Photo By Terri Mason – The editor’s horses: sorrel gelding “Super Cowhorse” Woody and palomino gelding “The Mighty” Quinn

Each year so many of the hopes and dreams of riders, young and old, competitive or pure pleasure, are pinned on their horses. Some have visions of confidently riding the high, mountain passes with nothing but the sound of the wind in the pines and the chattering of whiskey jacks. Others are searching for the trained speedster with the fastest run for competition, while others are searching for the experienced, patient horse for their kids or grandkids.

Regardless of the purpose for your horse, pre-purchase vet checks are highly recommended. In conversation with retired equine vet Warren Webber he said it best. “Some people say that buying a used horse is a lot like buying a used car. I disagree. Because with a used car I can buy replacement parts; you can’t do that with a horse.” Canadians often joke about the weather, describing it as “six months of winter and six months of poor sledding.” It’s funny yes, but the cold, blustery winds of winter cuts down your time in the saddle.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Calgary has a 56 per cent chance of a white Christmas, while Edmonton has an 86 per cent chance. When you consider this statistic then perhaps building an arena is in your plans. Not only does it increase your comfortable days in the saddle it can also be an extra source of income and socialization; there’s nothing more fun than hosting a bevy of excited kids in 4-H pony club or being the “home” arena for your favourite horse sport.

Horses have been in my life since I was a very young child. Horses have brought the most incredible people into my life whose interests ranged from heavy horses to pack horses. Horses have carried me down a trail of exultant highs, a few lows and the odd period of financial devastation — but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’ll see you at the sale.

Building an Arena: Planning Makes Perfect [Part 1]
Buying the perfect horse can be challenging; there are endless considerations to keep in mind depending on your needs, abilities and budget. But choosing the best possible riding arena for that horse can be an even more daunting task for the average person. Read More


“Think carefully before you decide if you want power, water or heat in your arena, and then check with your municipality or county before you start building,” McKay continues. Read More