Thursday, 20 December 2012

A Big Thank You!

A big THANK YOU to the ladies who helped organise our Owner/Leaser Christmas party that happened last night! Sally and Diana came in early to help clean and decorate the lounge yesterday. Di even came in this morning to help me clean up and do some dishes :)

It was a big success with many families showing up and parents getting onto their children's mounts just to see how hard it really is to ride ;)

Another big THANK YOU to Sally, Di, Jenn & Dana for the Brand New Keurig Coffee Maker in the lounge! If you would like to be shown how to use this for coffee please see me and I can show you the basics!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Winter Holidays

December is here and the holidays are quickly approaching. People are going away and planning celebrations and just getting ready for Christmas!

I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we continue lessons straight through the Christmas break, closing only for Christmas Day (Dec 25th), Boxing Day (Dec 26th) and New Years Day (Jan 1st).

If you are away on holidays you MUST let the office know at least 2 days (48 hrs) before your regularly schedule lesson or you will be charged with a miss charge and no option of make up.

The end of the 4 month lesson commitment time is also quickly approaching. For those new students who are unfamiliar with our policies here at NSEC, we'd like to remind everyone that we run our lessons from September straight through to June. If you are not planning to continue after your 4 month commitment time you must give us 2 WEEKS NOTICE of cancellation, otherwise we will assume that you are continuing with your lessons until June.

If you are planning on continuing with lessons until June, everything will remain as usual in regards to lessons.

Make sure to email me if you have any other questions though!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Last Chance on NSEC Jackets

This is one last reminder to order your NSEC jackets.

Laura will be putting the order in for December 3rd. So if you haven't ordered, please contact her ASAP at and if you have ordered but haven't paid please bring a cheque made out to Laura Kinvig or cash by December 3rd.

The final price of the NSEC jackets will be $140.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Yup, horses get them too.

As some students may have noticed, Jerico has broken out in hives. This is an allergic reaction and unfortunately since Mr Jerico cannot talk we will probably never find out what he has reacted to.

Hives in horses can come in all sizes, for Jerico, his started small (tiny little bumps along his girth line) then ballooned to giant bumps (almost as big as small plates ). They are treated with a course of antihistamines and anti-inflammatories.

I would like to take this opportunely though, to stress the fact that the only acceptable treats at the barn are apples, carrots and certified horse cookies. Lately we have found some strange things in horses stalls, including a giant clump of dates.

Logically you would think that if a horse is not supposed to eat something, they won't. But some of horses are not so picky and will eat anything offered to them. Jerico is one of these horses. If someone offered him a strange treat and he ate it, it could have caused the allergic reaction for him.

So please remember that the only treats you should be feeding our horses are carrots and apples and horse cookies.

Also  be sure that you DO NOT feed boarder horses any treats unless you have permission from the owner as they might be on a special diet.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Where's Leo?

Time for Where's Leo?

Can you guess where Leo is?
First correct guess in the blog comments receives an original NSEC lapel pin! Make sure to add your name to your comment or it won't count.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Updates! Updates! Updates!

The Office!

As many people have noticed, I have been kicked out of my office due to construction/renovations. Although I am very happy about getting a BRAND SPANKING NEW office and furniture and pretty walls, make no mistake; I am not very happy about being relocated to the lounge.

Don't get me wrong, the lounge is absolutely wonderful, but it is not an office :/

I am constantly running up and down stairs (great exercise though) and only have limited internet access and can only take payments at certain times and it's very scattered.

At this time, there is no ETA on when the office will be finished, but lets all cross our fingers that it will be soon and I can be a much happier and more organized office manager.

My Temporary (and somewhat messy) office area in the lounge :p Please DO NOT attempt to use my computer, it has no internet access!


We have one new schoolie named Giddian and 2 others, Zeta and Angel on trial for a month. They are all very cute and seem very nice. Giddian does seem a little confused by cross-ties though and is in training for using them. He is being tacked up in his stall for now and even then, must be tied very loosely so he doesn't feel trapped.

An Extra!

Here is a link to an article found by one of the instructors, Kat Southam, that she feels everyone should read! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

NSEC Jackets, Shirts & Saddle Pads

Looking for Christmas gift ideas for your little rider?

How about some NSEC Apparel?

Currently we have NSEC Polo Shirts (Must be washed in COLD water and HANGED DRY):

Shirts are $40.00
And NSEC Saddle Pads:

Saddle Pads are $65.00
Arrangements for viewing and trying on shirts can be made by contacting Laura at . All payments should be made by cash or cheque directly to Laura Kinvig.

In addition to these we will be ordering BLACK jackets with our Logo on them. They will need to be pre-ordered (so you will be unable to view them or try them on) and will be approx. $130.00. If you are interested in ordering an NSEC jacket, please contact Laura at

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Many students have noticed Breezy's swollen eye over the past day and a half.

