Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
Hoofbeats & Heartbeats
The monthly newsletter for the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
Issue #4
March/April 2010
In This Issue
Feature Article
Greetings from the Chair
Volunteer Profile
Lesson Horse Profile
Feature Article
WELCA's Lesson Herd
The lesson herd consists of 27 horses that are either owned or fully-leased by WELCA. The average age is 22 years: the oldest is 35 and the youngest 11.
As employees of WELCA, the lesson herd receives the following compensation package:
  • Outside or inside board depending on individual needs and preferences
  • Feed 4 times a day
  • Water, salt and minerals
  • Special feed, such as beet pulp, if required
  • One day off per week (during heavily-scheduled periods) as well as two weeks vacation annually
  • Yearly veterinarian check
  • Vaccinations
  • Deworming 4 times per year
  • Dental work by the NAIT vet
  • Regular farrier appointments
  • Massage through the Massage Therapy Clinics
(Lesson horses are the only employees on-site entitled to a full benefits package!)

Working as a lesson horse is a specialized occupation and not suited to every horse. For instance, a lesson horse must be:
  • very patient and willing to stand quietly while student(s) learn the various tasks
  • the strong one when a student is nervous; remaining calm and quiet
  • able to discern the difference between what the student is asking with the aids and what she really wants to happen
  • receptive to all unending love and attention everyone gives and love each person back equally
  • happy in the company of horses and people alike
  • sound (healthy)
  • willing to put up with (and smart enough to remember) all of the different people handling them, all of the different things they are asked to do, and the differentways in which they are asked to do them.
In addition to the 27 full-time horses, there are 5 horses on partial lease, which means that they work part-time in the WELCA and/or Little Bits programs.

2010 Calendar of Events
Calendar of Events
Programs, Shows and Events Scheduled at the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre and Show Grounds


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

April 27, 1986 to March 28, 2010
Smoky, the registered Half-Arab originally known as Shadow, died on March 28 from complications due to colic.

SmokeySmoky joined the lesson herd in 2006 and right away became a favorite in both the WELCA program and Little Bits.
A former trail horse, his favorite part of the job was walking outside with his Little Bits rider.

It is always hard to lose a good friend. We hope everyone will take comfort in the fact that Smoky enjoyed his time with us, loved his job, and always received the best of care.
Dear ,

Spring is usually a busy time for us and this year is proving to be no exception. We welcomed Sidonia McIntyre and the participants in her Equine Massage Therapy clinics last week and students from NAIT's Animal Technician program this week - the results are some very happy lesson horses who received lots of TLC and massage work. Just in time too, as the Little Bits program starts on April 4 which means all the lesson horses will be busy at work!

Work will soon begin at the show grounds in preparation for the show season.  The stable pad will be regraded and security lighting installed. A third sand ring will be added on what is now known as Roger's Ridge. The first show will be the Caledonia on May 19 followed immediately after by the Edmonton Classic. Hope to see you there!

Diane David
Newsletter Editor & Administrator

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

Linda & CaffiAt Whitemud, the barns are nestled against the treed hills along Fox Drive in Edmonton's
beautiful river valley offering a great setting for people and horses.

We believe that access to nature and horses offers immense value to people of all ages and that this unique facility, open and accessible to all Edmontonians, is a great asset worth our efforts to retain and redevelop.

Most non-profit organizations are faced with ongoing funding issues, and WELCA is no exception. For the past few years, most of our funding has come from grants and casinos. Now, thanks to support from an enthusiastic group of volunteer members, we are more fully embracing the philosophy that "every dollar counts", and we are undertaking some smaller fund raising activities to help with ongoing maintenance and support of our facility. A fund raising committee has been established to accomplish this goal and act on some of the great ideas our members have proposed.

Over the next few months, you will be seeing special events and other fundraising projects coming from the committee. If you would like to participate in the work of the fundraising committee, or if you have any ideas for them, don't hesitate to let us know, either by speaking with one of the committee or board members, or by contacting the WELCA office.
Linda Olson-Lipinski
Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association
Volunteer/Board Profile
Board member and current Vice-Chair, Gord Blinston, is featured this month

Gord Blinston Board member

Gord Blinston has been a volunteer at Whitemud since the early 1980's, and he played a major part in the establishment of WELCA through work as a board member of both founding organizations.  During that entire time, he has been involved in the ongoing quest for a redeveloped facility, and he has worked with hundreds of dedicated volunteers who have played a part in the process. 

See bios of other Board Members 

Lesson Horse Profile
ECHO by Sally Robertson
Echo the lesson horse

Echo is a 14.3 hand tall, beautiful, purebred Morgan. Echo has been a lesson horse and a Little Bits horse for about 5 years now and is fully leased from his owner, Joan Stein. He is 11 years old and came to Whitemud at the age of 4.

Echo is a great schoolmaster to learn how to ride on! He has taught all levels of riders from beginner to advanced. He loves to jump even though he may be scared of the colorful poles sometimes; it just takes a confident rider. He is very popular with the riders and volunteers because of his sweet personality and his handsomeness. He loves to be out and about playing with his pen mates, especially before feeding times. He loves to clean out the feed buckets for the staff after making the special feed; it is one of his duties around the barn! Another thing he loves to do is to drink from the hose on a hot day after having a hose down!

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:

Linda Lipinski - $150.00

In-Kind Donations:
Sheila Edmonds - saddle
Judy Schroder - saddle

Visit our website and click on Donations.
WELCA Needs Your Help!
WELCA Fundraising Committee
silouette of girl and horseDid you know that Edmonton has owned the "Valley of Horses" since 1971, but our non-profit association covers all operational costs, including maintenance and improvements? We intend to install civic pride in this nearly century-old, self-sustaining historic centre, and draw emotional attention to its rare benefits, to raise positive public awareness and support while raising money for improvements.

WHO:     The Fundraising Committee for WELCA:
              Sheila Edmonds 780-475-7723
              Dainaha Stewart 780-700-5702

WHAT:    Bottle Drive & Chocolate Sales
              Chocolate Almonds @ $90/case (30 boxes @ $3 each)
              Bottle Drive (pick up extra blue bages in the office)
              Distribute WELCA brochures and bookmarks

WHERE:  Your Community and work place
                Pick up supplies in the classroom/hallway in the WELCA arena/office building

WHEN:    March 24 to April 24
               Pick up times: March 29, April 1 & 2 (4:30 - 7:00pm), April 3 (2:00 - 4:00 pm)

WHY:     To educate, repair horse shelters, buy saddles for students, promote tree fund project and upcoming fundraising events.
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.
Supporters Tea
tea cup and potBring family and friends to Keillor Cabin on Sunday, April 18 for the Supporters Tea. This fund raising event features: antique tea cups, silent auction, games, poetry, tea and snacks.
Our Price: $25.00 or 2/$40
To purchase tickets, visit us at EventBrite