Blog General Post

Canadian Horse Journal Fall 2021

Canadian Horse Journal is the Exclusive Print Media Partner of the Canadian Quarter Horse Association.
Look for CQHA NEWS as a featured department in every issue!

Publishers of original, award-winning, high-calibre news and investigative journalism for Canadian horse enthusiasts, covering horse ownership, riding and training, horse and property management, and horse care. Our titles include Canadian Horse Journal, Canada’s Equine Guide,, The Hoofbeat E-Newsletter.

Horse Journals proudly serves all sectors of Canada’s horse community: the riders, drivers, coaches, trainers, breeders, farm and stable owners, and the various businesses that serve and support the horse industry. Horse Journals also offers classified ads for Horses for Sale, Trailers for Sale, equestrian business advertising, horse real estate listings and connects equine owners with relevant information about local services and events.

Canadian Horse Journal’s Autumn 2021 Issue


Check out this line-up of features…

• Competitive Mountain Trail — Looking for a new challenge? Try the sport that builds trust and helps create braver horses and riders.

• The Science of Schooling — Keys to effective training sessions, and five myths that can sidetrack schooling.

• The Mental Game — Develop the mental skills to build your confidence and make riding more fun.

• Drought Produces Hay Shortages — Low rainfall and high temperatures have impacted this year’s hay supplies, and horse owners are worried.

• The Chew Factor — What a hay analysis can tell us about chewing behaviour and expected feed intake.

• Equine Teeth: An Evolutionary Success Story — From canine teeth to Galvayne’s groove, there’s a lot going on inside the equine mouth.

• Getting Back to Better — What horse owners should know about rehabilitation and return to performance after colic surgery.

• The Burgeoning Business of Rehab — Equine rehabilitation and conditioning centres help horses return to health and achieve greater fitness.         

• Rehab for the Not-Quite-Right Horse — How to develop an exercise therapy program to give your horse the best chance of recovery.

• Sport Horse Performance Injections — The most commonly used equine injection therapies to address lameness and joint disease.

• How Does Your Beauty Sleep? — How well does your horse sleep? How much sleep does he need, and why is it important?

• How Do Horses Learn? — Why it is so important for equestrians to become educated about learning theory and its practical application.

• Equine Asthma and Pollution — Research confirms that horses suffer when air pollution levels rise.

• Heart Irregularities in Thoroughbred Racehorses — Studying atrial fibrillation, the most commonly recognized heart rhythm disturbance in athletic horses.

• Painful Eye Condition Studied — A genetic variant is associated with distichiasis in Friesian horses.

• Canadian Quarter Horse Association News


Order your copy or Subscribe Today!

Canadian Horse Journal – Autumn 2021

CHJ SPONSOR Members Only News Blog General Post

Canadian Horse Journal – Summer 2021

Canadian Horse Journal is available in print on new stands and by subscription, Digital editions are also available.

  • Seven Deadly Sins of Haymaking
  • Help Your Barn Business Thrive
  • When Things Go Wrong in the Show Ring
  • Meet the Canadians Who Mastered the Maclay
  • Building Better Barn Cultures
  • Switching Coasts: Home is Where Your Horse Is
  • Traditions: Do They Help or Hinder?
  • Horses and Wildfire Smoke
  • Hot Weather Horse Care
  • Improvements in Equine Ranching
  • Hoof Care Tips & Myth Busters
  • Foot Injuries of the Equine Athlete
  • Moving Well by Breathing Well
  • Horse Council BC News
  • Manitoba Horse Council News
  • Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association News
  • The Hoofbeat

Canadian Horse Journal is the Exclusive Print Media Partner of the Canadian Quarter Horse Association.

Look for CQHA NEWS  featured in every issue! CQHA members enjoy a special subscription offer. 

Blog General Post

Nation Valley Ranch Vaulting Club & their Quarter Horse Unicorns

Author: Samantha Mirzaee, CQHA Media Team Member & Equestrain Photographer

© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.

In the early morning hours this past fall on a small beach in Iroquois, Ontario, I caught up with the National Valley Ranch Vaulting Club to photograph them showcasing their incredible talent.

