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Happy 80th Birthday Helmut!!

Saturday, November 26th Helmut was surprised when a group of friends threw a birthday party in his honour. Following the potluck dinner and after the gifts and cards were opened Sheila MacDonald and myself conducted an interview with the “man of the hour”. Here are some of our findings. Helmut didn’t start trail riding until 1973. Since that time he has owned eight horses. His most memorable, and one that he still owns, is a Tennessee Walker named Smokey. Helmut purchased Smokey in 2010 and after owning her for only ten days completed a 250 mile ride. (we don’t call him leather butt for nothing). An OTRA member since the mid 1980’s, an active member of the Ontario Trail Riders since 2000. Helmut joined the Board of Directors in 2002. He was on the Board for seven years. Helmut came back on the Board again in 2015 as President. When Helmut first started camping he had a slide in camper in the back of his pickup truck and a two horse bumper pull trailer. He upgraded to a one ton truck and a large goose neck trailer with all the comforts of home. He has put over 100,000 kilometers on his truck and trailer. One of his favourite places to ride and camp, Otter Creek, New York. He remembers fondly time spent there with Frank Bauman, Sheila MacDonald, Ron Keeler, Marvin Haliday, to name only a few. Helmut has rode and camped across Western Canada, from Illinois to Alabama, and all the way down the Eastern and Western Coasts. He was active in getting a camp in Mattawa started. Helmut says the trails were beautiful. He and Marvin Haliday bush whacked their way to their own beach. A very memorable ride for Helmut was the Shore to Shore, Michigan ride, from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. He proudly displays the small block of wood, trophy from the Michigan Trail Riders Association. OSCODA to Empire. The 10 day 250 mile/400 kilometer ride. He will tell you that he and Smokey bonded on this ride. Helmut has made many friends along the way. Carla and Ron Walker, from Michigan presented him 20161126_173219_resizedwith an “Iron Man” trophy, which he proudly displays, after the Shore to Shore ride. Carla and Ron drove from Michigan for Helmut’s 80th on Saturday. Helmut lost an U.S. election result related bet to the Walkers. He is now sporting a “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” cap and is out fifty bucks. Helmut also received a birthday card from Annie and Clay Smith from Texas. More friends Helmut has made trail riding.

The party was busy and it was hard to nail the birthday boy down. We will wait for some quiet time in the future and continue the interview. The number of people helping Helmut celebrate this milestone is a testimonial to the person that he is. Helmut, you an inspiration to all. Happy Trails.

Sheila MacDonald and Lana English




Grey Cup Weekend: posted a blast from the past in 2012 CSC Grey Cup Robbery
 If anyone would like to author horse related info that could help us keep our horses healthy please let me know. The winter month are a great time to read.

As winter approaches, horses may begin to drink less as the water gets cold and freezes. At this time, horses often transition from food with a high moisture content (pasturing) to a dryer diet (dry hay). These two things are at the root of a common winter problem: impaction colic. It is crucial that horses living
outside be given access to quality water at all times as they must consume at least 10 gallons per day. A bucket of half-frozen water or snow is next to useless as it does not fulfill the horse’s basic needs. Moreover,if a horse consumes very cold water, its body temperature will drop and it will have to expend a lot of energy
to warm up. The only way to prevent water from freezing in the winter is to invest in a heated water trough.This is the best way to prevent impaction colic and esophageal obstruction in horses… and to avoid potential veterinary fees, not to mention the emotional toll of losing a valued animal. Research shows that horses drink
more when water is kept at a temperature of about 18 to 20 degrees C (65 degrees F). Even stabled horses may begin to drink less because, even if the water in the trough does not freeze, it may be too cold for the horse to drink. Consider using individual buckets with concealed heating elements to keep water at the
desired temperature. Using hot water to add moisture to feed, especially if it contains fiber, is another great way to get your horse to drink more. Finally, it is important to carefully monitor your horse’s water intake and check its hydration levels regularly using the skin pinch test or by monitoring the texture of the manure. If your horse is still not drinking enough water, adding 1 to 2 ounces of salt (100% NaCl) per meal, in addition to a bloc of white salt, is a great way to increase its water intake.  Marcia Cunningham


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