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 Growing Up Horsewoman

Today's episode of hoofbeats radio features a "Fit At Mid-Life" book give-away, as our co-hosts discuss Feminism, Fitness and Horses.  We also announce our plans to do some horse-riding in Ireland, with room for others to join in our tour...  so just give a listen if you'd like to hear more!

photo Winnie Chui, Myrddin Equestrian Centre

Feminism, Fitness and Growing Up Horsewoman, by Kim Logue

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

I’ve seen girls and women, with an approach to fitness/health, that includes interaction with 1,000lb animals, learn true leadership.  And skills to employ in bullying situations, and in a variety of roles, and group interactions.

Not to mention 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.  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.

Horses can also teach us how to muster inner courage, to address such a large animal, or to do things from that height or speed, and, in a variety of settings. And then a horse can move us, with a beautiful partnership, based on respect and trust. While also showing how very powerful language without words is.

They truly mirror us, and teach us about ourselves, yet horses 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.

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.

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.


Friday, November 29, 2019

#EIS2019 Transcript: Top Tips for Equine Employers

listen to the radio show for extra info!
(Findings from The “Learning From Employers #EIS2018 Action Group,” chaired by Kim Logue)

At the last symposium, an action group was formed 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. 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.

Now, we need to address that: to Reduce Worker TurnOver and IMPROVE RETENTION is important in every industry. Turnover is expensive for the Walmarts 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. 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.

And also, our research shows that NON-CASH rewards, like a horse to ride, or lessons, can make all the difference.

Also, a simple, earnest thank you with specific recognition, can go much further than many bosses realize…

And, that’s all we have time for right now! Thanks again for allowing me to share some of the updates from last year’s symposium action group "Learning from Employers!"

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!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Introducing Hoofbeats?

This episode includes some great music from Bahamas and Doug Paisley, as well as some equine event announcements and an excerpt of a presentation about hoofbeat's (and host's) background and history.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Jon Brooks Talks Horse, and more!

Give a listen to a show from the CFRU archive.  There are many, many new volunteers to thank for putting this broadcast together.  Details to follow...

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Another Quick Survey About Horse Jobs

We begin today's show with a brief chat with a University of Guelph BBRM student, who tells us about her horse related summer job at Terre Bleu Lavendar farm, as well as the broader scope of her equine experience.

Then you will hear the first in our series of segments on Employment law, because there is correct way to establish employer-employee relationships with barn help, whether they are casual season staff or full-time employees. The potential costs in the long-term, of misclassifying workers are so significant, that the liability could add up to thousands of dollars, and could literally put your operation out of business, so you'll want to hear some guidelines and best practices. Note that there will be a whole second half hour show dedicated to this very important topic, in the near future, so please listen in to learn the best practices to employ!

You will also hear a new tune from Matt Monoogian, that I found in CFRU's digital library called All Comes Around. He is a multi-instrumentalist I recognize as a player in numerous bands based out of Guelph Ontario (Lowlands, Odd Years, Alanna Gurr). I've heard that his songs are catchy, dark renditions of travel, loss, and heartbreak, and to me, he is best known for the pedal steel guitar.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

#Science2Stable - with Barb Hardman, University of Edinburgh

a weekend view with Barb Hardman!
Just like chewing is good for your oral and digestive health, foraging is an important behaviour for horses, especially in maintaining their gut health.  Hear all about it from Barbara Hardman, hoofbeats hopeful future cohost, the "Irish Scientist," for yourself!

"Horses should not be without forage for more than 4 continuous hours."

Have you already seriously considered the benefits of slow/trickle feeders?  Its fascinating!

#Science2Stable - Kathy Fremes, Management of Equine Environment, University of Guelph (Open Learning)

If you missed this on radio, check out the podcast!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

#Science2Stable - with Hoofnotes and others at ISES2019

In this edition of hoofbeats we are in casual conversation with an #2019ISESConference delegate and have an interesting conversation with

There is also one great tune from Pharis and Jason Romero.

Give a listen!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Horse Drawn Heartwood - Farm Tour

In this episode of hoofbeats, you'll meet Val and her team of Belgians!  And, hear about their regenerative farming practices, and many treasured secrets around the Farm & Cidery.

You will also hear tunes from Noah Zaacharin, who is performing there -  The Way Love Calls & Find My Baby, from his album Strange Rider.  You can check out more of his music at

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mariposa Music and Horse News, Jul 2019

Welcome to the Mariposa Music and Horse News Episode.  In this show, you will hear a few tunes from Martyn Joseph from Wales, back at Mariposa Folk Festival after 19yrs, about how we don't have the luxury of despair.  Some have said he makes John Lennon sound like Julie Andrews, but I loved the sing-a-longs, including the one "Here Come The Young."

Martyn Joseph, Official Bootleg Vol 4, Pipe Records, Luxury of Despair
I Searched For You
Turn Me Tender