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The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3)


Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: January 1, 2014

Web Domain: 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 2

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 27

Formal Sub-Theme: “The Greenhorn Chronicles”

Individual Publication Date: January 15, 2023

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky

Word Count: 4,257

Image Credits: None

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

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

*Interview conducted January 2, 2022.*


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. Waslewsky discusses: a bigger picture within Twin Creeks Ranch; a standard procedure in the industry within the Lower Mainland; the Council in the Township of Langley; particular bylaws; the industry as a whole in the Lower Mainland; the main providers of feed; and the horse is a part of their own family.

Keywords: agricultural science, ALR, British Columbia, Bylaws, California, Cindy Waslewsky, clients, Equestrian, Federal and Labor Relations Act, horses, Icelandics, Lower Mainland, Mayor Eric Woodward, Mayor Froese, Otter Co-op, ranches, Squamish, Steve Waslewsky, Township of Langley, Twin Creeks Ranch.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let’s take a bigger picture within Twin Creeks Ranch as a whole, first, as well. With the indoor arena, the training center at the round pen, the racetrack, and the clubhouse trails, all of these combined into a package of 125 acres; how do you build this into an operational business? From what I’m gathering, a mild constricting of the environment for equestrianism, at least, in British Columbia a little bit, particularly in areas like the Township of Langley with rising property prices and, thus, a decrease in the number of people who can afford.

Cindy Waslewsky: No, that’s a really good point. I mean we came in and there’s hyperbole because they say the “horse capital of Canada” [Ed. I even wrote that.] or something ridiculous like that. I’m looking at it like this, “Yes, but it’s shrinking rapidly”, and the people who can tell me that are our feed suppliers. They’re the ones that see it the most because they’re seeing how much feed is being purchased for horses in our area. The land value is high, so I see a lot of boarding places. People come to us over “our boarding place is shutting down”, or “it’s being redeveloped”, or “they’re selling to somebody else’, “it’s difficult to afford lessons and a horse”. It’s fewer and fewer people that can afford that a hobby. I mean people say, “Oh, skiing is expensive.” Well, skiing is cheaper than riding because when you’re not skiing, then you’re parking in your garage. You’re not feeding your skis and shoeing your skis, and your skis don’t go lame on you when you need them and get an abscess, or pull a tendon.

So, there’s a lot of cost to horses to keep them well. You’re shoeing them every six to eight weeks. You’re getting dental work on their teeth once a year. Floating the teeth cost $200 to $400 depending on the horse. It costs about $200 now for hot shoes every six weeks, and then your whole sport is going to start at 700 a month when you start putting up your feed in. Feeding and mucking and a place to ride, you’re in $700 at the bottom end. You’ll see our boarding rates. If you look around, we’re on the low end with two indoor arenas. But we have staff that live on the property. We bring our hay in by the B-train load. We do pelletized bedding for environmental concerns. They used to do straw way back in the day, and then they moved to shavings. Shavings are stored and you try to keep them dry. You put them in, but you still have to pull the shavings out. You almost have to put lime underneath it because of the pee, which is now urea. You don’t want that to build up in the stall.

And so, what has happened, they had to switch to pellets, which we used as soon as we took over the farm. We went to pelletized bedding, which are bags, and it is pellets. You split the bag open. You add hot water, and then pop the pellets back up, and then you spread them out there. they’re made of pine, so you don’t have any allergies in the horses. You clean it like kitty litter. So, you take out all the manure that you get used to doing that with your fork and then where these horses pee; they’re usually peeing in the same corner of their stall. So, our staffs have gotten to know the horses; they pull back the bedding and pull out all the wet stuff and it clumps together like kitty litter. So, all the wet shavings come out in a clump together and then they spread the dry stuff back up to soak up any more pee and pull that out and then cover it up and then they might put one fresh bag on top and we might put a fresh bag on maybe every other day depending on the horse and how messy they are. They shred the manure in their stall in those shredders and then there’s some that poop in one little corner. You go and clean it up. It’s so much easier. You get to love certain horses that are cleaner.

