Sunnybrook Stables
Reidun's International Exchange Experience

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North American Curly Horses
Reidun's Experience at Sunnybrook Stables Exchange Program!

So, who am I?

       I'm a 22 yr. old girl from bardu, a small place in northern Norway. approx. 550 km above the arctic circle. I have always been into horses, but at the same time I have had pretty bad allergies against animals, including horses. I had a straight horse when I was younger, and even went to England to go to a school to become a riding teacher.

Curly Horse Birthday Cake!

My Horse Allergies.

       That's when my allergies got so bad that I had to sell my horse. At that time I had just heard about the curlies, both the Russian kind and the American kind (it wasn't until later that we learned that they weren't the same kind). It wasn't any curlies in all of Norway at that time so I stopped with horses for some years. Then I started taking some lessons on a center nearby. I still wanted to try to work with horses.... I have always been fond of travelling, and have always wanted to go to Canada, I have relatives over there and have heard alot about Alberta since there have been quite a few from here that have been over to meet them. So I started checking home pages on the internet, to see if there was any breeders of the curlies nearby. That's how I found Sunnybrook stables. I contacted them in July '02, and in March '03 I went over to meet curlies for the first time!

Reidun helping with Camp

Part of Training

Reidun and the gang

Reidun with Propspector at Klonkide Days
       What did I do? and how was the curlies? When I first got there, I was surprised over the differences in them! I thought they were smaller, more pony size and heavier built. I had no idea! they were all friendly, curious and really, really curly! I fell in love with them from the moment I met them! When I got there they had 5 yearlings in quarantine, so they were my first 'job', handle them, make them used to people. They had come from all over Canada and the United States, and most of them had not been handled much by people. They learned alot, and I learned even more. I was used to 'push button horses' so this was something new for me. But I had great fun. Every day I had chores to do, feed the horses that wasn't on pasture, I was a nurse for the horses that was hurt, I rode some horses, and had one riding lesson a week. Helped with fixing fences, keeping the yard clean, getting the hay in for winter.... in May we had open house, a lot of people came by and they were all surprised, just as I was when I first met the curlies In June, July and August there was alot happening! I was on one show (I jumped and showed Oaks (four year old Curly filly) in English equitation), a parade in Breton on 1st of July (with Oakley there too, she was SO calm! I was more scared than she was!), we had quite a few riding camps, we were on Calgary stampede and Klondike days (alot of people, and no one had heard about the curlies!), we had a 4H horse show, and we went to Edmonton with 4 of the curlies on some judge stuff for the 4H ... alot happening!! The camps was really fun, the kids were so happy just being around horses! They really changed from the first day to the last! Many of them were there on more than one camp, so I'm sure they had a really good time! In august a German girl came over too, had a great time with her, she fell in love with the curlies too, and bought one curly mare which she is taking over in February. We also went on some trail rides, which was really fun!
So did I have any spare time?
       YES! I went to Drumheller with Deanna once, had a great time there researching the dinosaurs. I find geology very interesting so I was like a kid down there! We also went to British Columbia to pick up a horse, so I got to see Jasper and Athabasca falls and a bear, mountain sheep, moose, elk and alot of other animals on my way through the Rocky Mountains. In September we went to Spruce Meadows, the largest show jumping and horse show in North America. The Canadian people I met there was really nice to me, took me with them here and there, got to see some of the country and do stuff which I don't think the tourists get to do... and I got to meet my Canadian relatives which I hadn't met before, so I got to talk some Norwegian over there too!


Reidun in the booth at Calgary Stampede
Now what?
        Who knows? :) My dream was to import some curlies over and breed them here, there is one lady in southern Norway that breed curlies now, but that's all. So for someone like me that wants to work with horses but have allergies it's hard to get to do anything here. And at the same time I had a great time in Canada, and would really like to live there for a bit more than 6 months... I fell in love with one curly, Felicity, who I have bought. and I am still trying to decide what to do with her. Move her over here or move over there...

Reidun on her new friend, Felicity

If you think you might be interested in participating in our exchange program, please email us and download the Exchange Package and Application .
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