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The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)

2022-08-22

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,287

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Cindy Waslewsky went to Stanford University and competed on the Varsity Gymnastics and Ski Teams. She earned a B.A. in Human Biology in 1982. She earned a Diploma in Christian Studies at Regent College in Vancouver, and a BC teachers’ certification from the University of British Columbia in 1984. She was the President of the Squamish Valley Equestrian Association. She is a certified English and Western coach. Waslewsky is co-owner of Twin Creeks Ranch. She discusses: horse maintenance; and clientele connection to horses.

Keywords: Canada, Cindy Waslewsky, equestrianism, Greenhorn Chronicles, Steve Waslewsky, Twin Creeks Ranch.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Recording accidentally start a tad late, after the formal interview began, Steve Waslewsky joins the interview later.*

*Interview conducted January 2, 2022.*

Cindy Waslewsky[1],[2]: We can hot walk a horse in a circle, so that the shedrow goes in a circle. So, you can hot walk your horses undercover. That’s great if a horse is colicky or something like that. You need to monitor and walk the horse. You’ve got a space right there outside the stall to do that. So, we have crossties there and huge tack rooms that are insulated and one of our staff members lives in a suite that’s off that same barn. She’s a single girl. She worked at North Shore Equestrian Centre before she came to us, so a good experience that she’s got into the vet tech program starting January. And then across from the barn, we have two suites there, again staff. One’s a single fellow who does basic out maintenance. We have lots of equipment. So, he’ll harrow the arena, clear the trails. He’ll check the water lines, of course, with this cold snap, getting frozen lines working again and plowing snow. All that kind of stuff. Then to the left of his suite or to the right of his suite is a young couple, she works in the barn. Her partner is an IT guy and he works from home. So, when we had this bad weather, he was out helping Kira in the barn and then, as I said, Kayla who has the four kids. The partner was up helping the barn too, so we had extra help.

So, having everyone live on the property, they walk out. Because they’re feeding at seven in the morning. They’re feeding at noon. They’re feeding at five. They’re feeding at nine. So, to drive back and forth would not be very efficient, but you can go out there and feed at seven in the morning and then go in and warm up or have breakfast, come back out and start doing stalls and at 9:30, turn some of the horses out, some are in what we call “in-and-outs.”

When people contact us, I would say about almost half our stalls are now in-and-out because what my husband did is he created more in-and-outs off the back of the bar, and tried to make as many of the in-and-out stalls. Every other stall is an in-and-out because you don’t want the run, the pen, to be the same width as the stall; that’s too narrow. They can get cast and things like that. So, what you do is if one stall has an in-and-out, the next stall that horse gets led out to a paddock outside the next one’s in-and-out, where they can run in and out at will; and the next one we lead them out. So, we have good, generous paddocks. Every horse has a paddock. They get turned out no matter what. If pouring rain, they’re out for half the day. When they have this freezing weather, they were out for almost one o’clock in the afternoon, and then we brought them in for their lunch because the water was freezing. Even if we gave them a bucket, it was frozen before they needed it when they got fed their lunch. You cannot feed a horse without water available to them. They need water.

So, that was a limiting factor. So, we bring them in at one o’clock, and then have the lunch inside. Normally, we’ll keep them out as much as we can keep them out and in the spring and the fall. In the summer, they could be out 24 hours a day. They have more room in a paddock than they do in a stall. They can see their neighbor, but they each get their own feed in a feeder that’s on the rubber matting. So, the thing doesn’t fall onto the crusher. The gravel stuff that they’re living on and they have auto waters as well. We took out all the hog fuel and put in crusher which is a blend of different kinds of sand and fills so that it’s firm. That gives the horse something firm and doesn’t harbor fungus because we’re living in the Pacific Northwest.

I grew up in California, didn’t have rain and mud fever. All these other different kinds of fungus. You see on horses up here. But up here, you’ve got to be very careful that they have a blanket on; they’re going to be out in the rain, so that they don’t get damp and get a fungus on their back called ring sore. You can’t even then put a saddle on if they get too sore. You got to stay on top of those things. So, anyway, we have staff living on the property. We have options of in-and-out stalls. Ones that you lead horses out to paddocks and back in again, and then we have a couple of what are called loafing sheds, which means it’s a shelter. We have two Icelandics that love to be outside in the snow, rain. They love to be outside. They have a shelter where they can get out of the weather, but they’ll be standing outside most of the time. We do have a stall for them if the weather is really bad or the water starts freezing. We can bring them inside if we need to do that. But they love being out, they’re shaggy little guys and they love being outside.

On our property, we have the main indoor arena. We have dressage letters up. We have some jumps. We have show-quality jumps. We don’t set up often because they’re heavy to lift in-and-out. We have other jumps that are easily put in-and-out for lessons and for people to practice on, but we have a multi-disciplined barn. In other words, we have people who like Western and English. In Western, you might have reiners. You might have pleasure. You might have trail horses.  In English, you might have dressage, hunter, jumper, and just simply pleasure trail horses. We tend to have more older riders with a few younger people who this is the first horse that they’ve brought in here. People, of course, are somewhat price conscious because it’s really expensive owning a horse. It’s getting more expensive because we’ve seen costs skyrocket. We have voluntarily just increased the rates and wages for our workers. We do the same thing in a per diem: this is how many horses you have, this is how much you get per horse to clean and feed them for the day.

