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I am Al Lowe, and I live in Central Canada, where the summers can be very hot, and the winters very cold!  Which, of course, creates some interesting varied ways of horsekeeping just to keep the horses healthy.

All my life, I'd dreamed of riding as a child, but rarely had the opportunity - hire horses providing most of my riding experience, though my grandfather still farmed in central Manitoba using horses for some tasks.  He used to hoist me onto the work-horses' backs when he'd harnessed them to a stone boat or hay rake, and I'd hang on to the hames and try to keep my balance as the horse plodded along under me.

I am now the proud owner of an unregistered Quarter Horse (I am aware the breed name is American Quarter Horse, but both of my horse's parents were Canadian horses, so I refuse to use the American designation) which turned seven this year; I've had this horse since he was a foal still on his mother, and through attending clinics, listening and asking a lot of questions of the fellow from whom I obtained him, raised and trained him and am now using him for trail riding (as we call hacking in Canada) and have started training him for working cow horse.  He's gentle, laid back, and often has to be pushed to get the full potential out of him, but when he "wakes up" and decides to give it his all, he's a dynamo!

The pic is of Rusty and me (Rusty's the horse!) at a clinic last spring, at our new Agricultural Center of Excellence.  I live in a hub of horse country, where horses are bred, raised, bought and sold, and shown. The A.C.E., as we've come to know it locally, was a purpose-built facility which, amazingly, came in under budget, and is a fantastic venue for keeping and showing horses and other livestock - three large barns which can each house over 70 horses, a large practise/warm-up ring, and a 150' x 200' show ring, in which I've also had the pleasure of riding a few times.

I am also employed in the agricultural industry - I run a chicken grow barn, where up to 26,000 egg-layer chicken pullets are housed at a day-old, and my job is to feed, assist in management so they achieve their target weights by the time they are fifteen weeks old, and to maintain the barn.  It's a big job, and my supervisors leave me to get on with it, which is very satisfying to me.

My other hobbies and reading, writing and photography.

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