Horse & Pony May-July 2016

Lots of green
    The frogs are peeping and the grass is greening. It’s almost time for spring pasture. It was interesting to follow a recent thread on Facebook addressing the financial implications of horse ownership – something most of us try not to think about. The economics of pasture board came up. There seems to be a general assumption among those who have never swung a fence mall, dropped $5 on one fence post, screwed in insulators with frozen fingers, or spent hours trying to figure out why and where the electric current is grounding out, that horses on grass can pretty much live for free. Not so. Green requires “green.” We’re going to try to get to the bottom of the economics of horse keeping. Watch for that (heartbreaking) story in a future issue.
    We are bidding Judith Scrimger a fond farewell as our trusty Nova Scotia Report writer. She will continue bringing HP readers interesting feature stories and lovely photos but it is time, after many years, for someone else to take over the report reins. If you are interested in the job drop us a line. A heartfelt thank you Judith from everyone at Horse & Pony.
    As we put the May HP to bed, the planning of the August-October issue is well underway. We’re celebrating the future of the Atlantic Canadian horse industry by devoting a full issue to young equestrians – from travel and competition stories to kids in business. We’re inviting youth ages 14 and under to share stories about their special equine in the first-ever Bits N Bridles Essay Contest. A prize bucket of goodies is on the line, so get writing kids.
    As a warm up to our youth issue, Judith Scrimger sat down with Rachel Bedingfield of Gaspereau, Nova Scotia, named one of the 25 Most Influential Women for 2015 by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity, to talk about how working with horses prepared her for future success. Riding teaches courage and independence, but mothers teach the value of maintaining a sparkling sense of humor. Wendy Bedingfield set the bar high, battling it out with early versions of the Equine Canada horse show software holed up in the Windsor Spring and Summer Horse Show office in her demanding and sometimes baffling role as an Avon Pony Club mom.
    So kick off your muddy boots and settle in with this issue. We’re thrilled to announce Silver Bell of Hinchinbrook Farm Society as our first-ever and very deserving Therapy Horse of the Year. Susan Sellers shares the struggle for survival of our very own Newfoundland Pony. We also take a peek into the world of music video (on horseback) with Nova Scotian singer-songwriter Christina Martin. Dr. Helen Douglas has tips on making the most of your spring health visit and implementing a successful equine herd health plan. 
    There is much more, of course, including stories from Charlie Weeks and Judith Scrimger of families working together enjoying the best of what horses have to offer with the Wallace River Haflingers and the Yuill Family Percherons. This issue wraps up with Teresa Alexander-Arab reminding us why we do this. Be grateful for horses and family. 
    Welcome spring! I had better get fencing.