Who Am I?
I was born and raised in Toronto but somehow agriculture and horses got into my brain. My curiosity about all things agricultural took me to the University of Guelph to earn an Honours B.Sc. in Agriculture (OAC '85), graduating with an Animal Science major sprinkled with literature electives.
The horse racing industry snatched me up after graduation. I worked as an equine midwife at Armstrong Bros. Farm in Inglewood, Ontario, known to most as Armbro, for five years. I delivered over 300 foals during my time in the Standardbred horse industry at five of the leading farms in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, managed mare and foal health, trained foals and weanlings and worked more than a dozen yearling sales in Ontario, Kentucky and Auckland, NZ. I spent another few years as Assistant Farm Manager at Windswept Farm in Ballinafad, ON raising and training their magnificent Hannoverians while continually working with horse training projects.
As a break from the horse industry I spent several years at Roof Trusses & Components Ltd, a manufacturing business in Rockwood, Ontario, rounding out my skills in administration and customer service. Once I figured out how to turn on the computer they couldn’t stop me: I looked after everything from balancing the books to designing roof truss systems. I wrote and delivered training sessions to customers, scheduled orders and deliveries, built trusses, motivated the troops, and became involved in just about every other aspect of the business that is so important to the bottom line, all while helping the company itself to grow five-fold in seven years.
It was 1983 when I was asked to show a new horse owner how to lead and feed their horses and Horse Basics was born. It's grown like a child ever since, constantly evolving to serve a diverse clientele, most recently influenced by incredible people like Temple Grandin, Pat Carter and Ray Hunt. Over the years I have worked with a large cross-section of breeds and disciplines and specialize in young stock, building a sound future on solid fundamentals. I have also trained, bred and shown our own Sweet Grass Farm herd of Paints and Welsh ponies, with our homebred colt Sweet Scotch Man winning his division at the Ontario Paint Horse Club Futurity in 2012.
Along the way I started submitting articles to local newspapers and in October 2002, Words For Hire was officially launched. My curiosity, my urban roots, my education, experience, writing and photography skills and my passion for everything I do has been able to come together in a successful business. My work appears weekly in the Ontario Farmer and once a month in the Horse Tales column in our local paper, Country Routes, as well as in various agricultural specialty publications and newsletters.