Friday, March 13, 2020

Horse of the Week #SmartAndShiney


Smart and Shiney, owned by Lyle Lovett, is a stunning Palomino Stallion by Smart Shiner and out of Tronas Pearl, standing at McQuay Stables in Tioga, Texas. He's 15.1 with the most incredible mane, it basically reaches his knees!

2003 AQHA/APHA Stallion (AQHA Incentive Program, NRHA Sire and Dam, NRBC, and NRCHA Stallion Stakes).  2010 World Equestrian Games Team Bronze; with lifetime earnings of $111,700. I noticed there are close to 33,000 followers on fb, and on the page there are some highlights of some of SmartAndShiney's top offspring... Sooooooo, maybe your 2020 breeding plans have just been made EASY?  2020 BREEDING FEE: $2,000
⭐️With progeny earnings of over $799,00, averaging $12,888+ per offspring"⭐️

for more see Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses. And

"Fans and breeders alike have noticed the special presence of Smart and Shiney. His stunning likeness was captured in 2014 as a Breyer Horse model, and fans are always glad to see Smart and Shiney still participating in exhibition and celebrity events, proving his good mind and longevity as a performance horse."

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Tips for Media Coverage, and more fun from Equine Career Night

In today's edition of hoofbeats brings you some informal discussions with visitors at the Equine Career Night at the University of Guelph, including a chat with Barry Finn of the Rider!

We also air some fun raw audio from a round table discussion with some of the members of Guelph Pony Club, who also ride a HorseWorks in Rockwood, including our Horse of the Week segment.

In keeping with an ongoing show theme, we also remind all horse people to get their tickets for the upcoming Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt acoustic evening, show that is coming up at Centre in Square in April, as well as one of his tunes.

There is also some music, from the new release from a previous hoofbeats guest -- give a listen to two tracks from Peppermoth.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

More Science to the Stable

Today's interview was by phone!
In today's show we welcome the founder of Omega Alpha, Gordon Chang.

We discuss botanical formulas, and the effective supplements that are researched and tested, easy to administer and satisfaction guaranteed.

There is also a feature we call "Equine Podcast Playlist" that you will want to hear!!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Horses and People

In this edition of hoofbeats, we discuss large animal rescue training with Equine Guelph's Susan Raymond, and the captain of a local fire dept. You'll also hear some comments on the education experienced, from a Sergeant at the Hamilton Mounted Police Unit.

We remind you about an intriguing event happening tomorrow on Campus, a Tomb of One's Own - and share another draft of a presentation for late March called Fitness, Feminism and Horses.

There is also some fiction, and of course some music - including from Lyle Lovett, the owner of our Horse of Week Smart and Shiney.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Nervous, or No? Horses Know...

 In today's radio broadcast we aired Blue Flowers, from a Shannon Lyon video shot on location @ Centro Equestre La Luz.  There are three horses loose in a pen, as our songwriter sits in the centre on a wooden stool.  "I am nervous most of my life" he sings.  But he doesn't look it, even though at one point he runs towards the camera, and away from the horses, who are chasing each other very close to him. Check it out here.

We also played this one minute clip, which Shannon mentioned when we asked him about his experience with horses for our Riding With the Stars segment.  I love the bird sounds as well the musician's song. Is this dark horse the same breed as the others?  A big cuddly gelding, really cute, getting to Shannon's space looking for affection.   By the way, the other equines in the music video weren't actually stallions right? Its just that he knew they were male that made him think they were stallions? I think the tune is Pleasing You Pleases Me.  And I think its a perfect message for horse lovers to enjoy!  We also think you'll enjoy this video, so check it out!

Our horse of the week, is a lovely Hanoverian mare we have been a fan of for a long time.  Bella Luna is for sale, and we hope she stays local.  Would you like to meet her? You can find out more about her here.

The co-host dj who visited that morning, chose some amazing local music. Give a listen to some great local talent!

Top Tips for Equine Employers

photo by Dr Katrina Merkies

Recently on Hoofbeats radio, we shared new and extra information on the Findings from The “Learning From Employers Action Group," which were initially presented at the 2019 Equine Industry Symposium, by the chair, Kim Logue, in a quick 5 minute summary.