When I arrived on location, fog clung low over the water and the light from the rising sun was just starting to be visible. A solitary early morning dog walker curiously looked on as the rumbling sound of a truck and trailer announced the arrival of two very special horses followed closely by a group of talented young ladies.

So how does an equestrian decide to go from ‘traditional riding’ to vaulting which is often described as ‘gymnastics on horseback’?  To find out, I caught up with CQHA member, Jennifer Byvelds owner of the Capital Cowgirls Drill Team and owner of the National Valley Ranch in Chesterville, Ontario.

Getting Into Vaulting

Byvelds is an accomplished horsewoman, owner of the Capital Cowgirls Drill Team and owner of the National Valley Ranch in Chesterville, Ontario. Two years ago, she watched a clinic with a former Cavaila performer and invited them to come to her ranch to work on cossack trick riding. While buying cossack riding tack, she saw a vaulting surcingle for sale and bought it, “just to play with.”

A few months later she sold all her cossack tack and invested in more vaulting equipment! She  worked with the Cavalia performer and connected with an Ontario vaulting club outside of the Greater Toronto Area called Hoofprint vaulting. They helped Byvelds start a club in Ottawa and had her mentoring with them for the completion of her Vault Canada coaching certification.

The club officially launched in March 2020 and, like most activities around that time, were quickly shut down two weeks later due to Covid. When outdoor recreational activities reopened later that year however, the club re-started as strong as ever.

The Club 

For their inaugural year, the club had superb participation with about 25 vaulters and 10 that were interested in showing with ages ranging from 8 to 32. The competitive team practices roughly six times per month.

Vaulting is a great sport for building confidence, trust with your team members and your horse, and building your mental resilience because vaulting is a hugely mental game according to Byvelds. “The progress I saw this year with the vaulters blew my mind,” Byvelds says and she credits this to the atmosphere that the team created and the support that they gave each other.

Training always starts on the ground and moves are learned on barrel horses or an air horse (a life-like horse sized piece of training equipment). Once the vaulter masters the moves on the ground and they are balanced and smooth, they graduate to a real horse. Real horses are only used for roughly the last half of each practice which prevents them from being overworked.

Meeting Unicorns

Two of the horses Byvelds she uses for the Vaulting Club are Beau (Play Bay), a handsome bay quarter horse gelding and Willow (Strawberry Shortcake), a sweet grey quarter horse mare. These horses were complete professionals and from the minute they unloaded in the parking lot of the beach to the time they packed up to leave – you’d have thought they’d done it a million times before.

The horses that Byvelds lovingly refers to as ‘unicorns’ came into her life at a very special time. Six years ago she had a horrific riding accident. “My accident was a total fluke, I had a horse go down under me while galloping in a field and broke my back and neck. Even though it was an accident, I needed something super solid to get back on.”

After the accident she sold her green horses and, in her own words, “used the money to buy a unicorn….to rebuild my confidence… and that unicorn was Beau.”

Willow followed having initially been purchased for her daughter from a local ranch where she was known as the ‘ultimate safe school horse who adored children.’

According to Byvelds, one of the many great things about using quarter horses for vaulting is that they are small and sturdy which helps to build up students’ confidence before moving them to a larger horse. For this reason, all her students start on Beau and Willow. The club also uses a third horse owned by Circle J Ranch who, not surprisingly, is also a quarter horse and used for beginners.

When asked about her affinity for quarter horses, Byveld’s response was that they, “have the best temperaments! So easygoing and forgiving. LOVE THEIR minds.” Judging from the way Beau and Willow handled themselves that morning, I couldn’t agree more!

What’s Next for the vaulting team?

With the uncertainty that 2020 has brought all areas of the equestrian world, Byvelds and her team show no signs of slowing down. They’ve been diligently practicing and when gathering limitations have prevented in-person practice, they went virtual and practiced online.

With the commitment, dedication and camaraderie shared by all those on the team, I have no doubt 2021 will bring exciting things for this incredible group of people and horses.

© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
© 2020 Samantha Mirzaee Photography - All Rights Reserved.
Blog Members Post

Belly Up to the Bar with JXL Major DC aka “SETH”

“SETH” aka JXL Major CD, is the kind of horse everyone wants to “belly up to the bar” with – and if given the chance he is game to just that!

Thanks to Brittney Chomistek, Canadian fashion and western lifestyle influencer at Canadian Cowgirl Closet and former Miss Rodeo Canada 2018, for introducing the CQHA community to this great horse through her awesome “Bar Room” photo shoot with Kaylee Mohl Photography early this year!

Read SETH’s story of community service, teaching young riders, barrel racing , and “modeling” below.

The 2005 Canadian Bred palomino gelding is owned Linda Kraft of Irvine, Alberta.

Copyright © 2021 Kaylee Mohl Photography

SETH’s Story
(Yes he likes to have his name spelt in all capital letters).

SETH was born April 30, 2005 at JXL Ranch in Lampman Saskatchewan. He was then sold as a weanling to Faron and Leana Forsyth in October the same year. Faron then sold JXL MAJOR CD to Don Kraft who ran the local community pasture just outside of Medicine Hat in early 2009. A few months later Don traded his son Dalton a saddle for the yellow horse he had bought just a few months earlier. Dalton then surprised his wife Linda (who had fallen in love with the little yellow horse at her father in laws) that he was now hers.

It was the first horse Linda had since her beloved horse passed away when she was 16 years old. Linda loved (and spoiled) her new horse that she named SETH. He was the perfect confidence builder for Linda after not being in the saddle for 15+ years in addition to becoming a mother.

Despite SETH’s lack of athletic ability, he tried his heart out in barrel racing and within a couple years was winning in the 2D.

SETH has taught and raised both Addison who is now 12 and competitively barrel races and Tytan who is 8 and aspires to be a roper like his dad, uncles Justin and Tyler and Grandpa Don.

SETH has always been special and unique, but after Don passed away from cancer in 2015, the story about how ‘your dad traded your Grandpa Don a saddle for SETH’ always makes us giggle and gives him extra sentimental value.

The funny stories- oh gosh, the best one would have to have been January 2013 when the Kraft family was getting ready to embark on a trip down south to Arizona. The vet came out to Justin’s (Don’s oldest son / Dalton’s brother) to get blood work done so the horses could go across the border. Justin caught the horses one by one but when it came to SETH, he was not having it. Justin finally got on the phone and called his brother Dalton and told him ‘I can’t catch your wife’s horse here and if he doesn’t smarten up he won’t be going to Arizona’.

In the meantime while the vet was in the barn, SETH took it upon himself to walk in through a small side door to the barn and get his blood work done on his own. Needless to say, Justin was less than impressed but Dalton was glad that he didn’t have to tell his wife that her horse wasn’t going to be going to Arizona with them (or that he would have had to have gone out and helped catch him).
SETH has been ridden by countless kids and is always a favourite at the kids’ rodeos as many ask to use him for goat untying because of his laid back and safe nature. They could ride up to the goats as close as they wanted to then hang off the side of him while they jumped off and he just patiently waited for them. He is also popular at a local retirement home where he’s visited with the senior residences who fondly reminisced about their days of growing up with their own horses.
SETH is also a favourite at Avalon Equine’s interaction program where participants use horse interactions to help facilitate team building and girls self esteem groups for a couple of examples.

SETH, doesn’t have many boundaries and even likes to come in the house. One day a gate was left open and all the horses were out in the main yard. In an attempt to catch them, Linda went out with some grain. After the horses got back in, she came inside the house and left the grain in the front entrance which got spilled and the kids were told to clean it up. Instead of getting a broom and a dust pan or vacuuming it up, Addison and Tytan went out to the horse pen to get SETH to help them out. When Linda seen she asked what the heck were they doing and why was SETH in the house? The kids said they were just getting him to help them clean up and ‘vacuum’ the grain.

SETH truly is such a unique and once in a lifetime kind of horse. He will always be a special part of the Kraft family in addition to the many lives of others that he’s touched.

Blog General Post Uncategorized

Bobby Kerr Inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame

The Ridgewood Ontario born cowboy, and founder of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, has been inducted into the prestigious hall of honour  himself.

