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A good kind of horsing around

Poco-Razz Farm to hold educational medical-themed clinic for horse owners

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There will soon be a lot of educational horseplay at Poco-Razz Farm.

The farm, located at 130 Greenview Rd. in south St. Vital south of the Perimeter Highway off St. Mary’s Road, will host its second annual First Aid for Horses clinic on Thurs., June 20 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The free, rain-or-shine event is aimed at horse owners and will be led by Dave Snell of Central Veterinary Services. No horses are required and refreshments will be provided.

Topics will include basic information on physical examinations, general signs of illness, wounds, lameness, bandaging, injections, first aid and more, said Jim Shapiro, who has owned the farm with his wife, Christina, for more than 30 years.

"We’re asking people to bring a lawn chair to watch Dr. Snell give a presentation on how to care for your horse if it gets hurt," Shapiro said, noting the 35-acre site includes pastures, a riding arena, a covered shelter and a quarantine shelter.

"People love their horses, but often don’t have the faintest idea what to do if they get sick. In this case, two things generally happen. Either the horse gets hurt and the owner panics when there’s no need to, as the injury is not that bad or the horse gets injured and the owner doesn’t know the seriousness of it and goes about his or her business."

Shapiro said the clinic will not be overly technical and is primarily intended to help horse owners learn what to do if their horse gets hurt and help them assess if a vet is needed and if so, what to do until the vet arrives: "The last thing a horse needs is a stressed owner when it’s in need."

Facility manager Roger Tytgat said the event is a way to educate individuals about the more nitty-gritty aspects of horse ownership.

"It’s a great idea for those people interested in learning from vets. Like anything else, you need to know about the good and bad," Tytgat said.

"We hope to educate our boarders as best we can. It’s not only about the riding, as it’s a living, breathing animal that needs to be taken care of."

Boarder Linda Checkley, who attended last year’s inaugural clinic, said the event had educational and social value.

"I gained a lot of knowledge about things I didn’t and learned a lot. It was also a nice sociable time with other horse owners," said Checkley, who lives in Royalwood and has two horses, Levi and Apollo.

Fellow boarder Tracey Gillis, who lives in Fort Richmond, is happy her horse, Paint, has found a home at the farm.

"The facility takes excellent care of the horses. I don’t think there’s any other facility in Winnipeg like this, considering the pastures, the feeding and the freedom. I can’t say enough good things about this place."

"A confident owner leads to a confident horse," Shapiro added. "A horse can detect a sense of confidence and calmness in its owner."

Space for the event is limited, so call 204-255-4717 to register. For more information, visit www.pocorazzfarm.ca

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