On Friday a student had noticed Breezy had a very deep gash over his right eye and when inspected, it was decided he needed stitches. The vet was called and Breezy was very brave as his gash was cleaned  and frozen so that the vet could put in 2 stitches and a bunch of staples. He is currently on antibiotics to help prevent infection and bute to help take down the swelling.

Once all the swelling has gone down he will be able to go back to work and be used in lessons again, even with stitches.

We're not sure where or how Breezy was injured, but we can only assume he got into a scuffle in the field on the day it happened as we noticed right after he came in from his morning turn out.

Lets all wish Breezy a fast recovery!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

NSEC 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest Winner IS...

Pumpkin #5 Carved by Sierra King!

Sierra will be receiving a brand new groom kit from Greenhawk as well as a Horsecare for Kids!

Congratulations Sierra!

Thank you to everyone who entered and made it a fun and festive Halloween!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Contest Winner

Due to construction and first of the month paperwork I am behind in the blog posts :(

I will post a photo of the winning Pumpkin tomorrow morning, as well as a photo of all the pumpkins that were entered this year.

Stayed tuned!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Next Up For Construction

Thank you to everyone who came to the opening of the new lounge on Sunday, it was a lot of fun!

Now that the Lounge has been redone it's time to start construction on the office.

The office will be closed during this time and Allanda will be relocated to the lounge with her computer and printer for office work. Hopefully the office won't take too long to finish and she will be able to move back downstairs quickly.

In schoolie news, some people might have noticed that Skip left to join McNugget, as he wasn't working well as a school horse. We have brought in 2 more horses for our school string: Snowflake and Uckbar. Snowflake has been an amazing little beginner horse and will be staying with us for a while as a free lease. Uckbar will be leaving this week however, due to lack of training and handling on the ground.

We have also brought in Laddie for our leasing program. He is a big sweetheart who likes to make lots of noise, so please try not to feed treats around him.

Both Jerico and Shady have returned from their vacations are are well-rested and ready to get back to work in lessons.

The winner of the Pumpkin carving contest will be announced tomorrow!

Tonight is Halloween! Lessons will be wrapped up early tonight in anticipation of the kids who set off stray fireworks in the park and the barn will likely be closed early.

So everyone have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Proper Safety in Stalls

Did you know that proper horse tying in the stalls can prevent life threatening situations?

Every student at NSEC should know how to tie a "quick release" knot. It is one of first lessons we teach, however many students don't practice or tend to tie it wrong.

Tying an improper quick release knot can lead to injury or worse if a horse is spooked and reacts as their flight response kicks in. Things that might spook a horse can be as unpredictable as a car backfiring, something falling and making a loud noise or even sudden thunder on a stormy day. If something like this happens, students should quickly exit the stall and close the door until the horse calms down.

If a horse spooks suddenly they might pull on their lead as they panic in an effort to get away from whatever might be scaring them and if they find that they are unable to get free a horse will panic even further. By enabling them to get away, the horse may run to the back of their stall but they will not feel as trapped and as out of control as they would when they are stuck, causing them to calm down quickly and safely. The quick release knot enables someone to be in a position where they can quickly release the horse if this happens and get out of the stall.

All our school horses have tie rings by their stall doors. Some of these rings have quick release ropes attached to them with twine, while others should have a loop of twine attached for lead ropes to be tied to in the quick release fashion. If your school horse's stall is missing it's loop of twine, you should inform Allanda in the office, a helper or your instructor so that they may replace the twine for proper stall tying. By tying your horse to the loop of twine rather than the metal ring, you are ensuring that they will be able to break free even if you cannot undo the lead rope before exiting the stall in an emergency.

When tying your horse you must remember NEVER to tie your horse to the stall bars or water pipes as this can cause damage to the stall and make a bad situation worse if it arises (bars can bend and water pipes can break).

Parents who help their child tack up should watch to make sure that these rules are being followed when tying horses:

1. The stall door should be left open just enough for yourself and/or your child to make a quick exit if a bad situation arises

2. Horses should always be haltered and tied while tacking up or untacking

3. Horses should be either attached to a quick release rope found in the stall or tied with a lead rope to a loop of twine using a quick release knot.

4. Horses should be tied so that they can move their head but cannot graze or eat while being tacked up. If a horse is being fussy about food in their stall, simply shove some hay into the bars of the stall so that they may eat with their heads up.

Practice yourself or have your child practice tying a quick release knot at home by following the informative video below (please note that this video shows the person tying straight to the metal ring, but we want you to tie to the loop of twine rather than to the ring itself). If you or your child are still unsure of how to tie this knot properly please don't hesitate to ask Allanda, a helper or your instructor to show you the proper technique!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

NSEC Pumpkin Carving Contest: Deadline Extended

The NSEC 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest deadline has been extended! The new deadline will be:

10pm on Oct 25th!