Known for his talent as a horse trainer, Kerr has won numerous awards in roping, reining, working cow horse and cutting in his career spanning over 40 years.  

Famed on YouTube for his ““Good and broke limo” trick horse performances which have amassed over 10 million views, Kerr has performed at some of the biggest equine events in the world.

On behalf of the Canadian Quarter Horse community, the association, and all our members who know Mr. Kerr personally and by reputation, CQHA would like to congratulate him on this honour, and thank him for his lifetime of promoting the culture and integrity of the western lifestyle.

Visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame’s  website to ream more about this Canadian cowboy and the others inducted along with him.





Blog General Post

Employment Opportunities in Canada’s Horse Industry

Announcing – your source for horse industry jobs across Canada!

Equine Guelph has announced the reboot of JobTrack, its free online equine employment matching service.

Serving the Canadian horse community for nearly 20 years, JobTrack has been a popular job-matching service for thousands of employers and job seekers. After undergoing many updates and upgrades for user functionality, the free service is live and now available at this link. With its new facelift and upgraded user-ability, Equine JobTrack is poised to roll out across Canada to serve the equine industry nationally.

New expanded search and sort functions include the ability to sort searches by: racing or non-racing, sector, job position and region. Advanced searches using a locator map will assist both job seekers and employers in finding each other.

“Equine JobTrack is a vitally important part of supporting the horse industry, both racing and non-racing – and plays an essential role in job development in rural Canada,” says Sue Leslie, president of the Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association. “Currently, the racing industry is experiencing major labour shortages in Ontario. The upgraded Equine JobTrack webpage will support both employers and those looking for employment.”

Career pathways can be investigated with many feature videos and infographics showcasing careers in the equine industry. Training opportunities can also be explored by reviewing testimonials from Equine Guelph students who have found their niche in the industry with the help of highly valued, evidence-based education. People often get into the horse business because they love horses and want to spend their lives in the business but without ever receiving proper training in business and horse health. The Resources section can help applicants find the tools they need to pave their pathway to a rewarding career in the equine industry.

The goal of Equine JobTrack has always been to link jobs with training to support growth of the equine industry and rural development in Canada. The introduction of self-service profiles and upgraded user-ability has allowed the program to expand exponentially. The redevelopment of Equine JobTrack will more effectively connect employers with job-seekers nationwide.

“As director of Equine Guelph, I am so pleased that we can now offer this updated and functional pathway to employment for the equine industry in Canada as a free service,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. “I would like to thank HBPA and Ontario Racing for their strong support of this initiative. Thanks also goes out to Grand River Agricultural Society for additional funding received.”

This program is funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program (the Partnership), a provincial-territorial initiative. The Ontario Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Rural Affairs assists in the delivery of CAP the Partnership in Ontario.

Originally developed with funding from the Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association of Ontario (HBPA), Equine Guelph is pleased to have financial support from HBPA once again. Additional collaborating partners include Grand River Agricultural Society, Ontario Racing, Ontario Equestrian and Standardbred Canada. Other industry partners include: AgCareers, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Ontario Harness Horse Association and Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc.

(Equine Guelph)

News Member News Blog

Purina Canada Launches Partnership with CQHA

Purina Canada Connects with the Canadian Quarter Horse Association – A new partnership Brings Equine Nutritional Education and Benefits to CQHA Members

Joint Communiqué

Woodstock, Ontario – February 25, 2021 – Being close to our customers has always been our top priority. We are pleased to announce our partnership with the Canadian Quarter Horse Association (CQHA). Together we look forward to bringing all CQHA members online support, nutrition education and exclusive offers on our equine products.

For any horse owner, whether they are competing and want the best for their athlete or simply enjoy the company of their equine companion, finding the right product can often be a challenge. They regularly look for products that meet their horses’ requirements. Purina Canada’s offering of feeds and supplements, made in our specialized, drug-free facility in Strathroy, Ontario can meet that demand.

One of the benefits of this national agreement between CQHA and Purina will begin rolling out special offers to members across Canada.