Now, if you have 31 horses, that’s too many stalls to do for one person, which it really is, then we say you get a secondary worker. Then they get paid for the stalls they do; and you get paid the primary wage. So, it all works out. Our staff have three primary stock barn staff people. They make up their own schedule. They talk together. They work it out. Some are at school. Some have kids. So, they work together and make up a schedule that works for them. They cover for each other. They make sure everyone’s okay, and then we have another fellow, Hank, who does maintenance. Like you, he can jump into the stalls. He can do stall work. He can do buckets. He can bring the hay down for them. He does maintenance. So, he’s there if anyone’s sick, if anyone needs a hand, and if something happens like a pipe breaks or anything happens; they call him. So, they have that as well as my husband and I who live on the property as well.

Jacobsen: Is Steve available right now as well by the way?

Cindy: Yes, Steve’s just upstairs. He’s not a chatty person. If you had specific questions for him, he’d be happy to answer them. He, like I said, does a lot of the maintenance. We mix our own footing for the arena. We mix footing for our paddocks. We use crusher for it and for all the roads. We also have three and a half kilometers of trails, which he put in with his own GPS lining up through the woods and clearing out trails, putting culverts in and then putting landscape cloth and then crusher on top. So, a nice trail that you would see at Alder Grove Park or Camel Valley Park. We have some half kilometers of trails here on the property. So, as you saw on the web page, we have a round pen, a main indoor arena, a second indoor arena, which is like the lunging arena that we have. It’s a 72 x72, so it’s a nice 20-meter circle with a coverall. Then we have three and a half kilometers of all-weather trails, so it’s not muddy. They’re a good footing. Trees fall down, branches fall, things happen with these storms we’ve had recently. We go out and clear them off. Then we have a half-mile sand racetrack.

Now, the racetrack is not what you would see for training race horses; the inside rails are out. So, it’s basically a recreational track. We still harrow it. We keep it maintained. You can go out there. You can just walk around the track, trot, or do a little gallop. Sometimes, I’ll take students out. We’ll do a slow canter contest and then the fastest walk contest. We’re trying to train our horses to have good gaits for us to be out hacking on trails and such, and have them in control. We do our hay storage, like this year there was a real crisis for hay because of the fires, the drought, Covid, and then, of course, the flooding came along. So, hay is difficult. We bought a B-train load, which is a truck and a big trailer following it. A B-train load in the Fall, and then we put a deposit on another B-train load from the same hay supplier up North because it’s good quality professionally grown hay.

Steve with his background in animal physiology and nutrition will be happy to advise boarders on good nutrition for their horse, but, as you probably have found, everybody’s an expert. Quite frankly, it’s interesting. Even when he went to UBC, lots of feed studies on pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, cows, but not many good feed studies on horses. So, you still see kind of a backyard approach, “Oh, I’m going to get the beet pulp,” or, “They’ll get their weight up.” The beet plants, just saw this cheap pulp stuff and get rid of it by giving it to horse people saying, “Here’s some empty calories for your horse.” It’s great for hydrating your horse because you soak this pulp and some people do that to try to put weight on the horse, but I would question their more scientific knowledge of the digestive system of the horse.

We can advise borders. But if they want this, that, or the other thing, we accommodate them because that’s not livestock to them. That’s not even a pet. That horse is their child. You’ve seen that. Have you not? These women and guys, often, their kids are grown up and gone. These horses are their family. They’re their children, very important to them. So, horse boarding is a very unique business. They really think you’re taking care of people’s horse; we’re taking care of people by taking care of their horses.

Jacobsen: Talking to clientele while working, certainly, individuals who own one or more horses feel as if the horse is a part of their own family. Also, a common sentiment I find among those in the equestrian industry with only a few months out of my belt granted, is the sense of a lifestyle.  So, you either dive into the deep end first; or it’s a foot in the door phenomenon. Where, once you start getting into it, more or less, you don’t leave. Unless, you’re forced to leave due to finances or some other catastrophic circumstance. People love it. It is their lifestyle.

Cindy: I have adults coming to me for lessons who have always wanted to ride. Now, they’re close to retirement. They now have the time. They have the money. Some of them don’t have the health anymore. So, we make sure they’re on a horse that suits their limitations. You’ll see this all the time. People come to me. They might take some lessons. Hopefully, they do take a good number of lessons and really learn horsemanship, ground manners, training techniques, and then get a horse.  When they get that horse, they get because the worst thing is to be over horse; to get a horse that’s a little too much, a little bit too athletic, too high energy, too high maintenance, not as well trained and needs more training. If you don’t get someone with that knowledge, then you get a horse that becomes somewhat dangerous for that rider. Unfortunately, that horse then doesn’t always get a good chance with the next owner either. They get kind of labeled. They’ve developed some bad habits. I always say a horse is kind of like a dog. Get a dog and train that dog, an ill-trained dog, an insecure dog, or an aggressive dog is not a happy dog. Indeed, it could be a danger to a person, then you might have to put down the dog because an incident happens. I’ve seen that in the horse world as well with horses that are great animals, but have not had the best riding and training at some point in their life. It is human made problems in the horses that the good trainers have to go in and try to fix.

Footnotes

[1] Co-Owner, Twin Creeks Ranch.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

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