About the Farm
We are located on the Matsqui Flats… a small agricultural area between Abbotsford and Mission in the Fraser Valley. Our rustic 10 acre farm is warm, friendly place to be for animals and people. We often have a dozen or more people ‘drop’ in over a weekend… and that’s just fine….we never take the welcome mat in. There’s a really peaceful energy here. It’s a healing farm where horses trot over to the fence to visit. And if you are here for any length of time, it’s evident in the number of cats that are walking between your legs (we have 6) or the number of birds and other wild critters that appear that also call this place home.
I have often had veterinarians or other health practitioners here remark that there is a good feel to our ancient old barn and property as they walk down the aisle or visit horses out in the fields. Even the most troubled or stressed animal comes around very quickly once they discover the magic of our old barn and the animals within it.
The property is fenced in ‘farm’ fence mesh with a top rail and divided into small fields. There is a 60 foot roundpen and a 40 x 80 metre outdoor arena. The land also has both permanent driving obstacles and other obstacles used for the natural horsemanship training like small jumps and pedestals etc. All are geared to build confidence in both the horse and the handler, be it off the ground, under saddle or in harness.
There are 10 rubber matted stalls in the barn…..most are 12×12 and some are special miniature horse stalls. Six of the stalls have 90 foot run-offs so the horses can come and go. The barn is airy. The stalls have only partial walls, with mesh tops so horses can see one another, and likewise the doors have half doors so the horses can hang their heads out and talk to you as you walk down the aisle. This is important to me. Horses are herd animals and even if they are separated into individual runs/stalls over night, they are still within sight and therefore more calm. Most of the stalls, fields and paddocks have toys available for the horses to interact with if they choose. Everyone has daily turnout in small fields or large paddocks and sometimes if I have compatible horses, they can be together in small groups. We find they are happier this way and mimics what they would seek out if they had a choice. Even our stallion is pastured and stabled beside others- it’s just that important to ‘belong’ and not isolated like other training or boarding barns.
Horses are fed 3 times a day and I work with a specialist equine nutritionist and utilize her program of care for horses that are in training with me. Nutrition is an important part of over-all health and if a horse has digestion issues he cannot learn to his best ability. Hay is fed in mangers in the barn or on the ground outside, so horses are able to root their hay back and forth. Water is in buckets to monitor intake. Horses go out in the morning with hay and/or their ration. They come in about 6:30 to ‘treats’ and some hay. Night check is about 9:30, when hay and water is topped up for a final time and the horses are fed a hot dinner that includes their minerals and vitamins.
We allow horses to grow their natural winter coats, but because we live on a ‘prairie’ with little natural shelter, horses will wear waterproof rain sheets when outside in the fields. Better a blanket than stuck inside a barn is our belief system.