Horse Basics Workshops & Clinics 

If you have any ideas of workshops you'd like to see or give here in 2023 season, give me a call or text to 519-855-1127. They have to be affordable, interesting, and fun! I encourage people who want to promote their equine services to host a workshop here - you present, I host. Call me for details. Please look down below to see some of the events we've hosted here at Sweet Grass Farm in the past. If the weather cooperates we should be able to open by May 1.

Workshops

Workshops are demonstration events for people only. We use volunteer horses from our trusty Sweet Grass herd as required. Some of the workshops we've held in the past have included saddle fitting, ground driving, making a rope halter, goal setting, foaling and roping. 

Clinics

Clinics will provide an opportunity to learn skills with your own horse in a variety of areas hosted by me or guest clinicians. Recent outside coaches have included Jen Jonas, Lindsay Grice, Greg Crispin, and Susan Caldwell. 

Private & Semi-Private Lessons 

Private or semi-private lessons are available with one of our horses or you can bring your horse to Sweet Grass Farm near Orton. I am an intermediate level rider and a Level 1 EXCA Judge with broad experience in handling, riding, showing and training. Read more here: who-am-i? 

If you're on Facebook, please ride on over to the Horse Basics page or to the Sweet Grass Farm page to see what's going on here at the farm. There we have some good, respectful discussions that you are welcome to join or ask questions to connect with your fellow insightful horsemen and horsewomen. 

 Call or text for more information 519-855-1127, e-mail karen.dallimore (@) gmail.com or contact me through PM on Facebook. 

Previous events

Basics of Trail Riding

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Erin Fairgrounds, Dundas Street West, Erin

Basics of Trail Riding with Karen Dallimore

Trail riding season will soon be here. Are you ready?

Come join us for a 3-hour Basics of Trail Riding clinic on Sunday, May 28 to find out more! This is all part of day 2 of Horse Day Erin.

Whether you and your horse are new to trail riding or have a few seasons under your belt, the same preparation goes into having an enjoyable and safe ride for yourself, your horse, and your trail buddies. For some, this will be a good refresher and a chance to get your horse out early in the season. For others, this may be new ground. All are welcome.

We’ll be working entirely in the North Ring at the Erin Fairgrounds in a securely fenced area. The pace will be slow – we’ll talk about that too. The group in the clinic won’t be much different than the assorted mixture of fellow trail riders you’re likely to ride with on the trail. The morning group will be in the ring from 10 am to 1 pm; the afternoon group will run from 2 pm to 5 pm.

You’ll bring your horse into the ring in hand, tacked up and ready to ride and we’ll take three hours with each group to have a look at your gear, review your skillset in hand and under saddle, talk about riding in a group, and approach and negotiate some typical introductory level obstacles that simulate what you may see on the trail.

We’ll talk about what your horse needs as well as what you need before, during and after the ride. It’s a social event for them too!

Have you taken the time to get your horse fit and prepared? What tack do you want to use? Is your horse suited to your needs? What gear do you need to carry with you? What basic skills does your horse need before you even head out? What skills do you need to ride safely with others? Do you know trail etiquette - how to look after your riding partners, other trail users and the trail itself? Are you prepared to deal with a misadventure? We’ll answer these questions and more.

If you have any more questions, ask away? I'm the clinician. The cost is $40 per person. To sign up please contact the host, Debra Moore, well-known for organizing the Trail Ride for Breast Cancer. You can reach her by email at rebel1312a@gmail.com

Basics of Cowboy Obstacles

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Erin Fairgrounds, Dundas Street West, Erin

Are you interested in learning more about negotiating Cowboy Obstacles with your horse? Come and join us for this one day clinic, generously held in conjunction with Horse Day Erin 2023 at the Erin Fairgrounds. There will be a series of obstacles for you and your horse to explore and negotiate in the North Ring, under the guidance of Karen Dallimore, Level 1 EXCA judge and obstacle coach. The morning session, from 10 to 1, will be at an introductory level where you will be guided through how to approach and negotiate some fun everyday obstacles that you may come across on the trail, at home, or in the show pen. In the afternoon, from 2 to 5 pm, you will have a chance to find out more about extreme cowboy racing, how it works, how to challenge your performance a bit with thoughts of possibly competing at the Erin Fair Extreme Race in October or elsewhere, and we'll cap off the day with some mock runs. There's no pressure, just have some fun! Both sessions will give horses and riders just the right amount of interesting information. If you're new to obstacles, you'll learn how to negotiate them from scratch. If you've done this before, you'll get some tips on how to improve your performance. The cost for the full day is $95 per horse and rider team. Please be prepared to pay an entrance fee to the grounds of $10 for adults which gives you additional access to all of the Horse Day Erin events that day. Proof of liability insurance through CRHRA, OE or equivalent is required. To find out more and sign up, simply send an email to karen.dallimore (@) gmail.com to let me know you're interested. I'll give you more information and answer your questions. Payment by e-transfer is required to hold your spot, since space will be limited.

