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* The "1st in Line" Program

* The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair & Agribition

* Home Remedies for Gypsy Cob Care

* Photos from Gina - Photographer & Artist


Newsletter for November 2009

So who has Christmas sneaking up on them faster than you can say "Jack Robinson"?! (Who exactly IS he, anyway?!!) Well if you're like us, we're just getting to putting up the lights now and picking up some new decorations to supplement last year's treasures. November has been a busy month as usual, checking out other avenues to show our horses, getting the paddocks and shelters ready for the cold and windy Saskatchewan winters, and writing articles to support local magazines. (And hey, free advertising, who can beat that?) So sit back and enjoy a short read on a cool day leading up to the Christmas season – and remember to take time with your horses and your family!

We hope you enjoy our updates and find something we've shared to be of help or interest. Make sure you stop by our website for more on the highlighted stories or to check out our horses for sale.

North Fork e-news - your source for news, information and fun facts.

1st in Line

We've realized that many breeders sell foals in utero, and there are many reasons for doing this, but we have decided we don't want to sell something we haven't seen ourselves, especially not knowing sex, conformation or personality. But – that being said, you may have your eye on a favourite mare and stallion pairing, and we do want to offer you the option to be "1st in Line" for the opportunity of purchasing the foal of your choice. With this in mind, we've updated all our mares' descriptions to include who they are bred to and when they are due.

Check it out and get your name in now – we are true to our word and will give you first offering of a successful pairing should we decide to sell the foal.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair & Agribition

As we have been travelling around checking out various shows opportunities for showing our Gypsy Cobs in Canada, we thought we'd share what we're finding out with you. Whether you're in Canada or the U.S., we are all working towards the same thing – educating the public about our favourite breed and showing them off to their best advantage.

The Royal - Toronto, Ontario

One could be somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer size and scope of the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for sure. Definitely a family affair, it covered everything from crops to cattle, chickens to chuck, and horses to helter skelter wagon races. A full week of events in every building, the Royal is both an opportunity for competition and education, and we learned a lot while there for a few days. We visited with Clydesdales, patted goats, wandered through many, many vendors, and watched the "Spirit of the Horse" arena. This was a small indoor arena set aside to demonstrate and talk about different breeds of horses. Although there were no actual competition events for the Gypsy Cob, the Gypsy Vanner Horse Association (the Canadian Chapter), was well represented on all days by various Canadian members from surrounding areas showing their horses, manning a booth full of information, and being available to answer questions from the crowd after every demonstration.

We visited for quite a while we were there, and shared many stories about our beloved horses, including some interesting home remedies for dry manes, fungal conditions, and cleaning. It was definitely a meeting of the minds, and something we'll remember for the future, as breeders of the Gypsy Cob seem to be few and far between in Canada. While watching some of the events we also got some ideas. What about training more horses to drive, say in a wagon event, or a cart racing arena? Our Cobs would surely raise some eyebrows and bring much interest in the breed. So even if there aren't a lot of "Gypsy Cob" events for showing right now, just showing up and being in the ring with the other breeds will start people talking.

Agribition - Regina, Saskatchewan

On a smaller scale, Agribition focused more on farmers, cattle, and educating the general public about conservation, land care and farm animals. There were only 3 booths that focused on horses, but lots of horse-related events. We did see some great wagon driving, weight pulls and trick riding. Jackie Johnson, located in Saskatchewan, did an excellent demonstration of her skills training different breeds of horses, and also had a book for sale on technique. Intriguing idea that, of perhaps showing the versatility of our favourite breed through trick riding…hmmmm! (Check out her website at www.stunthorse.com). The vendor fair was comprehensive considering the smaller venue and the event was all in all well attended by Westerners. There is a great opportunity to talk about the Gypsy Cob breed at Agribition and we expect to be exhibiting there next year.

Home Remedies for Gypsy Cob Care

Spending large amounts of money on commercial horse cleaning and care products for our herd seemed to be part of the package of looking after our Gypsy Cobs, especially with so much hair! So in talking to other breeders and owners, as well as searching around on the internet, we're happy to share some of the interesting care tips we've been collecting

  • Cleaning
    • Dawn dish detergent – apparently it has to be the blue Dawn
    • Sunlight Dish Detergent
    • LOC – a natural product distributed by Amway
    • Sawdust for drying and cleaning and well as keeping feather white
  • Feather and Leg Care
    • Sulphur powder and mineral oil or Pig oil (if you can find it)
    • Used Car oil (very dirty but apparently a traditional remedy used by the Roma themselves)
    • Jojoba oil (can also be mixed with lavender oil to repel bugs)

We haven't tried them all yet, and as this is not a comprehensive list, we'd be happy to hear back from you have your own tip to share or if you have used one of the methods we are listing here and have some comments about it. Just send us a note to info@northforkhorses.ca and it may make it into another newsletter edition somewhere along the way!

Photos from Gina

As promised, some of Gina's pictures have been added to our gallery page. Please check it out under the Media tab and enjoy! www.ginasportraits.com