The Whinny - My thoughts from the saddle...

Clyde Goes To Camp with Kateri Cowley 

 Until two weeks ago, Clyde was just a young punk colt, minding his own business at the Turkey Run Ranch in Brussels. He started to get a bit suspicious that life might be going to change when his owners, Brian and Jo-Anne Workman, brought out the horse trailer. 

It was off to camp for Clyde, all the way to the Can-Am All Breeds Equine Expo in Markham, to get a three-day education in front of a crowd. As it turns out, it was kind of fun. His teacher – cowgirl Kateri Cowley of Alberta – would become his new…

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A Hollywood Mystery 

There are things that the animal communicator told me about Holly that still bring a smile to my face, like how she enjoys a stall that is open and airy, or how she likes the smell of fresh pine shavings or feeling the warmth of sunlight. 
She likes green apples too, and carrots, although she wasn’t used to such treats. Such things perplex her – she’d gotten the basics before but not the treats. 
It was over six years ago when I called an animal communicator to try to gain some insight into Holly’s view…

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Touring the Keady Market 

Keady Market – Since 1951
“If a gate’s closed, close it again. If it’s open, leave it open or you’ll get in trouble.” Those were the simple instructions given by Howard Greig as our group of farm writers from the Eastern Canada Farm Writers’ Association followed him through the chutes in the cattle sheds at the Keady Market.
It was late Tuesday morning in early September. The beef cattle were just finishing up their sale while across the road the pigs and goats and sheep waited their turn. Chickens, ducks…Read more

EEE Update at Sept 3 

While there have been seven confirmed cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) to date (Sept 2) within the counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Frontenac and Lanark, additional suspicious deaths from progressive neurological diseases are being reported by veterinarians in those regions.
The problem with confirming reports of EEE is that euthanized horses are not routinely tested for the disease unless the owner requests it, but after a few cases veterinarians are able to identify a typical…Read more

EEE Alert 

As of August 20, 2014 there have been four cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) confirmed in Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) issued an equine health advisory in response to the death of a horse from EEE on August 9 in Lanark County. Three more cases of EEE, two in Lanark County and one in Frontenac County, were confirmed on August 20.  
“There are cases of EEE that appear in Ontario every year or every other year namely in the northern and/or eastern parts…Read more

Horse Slaughter Bill C-571 Defeated 

A private member’s bill introduced by NDP MP Alex Atamanenko “In the hopes of legislating severe restrictions on Canada’s horse slaughter industry” was voted down in the House of Commons on May 14, 2014. 

Bill C-571 sought to amend the Safe Food for Canadians Act and the Meat Inspection Act to prohibit the importation or exportation of horses for slaughter or horsemeat products for human consumption. If passed, the bill would have effectively shut down Canada’s horse slaughter industry.
Bill C-571 was an …Read more

Setting the Record Straight 

I got a call last night from someone I hadn’t heard from in about 25 years. Not only was it unusual to hear from him but the reason for his call was unusual as well: he called to complain about a good news story I wrote a few weeks back.
The story was about the money that was allocated on April 1, 2014 to the Ontario horse racing industry to help them work through an unexpected transition period – one that was neither deserved nor welcome – that began with the cancellation of the Slots At Racetracks…Read more

The Ice Storm Cometh 

Wendy Swackhamer has 17 horses and ponies, a Holstein heifer, a couple of sheep and some chickens. For her and many others, the 2013 ice storm meant slippery footing for her animals and limited access to water.
Wendy considers herself lucky. In terms of the animals themselves being in distress, they were generally fine. Their farm has a fresh water creek and they bucketed water – five to ten gallons per horse - morning and night. “We’ve done that before when the pipes froze one year. We fared great.” The…Read more

The Road To Tulsa 

It was the old Gene Pitney song, ‘24 Hours From Tulsa’ that kept going through Karin Zawadowsky’s head as she drove through five states. The adventure seemed like a country song in the making itself. How on earth did her retirement plans for leisurely trail riding end up as an 1800 km, 21-hour trailer ride with her horse to Tulsa, Oklahoma?
Six years ago, Karin retired from a 30-year career as a district manager with Human Resources Development Canada. Her plan was pretty simple: “to have a nice life.”…Read more

Call to Action for Ontario Racing 

Ontario Horse Racing Industry Needs Our Input

What will Ontario horse racing look like in 2018? That’s the question that three former Cabinet Ministers – John Snobelin, Elmer Buchanan and John Wilkinson – are trying to figure out. They’re advisors in the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel and they have been asked to make a plan. 

They want our help.

When the McGuinty government called for the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks agreement by March of 2013 it threw the racing industry into a tailspin…Read more