Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
Hoofbeats & Heartbeats
The monthly newsletter for the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
Third issue 
February 2010
In This Issue
Feature Article
2010 Calendar of Events
Greetings from the Chair
Lesson Program News
Volunteer Profile
Lesson Horse Profile
Bill Collins
Feature Article
Redevelopment of the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
We are scheduling to complete the Detailed Business Case in March 2010 at which time it will be submitted to the City for consideration.

A fund-raising feasibility study has been commissioned by the Board to determine the extent that project funds can be raised to supplement any government funding available.

Read the February 2010 update of the Redevelopment Project

Feature Article

Little Bits Celebrates 35th Anniversary

2010 represents a milestone for Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association (LBTRA). It is our 35th anniversary since inception in 1975. More than a quarter of a century has been spent providing recreational riding with therapeutic benefits for individuals with disabilities.

Over the years, the riding program has evolved from 36 child riders to more than 130 riders including adults.

Read more on the 35 year history of Little Bits and plans for their Anniversary celebration here.

2010 Calendar of Events
Calendar of Events
Programs, Shows and Events Scheduled at the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre and Show Grounds
March 22 - 29: Daily 8-5
Equine Massage & Chiropractic Clinic - Equine Rehab www.equinerehab.ca

March 23

Little Bits 'n Bites Breakfast Round Up


March  24:  7-9pm

Little Bits volunteer training session

March 26: evening
Edmonton Area Dressage Association of Alberta

April 4                   

Little Bits Spring Session begins

May 4
Registration for Horse Rider Summer Camps begins.
City of Edmonton E-Reg 


May 19 - 24
Caledonia Horse Show



June 5         

Corporate Challenge - Bunnock

June 23

Little Bits session ends
June 25
Horsemanship program ends


June 26 - 27  

Student Year End Show


June 26 - 27

Bunnock Tournament - show grounds


July 5                    

City of Edmonton Horse Rider Summer Camps begin


July 21 - 25                   

River Valley Horse Show


August 21 - 28         

Equine Massage & Chiropractic Clinic


August 23 - 27              

WELCA Summer Camp


August 28 - 29

Pony Club Horse Show


September 4         

Fall Horsemanship program begins


September 12

Little Bits Fall Session begins


October 30

Heavy Weight Entertainment Halloween Party


November 22

Little Bits Fall Session ends


November 23 - 24

Learn to Ride Program begins


December 17

Last day of Horsemanship before Christmas break


December 27 - 31

WELCA December Camp

Hi ,

Well, the survey results are in and although the response was very low, it was also very positive! Respondents rated the newsletter as very satisfactory for content and design. The most read articles are the Calendar of Events and the Lesson Horse Profiles. Suggestions include: keeping articles short and including an up-to-date arena schedule.

Congratulations to Andrea Wilhelm who will receive a $10 Tim Horton's gift card. Thank you to all the respondents and everyone who has taken the time to contact

Diane David
Newsletter Editor & Administrator

Greetings from the Chairperson
Welcome to the third edition of Hoofbeats and Heartbeats

Linda & CaffiEach of our hearts and imaginations are captivated by the beauty and power of horses. Those of you who have had the pleasure to enjoy equine activities at Whitemud's know the experience of nature and happy hours of learning and adventure on horses.  I feel we have a debt of gratitude to the ones who make it happen for us.

In this edition, I want to acknowledge the fine management, staff and instructors collaborating to support and create the many great programming elements taking place at Whitemud. Offerings invite Edmontonians of all ages to watch, participate and learn about horses. A large part of the focus is to introduce the majesty and mystery of horses to children - inspiring them to grow into confident youth and adults. We are fortunate to have a keen and knowledgable team keeping these offerings of value to us. Thank you for your hard work. 

Linda Olson-Lipinski
Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association
Equinerehab Education is coming!
The only equine massage school in Canada that comes to the students in over twenty locations nationally.

Sidonia and student at work
In this six day intensive course, Sidonia McIntyre, a retired registered massage therapist, brings 20 years of soft tissue experience along with a certificate with distinction from the U. of Guelph in equine health sciences. These classes provide a blend of book work and make massage the focus with over 25 hours of hands-on work. In the advanced massage segment, equine behaviour is taught with focus on two areas: 
  • How to understand the horse as they communicate, and
  • Specific areas of tension that have a direct correlation to pain, refusals and lameness issues. 
Sidonia has been offering her courses at Whitemud for the past 3 years. Here's what she says about us: "The Whitemud Equine Learning Centre provides a bright classroom setting, very well mannered horses and staff members who are helpful and truly pleasant to work with - making the learning experience at Whitemud a pleasure! I had the joy of working with Tuffy, who was a truly wonderful teacher and at the ripe age of 43 still had plenty to teach - he is truly missed!" 

The course runs twice at WELCA in 2010: March 22-29 and August 21-28, 2010. For course information, please call 1-888-EQUINE2 or visit www.equinerehab.ca

Lesson Program News
Equine Canada Rider Level Testing

equine canada logoEquine Canada Rider Levels
Students in WELCA 3, 4 & 5, will begin testing for the Equine Canada Rider Levels the week of February 13.  

Students interested in earning certificates and badges are required to:
  • Have a current Equine Canada membership.  Memberships can be purchased on-line for $25.00 from
  • Equine Canada
  • Complete the Rider Level Test (RLT) application form (available from Instructor)
  • Attach a cheque for $21.00 payable to Equine Canada. Please post-date the cheque to April 1, 2010.
  • Return the completed RLT application form and cheque to the WELCA office by March 1, 2010.
The elements of the Rider Level tests are:
  1. Dress and Presentation
  2. Riding
  3. Stable Management
  4. Written Exam
For information on the requirements for each element please click here.

