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     What a thrill the last few years have been for us, here at Sunnybrook Stables. We have changed the lives of so many people. We have people coming to the stable every second weekend all summer long to do hands on allergy tests, and we are ecstatic to report that no one has reacted to the curlies the way they do to normal, straight haired horses. Most have no reaction at all while two only had a slight runny nose. Compared to asthma, red, runny eyes, hives and sneezing uncontrollably, the families have been amazed to say the least.
    I had the opportunity to talk with Lily Byrtus on CBC Radio One. Lily is with the Allergy Asthma Information Association in Edmonton and is the regional co-ordinator for the prairies, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut regions. I questioned her on what it means that the protein is different. She advised that the protein is part of the make up of the horse. It is in their hair, mane, dander, saliva, urine and manure. So what this explains to us is that people with allergies are responding to all aspects of the horse. They can react to the manure on the ground, a blanket with the hair, or the dander in the air. This further explains our experience of the Curlies being hypo-allergenic as long as they have the Curly ears, fetlocks and mane. If these are apparent on the horse then they have the different protein.
     Almost every person that comes to our stable the first time tells us that it smells different. They say it doesn't smell like any other stable that they have been to. People with allergies say as soon as they get out of the car they can feel the difference. We can't smell anything different, but they can tell right away.
     When new families arrive we first have them just stand in the yard to see if there is any reaction to the surroundings, then we bring a Curly out for them to pet and touch, if there is no reaction after this exposure, we then saddle the horse for them to sit on. If they pass this test the next step is to ride the horse.
     We always request that people bring their allergy medication, but so far no one has needed it.
    The ICHO has undertaken to study this factor and has preliminary scientific results which can be viewed at ICHO Hypo-Allergenic Proof. What they have proven is that the "Curly" horses have a different genetic protein than regular straight haired horses, and that they have less of it. This is the first scientific evidence of the hypo-allergenic traits of the North American Curly Horses!!
Home of Quality North American Curly Horses

Dawnine & Shane
     Ya Hoo! WOW - SUCCESS! I can't believe how Shane reacted to the horses - or rather how he didn't react to the horses! Unbelievable! I've known him for 16 years and we've never been able to be around horses.....EVER!
     He was overwhelmed by the fact that they didn't have a "horse smell" - unlike poor "little" Chester who just wanted to come over and see what all commotion was about! Shane didn't have any respiratory distress - NONE! This is truly beyond belief! Shane did have some hives as we drove home BUT...he knows that he ended up touching every single baby and beast in the stable.....not just the "Curlys!" He couldn't help himself - all of your horses are so friendly and irresistible! What can I say - Shane is thrilled to think that he will be able to actually sit on a horse - He has no idea what he's missing! I can't contain my excitement anymore......!! I will be able to actually have my dream come true - without causing poor Shane a ton of grief - or more specifically - putting him in the hospital!
     Thank you so much for giving me some time with Andee - he's a beautiful boy! I really have fallen in love with him!! I'm praying for some warmer weather so I can come up for some more "bonding" time! He will never be "short" on love and attention!
     Hugs to Tipper and Freddie for playing and entertaining Elle - she wants a kitty - no doubt!! Thanks again for the hot chocolate and all the time you have spent with us!

Charlotte from Athabasca
     Charlotte came to us after spending the past few years staying away from the animal she loves most, horses. She had not rode since she was only 10 years old and was dying to get back on a horse. She had already tested Tracy and Jordys horses and was thrilled that she did not reacte to the curlies! We spent some time with different curly boys and she did not reacte to any of them. She did start to sneeze from the dust inside the arena, but after we opened the sliding door and were able to step outside a bit (it was pouring rain!) her sneezing immediately stopped. Then the best thrill for her was to climb on Diego. She was in awe that she could stop him with her seat. She kept saying "I did it!! I did it!!" Needless to say she was one happy girl!

Susan from Ontario
     Susan emailed us from close to my home town of Peterborough, Ontario looking for a horse for her daughter to ride in the local stables. We knew Mirosah would be good for her, but never dreamt that she would be the big hit she is there. The day she arrived Susan emailed that just about every child in the stable wanted to ride her. Here is Susan's report on her allergies - "It is such a pleasure to work with a horse that I am not allergic to. I forgot that I am allergic (!) and patted one of the foals at the barn ...and sneezed all the way home and felt sick for 2 hours...this after spending 2 hours with Mirosah, one hour grooming with hair flying everywhere and no reaction whatsoever. I love the way she smells too, sort of like grain."

Reidun from Norway!
Bardu Norway
    Reidun is the first student to arrive from Europe to learn about the Curly horses. She found us on the net and requested to come and find out if she was allergic to our horses and learn how to handle them. She spent 6 months with us and during that time she assisted me in any way that I needed. She learnt alot about the horses, and the biggest thing she learnt was that she is not allergic to the Curlies. She has many allergies, and severe asthma, but not to the Curly horses. She can tell the minute she walks into the arena if there have been regular horses in there, or even if she leads a regular horse she gets tight in the chest and has problems breathing, but not with the Curlies!! She fell in love with Ivory Felicity the moment she saw her and has purchased her. Hopefully Reidun will be back next year! She wants to live here!
Read her story here.

