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

No one injured in Olds cannabis production facility fire

A room in a licensed cannabis production facility in Olds went up… Continue reading

Red Deer city managers and non-unionized professionals get small raise

It’s needed to attract qualified staff, says HR director

UPDATED: Red Deer Festival of Trees raises more than $1 million

Festival of Trees held last month at Westerner Park

No bending the rules for Red Deer’s cannabis locations

City council sticks to approved setback distances

Growing drug-fuelled emergencies at Red Deer’s Buffalo transitional housing complex

City council approves two additional mental health staffers at complex

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Review: Too much Spider-Man? Not in the Spider-Verse

You might be forgiven for feeling superhero overload this holiday season. Had… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’s’ Sarah Hyland had second kidney transplant

LOS ANGELES — “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she had a… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Most Read