So, we can then spread that. That manure goes in the pile within a year. It is broken down because it’s essentially dust. By the time we’re taking it out of the stall; we’re only taking manure and only the shavings that have pee or urine in it. So, we don’t have big chunks. We have dust that breaks down very quickly. It has mostly manure, a little urine, a little bit of dust, and then we pile it. We manure spread on our property. This disposal of manure. Some places bin their manure and have to have it hauled out. I think there are places making topsoil that buy the stuff or, at least, charge you to take it away for a somewhat more reasonable price, but it is a significant expense for some of the barns: manure disposal. So, the pelletized bedding, our staff go in there with one big wheelbarrow. They can do four stalls. You would fill up one wheelbarrow with the shavings and dump them out there. Now, it’s about a quarter of the waste we have to spread. It’s easy. It breaks down much more quickly. So, environmentally, far better, other than the plastic bags, which they don’t take for recycling. It’s driving us crazy. We want to recycle these plastic bags, but they won’t pick them up at the curb. They won’t take them at the cycling place. We’re like, “These are plastic bags, recycle them, please.” That’s the only downside, so far. That may get worked out. I don’t know how that’s going to work out. However, we’re not political enough and agitating for something there.

Jacobsen: What is a standard procedure in the industry within the Lower Mainland? That is costing a lot of money and causing unnecessary expense to the owners, to the environment, and to the horses that could be changed easily. What is another example of this?

Cindy: What’s something else costing people or the environment?

Jacobsen: People who own ranches or facilities, individuals who are clients, or the horses themselves, or the environment.

Cindy: Some of the mandated manure management programs. My husband did agricultural science. We built a resort in Squamish. He had worms in the soil within a year. Then they’re coming along and saying we need to build this concrete bunker and put all your manure in this concrete bunker that’s covered from the rain and everything else. Then you have to spray it so that it breaks down. We’re like, “We have a system that is working extremely well. You’re wanting us to do it this other way that is very expensive to put in. We question its efficacy.” They don’t want things leaching into creeks. I get that. But if you have a place that’s far enough from the creek, which we truly do, out in by the trails, we don’t understand why we had to go and set up a whole different system. That’s expensive. Also, most horse operations, we’re zoned commercial. So, our hydro rates are double what anyone else is paying. So, hydro rates are higher for any commercial operation as when you compare it to a residential.

You have people giving ‘helpful advice’ about things like manure management and animal care. We had cows in mud. We had someone report us to SPCA because our cows were in the mud. SPCA came out and looked at them and goes, “Well, this is how cows live!” It gets muddy when it rains for a while. Even though, we have pads around all the feed stations. We have cover places for them to have their hay and stuff. So, sometimes, people don’t understand animal care. They’re thinking about, maybe, their pets, what they their pets would need. I know horse boarding doesn’t qualify when you have ALR land as, of course, the land reserves. You want your farm tax status. Horses don’t count and boarding horses does not count as an agricultural operation.

Jacobsen: What could Mayor Froese [Ed. Former mayor, current mayor of the Township of Langley is Mayor Eric Woodward.] in the Council in the Township of Langley or other townships do to better serve the pragmatic needs of the equestrian community at large?

Cindy Waslewsky: Let me hold for a second, because this is something I would definitely like to hear from Steve on. So, Steve, there are two questions. The first question I want to think about it for a minute. What are certain restrictions or things that are creating unnecessary expense for equestrian operations and horse owners in Langley? And the second part of that question would be: Is there anything that mayor Froese or Town Hall could do to improve the viability of horse operations in this area because they are shrinking rapidly? Okay, I’m going to put on the speaker.

Steve Waslewsky: The problem would be the Federal and Labor Relations Act. It’s very inflexible and very expensive. All the payroll deductions and such, a lot of our colleagues are being priced out by labor costs, which the government is creating. As for Langley, nothing really comes to mind. So, yes, because we take care of people’s horses and we’re not breeding, we don’t get farm tax status. We do because we also raise hay and we had cattle until recently. That’s how we got our farm status. Without farm status, we’d be shut down.

