Thursday, 16 November 2017

Thank You from Denise & Peter Kinvig!

Peter and I had a wonderful time at our Retirement Party and we want to express a HEARTFELT Thank You (!) to everyone who was able to come or contribute in some way to the event!   
It was so gratifying to hear people talk about so many memorable times at NSEC, and how important the stables have been, and are to so many.  

It took a few days before Peter and I were able to sit down with family (and a glass of wine of course) to share the opening of the many gifts and cards that were given to us. There were individual gifts but I know that so many people contributed to the TWO very large baskets of gifts that we were able to enjoy discovering that night.  

So Thank You! As we opened our cards, we found that so many people had written us the most beautiful letters of appreciation, so heartfelt that Peter and I had tears in our eyes. It was (and will be forever) quite amazing and so gratifying to know how much people have enjoyed and care about NSEC.  NSEC is as much or More about community, than business. You people are our village of NSEC.  We also won’t forget the other wonderful people who have been and gone over the years, or how they have shaped NSEC  - and how NSEC has shaped them. 

Peter and I are very appreciative of your support, loyalty and love. May your enjoyment in the next phase of NSEC  be better than ever!

Thank you again!

Denise and Peter

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Importance of Stable Management

Every season at North Shore Equestrian Centre there are 4 weeks where we give our horses a break from the daily lessons and students come in for non-riding lessons instead. These weeks are called Stable Management weeks and these lessons are very important for the well rounded rider to have.

Stable Management or Horse Care lessons help to promote good skills for riders off the horse as well as gives riders the chance to ask questions and review the things they don't normally have a chance to go over at their weekly riding sessions.

It is important that we recognize that horses are not machines, and that it is good for them to have regular weeks off during the year. Sometimes we might forget that horses are individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses and personalities just like us. And just like us, horses need a break from time to time from the daily grind to relax, chill out and just be lazy to help keep them refreshed and happy.

NSEC firmly believes that we owe it to our hardworking school horses to work as hard as they do on a regular basis in order to learn skills that will make their jobs easier as well. Riders need to understand that they are working as a team with the horse every time they ride. Stable Management lessons will help to achieve the best knowledge possible for riders to be able to work together with the horses they ride. These lessons will include things that may not seem as important to the actual riding involved with the sport. However, as with any sport or hobby, it is best to always remember that to truly advance and master the sport, you must start by mastering even the most basic fundamentals before you can move up skill wise. 

It is important to remember that even if a student has gone over lessons in previous stable management classes, they don't always get to practice their stable management on a regular basis with the instructor there to correct them if they aren't doing something right. So although a student has learned the theory previously, they will need to go over and practice the same things in future lessons in order to truly master them on an ongoing basis. 

Basic stable management covers much of the following:
  • Parts of the horse and how they all work 
  • Recognizing various breeds, colors and markings of horses
  • Recognizing unsafe situations and what needs to be done to correct them
  • Recognizing and understanding horse behavior 
  • Learning how to handle "grumpy" horses in a calm and safe manner
  • Haltering, leading in and out of the stall safely and removing the halter without help. 
  • Tying a quick release knot correctly
  • How to fully groom and tack up properly with little to no assistance
  • How to properly clean tack after lessons as well as put the bridle away in a "figure 8" fashion

More advanced students must be able to demonstrate all of the above without assistance if asked during their stable management lessons and ongoing stable management lessons cover much of the following:
  • Take apart the bridle and put it back together
  • Know how to cool out their horse and the importance of doing so after their lesson
  • Understand the basics of feeding
  • Recognize signs of lameness or illness
  • Identify types of bits and why each one is used
  • Understand the use of "specialty" tack items such as boots, polos, side reigns, lunge lines

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Hello from Denise and Peter Kinvig!

We are very excited to announce that after over 30 years of managing and maintaining NSEC on a daily basis that we are stepping back and retiring!  Well at least semi- retiring.  We are moving to Vancouver Island and will start to set up our new home in the latter half of November.  We will be keeping our NSEC home as well and plan to visit about every 5 weeks for up to a week at a time.

For the first few months we will be going back and forth to the island quite frequently.  Laura will be taking over my position, and will be looking after all day to day managing of NSEC.  I will continue in the role of Director of Finances.  Laura, Allanda and Brae are expert in their roles of keeping NSEC running smoothly.   Laura, with a new baby will be spending more time at home until she returns to teaching; even so she will be close at hand. 

NSEC has been, and will continue to be a very big player in our lives.  That being said, Peter and I are really looking forward to this next new chapter! 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Lower Arena and Fall Clean Up

Lower Arena
The lower arena will be getting a make over next week!

Starting on Thursday, Oct 5th at 7am, the lower arena will be closed as we replace the old arena footing with new footing. The new footing should help make the arena more even and keep dust down during the lessons.

This may take the span of two days, we ask that everyone plan their riding accordingly.

On Thursday the indoor arena will be free during the daytime other than an early morning private and a couple Therapeutic lessons. From 2:30pm to 8:30pm the school horse lessons will be riding in the indoor arena and weather permitting, the owned horse lessons will be riding in the upper arena. If the weather doesn't feel like cooperating with us though, the school horse lessons and owned horse lessons will have to share the indoor.