The Action Group was formed after the 2018 Equine Industry symposium, with the mandate to visit, investigate and learn from, equine operations, businesses and employers, who are trying to do better, for their workers, in an ever-evolving landscape — With a special focus on those who are succeeding -- to hold out their best practices for the rest of the (equine) world to see!

First off, it can pay to hire a Bookkeeper (and/or to develop the skill set of a trained bookkeeper), in order to run periodic reports, at least quarterly, if not monthly. And understand how to read them. So that you won’t make life altering decisions based on faulty information!

Having a pro do the books is certain to help any immediate problems like missed payments from customers, or lack of adequate expense records for write offs... But you can also review your salary expense as an appropriate % of total expenses, review revenue generated per hour per employee, and identify other trends to improve your profitability etc

Next, it works to correctly classify your employees and pay the WSIB. It is important insurance for the business.  A disgruntled or injured worker classified incorrectly as “Casual help” or “Independent Contractor” can make a legal claim; Or a random investigation by Revenue Canada or Ministry of Labour could find the operation liable for failing to submit source deductions. Over a few years, the liability of those remittances and/or fines or settlements could seriously jeopardize you business.

A key point was that made is that to Reduce Worker TurnOver and IMPROVE RETENTION is important in every industry. Turnover is expensive for the all minimum wage retail or hospitality businesses of the world and is important in any industry. The accounting firm we spoke to calculates that it costs them $10,000 to hire a new employee, $10,000 to orient over them 2 months, and then the new staffer is in training for the first year. So, the firm needs to earn new revenue at two times the salary of the employee to cover the salary expense.

In a similar way, Equine Employers should compute the tangible costs of their employee turnover. And, consider:
-lost productivity before the departing employee actually leaves
-time that you or others will need to fill in and the time spent coordinating the schedule to ensure that coverage
-the cost of time spent on admin tasks, like recruiting, and interviewing,
-and, the cost of lost productivity during orientation and training

We found more than one example, with the same staff for nearly 5 yrs, who were paid $18-$19 hr! So, it is suggested, to consider starting salaries a smidge above minimum wage. And, to lay out a schedule for pay increases. Maybe a 50 cent increase every 6 months? The $3 more per hour, that a person is earning where they have stuck with the place for 3 years, is not seen as an additional expense coming out of their pocket. It is understood to be a savings.

Also, it works to welcome being notified of “problems,” or getting suggestions, i.e. to foster communication. Staff who regularly engage with their manager, experience a much greater relationship. Having an environment whereby leaders and workers problem solve together, leads to a much more agile and innovative environment, to deal with roadblocks in the workplace quicker. And, on a continuous basis. Consider the stable with a daily coffee and tea break, that the owners come in and make, around 10am each day before gathering in the heated tack room around with everyone who is present on the farm! How easy it is to have communication and conversation that way!

We also found that even in a challenged labour market like ours, people leave bosses, not jobs.  Give that some thought.  Our research shows that non-cash rewards, like a horse to ride, or lessons, can make all the difference.  A simple, earnest thank you with specific recognition, can go much further than many bosses realize…

Be sure to check out the Feb 20th show, posted at

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Home is Where Your Horse Is!

 In this fun and very informal, mostly improvised, live to air, episode of hoofbeats, we announce a wide variety of upcoming local events.  From a Lyle Lovett show, to Pony Club clinics and the University of Guelph's BBRM student initiative -- The Equine Career night.  There is also some original fiction, and a Riding With the Stars segment with Lunar Bloom.
Thanks to Guelph Roots for co-hosting!

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Hello March Break.

In this episode of hoofbeats, we bring you a song intro, specially for horse lovers, recorded with Northern Hearts, as well as a couple of their tunes (Warning explicit lyrics).

You will also hear about E-BARQ -- a study of how horse training and management affects behaviour.  And how, in turn, behaviour affects horse welfare.

We also had a nice chat with Jenn of Firefly Stables about her March Break camp and lesson program.

Friday, January 31, 2020

A Variety Show of Recent Horse Talks

 This episode of hoofbeats features some original fiction that mentions the band Fred, as well as one of their tunes.  There is also a Riding With The Stars segment that Amanda was able to capture with Steve Strongman, who surprised us with some horse experience, as well as one of his tunes.  There are also some recordings made at the recent hoofbeats open house, and several upcoming event announcements.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Be The Change

Today we bring you some quick words about an evidence based approach to training and riding; from Lisa Ashton, MBA and Senior Coach in Complete Horsemanship.  Are you considering attending the Happy Athlete Conference in the UK in August?