The promotions for 2021 will be offered to provinces at different times between March and June (included). The promotions between provinces may vary dependent on the different distribution abilities, as well as the Purina Equine Nutrition Consultants availability.

The first promotion will be offered in March to CQHA members in Alberta; and will also be offered to members of the Quarter Horse Association of Alberta.

Purina’s product offering provides all horses, no matter where they are in Canada, the premium nutrition they need to stay healthy and bring their best to each trail ride, riding lesson or to the show ring.


About Purina Canada


Purina is owned by Cargill, Inc. who proudly offers the Purina extended brand of feeds through its licensed subsidiaries outside the United States, in locations around the world, including Canada.


Today, Purina is one of the highest equity brands in Cargill’s brand portfolio. Produced and sold on three continents in 13 countries, Purina products are available through an extensive Purina dealer distribution network covering nearly 40,000 points of sales worldwide. Each day numerous horse owners and horses enjoy the benefits of using Purina feed.


As the global leader in providing the highest quality animal feeds, we use the most professional distribution network to deliver innovative solutions through animal nutrition products, programs, and services. For more information about Purina, please visit and contact us via Purina Connect 



Purina Canada s'associe à la Canadian Quarter Horse Association - Une nouvelle collaboration apporte des bénéfices aux membres ainsi que de l’éducation sur la nutrition du cheval aux membres de l'ACQH

Communiqué conjoint

Saint-Hubert, Québec – 26 février 2021 –

Être proche de nos clients a toujours été notre priorité absolue. Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer notre partenariat avec l’Association Canadienne du Quarter Horse (ACQH/CQHA).

Ensemble, nous sommes impatients de proposer à tous les membres de l’ACQH un soutien en ligne, de l’éducation sur la nutrition du cheval ainsi que des offres exclusives sur nos produits équins.

Pour tout propriétaire de cheval, qu’il soit en compétition et qu’il veuille le meilleur pour son athlète ou bien qu’il apprécie simplement la compagnie de son compagnon équin, trouver le bon produit peut souvent être un défi. La recherche régulière de produits répondant aux exigences de leurs chevaux est constante. L’offre d’aliments et de suppléments de Purina Canada, fabriqués dans notre établissement spécialisé et sans médicaments à Strathroy, en Ontario, peut répondre à cette demande.

L’un des avantages de cette entente nationale entre l’ACQH et Purina est le déploiement des offres spéciales aux membres, partout au Canada.

Les promotions pour 2021 seront offertes aux provinces à des moments différents entre Mars et Juin inclusivement. Les promotions entre les provinces peuvent varier en fonction des différentes capacités de distribution, ainsi que de la disponibilité des consultants en nutrition équine de Purina.

La première promotion sera offerte en Mars aux membres de l’ACQH en Alberta et sera également offerte aux membres de la Quarter Horse Association of Alberta.

L’offre de produits de Purina fournit à tous les chevaux, peu importe où ils se trouvent au Canada, la nutrition de première qualité dont ils ont besoin pour rester en bonne santé et être à leur meilleur lors de chaque randonnée, cours d’équitation ou sur le terrain de compétition.



À propos de Purina Canada

C’est avec une grande fierté que Cargill Incorporée, par le biais de ses filiales internationales, offre la marque de commerce Purina, la plus reconnue à travers le monde en alimentation animale (en dehors des États-Unis).

Aujourd’hui, Purina est une valeur hautement reconnue parmi les plus grandes marques de commerce au monde. Fabriqués et vendus sur trois continents, dans 13 pays, les produits Purina sont distribués par l’entremise de près de 40,000 points de vente Purina à travers le monde. À chaque jour, plus des millions de clients apprécient les avantages des produits et services offerts par la compagnie Purina.


En tant que chef de file international en alimentation équine, nous utilisons un vaste réseau de distribution professionnel pour offrir des solutions innovatrices par les produits, les programmes et les services.

Pour plus d’informations sur Purina, veuillez visiter et contactez-nous via Purina Connect.