Equine Canada Rider Level Manuals
(available on-line). 

Riding & Stable Management: February 13 - March 19 as part of the regular classes.

Written Exam:    
March 20 - March 26 WELCA 4 in the off-horse session.
April 3 - 9 WELCA 3 in the off-horse session.
April 10 - 16 WELCA 5 in the off-horse session.

PLEASE NOTE: Students in WELCA 1 and 2 will begin their testing in May (schedules will be sent out in April).  The next testing period will be Fall 2010.
Volunteer/Board Profile
Board member, Roxy Bell, is featured this month

Dr. Roxy Bell, DVM, was first appointed to the WELCA Board in 2008. She was subsequently elected to her first three-year term as a director of the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association at the October 1, 2009 Annual General Meeting.

Roxy graduated from the Western School of Veterinary Medicine in 1975. She has been involved in Equine research and now has an active practice with her husband David. D & R Veterinary Services Inc. focuses on equines and equine dentristry. Dr Bell is also a sport horse breeder and endurance rider..

See bios of other Board Members 

Lesson Horse Profile

Max is a very tall (16.1hh) Standard Bred bay gelding. At 26 years old, Max has done a lot different activities including dressage, jumping and even served as a police horse for a time. He has taught riders at all levels in the Whitemud program since joining us in 2005. Now, he works primarily for the Little Bits program and Beginner Walk/Trot where he is very popular with riders and volunteers. 


Max is quite a character - he is well-known for his love of grass which can make for an interesting and slow walk across the yard for volunteers unfamiliar with his habits! He lives in his own pen by Barn 3 because he much prefers human company over horse company. He is happy being in his own pen and 'playing' with the other horses over the fence.

Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association would like to acknowledge publicly the generous support we have received from the following individuals:

Tree of Hope Campaign - to purchase trees for the shelter belt along the north-east property line backing onto Keillor Road:
Sarah Pemberton and family - $150.00
Jean Smith - $150.00
Valerie Wilson - $150.00
Michael Capus - $150.00

Hay for Lesson Horses
So many students, volunteers and friends contributed to this campaign - too many to mention here; but, you can check out the names on our hay bale display in the office hallway. In total, we raised $1380.00 to offset the increased cost of hay.  Thank you!

Special thanks to:
Barb Middleton for her generous donation of $200 to purchase a cart for hauling water buckets, and

Jane Haslett for her kind donation of $300 to be used towards repairing the shelters in Spring. Jane made her donation after attending the Sharon Merkel-Beattie fundraiser.

Sarah Nisbet-Lui, 11, instead of birthday presents, Sarah asked her friends to contribute towards buying hay for the lesson horses. She collected $100 - a gift from the heart!

If anyone else would like to contribute to the shelter repair project, we need an additional $1020.00 to replace the panels damaged by horses pretending to be beavers.

Visit our website and click on Donations.
Caring for the Older Horse
Sharing Information
WillyWest Wind Veterinary Hospital is holding a seminar, "Caring for the Older Horse," on Thursday, March 4, 2010 from 6:30 - 8:00pm at their clinic.  The address is 51136 Range Road 12 Sherwood Park, AB.

Everyone is welcome.  Coffee & dessert provided.  Please bring your own chair.  RSVP by phone at 780-662-0112, Facebook or email westvet@hughes.net
Our History - The Era of Cowboys and Champions
WELCA historian and volunteer, Sheila Edmonds, writes about Bill Collins.
Bill CollinsBill Collins and Leo Lemieux operated Leecoll Stables at Keillor's Farm
between 1958 and 1974. They made great contributions to Edmonton's
recreation, education and sport facilities. Leecoll's horsemen built the
first 7 km of river valley trails for bridle paths. The indoor riding arena,
horse barns and show grounds were added. Read more of Bill Collin's lifetime achievements at these two sites:

Cowboy Up
Horse Industry Association of Alberta
Photography Workshop: How to shoot horses like the pros

If you love horses and love to take pictures of them; but, are frustrated by the results of your photo-taking efforts - this fun-filled, hands-on workshop is for you! Learn how to:
  • Pose both horse and rider for beautiful portraits
  • Capture the 'jump shot' at just the right moment
  • Recognize 'the right place and the right time'
  • 'See the light'
  • Create artistic effects with some easy tricks
Equine photographer, Linda Finstad, will show you the secrets to her freestyle and action shots as well as horse portraiture.  And, you will receive an easy-to-follow workbook so that you continue to practise her techniques after the workshop.

The workshop will run Saturday, June 19, 2010 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm on the grounds at Whitemud Equine Learning Centre.  The cost (including workbook) is $89.00.

To register, call Linda Finstad at 780-468-9270 or visit her website.
Dog Agility Club Comes to WELCA
WELCA welcomes Spectrum Speed Dog Sport Club!

Starting Sunday, March 7, Spectrum Speed Dog Sport will be training in our indoor arena until the spring when they will move to the show grounds. Spectrum Speed is a dog agility club.

Dog agility is a sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in an accurate race against the clock. Dogs must run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives. Consequently, the handler's only controls are voice and body language, requiring exceptional obedience training of the animal. In competition, the handler must assess the course, decide on handling strategies and direct the dog through the course, with precision and speed equally important.


If you would like information on Spectrum Speed Dog Sport, please contact Seanna O'Neill.  Her email address is sko@dogsport.org

Indoor Arena Schedule

Please join us and be a supporter of the First Annual Little Bits 'n Bites Breakfast Round-up taking place at 7:30am, March 23rd, 2010 at Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Edmonton. This fund raising breakfast is the first event of their 35th Anniversary celebrations.

See more about the event and order your tickets.