You will also hear BBRM student Andrea's long awaited segment, inspired by a press release we received from the International Society of Equitation Science, based on findings presented at the 15th annual conference in 2019.

We also bring you a 50 minute recording made on campus recently, at the Pathobiology Building in the OVC.  Next time we will get there in time to put the recorder on the podium, instead of just having it in the front row! The content of Dr. Kendra Coulter's presentation "Continuity and Change in Animal Protection, Work and Policy" is really worth a listen!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Myrddin Gymkhana Coverage, and more!

Look who visited today at CFRU!

In this episode we are in conversation with High Performance Coach, Margaret Godson of Myrddin Equestrian Centre.  We talk about her lesson program, school horses, recent and upcoming events.  You will notice how passionate Margaret about keeping equestrian sports viable in the future. Please check out this gem of a local facility, an amazing resource for anyone wanting to take their riding and horsemanship to the next level.

We also bring you a Riding With the Stars Segment with Canadian Singer Songwriter (and amazing guitarist), Suzie Vinnick, recorded when she played recently in Guelph.

photo by Winnie Chui

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Feminism, Fitness and Horses!

 One of the first hoofbeats radio shows of 2020 featured a "Fit At Mid-Life" co-written by a former guest, Dean of Arts and social media superstar Samantha Brennan, book give-away! As co-hosts Kim Logue and Amanda St. Once discuss Feminism, Fitness and Horses.  They also announced plans to do some horse-riding in Ireland, with room for others to join in our tour...  so just give a listen at if you'd like to hear more!

photo Winnie Chui, Myrddin Equestrian Centre

Feminism, Fitness and Horses, by Kim Logue

As we turn back to our routines after the holidays, I want to celebrate the fact that a feminist quest for improved fitness, health, and wellness, especially through horse-related programs, greatly empowers, and enhances a person's abilities to overcome adversity or oppression.

We’ve all probably seen girls and women, learn true leadership because their approach to fitness/health, includes interaction with 1,000 lb animals.  And they earn skills to employ in bullying situations, and in a variety of roles, and group interactions. Horses teach us how to muster inner courage, to address such a large animal, or to do things from an increased height or speed, and, in a variety of settings.

I also like to notice students practice resiliency and tenacity.  Sometimes, equestrianism reminds us life isn’t fair, and hard work falls short of Lady Luck. We may spend time watching other riders succeed, while we deal with the challenges of a young or old or frightened horse; or an equine illness or injury; But prioritizing horse wellbeing, develops empathy.   If we do compete, we could need to learn, how to lose. Gracefully. Maybe even to someone with less talent or drive, but much more money.  Think of all the men that appear magically on the podium at the high levels, even though there's not usually very many sharing the riding ring in our backyard.  But again, the horse can help us to see things from their point of view, and to understand that really, that score doesn’t matter.

And how a horse can move us, with a beautiful partnership, based on respect and trust! How very powerful language without words is.

We are continually reminded that our horses truly mirror us, and teach us about ourselves, and they don’t care about what’s on our business cards, or in our schedules and plans. They don’t care how high our grades are, or what our net worth is. They also don’t care about our appearance, and in fact, as long as your weight falls between 15-23% of their body weight, they aren’t bothered by how light or heavy you happen to be.

Admittedly, I personally do enjoy an extraordinary amount of work and physical labour, by nature. But, I’ve seen others benefit from being involved, with the development of a strong work ethic, and strength of character. Are those aspects of feminism? As well as the leadership, confidence, communication and decision making skills I see developing in the riding students in my program? I think so.

When hoofbeats hosts an equine event, we often distribute post cards, provided by the National Sport Office, Equestrian Canada, about the benefits of Equestrian Participation:
“Increases self-esteem, confidence and patience.
Develops a respect and compassion for animals.
Opportunity to have fun and develop life long friendships.
Improves balance, muscle, strength, coordination and reaction time.
Physical mentally and emotionally stimulating.”