Blog Breeders Post Youth Post

Spooks Big Bang & Brianna Carr

Brianna Carr & Spooks Big Bang the 2020 Virtual Youth World Cup Reining Bronze Mentalist & "Bubba's" owners Brian and Giselle Aebly.
Spooks Big Bang (Spooks Gotta Gun x Licky Little Latte) is a 2012 AQHA stallion with NRHA lifetime earnings in excess of $39,000

In December 2020, seven youth from across Canada competed in six events as a part of the 2020 AQHA Virtual Youth World Cup. The World Cup was originally scheduled for July 2020 in the Netherlands but due to covid-19 restrictions, the event was cancelled and rescheduled to a virtual format. Under the guidance of the team coach, Della Cryderman, and team manager, Karen Westerback, riders participated in all-round events such as reining, ranch riding, english equitation, showmanship, western horsemanship, and trail. 

My name is Brianna Carr and I had the honour of being on team Canada 2020 and competing with the amazing stallion, Spooks Big Bang (Bubba). I rode Bubba in both the ranch riding and the reining, and I was fortunate enough to be awarded an individual bronze medal in the reining with him.

 Spooks Big Bang (Spooks Gotta Gun x Licky Little Latte) is a 2012 AQHA stallion with NRHA lifetime earnings in excess of $39,000. Bubba has been shown in open aged events with Locke Duce, non pro aged events with Pearl and Giselle Aebly, and now in youth events with myself. Some of Bubba’s biggest achievements include 2015 L2-L3 NRHA Futurity finalist, 2015 Reining Alberta L4 open champion, 2016 Big Sky Reining Classic L4 open and 4-year-old derby champion, and 2018 non pro prime time high point at the NRHA Derby.

Bubba is an extremely well-mannered stallion and is truly one of the nicest horses I have ever had the pleasure to ride. He is stunning and completes manoeuvres with grace and ease. Before the competition I had only rode Bubba once due to snowy conditions but his kind personality and willingness to please made him very easy to get along with. The NRHA definition of reining states that a horse should be “willingly guided” and Spooks Big Bang demonstrates this with ease. When showing him I was able to have a draped rein and he gave me everything I asked of him without hesitation.

Bubba is an extraordinary athlete, and I am so blessed to be able to compete with him. Though this year presented some unexpected circumstances, this experience was amazing and unforgettable, and I am so glad that I got to experience it with such a special stallion.

The bronze winning run can be found on YouTube at Team Canada Reining. More information about Spooks Big Bang can be found on the Spooks Big Bang Facebook Page.

Blog General Post

Ontario Equine Hardship Program – Covid-19 Response

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – Equine Hardship Program

The Government of Ontario is providing conditional financial support to equine experience-based businesses, like riding lessons, summer riding camps, carriage rides, equine-based therapy and trail rides, that are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 related business losses. The Equine Hardship Program will provide funding to eligible businesses that have experienced a significant decrease in business revenue and have continued to incur certain animal maintenance costs that they regularly rely on to operate.

Eligible Businesses
  • To be eligible under this program, businesses must confirm the following on the enrolment form:
    • The business earned at least 50 per cent of its gross business revenue by providing equine-based experiences* (e.g., riding lessons, summer riding camps, carriage rides, equine-based therapy and trail rides) in 2019.
    • The gross business revenue earned from the equine-based experiences in 2020 was less than half of what the business earned in 2019.
    • The business’ Canada Revenue Agency Business Number, if applicable.
    • The business is registered in Transfer Payment Ontario (TPON) – see enrolment form; and that the registration is up to date.
    • The business is registered to receive direct deposit payments through Supply Chain Ontario – see enrolment form; and that the registration is up to date.
  • The business must agree to provide further documentation to support expenses, income and financial statements upon OMAFRA’s request.
  • The business must be in compliance with all Requirements of Law and agree to remain in compliance with all Requirements of Law if receiving financial support under this program.
    *(Includes horses, ponies, mules, donkeys)

    Note: The Ministry reserves the right to inspect/verify information in the enrolment and claim forms including but not limited to site visits and requests for financial and tax documentation.
Blog General Post

Getting Through This – Together!

As we enter 2021, the industry is facing new challenges as Government and Health officials publish (ever) changing guidance surrounding COVID-19. Because we are hearing questions again from our clients, we felt it was appropriate to send out an updated set of Q&As.

