B.C. resident Glenn Stewart demonstrates his horse training skills at the Mane Event in Red Deer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Horse lovers flock to The Mane Event at Westerner Park in Red Deer

The clinics and trade show runs to Sunday

Thousands of equine lovers are heading to Red Deer’s The Mane Event this weekend in hopes of improving horse-human relations.

Glenn Stewart, one of the trainers at the 13th-annual horse expo at Westerner Park, offers this tip: To gain a horse’s trust, quit your predatory behavior.

“Horses are prey animals,” said Stewart of Fort St. John B.C., a former Calgary Stampede champ of the Cowboy Up Challenge, who’s worked across North and South America.

When they see a person striding purposefully up to their face, looking them boldly in the eye, horses understandably flinch and start pacing, he explained.

Stewart’s advice is to move slowly and “laterally” around them, generally exhibiting less aggressive body language. “And you always need to be reading horses,” he added, since a lot of problems happen out of misunderstandings — on our part.

For instance, Stewart said there’s no point getting upset if a horse won’t immediately go into a horse trailer, since you’re essentially asking a prey animal to enter a “cave on wheels.”

And don’t get angry if a horse doesn’t want to cross a puddle. With eyes on either side of their face, horses have poor depth perception. “They have a hard time telling how deep it is.”

Stewart showed what can happen when a human and his horses are in perfect sync — and it earned him applause Friday afternoon. He whispered something to his three horses during a demonstration — and all three animals simultaneously began walking backwards.

This year’s Mane Event, which runs to Sunday, offers tips and demonstrations from 11 trainers — mostly Canadians, said show organizer Gail Barker, who wanted to spotlight horse experts from this country.

With clinician demonstrations, a trainers’ challenge, a large trade show, speakers, and a new demos on equitation (different ways of riding horses), Barker expected the Mane Event to draw a big crowd. Friday was very busy, and she expects the three-day attendance to surpass 2017.

Barker believes people want to get out in the warmth after a long, cold winter. “I think they all had cabin fever.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read