Fireworks and Horses


As much fun as fireworks celebrations can be, it can be particularly terrifying for horses.  If you are worried about how your horses will react, there are some precautions you can take to (hopefully) keep everyone safe this May long weekend.

Try to make sure fireworks aren’t set off near your horse’s field or stable. DO a check to see if there are plans for local displays, and tell neighbours and local firework display organisers that there are horses nearby so they can make sure fireworks are set off well away from them. Anyone planning a display in a rural area should let neighbouring farmers know in advance (hopefully your neighbours are either kind enough to do this, or find a different location to set them off!) If it is possible, you may consider moving them to another property away from the fireworks displays for the evening. If you need to leave your horse in another person’s care during the show, leave clear instructions and contact details for yourself and your vet in case of any problems. (more…)

May 18, 2017 |

Here’s to the Horse Show Mom

horse show mom

My Horse Show Mom

Without my mom, I would have probably never gotten bit by the horse bug.  As a child, I was terrified of animals. Hearing that horses had a therapeutic quality about them, my mother shipped me off to horse camp for a week to “get over it”.  Little did she know!!  I came home at the end of the week with a pet bunny and immediately signed up for another week.  Here I am 22 years later, still riding and involved in the horse world more than ever.


May 12, 2017 |

Waterloo region represented in Kentucky Derby

kentucky derby

If you’re looking for a horse to cheer for this Saturday in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, why not cheer for the local entry!

State of Honour, owned by Penny and Manfred Conrad of Wellesley, Ontario, will be running in the “fastest two minutes in sports.”  Although he is a long shot to win, the couple is delighted that their horse is ranked 11th out of the 20 horses in the field. (more…)

May 5, 2017 |

University of Guelph Equine Industry Symposium

guelph equine industry symposium

Tri-City Horse Sports was honoured to be a participant in the inaugural University of Guelph Equine Industry Symposium on November 19, 2016. The University of Guelph hosted local and national equine professionals for open panel discussions, plenary speakers and workshops. The event highlighted commonalities within all equine sectors and opportunities to advance and improve the industry as a whole.

The results of the symposium have now been posted and details regarding the 2017 symposium will be released in the coming months.


A talk by Ian Millar on the horse industry was the highlight of the evening, which you can hear in its entirety here:

May 2, 2017 |

GUEST POST – 6 Reasons to Get Out and Try Distance Riding

distance riding

If you’ve ever considered trying out distance riding, there is no better time than now. In her blog post, Eat Sleep Ride Repeat’s Ashley Tomaszewski gives 6 reasons why you should give it a go.

6 Reasons to Get Out and Try Distance Riding

  1. More bang for your buck!
  2. Any horse can do it!
  3. You can compete against yourself or others
  4. Excellent cross training
  5. Boost your horsemanship skills


April 26, 2017 |

How Facebook’s Animal Selling Ban Affects Horse Sales


Facebook’s Marketplace has long prohibited animal sales (you can see the policies here),  but for many years, there has been little regulation of the rule. However, Facebook has now added an option which allows people to report animal sales listed on the Marketplace. Marketplace allows users to post items for sale in a group with a listed price and interested buyers can contact the seller directly through the ad.


April 19, 2017 |

Cara Whitham Receives 2016 Equestrian Canada Lifetime Achievement Award

cara whitham

Cara Whitham is the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement award, which was handed out at the Equestrian Canada Awards Reception during their annual convention in Vancouver, Canada, on 8 April 2017.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose contributions to the Canadian equestrian community are considered exceptional by their peers and whose long-term service and dedication have contributed directly to the ongoing growth and development of Canadian equestrian sport and industry.

Whitham is a very accomplished horsewomen. Some of her various achievements include:

  • Being named a short and long-listed rider for the Canadian Dressage Team numerous times
  • Earning Canadian Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle Championship titles
  • Being appointed Chef d’Equipe for Canada’s Dressage team during a four-year European tour leading into the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
  • Lending input into a high performance plan that produced Canada’s only Olympic Team Medal in Dressage to date at the 1988 Seoul Olympics
  • Holding a record as the FEI’s only official with FEI 5* judging credentials for both Dressage and Eventing
  • Receiving FEI Dressage Technical Delegate status
  • Being appointed to the Dressage Ground Jury for the 2003 and 2011 Pan American Games, 2005 European Dressage Championships and the 2010 World Equestrian Games
  • Being appointed to the Eventing Ground Jury for the 1998 and 2002 World Equestrian Games, as well as the 2004 Athens Olympics
  • Being hired as a television commentator for the 2007 World Equestrian Games, and 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games
  • Being appointed as the Chef d’Equipe for the Costa Rican Gold Medal Team at the 2013 Central American Games in Costa Rica.