Previous events

Working the Cow Flag with Greg Crispin

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Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

This clinic is for those learning how to start your horse on a cow flag or for those who are familiar with the flag and wanting a tune-up. Greg will be helping to teach your horse to rate the flag like they would a live cow, stopping in time with the flag, the draw back and turn, and overall timing to be in the right position when working a cow. The flag is also a great tool to practice speed control and roll backs for other events, such as ranch riding and reining. Greg is a trainer, coach, and competitor in reined cow horse, cutting, and ranch riding. Greg trains horses of all ages in these events and coaches students ranging from beginners to Ontario and North American competitors. He and his students have had success in the Ontario show pen as well as in numerous regional and North American year-end awards and finals. There will be something for all experience levels. Cost for this one-day clinic is $160 which includes lunch and HST. Please contact Karen at 519-855-1127 (cell/text) for more information or to register. Prepayment is required to hold your spot.

Western Saddle Dissection Workshop

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Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

Have you ever wondered what’s inside your western saddle? Let Steve Close take some of the mystery out of it! In this 3-hour Saddle Dissection Workshop, Steve will take apart a western saddle right down to the tree, letting you see how all the parts go together by taking them apart. Knowing the inner workings will not only help you to assess saddles with a keener eye, it will help you to understand the form and function of different parts of the saddle. Steve has developed his craft over 30 years and provides handmade leather goods and saddle repair at The Saddle Shack just north of Mount Forest, ON. You’ll find him there year ‘round, carving, sewing, and crafting all kinds of beautiful and functional leather pieces, everything from western tack, custom chaps, chinks, headstalls and spur straps to gear for outdoor enthusiasts such as knife sheaths, cell phone cases, rifle slings & scabbards and tool pouches. Cost is $45 which includes HST. Refreshments will be provided. Please text Karen at 519-855-1127 if you have questions or to register. Prepayment is required to hold your spot.

Basics of Equine Massage

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Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

Your horse has asked that you come to our Basics of Equine Massage Workshop at Sweet Grass Farm on Saturday, April 9 from 10 am until 1 pm. Join Ashley Stinson from A Plus Equine Massage as she shows us show how to do a basic conformation assessment to help show where potential issues could occur, share some basic everyday massages and stretches and a couple of easy pole exercises you can do at home to keep your horse running in tip top shape. Ashley received her SMARTCert Canada Practitioner certification in 2021. An avid learner, she has a diploma in Equine Studies from the University of Guelph and training in Large Animal Rescue, Equine First Aid, Fire and Emergency Preparedness and Sickness Prevention from Equine Guelph. With over 20 years of experience in the horse industry, Ashley has participated in a wide variety of disciplines so she has a better understanding of the demands placed on horses and what the typical issues in that discipline may be. She currently competes in the sport of endurance riding with her appaloosa Splash and her paint Harley. Last year, Ashley made it to the 94-mile mark of the Tevis Cup, one of the world’s toughest endurance rides, riding an Arab/Appaloosa horse named Sonic. A Plus Equine Massage offers services that include rehabilitation and conditioning programs across Bruce, Grey, Perth, Huron, Wellington and Halton regions as well as on-line. The cost is $45 per person which includes HST and refreshments. This is a people only workshop – Ashley will use the Sweet Grass herd for demonstration. Send me a FB message, call or text 519-855-1127 or send an email to reserve your spot.

Basics of Extreme Cowboy

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Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

You are invited to an Extreme Cowboy Open House here at Sweet Grass Farm near Orton, on Sunday, March 20, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. I'll talk about the format and strategy of Extreme Cowboy Racing, walk an obstacle course, and we'll judge a few runs together. It's a great chance to find out how you can become involved, whether competing or volunteering, or just pick up some ideas to have some fun at home. All are welcome! I've been competing in Ontario Xtreme Cowboy racing and sat for several years on the OXC board since the sport came to Ontario in 2012, developing the successful Rookie Series and earning High Point Rookie Open with our Tatti and High Point Green Horse with Jake so far. Cost is $25 which includes HST for this 3-hour workshop. This is a people only event - no need to get out the trailer just yet! Message me if you have any questions or to RSVP.