Nancy from Germany
Auerbach, close to Berlin, Germany
     Nancy found us on the web in the spring of 2003 and requested to come and learn about our horses and see if she was allergic to them. She arrived in August and was in heaven. She was so exceited that she could work with the horses and not get hives or asthma. She said she could smell the difference as soon as she arrived. She is an excellent rider and I was able to take advantage of her horsemanship for a couple of weeks before she headed off to finish her trip in Canada by going to Alaska with her boyfriend, Jens, that arrived two weeks after her. Jens could not beleive that he could watch Nancy enjoying the horses with no medications whatsoever. He was astounded that there was a horse that could make Nancy happy and that she could be with without worrying about a reaction. We only had two days with Jens and this is a picture of Nancy and Jens in the Pembina river, both on Curlies. Nancy and Jens are hoping to return next year.

Anna from Germany!
Essen in the Ruhr area of Germany
    Here is the testimony from our neighbor, Paula. "We had a great time yesterday. Your visitor is my cousin's kid, Anna. She's eighteen and visiting us for her summer holidays. Her home is just outside Essen in the Ruhr area of Germany. She has a lifelong history of multiple allergies, and is particularly sensitive to dust and animals, both dander and saliva. Since coming to Canada she has been able to associate with the family cats and dogs, probably because the level of pollution is much lower here than at home. Before coming to Canada she had only one experience with horses at a birthday party, after which she had a severe allergic reaction. She visited another neighbor's acreage the day before and briefly visited the horses there. She had a definite allergic reaction after that experience including a skin reaction and respiratory difficulties. By Sunday morning her reaction had subsided, so when you said it would be ok for her to come and try riding she thought it might be all right. What happened was magic. Your trainer was extremely careful, going through progressively greater exposure and evaluating Anna's response at each step. The happiness on Anna's face as she rode the horse in your outdoor arena is something I will treasure for a long time. She had never thought that it would be possible for her to actually ride a horse, or even to stand near one. Thank you so much for making this possible."

Karen from Germany
Germany
     Karen found us on the web about two years ago and spring of 2003 I had the opportunity to meet her when I delivered the five fillies to Luxembourgh. She is an avid horse woman that has horrible reactions to regular horses. We sent her some hair samples and she held onto them for a couple of days, just to make sure whe was going to have a fair test, (although the anticipation was killing her), and when she did not reacte to the hair samples she was very happy. She started taking riding lessons again and is hoping to purchase a Curly in the very near future. She must medicate herself and still has reactions while she is in the stables taking her lessons on regular horses. Karen and her husband Marian, will be here this September to join us on a trail ride and check out the rest of our horses. Austin is one of the horses that she will be looking at.

Tracey's prospect Wrangler
Athabasca, AB
     "It's amazing!! It's amazing!! I can't believe it, he should be breaking out in hives and asthmatic." Such were Tracy's comments after her husband, Jordy, spent an hour petting and "breathing" Wrangler, a four year old Curly. Her first comment while walking towards the stables were "It does smell different. I can tell right away."
     Tracy rides regularly, but has to change her clothes outside the house, put them in a plastic garbage bag and then have a shower before she can be near Jordy.
Following is her testimony:
Dear Deanna, Thank you so much for allowing us to come and visit your farm. We felt so comfortable and relaxed and Jordy(my husband) finally had the chance to ride a horse for the first time in many years. As you know, Jordy previously could not even come to a farm with a horse in a paddock 200 feet away much less ride and rub his face right in the horse's neck!!! Jordy has some of the worst allergies and asthma that the leading specialist in Edmonton AB has ever seen, in fact he was told that there was no allergy serum in existance that could ever de-sensitze him to his horse allergy, but your hypo-allergenic Curlies proved that specialist dead wrong, and we are now the proud owners of two fine geldings, all thanks to you and your farm. And believe me, we were the worst skeptics out there until our three hour visit in which Jordy didn't even have so much as a stuffy nose or runny eyes!! Thanks again for everything! Tracy, Jordy &Megan
See Tracy & Jordy's story

Tanya's Allergy Test
Calgary, AB
     Tanya Goertzen's family raises Arabian horses and were very dissapointed when they discovered that she had extreme asthma when whe was around them. They live in Manitoba and joined Tanya for her allergy test and the whole family was very impressed after she spent 1/2 an hour petting the curlies with no reaction. It was a true testimony when we walked through some straight haired horses and she started sniffling right away. As soon as we were back in the "curly zone" she was fine again. She even rode for 1/2 an hour with no reaction at all.

