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.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer’s Craig Schmitt placed first once again at Woody’s Marathon

When Craig Schmitt runs in the annual Woody’s RV Marathon in Red… Continue reading

Life and death: Mistake sent one family to funeral home, the other to hospital

Doctors told Jody Littlewolf that her daughter was brain dead and should… Continue reading

‘Still beautiful:’ Waterton Lakes National Park prepares for life after fire

WATERTON, Alta. — Parks Canada officials and businesses in Waterton say there… Continue reading

British royal family thanks those who celebrated wedding

LONDON — The royal family, blessed with fantastic weather and a buoyant… Continue reading

Cougar kills 1 mountain biker, injures 2nd near Seattle

NORTH BEND, Wash. — Two friends on a morning mountain bike ride… Continue reading

Red Deer Silhouettes prepare for year-end show

Synchronized swimming team will perform its last show this season May 30

One dead in collision west of Sundre

A 30-year-old Cochrane resident is dead after a single vehicle collision in… Continue reading

How a 94-year-old retiree became a gym rat

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Like many gym rats, Paul Russell lifts weights… Continue reading

‘Like a warzone:’ People evacuated as fires burn through Manitoba city’s downtown

BRANDON, Man. — Leanne Marlow saw the flames engulf the building across… Continue reading

Canadians celebrate mix of pageantry, modern twists in royal wedding

As the freshly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex embark on married… Continue reading

Maduro favoured as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is expected to win a… Continue reading

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humour

SANTA FE, Texas — Hardworking. Funny. Loving. Grieving family and friends recalled… Continue reading

Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A veteran Sherpa guide who scaled Mount Everest for… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month