More benefits are that horses help us to think about breathing, about controlling our breath and our intention.  They get us out of our comfort zone, and teach us the benefits of focusing our minds and staying calm in scary moments.

Lastly, I've seen that concentrating on their nutrition and filling their water buckets, even when its raining or snowing or icy, can help us with our own health habits.  And that's good for feminist fitness too. Never underestimate the power of time spent working in the barn.  I have made some of the biggest decisions of my life while cleaning stalls.  I have thrown bags of shavings to work off rage at some of the disasters I've faced in life and I have ugly cried my way through major heartbreaks, taking comfort in the warmth and routine of feeding the horses.  I've enjoyed a free gym membership as put in 22,000 steps and sculpted my back and shoulders with the chores.

I feel like I am constantly trying to justify the value of the time, expense and even the environmental impact of horses to others and even to myself. But, for me, it is a sacred, immensely healing time, in a beautiful slice of nature, that helps me stay more fit. Horses are my feminist happy place, and I love how they keep me, in each precious, present moment.  Its a lifestyle that teaches you discipline, how to love unconditionally, put something other than yourself first, and to work hard for the things you want and need, while you are also kept humble by such a sensitive animal.

Kate, Kim and LBH at Myrddin Equestrian Centre's holiday Gymkhana
photo Winnie Chui

Friday, December 20, 2019

#Science2stable #EIS2019 Event Coverage: Human Behaviour Change, for Animals

"By understanding why humans do the things they do, and what drives them to change, we can make the world a better place for animals."
Today on hoofbeats, we are bringing you a presentation made by Debbie Busby at the 4th annual Equine Industry Symposium, recorded as voice memo on a volunteer's phone.

Debbie holds a first class BSc (Hons) in Psychology and an MSc with distinction in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare and is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society, and is co-author of a book called ‘Equine Behaviour in Mind: Applying Behavioural Science to the Way We Keep, Work and Care for Horses’
In this 55 min segment, you'll hear the process of human behaviour change and how to introduce it.  As well as tools and models for putting principles into practice.

She reminds us that confrontation is the biggest predictor of FAILURE to change, while an empathetic approach is the biggest predictor of SUCCESS of change.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Erin Fall Fair Revue

In this episode of hoofbeats, you hear part 2 of an interview with Ron Marino, who won best in show with his horse Pax, at the Erin Fall Fair. There is also a sounder from Dr. Katrina Merkies, as well as a new Pony Daze blog entry intro from Preetam, before more original fiction.... as well as music from Nathan Coles and Bird City.  

But, check out who really had the reins!  And, ask us about the after party!
p.s. In part 1 of the Ron Marion interview, we talked all about that breed of horse, The Canadian.  If you missed it, listen back in the archive, here, along with some very appropriate and moving music from Marie-Lynn Hammond.  

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Dreamy Teamwork

In this episode of hoofbeats, you will hear an informal conversation with Combined Driver Laurie Inglis Bruder, as well as some casual conversation with a recurring guest, U of G student Amanda - who was game to cohost an improvised program, live to air!!  There is also a segment from Horse Day in Erin, where a young volunteer named Gracey interviews a pony club rep named Tiffany, as well as some news items recorded by first time volunteer, BBRM student, Jenni.  You will also hear several new tunes from Stephen Fearing.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Happy Holidays! with news from Terre Bleu Lavendar Farm, and more...

Terre Bleu Lavendar Farm
There's horses here!  We are very keen to visit at TerreBleu again soon.  What an amazing contest they have on right now! Don't forget to enter to win the Ultimate VIP Lavendar Escape...

This episode of hoofbeats also features the history of sleigh bells and some wonderful seasonal music.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Rodeo Show

In this episode we feature a paper submitted by BBRM student Amanda St. Onge, that enlightens us about some common myths around rodeo.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Canadian Horse!

Did you know that we have a National horse in Canada? Let Ron Marino of the Cheval Canadien Horse Association Ontario tell you more about the breed and more about his horse Pax.

We also feature one tune from Marie Lynn Hammond's CD, called hoofbeats -- you'll never guess the title of the one selected for this episode...

Give a listen, and enjoy!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Western Round Up?

In this episode of hoofbeats we are in conversation with University of Guelph, BBRM Equine Management student Amanda, who participates in the discipline of Western Pleasure, with Mustangs!