By now, you will know that neither CapriCMW Insurance Services Ltd. nor your Provincial/Territorial equine association have the authority to open, close or modify the operations of your business. The best we can do is offer insurance / risk management related information and refer you to local government authority to get the most current details of what is “allowed” and what is “not allowed” in your area.

What we can also say is that insurers around the world have adjusted their policies to exclude claims related to the spread of the COVID virus. As you move forward in your 2021 business planning, you should assume that you will not be insured if someone alleges they contracted the virus at your place of business or from you directly. From a risk management standpoint, this means establishing specific COVID protocols, determining whether or not engaging with clients at this time is a good idea and using robust risk forms that address the full scope of risk of receiving service from you (including the spread of communicable disease).

Please read through the following Q & A. If you have any questions not addressed here, please let us know and we will be happy to respond.

For Commercial Equine Enterprise Operations, Clubs, Coaches, Trainers

1. If I establish acceptable protocols with the guidance of my local health authority, is my insurance coverage with CapriCMW in force?
Your insurance policy as administered by CapriCMW has not changed and has been in full force and effect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. What continues to change is government oversight restricting the movement of people and the operation of many business enterprises. In some areas of the country, government officials are allowing activity but have made it very clear that return to activity comes with specific guidance and protocols to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.

2. As an equine industry professional, I am aware of the evolving risks associated with COVID-19. Should I get my clients to sign new acknowledgement of risk forms that address this?
The short answer is “yes”. The best forms are those that address the general risks associated with equine activity and note that there is a possibility of disease being present at the farm, horse show, lesson etc. Just remember that the use of such forms is not a guarantee that a claim will not be brought against you. These forms are only one of many components in an effective risk management strategy. The following are examples of forms that we are seeing in the industry:

a. Acknowledgement of Risk form
A form that should be familiar to most readers that speaks to general bodily injury/property damage risks associated with equine related activity. This form is updated to include reference to “disease” and “communicable disease”. There is a form for persons over the age of majority and a separate form for those under the age of majority.

b. Daily Attestation Form
The general guidance on the use of this form is that it be signed EACH TIME a client is receiving service from you or attends at your place of business. Having a daily form helps to show the courts that you are undertaking a regular pattern of risk management for the benefit of your client if a claim were to emerge later.

c. Facility Form
This form is useful for boarding places and facilities where clients may attend on a regular basis. This is not a daily form.

d. Specific Event Form
As the name implies, this form would take the place of the Facility Form if you were to run a “one of” event (show, clinic etc.)

3. Can these forms be signed electronically?
From an insurance perspective, “e-signatures” are increasingly acceptable but suggest that you refer to your legal counsel in this regard to discuss the implication if you were sued.

4. How long do I need to keep these forms?
The forms need to be stored for several years. We suggest again that you refer to your legal counsel for their advice.

5. Are insurers going to cover claims arising from COVID-19 allegations brought against my business or me?
Insurers are now issuing specific exclusions surrounding bodily injury claims arising from COVID 19. This is an understandable position given the magnitude of this global pandemic. In the mid-term (a few years from now perhaps when a vaccine is truly in wide use), insurers may come back to the table as they have in the past when other world-wide calamities strike. As you engage in activity with your customers, you should assume there would be no coverage for COVID claims so that your risk management and mitigation plans are robust.

6. I understand I am not covered for COVID claims, but is the rest of my policy still valid?
The policy is in full force and effect for all insured risks as detailed on documentation issued… as long as you are not breaking the law.

Your Provincial and National Equine Sport Organizations continue to offer assistance to the community by offering general best practice guidance that considers the overall health and welfare of everyone involved – including the horse. Please visit your Provincial Equine Association website for COVID resources.

If you are in doubt of whether you are operating your business in compliance with government regulations, you should consult local authorities. Many regions have set up toll free hot lines for businesses to answer questions specific to COVID. If you can find such a resource in your region – use it.

If you have any further questions, we are here to help. Contact us by email for any COVID related questions at

Michael King, Partner
CapriCMW Insurance