Basics of Roping with Lisa Graham

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Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

Back by popular demand - the Basics of Roping with Lisa Graham. In this 3-hour clinic you have a chance to learn how to set up your rope, swing a rope and throw a rope. Learn how to keep your loop open and how to increase your chances of catching your target or obstacle. You’ll be swinging a rope like an old cowpoke by the end of day. This is ideal for Extreme Cowboy competitors wanting to improve their roping skills or for those wanting to explore roping further. Lisa Graham is a long time equine enthusiast dabbling in many disciplines. She started riding as an adult and jumped right into the rodeo circuit in her early 20’s. Lisa will have ropes for sale as well. Please note this is a people only clinic - no need to bring a horse! Prepayment required to hold your spot - this one sold out fast last time! $45 includes HST and light refreshments. To reserve please contact me at karen.dallimore (at) gmail.com or 519-855-1127.

Basics of Roping with Lisa Graham

Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

Back by popular demand - the Basics of Roping with Lisa Graham. In this 3-hour clinic you have a chance to learn how to set up your rope, swing a rope and throw a rope. Learn how to keep your loop open and how to increase your chances of catching your target or obstacle. You’ll be swinging a rope like an old cowpoke by the end of day. This is ideal for Extreme Cowboy competitors to improve their roping skills. Lisa Graham is a long time equine enthusiast dabbling in many disciplines. She started riding as an adult and jumped right into the rodeo circuit in her early 20’s. Lisa considers riding a continuous learning journey and is always looking for ways to improve her riding. Lisa will have ropes for sale as well. Please note this is a people only clinic - no need to bring a horse! Prepayment required to hold your spot - this one sold out fast last time! $45 includes HST and light refreshments.

Basics of Ranch Riding with Greg Crispin

Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

Are you curious about Ranch Riding? This class is gaining popularity in all show circuits. Greg Crispin has been training and competing in ranch riding since it began in AQHA around 2013. Both Greg and several of his students have achieved numerous Ontario championships and been multi-year world show qualifiers. For the clinic, you will practice and improve maneuvers needed to complete the patterns. Greg will discuss what the judge is looking for when horse and rider are in the pen, the score card, and will have you execute a pattern or two to put the riders' work together. There will be lots of individual attention with two groups of 3 to 4 riders, one in the morning for 3 hours and the other in the afternoon for 3 hours. Rider spots are sold out! Please contact me if you would like to be put on a waiting list or if you're interested in auditing. This is an indoor event, rain or shine.

Extreme Cowboy Obstacles with Susan Caldwell

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Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

Join Susan Caldwell to learn about improving horsemanship through using obstacles. This full day clinic is open to riders of all disciplines and levels with a small group size allowing individualized attention. The morning will be lessons in pairs followed by mock racing in the afternoon with a limit of 6 participants to ensure individual attention. Susan is an Equestrian Canada Competition Level Coach, earning Ontario Coach of the Year honours in 2019. She is also the 2018 OXC High Point Pro and an EXCA Level 1 Judge. Cost is $150 for the day, including lunch, refreshments and HST. CRHRA/OE or equivalent insurance is required. No auditors will be permitted at this time but watch for updates here as Covid protocols evolve. For more information call/text Karen Dallimore at 519-855-1127.

Saddle Fitting with Britt Blakely

Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

Bring your horse or just yourself for a session with Western Saddle fitter Brittany Blakely of Britt's Corner Tack. Based in Grand Valley, Ontario, Britt has spent over five years working with saddle makers, suppliers and knowledgeable horsemen as the manager of a tack store in Alberta. She's back home now and has set up her own shop with a 30' trailer that brings cinches, headstalls, breast collars, bits, spurs, spur straps, splint boots, and quality used saddles right to your barn. She carries lines that include Classic Equine, Professional Choice, Cuttin' Up saddle blankets, OxBow and Cow Person tack and Stray Dog saddles, as well as a full line of Hansbo ceramic/magnetic therapeutic products. Fittings are $50 per horse and are typically one hour in duration which includes evaluation with a Port Lewis impression pad. Auditors are welcome, $10 each. Britt's trailer will be available for shopping too! This event will be held indoors. Refreshments will be available. RSVP with prepayment is required. For more information please call/text Karen at 519-855-1127.

Basics of Cowboy Obstacles

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Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON

Are you curious about Cowboy Obstacle Racing but don't know where to start? In the morning, we'll go over the rules, walking the course, and touch on a few ways to strategize your run. The afternoon will be an opportunity to work on some obstacles with your horse and try a run for yourself. Sign up for one or both sessions! They're $50 each, $100 for the full day, which includes HST. Lunch is available for an additional $15. CRHRA/OE or equivalent insurance required. As usual, a small group size will allow individual attention and time to answer your questions. No auditors will be allowed at this time. I'll be your coach for the day. I've been involved with Extreme Cowboy Racing since 2012, developing the successful OXC Rookie series and earning the 2017 OXC Green Horse Division championship with my homebred, Sweet Grass Jake. Come out and give it a try! For more information or to sign up send me a PM or text 519-855-1127. Prepayment is required to hold your spot.