Make sure to drop off your pumpkin in the office!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Schoolie Updates

As I'm sure a few people have noticed, McNugget has gone back to his home. We found that he just wasn't fitting in with our lesson program and seemed a bit home sick.

Skip is still on trial for another week though to see if he will work out for our school string. Fingers crossed!

In other news Tasha is back to small amounts of work, doing walk and trot for private lessons. We're hoping this will help rehab her to build some extra muscle and work up her fitness level.

Friday, 12 October 2012

It's Getting Cold Outside

The rain is finally here and it's chilly outside and inside the barn at NSEC.

We'd like to remind Boarders, Leasers and anyone who rents a locker in our heated locker rooms, as well as all students using the tack room, that because these places are HEATED the doors to the locker rooms and the tack room MUST NOT be left open or held open with lead ropes, chains, ect. for any amount of time.

Please help us to conserve energy and keep our heating costs down by keeping these doors closed, or if you see them open, by kindly closing them for us.

Thank you for the help!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Who's on Vacation Now?

Now that Jasmine has had a well deserved break and is feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work, it's Jerico's turn to take a little vacation.

Jerico will be accompanying Laura Kinvig's horse, Luxe, out to Tara Mobbs for a week or so of rest and relaxation.

Let's all wish him a good time!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

NSEC 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

Don't let the beautiful sunny weather confuse you, fall is upon us and those chilly evenings that indicate the beginning of autumn have started to settle in, letting us know that it is time for NSEC's 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!

2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!
Carve a pumpkin at home and submit it into our 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest. Pumpkins will be on display until Nov 1st.

Deadline for submissions: Oct 21st at 10pm

Votes will be taken Oct 22nd to 31st for the best looking pumpkin by submitting your vote to office or by email at, and the winner will be announced on Nov 1st

The pumpkin with the most votes will win: Horse Care for Kids and a new Grooming Kit!

Please submit all entries in front of the office w/ Name & Contact info attached

Contest Rules
1. Contest is open to any NSEC students
2. All submissions must be at the barn by 10pm on Oct 21st accompanied with your name and a description your pumpkin carving
3. Students & parents will get 1 vote each (sorry, no voting for yourself 20 times)
4. Voting is not open to people outside of NSEC (ie-no getting family and/or friends to vote 20 times for you either)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend Reminder!

Just a friendly reminder, we still run all lessons over Thanksgiving Long Weekend.

If you are unable to make it on your regular lesson day, please be sure to give us 48 hours notice and plan to schedule a make up for that day, otherwise you could get charged for a missed lesson if you don't show up.

Please email me at or call me at 604.988.5131 between 11am and 7pm to reschedule.

Hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Lockers for Students?

That's right, we are thinking about adding lockers to our upstairs storage room.

Lockers will be a convenient way to store your valuables and snacks or just store the things you do not want to carry back and forth from lessons on a regular basis. This is especially helpful to those who have to bus here on a regular basis or for those parents who don't want all that "horse mess" in the car all the time.

Lockers would be available in 3 sizes:

Large lockers will be $20.00/month and will be limited. They will be able to fit boots, helmet, brushes, saddle pads and any extra clothing needed.

Medium Lockers will be $15.00/month and will be able to fit fit boots, helmet, brushes, saddle pads and any extra clothing needed.

Small Lockers will be $10.00/month and should be able to fit brushes and helmet.

What we need to know right now is how many students would be interested in renting a locker to store their horsey gear so that we have an average of how many lockers we would be looking at installing. 

Please email me at to let me know if you would be interested in renting a locker in the future at NSEC.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Thunderbird Fall Finale

That's all folks!

Show season is officially over and it’s time to put away the tack trunks and the show buckets into storage until next season.

Those who went to the final show included Dana Mcloughlin, showing for the first time with her handsome 6 yr old, Brighton, Sally Rigby showing on her handsome steed Jack, Stephanie Donaldson on her lovely grey pony, Corby and Michaela Cox, showing for the first time on her big poet himself, Shakespeare.

Some highlights included Laura Kinvig’s win in a 1.15 class on Brighton. Stephanie won a few firsts on Corby. Sally Rigby won 3rd in one of her 3’3 classes on Jack. Dana Mcloughlin won 3rd in the Hunter Classic on Sunday in her first show riding Brighton. And Michaela Cox won a bunch of 5th places in her classes while riding Shakespeare.

All in all, a lovely weekend had by all, with good weather, good friends and lots of fun.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

On Vacation

Students may notice over the next week or so that Jasmine isn't around. Do not worry! She will be back.

