strides” with his arena work.  “Moments of shear magic started to occur during our rides in the local arena, he is such a smooth horse.” That was when Heidi got the grand idea of entering in the Calgary dressage show series Carrots and Cocktails (Equine Canada Bronze level shows) on March 12 and April 16th!  Strydr has gained a very nonchalant attitude about new arena’s - he is calm and seems to enjoy going into the show ring!  He now has an Equine Canada passport.  

Training sessions and clinics through our local dressage club have been great additions to our preparations, and provided us both with confidence and experience riding our training level tests.  It is fun and it is the way we are spending holidays this year, so it better be!

Strydr at the Calgary Dressage Gold Show, June 23, 2011
In Calgary, June 24th, our goals were met and Strydr placed above 60 percent in all three training level tests; test one was a nice high of 68 percent!  A wonderful way to achieve success while enjoying the amazing Anderson facility in south Calgary, literally horse heaven.  With120 competitors in a gold level show, gaining success, even in training level, was very much a big thrill for us!  Dressage is such an interesting sport, every breed and type of horse from ponies to huge warmbloods, sport horses, exotic European breeds, quarter horses, pintos, an appaloosa and yes, three Canadians competing too.
July 4th we returned from the Canadian Horse Association Rocky Mountain District (CHARMD) annual horse show where Strydr won the gelding halter class out of a large group of spectacular horses.   Not only did he show very well in several classes, he took part in the drill team at the Wainwright Army Base Canada Day celebration!

Strydr is for sale to a long term home where he will have opportunities to continue his career working with someone who has various equine sport interests.  I hope to find an equestrian wanting to go somewhere with their talent and who is looking for a calm, athletic, unique equine partner who performs professionally and looks spectacular!  Is Strydr your horse?
Check out our website:  www.windycoulee.ca for contact information!