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'Let’s Talk Horses' On The Island

Published: October 13, 2020 12:08 pm ET

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For those that do not know about the organization and what it does, officials with 'Let’s Talk Horses' have released information pertaining to its mission and aspirations. Let’s Talk Horses aims to educate the public about the equine industry on P.E.I. and its many positive attributes.

The purpose of Let’s Talk Horses is to provide an inter-generational educational opportunity for individuals of all ages, genders, and abilities, (regardless of limitations and social challenges), to learn about the equine industry, and experience positive interaction with horses within a healthy learning environment.

The non-government corporation was formed in 2018. The Executive includes Chair, Marvyn D. Webster, Vice-Chair, Shirlene O’Brien, MA Ed., Secretary-Treasurer, Ruth Boulter, Youth Member-at-Large, Rachel Boulter, and Member-at-Large, Danny Dalton, DVM.

Let’s Talk Horses' mission is to:

  1. Invigorate the harness racing industry by introducing it to youth and anyone else who is interested in this 250-year-old Canadian, and especially Island sport.

  2. Generate revenue in rural PEI by increasing the number of horses and benefiting industries such as building, shipping, feed, vet care, and breeding.

  3. Engaging safely and wholesomely, that population that is not already occupied in other minor sports.

Did you know that horsemanship goes back to caveman days with drawings on cave walls. Chariot racing has been going on for 6,000 years. The horseshoe was invented in China, and used by Kublai Khan’s army to conquer Asia. Sixty million horses gave their lives in World War 1. There is a statue of 'Reckless,' a little Canada Standardbred mare who hauled 50 tons of dynamite in one battle in the Korean War. Black Beauty, written in the early 1800s, once held the record for most widely published novel, and changed the way horses were cared for by calling attention to inhumane treatment. The municipal traffic laws in the City of Charlottetown favoured horses over motor vehicles until just a few years ago. John Cousins, MA., PEI Historian, wrote the history of Horses in the Folklore of Prince Edward Island: Custom, Belief, and Oral Tradition. There are more horses per capita in PEI than anywhere else in North America. Let’s Talk Horses aims to continue and nurture this tradition.

The program is intended to introduce young people to horses in a safe environment. Sixteen modules are outlined in an additional document and are intended to educate participants to horses in general. In addition, each location will connect participants to their local matinee harness race track (Tyne Valley and Kensington) where participants will be introduced to the industry by a certified trainer or driver.

Grand River Ranch is currently in its fifth year as an approved Non-Government Organization and Vendor with the Province of PEI. The Department of Family and Human Services refers and supports clients of the Accessibility Support Program (former Disability Support Program) and Children in Care to our programs. The program also hosts those supported by Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, Lennox Island Health Centre and the Jordon’s Principal Program. Programs are facilitated by Registered Social Worker, certified as an instructor with the Certified Horsemanship Association and Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator. Heather is also a member of Standardbred Canada, The American Quarter Horse Assoc., and Island Horse Council. Appropriate professional, equine and personal liabilities are in place.

Bracken Hill Stable is a Horse Breeder Farm located on 22 acres of land overlooking Malpeque Bay. The stable has a substantial investment in its breeding facility, quality broodmares and currently has one horse racing, and one about to start training. This farm recognizes the need for youth involvement in the PEI Horse Industry.

The owner of this stable, Christina Lecky has an undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with Honours majoring in Animal Science from Dalhousie University. She has worked with youth in the following volunteer capacities: Agriculture Ambassador in the Annapolis Valley Schools to increase knowledge and awareness of Agriculture, as well as the Chairman of Smoke free Kings, NS to work with youth. She also volunteers currently at the Credit Union Place and is a volunteer member of the St. Eleanor’s Lions Club.

Christina has over 40 years’ experience in the horse industry. She also taught riding lessons, and has been named during her years in competitive horse riding as having the PEI Sport Horse of the Year and has been awarded by The Canadian Equestrian Federation the of achievement awards of: PEI Limited Jumper, Open Hunter and Green Hunter Champion. Currently she is a member of Standardbred Canada, The American Quarter Horse Assoc., and Island Horse Council and has a Gold Licence with Equestrian Canada.

Bracken Hill Stable has two support volunteers, Alison Lecky and Keith Hambly. Each volunteer has 35 years plus in the horse Industry. Both currently have completed the NCCP (National Coaching Certificate Program) from baseball Canada for coaching youth. Keith Hambly has achieved a Level One Riding Coach Certification as well as experience working with a disabled Riding Organization.

Bracken Hill stable and Grand River Ranch look forward to working with Let’s Talk Horses to promote youth involvement in the PEI Horse Industry.

(Let’s Talk Horses)

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