Jasmine will be leaving this evening for a 2 week all expense paid vacation at the lovely Stave Falls Riding Stables run by Tara Mobbs. She will get to visit her old friend Emily and kick back and relax. while enjoying the last bits of summer.

UPDATE: I seem to have spoke a little too soon in regards to Jasmine's vacation. Jasmine will still be getting a nice 2 weeks off, but for the time being she will vacationing on property. She will get her very own paddock, full day turn out and a stall on the other side of the barn so all the commotion of lessons won't bother her and she can relax ;)

Let's all wish her a good vacation and look forward to her return, refreshed and ready to get back to lessons.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

In Memory

Have you noticed our new apple tree? It's fairly small, but not so hard to see.

We planted this baby tree in memory of Mickey and Major who passed away this past summer. They were wonderful horses who taught many students how to ride. Major also participated in our therapeutic program.

Loving all the attention from everyone at NSEC, these two horses were well loved and will be missed. Every time it blossoms we will think of them.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

NSEC Dressage Program Updates:

Our North Shore Dressage riders have enjoyed a fun and successful start to the show season. We started the year with bang at the Winsum schooling show. Lots of laughs and good riding to boot! Deb Cotter was high score of the day and Lydia Robinson brought her horse Mandela through his last show before retirement. Speaking of which, we re happy to report Mandala has safely arrived to his new home in England where he ll enjoy his retirement. Our star dressage mustang is now living in England- who would have thought!

Another round of congratulations are in order after the Thunderbird Touch of Class show in June. Despite the soggy weather Deb cotter and Gracie took home another red ribbon in Training Level division while Kat and her horse Zemeo were Third Level Reserve Champions. 

Finally, North Shore had a great showing at the July MREC Canada Cup bronze dressage show in Maple Ridge. Kat and Zemeo scooped the Third Level championship and Kat and Sashay brought home the Second Level Reserve Championship. 

Meanwhile, at home we continue to have fun and train hard.  

The first round of our North Shore Dressage Clinic Series is coming up on Sunday Sept 23rd. Kiersten Humphrey, EC  level 2 coach and FEI rider will be at NSEC for this first clinic! Those interested in taking part please contact Kat Southam via It will be a fun and challenging day of riding. Auditors welcome and encouraged! 

Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on our growing dressage program!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Some New Faces Around the Barn

By now most of our returning students have probably noticed some newbies to our school string. For those who don't know, our newest editions are: Poppy (an older sway backed bay who thinks she's as young as Sassy), Casper (white & brown pinto with not one, but TWO blue eyes), Farrah (our showy little chestnut mare across from Shady) & Skip and McNugget (a father and son pair of Palominos).

So far all of these  lovely ponies have been working out in lessons and have been enjoying their new home. People may have noticed that Poppy, McNugget & Skip have come to us a bit on the leaner side, but have no fear! We will be fattening these guys up so that they will rival Tai's chunky looking barrel and they will be fat (but not too fat of course!) and happy in no time at all.

In other school string news, one of our adult students, who has full leased Sport all summer, has bought Sport from us this past week. Sport will remain at the barn, now happily owned by Catherine MacDonald.

We are on the look out for perhaps one more school horse to add to our team of horsie superstars.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Let the Lessons Begin!

Another September is here, which marks the sad end of another beautiful summer in good ol' North Vancouver.

But from every end comes a new beginning and, of course, September marks another new season of riding lessons at North Shore Equestrian Centre.

And even with a couple bumps in the road (including a scheduling mishap last friday), we survived the first week of scheduling, new lessons and settling back into the routine.

A few things some people may have noticed upon their return from summer vacation:

A sneak peek at our new lounge
Construction on our new lounge is well under way. Soon it will be complete and will include a heated area to observe lessons happening in the indoor arena, a flat screen TV, a seated area to relax and read as well as a microwave, mini-fridge and sink for general snacking and a place to eat.

New Levels 1-10
People may have also noticed we have switched our riding levels over from the old (slightly confusing) level system to that of Equine Canada. This level system consists of rider levels 1 thru 8. This will help bring a more laid out and consistant approach to lessons as well as help set goals for students. As well, the stable management aspects of riding will be playing a bigger roll in levels and students will be required to have this knowledge in order to pass level testing and advance to higher levels. More information will be coming soon on the stable management outlines of the courses. For descriptions of the Equine Canada levels for English Discipline Riding please click on the following link:

Major 28 & Mickey 23
And finally, on a sadder note, we lost two of our old faithfuls over the summer. Major & Mickey both passed away this August. Although they will be very much missed, we can take comfort knowing that they lived long, happy lives here at NSEC and were loved by many of the riders taking lessons.

That's it for the first post on the NSEC blog. Make sure to check back often to be updated on what's happening around the barn.