Jeanne's new horse SCAMPER'S FANCY BABE
Colorado, USA
     Jeanne suffers from severe allergies to straight haired horses. She flew in from Colorado to test out our horses. After spending an hour with Fancy, rubbing her, petting her and putting her face in Fancy's hair, she was extremely relieved to not show any of her normal reactions, no shortness of breath, no irritated eyes. She advised us that she would never have been able to spend more than 5 minutes with a straight haired horse before reacting.
     We then went into the arena and Jeanne lasted 45 minutes before she started to have a slight reaction. It was due to the dozen straight haired horses that had been in there the day before, plus the 2 straights that were in there at the time she was riding. It is amazing that we cannot tell the difference ourselves, but that people who have allergies can respond so strongly and quickly when there is a straight haired horse around.
     It is with great pleasure that we see Fancy head off to Colorado to be cared for by Jeanne and her family.

Gwen's Birthday Party
Edmonton, AB
     Gwen has severe allergies to straight horses and had only sat on one horse in her whole life prior to coming to Sunnybrook Stables. After doing her allergy test and passing, she began taking riding lessons.
    It was a great thrill for her to be able to invite her friends out for a trail ride for her 9th birthday and have a party with the horses. She emailed us every day with the countdown the whole week prior she was so excited!

Cole's horse Dakota
Fort Vermilion, AB
     Cole has severe allergies to horses and did a test. His grandpa wanted Cole to have a horse so they could go out riding and work the cattle together. Following is the reply from his mother, Wendy.
     "I am amazed at the reaction which was no reaction whatsoever. Cole has a bit of a cold so I was worried but he didn't as much as sneeze. We are very happy to say the least. That was my first time ever to see a curly horse, they are a nice looking animal even with no tail or mane. Cole is very excited to see Dakota. We are hoping to leave Fort Vermilion as early as possible Tuesday morning. We will go all the way around so it will take about 8 - 10 hours."

Cole's horse Dakota (Swamper)
Fort Vermilion, AB
     Update one year later!
     This only took over a year but here is a picture of Cole and Swamper (Dakota). I hope you can add this picture to your website. Once again my family and I would like to thank you for this great gift. Cole and Swamper are such a great match. Cole has come so far in his riding ability and Swamper is becoming a great mount that anyone can ride. And he has quite a personality. We can all ride together as a family which was something we wanted for so long before we found Swamper. Cole ropes off him and can go anywhere, taking part in parades, cattle drives. As far as his asthma goes, not a problem. Cole has not ever got a wheezey or sick from riding. A lot of people didn't know about these horses, they do now.

Kenton & Nicker to Me
Grande Prairie, AB
     Kenton's whole family works their herd of 100 cows with horses. His entire life he had to fight his allergies whenever he attempted to assist in this job. He first came to do an allergy test and could not believe that he had only a slight reaction while here. It was spring so he felt it could have been a reaction to the poplar fluff that was flying or the rest of the pollen that was in the air.
     He came back for a couple of lessons and was so excited that he bought a new saddle, blanket and our lesson mare "Nicker to Me'.

Alyssa
Leduc, AB

     Alyssa has had allergies since she was born. Her mom, Sandy, had to sell her two horses when Alyssa was just a few years old as she was afraid it was going to cause her serious harm since her reactions were so severe. Sandy had owned the horses for 15 years and had ridden since she was 5 years old, so it was a sad day for all. Needless to say the whole family is excited to know that they can now have horses back into their life. Following is Sandy's response after their allergy test with Alyssa on Brenda, a BLM mare that was rescued as a foal.
     "Alyssa had a great time on Sunday. She hasn't stopped talking about it. I did have to give her a little benedryl, but I figured it may have been going in the house rather than actually being on the horse. The enclosed areas can do that to her occasionally. But hey, if after that she just has to take a spoonful of benedryl, this is good news."

Christen
Edmonton, AB

     Christen came to our Open House to check out her reaction to the Curly horses. She advised us that if she got so much as one hair off of a straight haired horse on her skin, she would break out into hives immediately. She was hesitant to enter the arena at first, but once she did was amazed that the smell was different to her. She said she could breathe.
     After she was in the arena for a half an hour and did not have a reaction, she decided to push her luck and ride a horse. She got on Scamper's Fancy Babe and rode for a whole hour with no reaction!! She could not believe her luck.

Nicole
Leduc, AB
     Nicole loved horses so much that she practiced riding without a horse! All of her friends were taking lessons and she couldn't even walk into the arena to watch them without a major reaction with asthma and red, itchy eyes. She is now taking lessons on Prospector and has even started some jumping.

Mark
Westerose, AB

     Mark has owned horses his whole life, despite his allergies. He came to the stables to take riding lessons and did not beleive that there were hypo-allergenic horses. He also noticed the difference the first time that he entered the arena. He said if he entered any other arena that horses had been in he was choked immediately and could not breathe. He successfully took lessons on Nicker to Me inside the arena!