Stable Owners' Seminar



MARK YOUR CALENDARS!! Join us for our AGM January 9th, 2015 at 1:30pm, Sheraton Red Deer in conjunction with the 33rd annual Horse Breeders & Owners Conference.

We will have a technical session for stable owners by guest speaker, Dr. Jodie Santarossa of Edmonton AB speaking about - 'Through the Looking Glass' how we treat and manage our horses… and the people who come with them.

Also presenting will be Katherine Altman from Traceability Alberta with regards for grant opportunities for the association.

These sessions are free to attend so please join us! 


8th Annual Stable Owners Seminar

1:00 pm January 10, 2014, Palermo Room, Sheraton Red Deer

Join us for a FREE afternoon of education featuring sessions specifically designed for the stable industry.



Attaining and Retaining Staff is about More than Money - Alan Dooley

Getting Youth Involved with Horses - Panel with three industry experts 


Tara Gamble, Gary Millar, Trish Mrakawa

The Wrong Structure at the Wrong Time: The Business Cycle and Taxation - Merle Good


Town Hall Meeting - A facilitated discussion on the formation of a stables association





7th Annual Stable Owners' Seminar

1:00pm January 11th, 2013, Sheraton Red Deer, Alberta

Join us for an afternoon of education featuring sessions specifically designed for the stable industry.

$25.00, no advance registration required, refreshments & door prizes

*2013 ASI participants and 2013 HBOC pre-registered delegates get in free*

Speakers & Topics:



S.O.S. January 13th, 2012 Red Deer, AB, Topics & Speakers

  • Social Media for Stable Owners - Andrew Campbell
  • Positive Networking  - Nettie Barr
  • Bits & Bitting for lesson programs - Ron Anderson
  • Guards, Gates and Guns: Practical Biosecurity Procedures for Stable Owners - Dr. Darrell Dalton

*Presented by the Horse Industry Association of Alberta as part of the Alberta Stables Initiative* 

Free seminar with re-registration for the 2012 Horse Breeders & Owners Conference


$25.00 per person at the door, No advance registration required 

$25.00 Includes 2012 ASI Participation, Seminar & Map listing!

Current 2012 ASI Participants get in free & on the map! 

Doors open at 12:30pm, Seminar starts at 1:00pm Sharp

Draw Prizes: $100 Advertising Certificate from Horse Community Journals

Book “The Majesty of the Horse” & subscription to your choice of Horse Sport, Horse-Canada or Canadian Thoroughbred Magazine from Horse Publications Group


Stable Owners Seminar 2011 Recap

Those who arrived early for the 29th annual Horse Breeders & Owners Conference were treated to a complimentary afternoon of education for the stable industry, covering a wide range of topics from business plans to arena footing to conflict resolution to instructor ethics. Over 100 stable industry members attended the seminar and took advantage of the four very knowledgeable presenters, Rich Wilcke, Scott Holmes, Linda Jesse, and Peggy Brown. Quotes from 2011 SOS attendees:

  • Developing a Stable Business Plan - Rich Wilckealt   "Although Rich was not there physically his presentation on business plans was worth the entire afternoon right there. I would have paid over $100.00 for hearing what he had to say!"

  • Instructor Skills & Ethics - Peggy Brown "Peggy had us hooked from the moment she walked through the door in her crazy outfit! She really proved a point to us all with a very entertaining and important message: Instructors have a responsability to their students and to themselves to stay focused and on task."

  • Resolving Conflict (and how to avoid it in the first place) - Linda Jesse "It was very interesting to see how easily a small thing can grow into a huge conflict! Linda used very familiar situations that stable opperators face on a daily basis to show how it can escalate. She also eased that sense of despair with a very practical model and language to help smooth over those rough patches along the way. Very insightful and helpful in any business setting."

  • The Importance of Footing - Scott Holmes "Scott was very easy to listen to and with his wealth of knowledge I can see how my arena footing is impacting my school horses and what I need to consider in order to fix it. It was a combination of science meets practicality. An absolute must for anyone considering building an arena indoor or out!"