On Friday Diana's lessons will be using the indoor arena from 7am to 2pm. The lower arena should be done by the time the school horse lessons start at 4:00pm, one set of which will be riding in the lower arena and one set will be riding in the indoor arena.

Free Blankets/Locker Clean Up

On another note we have gone through all the blankets in our storage area and have pulled down all the blankets that we no longer need. If you would like a FREE blanket, there is a pile outside the school horse tack room to pick from. Please make sure that you keep the pile clean and tidy looking though after you have gone through.

We will be cleaning above lockers soon. Please ensure that any property of your that you want to keep on top of your specific locker is in a VISIBLY labelled tupperware on top of your locker or it may be taken by mistake during our cleaning process.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Back to Riding!

Now that the first week of lessons is over and everyone is now familiar with lesson procedures at NSEC, we would like to take this opportunity to go over some general saftey information that might come in handy to both new students as well as returning students
  • Dogs
    • We ask that dogs stay home, however if you are unable to leave your furry friend at home, they must be leashed at all times and cannot enter the stall hallways. Dogs that are not used to horses, bark or try to run up to horses to smell them should not be brought onto the property and will be asked to leave.
  • Stalls
    • While tacking up, student must be wearing their helmets and closed toed shoes. Younger siblings should never enter the stall, even to help. Too many people in a stall can make a horse nervous and fidgety.
    • Students should never enter a stall unless they are about to tack up a horse for their lesson, nor should they try to get the attention of a horse during their down time in their stalls. Our horses work very hard every day and need time to themselves to relax, just like us. Students should not start tacking up any earlier than 30 mins prior to their lesson.
  • Running Late/Rushing to Leave
    • While we understand that sometimes you may be running late, this does not mean you should rush your grooming job before saddling your horse. Horses can get rubs and become sore if not groomed properly before tack is put on, so it is very important to take your time when grooming
    • Sometime you may need to leave as soon as you can after your lesson for various reasons, but this does not mean you can skip grooming down your horse. Horses need to be properly groomed down to help cool them off after riding, which prevents them from getting sick. If a horse is too hot after a lesson and eats or drinks too much water, it can give them a terrible stomach ache which can lead to colic. Always make time to groom down and cool off your horse after your lesson.
  • Proper attire for in the barn
    • Umbrellas and open toed shoes should never be used or worn in a barn environment. Umbrellas can spook horses unintentionally and if a horse steps on you by accident while wearing open toed shoes, your toes will likely be broken. Even if you are not riding, please always wear closed toed shoes on NSEC property and keep the umbrella closed once you leave the parking lot.
  • Drop Off/Pick Up Etiquette
    • Vehicles should always remain in the parking lot and never block or pull in past the front gate to the barn. Only work vehicles are permitted past the gate and staff turn in and out horses through the gate, so it must never be blocked.
    • Honking is not an appropriate means to call your child out for pick up. Our barn is very big and chances are they will not hear you or even know the honking is for them. Honking can spook a horse, which could lead to injury of a student.
  • Lessons Running Late
    • Sometimes instructors run late. When this happens the instructor will make a note on the list to notify classes that she is running late. Rest assured that classes will still run their 45 minutes so no one misses out on riding time.
  • Treats
    • Treats should only be brought for the horse you are riding that day, and should be given after the lesson is complete as a reward for a job well done. Our horses are on very balanced individual diets and too many treats can cause them to become sick. Big bags of treats can also cause chaos in the hallways once a few horses realize that there are treats being freely given. This can cause horses to stop paying attention to the person tacking or untacking them, which could lead to being stepped on or shoved.
  • Horse Assignments
    • The horses are assigned each day by the instructor and they will likely change from week to week so that each student has a chance to ride different horses and work on different challenges.
    • Our horses have very specific rules for their workloads, they each get 1 set day off from work each week to relax and on the days they do work they are only allowed to go a maximum of 3 lessons/day, and can only be used in lessons 2x in a row (so they must always have a break somewhere between their three lesson maximum). Higher level lessons alternate between flat work and jumping lessons each week to make sure our horses are not over jumped and that they get rest days between jumping lessons.
    • Our horse selection comes down to many different factors, all of which can affect how the horses are selected each day. Selections are based on suitable horses for the lesson levels, suitable horse workloads and rider to horse weight ratios as well as matching horse personalities to students personalities and individual riding styles. Sometimes horses may get sick or could have an injury that prevents us from using them while they recover, or maybe beginner groups are learning to canter, so they need horses they don’t normally use for walk and trot lessons, or the therapeutic program may be running on your lesson day. All of these things will affect how horses are selected each day.
  • Questions/Concerns
    • Any questions or concerns can always be brought to my attention while I am in the office or via email. I am always happy to answer any questions, help with tacking up or listen to any concerns you may have and work to find a solution.
We hope everyone has a great 2017/2018 season with us!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Canada Day Parade 2017

This year will be the 150th celebration for Canada Day and NSEC will be celebrating by participating in the North Shore Canada Parade on Saturday, July 1st!

This year we will be taking Tim Bit in the parade and giving Dino a break, but I will still be looking for volunteers to help me by handing out candy, stickers and business cards, as well as carry our banner.

If you are interested in helping out this year, please email me ASAP at