Jacobsen: What about particular bylaws that are helpful and in place now, or what could be proposed by the equestrian community to help themselves within their particular townships?

Steve Waslewsky: Well, probably, the number one would be that we ought to be included in it is as a farm status. A lot of places simply can’t afford to be open without farm status. That’s why they’re shutting down. Locally, they’ve become much fussier about enforcing farm status, not with the equestrians, but with everybody else. I know a couple places, where they lost their farm status all to the equestrian operations. Nothing else really comes to mind. I don’t deal with them much because we operate under the table and try not to attract attention. Dealing with government is like being a nail. We’re very quiet about what we do and how we do it. We fall into a little bit of a niche. We exploit that niche maintaining our farm status through actual farming activity. Without that, there’s no question that we would be closed. Equestrian operations take far too much property and resources of an area, where the taxes and bylaws are really set up for more intensive businesses like lumber yards and such. So, that’s where we fall into a little bit of a niche.

Jacobsen: What would that do to the industry as a whole in the Lower Mainland?

Steve Waslewsky: Well, it’s shrinking because the whole lower middle class is shrinking. I’ve been told by people, feed companies and such, that since we took over in 2004, really the entire equestrian industry has been dropped by at least a half. So, we are in a dying industry because of a dying middle class. That’s more of a federal/provincial issue than it is a municipal one.

Jacobsen: Who are the main providers of feed now?

Steve Waslewsky: On a retail basis?

Jacobsen: In terms of producing.

Steve Waslewsky: It all comes from outside the area here. Otter Co-op does produce some. I’m not sure if they actually produce horse feed or not. I think they probably do. I think there’s another one called Ritchie Feeds. I think they do their own stuff too, but all the rest are bringing in from outside the area.

Cindy Waslewsky: We can hot walk a horse in a circle, so that the shed low 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. One of our staff members lives in a suite off the 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 1st. Then across from the barn, we have two suites there, again staff. One’s a single fellow who does basic 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 stuff. Then to the left of his suite or to the right of his suite is a young couple, she works in the barn and her partner is an IT guy who works from home. So, when we had this bad weather, he was out helping her in the barn, and then, as I said, one woman 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’re feeding at 7 in the morning. They’re feeding at noon. They’re feeding at 5. They’re feeding at 9. So, to drive back and forth would not be very efficient, but you can go out there and feed at 7 in the morning, and then go in and warm up or have breakfast, you can 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”, where they can walk out.

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 barn and tried to make as many of them 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. 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, e.g., pouring rain. They’re out for half the day. When they have this freezing weather, they were out until almost 1 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 1 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 and 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 it 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, it’s 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 and all these other different kinds of fungus 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 have 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 is 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. 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 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 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, and that’s too many stalls to do for one person, which it really is, then we say you get a secondary worker and 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. Then we have another fellow, Hank, who does maintenance and, 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 break 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 Waslewsky: Yes, Steve’s 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. Like we mix our own footing for the arena, we mix footing for our paddock. We call it crusher because it’s not that hard. So, 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 and grazing them up, 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, recently. We go out and clear them off, and then we have a half-mile sand racetrack.

Now, the racetrack is not what you would see for training racehorses. 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 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, and so we bought a B-train load, which is a truck and a big trailer that’s 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 a backyard approach, “Oh I’m going to get the beet pulp”, or “they’ll get their weight up”. The beet plants, 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 boarder. 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 horses. 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 to 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 Waslewsky: 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, the worst thing is to be over the 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 labeled. They’ve developed some bad habits. I always say a horse is 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, and then you might have to put the dog down 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.






American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3). January 2023; 11(2).

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2023, January 15). The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3). In-Sight Publishing. 11(2).

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 2, 2023.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2023. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 2 (Spring).

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 2 (January 2023).

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2023) ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(2). <>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2023, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, <>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 2, 2023,

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 41: Cindy Waslewsky and Steve Waslewsky on Big Picture Operations, the Township of Langley, ALR, and Bylaws (3) [Internet]. 2023 Jan; 11(2). Available from:


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