Stable Owners Seminar 2010 Recap 

Friday, January 15 in Red Deer was the 4th annual Stable Owners Seminar presented by the Horse Industry Association of Alberta. This complimentary afternoon of education was developed specifically for the stable industry and is offered as part of the Alberta Stables Initiative. This year, 150 delegates attended the four sessions.

Kicking off this year's seminar was Scott Pickard of Business Infusions. His discussion on management software solutions was very well received by those in attendance. His experiences with developing software for some of the largest veterinary and animal care practices around the world made for a great perspective on management software for the stable industry. Scott discussed and stressed to the stable owner to not purchase software you don't need. Know what you want and know how the information can be used in your business so that you can maximize its benefit.

Following Scott was Lanier Cordell who is the author of Equinomics: The Secret to Making Money in Your Horse Business. She spoke on effective marketing tools for stables, using examples of advertising that were submitted by local Alberta stables. There was a great drive behind her message which was: be clear and target the right audience. She discussed the difference between a benefit and a feature and how to tell if your advertising is working. Lanier's presentation complemented Scott's and she had the crowd laughing, talking and asking great questions.

Just before the break there was a brief update from Heather Mitchell-Matheson about the progression of the Alberta Stables Initiative. Heather is the Program Coordinator for the Initiative and welcomed the opportunity to meet face to face with stable owners attending the seminar. For further details about this project and to get involved go to the Stables Area on this web site.

After a short break, the seminar went right back into session with a panel discussion on Finding, Selecting and Maintaining Lesson Horses. The four panel members brought different perspectives to the discussion.

Ben Reed is the Director of Horse Programs at YMCA Camp Chief Hector. The dynamics of having a very small budget, numerous first time riders, trail and arena programs, and maintaining a herd of between 80-100 head of sure-footed, safe horses is not without its challenges. Ben discussed the importance of being organized and having a filing system to keep track of records with a large herd. He talked about some of the differences in private purchase, seasonal leases, auctions, horse dealers and donation options for acquiring lesson horses.

Laurie Messner owns and operates Winning Strides, an equine facility in southern Alberta that offers boarding, English & western riding lessons and clinics. Laurie finds that through leasing programs and lease back options and making the matching of horses to students a top priority, she has great success. Laurie buys her lesson horses from horse people she respects to ensure her horses are fully trained and she is not needing to train horses and riders at the same time. Laurie likes to find competition horses that are retired but still capable of handling the work load.

Dr. Wayne Burwash has been a practicing equine veterinarian in his own practice, Equine Services Ltd., since 1977. He has worked with all kinds of horses from the FEI level to the everyday lesson pony. When purchasing lesson horses he maintains it's better to compromise on soundness than temperament by picking horses that are serviceably sound with solid minds. Pre-purchase exams, in general, are not very cost effective for lesson horses that are of average value to the stable. He stresses getting assurance from sellers as to health concerns in advance and  feels that, as a stable operator, you should be well versed in horse soundness so that your judgement is adequate. He encourages having a good working relationship with a veterinarian that you can call for advice. Maintenance of lesson horses, whether they are many or few,  is achieved through a quality feeding program, vaccination and deworming regimen that works for your horses and routine farrier and dental work.

The clear message the panel gave was that lesson horses can augment stable revenue but it is important to find a program that works for you and your clients. There are multiple ways and levels that stables can utilize lesson horses to enhance a stable business if they effectively balance cost vs benefit.

Last on the program was Dr. Bob Coleman from the University of Kentucky discussing alternative feed options for stables. Dr. Coleman has the education, experience and research behind him to help stable owners understand the alternatives. He helped them look into different, viable and economical options for our horses and how to feed them. There are some alternatives that are useable but, at the end of the day, the purchase of good quality hay makes the most economic sense and is usually easiest for the stable to manage.

The overall sentiment from people in attendance at this year's seminar was that they found the information very valuable to their business. The majority could relate to something each speaker brought to the table and most feel that this seminar should continue in the years to come. Join us next year January 14th, 2011 for another great line up of topics and speakers catering to the stable industry.  


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