She also founded Equivents Inc., which organizes CDI-Ws/CDI3* dressage events yearly.

Here our interview with Cara Whitham here:

April 12, 2017 |

Nick Skelton and Big Star Retire

nick skelton

It was just announced that at the age of 59, show jumping superstar Nick Skelton will be retiring after more than four decades at the top of the sport.  His horse, Big Star, a two time Olympic gold medal mount, will also be retiring.

Nick’s list of achievements:

  • Olympic Games
    • 2012: London. Team Gold medal with Big Star
    • 2016: Rio. Individual Gold medal with Big Star
  • Alternative Olympic Games
    • 1980: Rotterdam. Team Silver medal with Maybe
  • World championships
    • 1982: Dublin. Team Bronze medal with If Ever
    • 1986: Aachen. Team Silver medal and individual Bronze medal with Apollo
    • 1990: Stockholm. Team Bronze medal with Grand Slam
    • 1998: Rome. Team Bronze medal with Hopes are High
  • European Championships
    • 1985: Dinard. Team Gold medal and individual 4th with St. James
    • 1987: St. Gallen. Team Gold medal and Individual Bronze medal with Apollo
    • 1989: Rotterdam. Team Gold medal with Apollo
    • 1991: La Baule. Team Silver medal with Phoenix Park
    • 1993: Gijon. Team Silver medal with Dollar Girl
    • 1995: St. Gallen. Team Silver medal with Dollar Girl
    • 2011: Madrid. Team Bronze and individual Bronze medal with Carlo 273
  • Junior European Championships
    • 1974: Lucerne. Team Silver medal with Maybe
    • 1975: Dornbirn. Team Silver medal and individual Gold medal with O.K.
  • Volvo World Cup Final
  • Hickstead Derby
    • 1987: Winner with J Nick
    • 1988: Winner with Apollo
    • 1989: Winner with Apollo
  • King George V Gold Cup
    • 1984: Winner with St. James
    • 1993: Winner with Limited Edition
    • 1996: Winner with Cathleen III
    • 1999: Winner with Hopes are High

Skelton currently holds the British Show Jumping High Jump record, at 7 ft 7in 5/16th (2.32m) set at Olympia in 1978 with Lastic.


Last time Nick was in Canada was at the Royal Winter Fair Horse Show where he came in a close second to Kent Farrington in the Big Ben Challenge.  See the interview with him after the event here:

April 5, 2017 |

How To Introduce Your Horse to Spring Grass

spring grass

Spring. The days are getting longer and warmer. The snow is disappearing and the grass is starting to sprout. As appealing as that grass may be to your horse, it can potentially be dangerous this time of year.  How can you prevent grazing grief?

Introduce grass slowly

You need to gradually introduce your horse to grass. Allow them to graze for a short period of time and gradually build this time up. Also be aware of when is the safest time to allow your horse to graze. NSC (nonstructural carbohydrates) levels in grasses tend to increase throughout the day, peaking at about 3 or 4 p.m., and decrease overnight to lows in the very early morning hours. NSCs can be divided into three groups: sugars, starches, and fructans, all of which can lead to metabolic issues in horses when ingested in high amounts.

Supplement with hay

Don’t stop feeding hay entirely once you turn your horse out to pasture in the spring. Your horse’s stomach will need time to adjust from eating strictly hay all winter.

Have a sacrifice area

A sacrifice area is an area with little or no grass. Your horse can spend most of his time here until he is fully adjusted to eating a diet of mostly grass.  Having a sacrifice area will also help your pasture last longer as removing horses will allow your pasture to rest and regrow without being destroyed by hooves or overgrazing.

Use a grazing muzzle

If you are unable to have a sacrifice area, a grazing muzzle will help reduce the amount of grass your horse can graze on. Make sure the fit is correct and that it has a breakaway mechanism so your horse won’t get caught up.

Monitor spring grazing

Not only should you watch for signs of metabolic issues from eating too much lush pasture, your horse is also more susceptible to weight gain during this period due to the extra calories grass provides.

spring grass

Here is a tip sheet on pasture management from Equine Guelph:

March 31, 2017 |
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