Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
Hoofbeats & Heartbeats

The monthly newsletter for the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
Issue No. 10
November/December 2010
In This Issue
Greetings from the Chair
2010 Calendar of Events
Lesson Program News
Meet the Horses
WELCA Board and Committee Opportunities

Currently the WELCA Board is in need of a Treasurer.  We are looking for candidates with accounting experience, an interest in Whitemud, and the ability to work effectively and amicably with the Board and administrative staff.  The person who takes this position would become a Board member.

Also, we would like to add a few members to some of our committees.  Existing committees include Finance, Personnel, and Fundraising.  In the near future, we may be adding committees to deal with Education, and Communication.  People with prior experience in any of these areas would be welcomed, as would people who may not have experience, so long as they are interested and willing to contribute.  Board membership is not necessary to serve on these committees. 

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, or if you have any questions about them, you can contact the Board via e-mail at board@whitemudequine.ca or call the WELCA office at 780-435-3597 to leave a number where you can be reached.

Where's Maggie?

Maggie, one of WELCA's lesson horses, has a new home for Christmas!

To read more about Maggie, click here.

Dear ,
It's hard to believe that the holiday season is just about here! The horses, instructors and teaching assistants are looking forward to a good long break - most of our classes end on December 17 and return starting January 1, 2011!

I hope Boarders and riders get lots of rides in over the holidays. The indoor arena will be available from 6am - 9:30pm, Dec 20 to 31, so enjoy!

From all of us at Whitemud Equine Learning Centre, best wishes for the Christmas season,

Diane David
Newsletter Editor & Administrator
Greetings from the Chairperson
Welcome to the tenth edition of Hoofbeats and Heartbeats

Gord Blinston Board memberDecember is the time of year for saying "Thank You".  We send cards, we buy Christmas gifts, and we use various other ways to thank everyone who has been helpful to us throughout the year.  So I'm going to take this opportunity for a few acknowledgements of my own.

The dedicated, loyal, hard-working staff who keep things running smoothly under the often extremely difficult conditions mandated by a tight budget and an ancient facility deserve huge credit for what they accomplish every day.    We don't pay huge salaries, so we need to really consider ourselves fortunate to have attracted and retained such a capable team.  These people work at Whitemud because they truly care.

There is a tenacious group of people who volunteer their time and energy to make Whitemud a better place.   Volunteers do repairs and maintenance, help with horses, clean up the site, add special touches such as plants and decorations, work on fundraising projects, and spend time on Board-related activities.  These people have donated their time and their energy for a variety of reasons, but they all have one thing in common--a love for Whitemud.  Many thanks to each of you.  Your efforts are vital to our success.

Within both of the groups I've mentioned, there are many people who regularly do wonderful things inconspicuously and quietly without any thought of recognition.  Most of these things are never noticed or acknowledged, but in total they represent a huge contribution.  If you are one of those people, and you haven't already done this, I'm going to suggest something. Take time to remember that each small effort ultimately results in a big difference. You should be very proud of yourself for contributing to that difference.

To everyone who reads this newsletter, thanks for your interest and support.  On behalf of the Board I'd like to wish you all a happy holiday season and a wonderful 2011.  

Gord Blinston
Chairperson, WELCA
2010/11 Calendar of Events
2011 calendar
Programs, Shows and Events Scheduled at the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre and Show Grounds

December 17

Last day of Horsemanship lessons before Christmas Break.  Last day to submit $300 deposit for Spring Session.

December 18

Rider Level testing for Horsemanship students who missed the testing offered in the spring, 2010.

December 19

Last day of Sunday lessons before Christmas Break.

January 1, 2011

Horsemanship lessons (Fall Session) resume.

January 4 & 5

Learn to Ride classes resume.

January 9

Sunday lessons resume.

February 5

Spring Session of Horsemanship program starts.

February 12

Winter Junior Rider programs begin

March 21-27

Equine massage clinic from Equine Rehab.

March 28-31

Equine vertebral alignment clinic from Equine Rehab.

April 3

Little Bits Spring Session starts

May 19-22 (tentative)

Caledonia Classic Horse Show

May 24-29

Edmonton Classic Horse Show

June 5

Corporate Challenge Bunnock Tournament - Show Grounds

June 25-26

WELCA Year End Show

July 4 - 29

City of Edmonton River Valley Summer Camp programs here.

July 20-24

River Valley Horse Show

August 13-19

Equine massage therapy clinic by Equine Rehab.

August 20-23

Equine vertebral realignment clinic by Equine Rehab.

September 3-5

Bunnock Tournament - Show Grounds

Lesson Program News

Equine Canada Rider Levels
Students who missed the testing for Rider Levels 1, 2, 3 in the spring are invited to participate in a testing day scheduled for Saturday, December 18.  The testing consists of 3 parts: riding, stable management, and a written test. The schedule is as follows:
Rider Level 1 &2:
  1. Riding evaluation: 10-11am
  2. Stable Management: 11-Noon
  3. Written Test: 12:30 - 1:30pm
Rider Level 3:
  1. Written Test: 12:30-1:30pm
  2. Riding Evaluation: 2:00-3:00pm
  3. Stable Management: 3:00-4:00pm
In order to participate in the Rider Level Testing, you must provide us with your membership number from the Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF), a cheque payable to the AEF for the testing package ($21/level - all on one cheque), and $60 (payable to WELCA) for each Testing Session.

Spring Session - Horsemanship Program
Riders interested in continuing on in the Spring Session are required to submit a $300 deposit prior to December 17.  The remaining $700 are then paid in two equal installments of $350 on Feb 5 and April 4.

Lesson Horse Profiles
Jasper the donkeyJasper, the miniature donkey, is our unofficial mascot and greeter. He is owned by instructor, Danielle Gallant, who has kindly lent the 7-year old gelding to us. Jasper is trained to drive. He and Kelly Gau like to go out for a spin around the river valley trails and stopping for photos with people they meet. Jasper, like all donkeys, has a dark stripe that crosses at his shoulder.  Legend has it that this 'cross' first appeared on the donkey that carried Mary to the stable.

Patches Patches is a piebald paint gelding and is over 30 years old. He is about 14 hands high. Patches used to compete in hunter jumper events at Spruce Meadows. He is a great horse for both programs and his riders love him. Patches lives with Snowball, Peppy and Allie Cat in the Mayfair pen. (In the picture, he is wearing his reindeer antlers to wish everyone "Merry Christmas.")
Thank you for your thoughtfulness!
WELCA sends a big thank you to Mary Machum (Gingersnap) for donating funds to pay for materials to build a new horse shelter.

Our appreciation also goes to Val Wilson, Kelly Gau, Andrew Nisbet, Don Lablanc and others for volunteering to organize and build the shelter.

Thank you for your service.
WELCA would like to acknowledge Al Skoreyko for his long service on the WELCA Board of Directors. Al resigned his position on the Board on November 5. Al was instrumental in bringing about the amalgamation of the Whitemud Equine Centre Association (WECA) and the Friends of WECA in 2007. He also led the team that created our governing bylaws. Most recently, Al served as chair of the Site Redevelopment Committee which spearheaded the Detailed Business Case which was presented to the City in June 2010.