Meet a Horse – Ms. Piffles

Ms. Piffles

Ms. Piffles, “Piff” or “Ms. P.” is a 2009, Pony of the Americas mare who joined the Urban Stable team in June 2018. As a Pony of the Americas, Ms. Piffles is true to her breed’s heritage and is gentle, smart and versatile. At Urban Stable she has earned the nick name ‘Piff the Magic Pony’. Ms. Piffles truly is a magic pony and is working her magic by helping the students at Urban Stable unbridle their potential.

Before joining Urban Stable Ms. Piffles was being trained in the sport of mounted shooting and though she tried very hard and was a calm and steady mount, her legs just couldn’t go fast enough for the fast paced sport. Realizing the game of mounted shooting was not for her, Ms. Piffles went on the hunt for a new job and found Urban Stable.

The work at Urban Stable is a perfect match for Mr. Piffles’ versatile and magical skills. Her calm, kind, steady and brave nature allows the students she works with a safe place to try new things, build relationships and grow in confidence and assertiveness. Ms. Piffles is a great teacher (as ponies are) as she is sweet and even tempered, but does not give things away for free.

If Ms. Piffles’ student wants her to do something, for example to walk on under saddle, they must ask assertively, with confidence and energy. As soon as that assertive, confident energy emerges from her student Ms. Piffles is ready to respond. This teaching is invaluable to the students and Ms. Piffles is a kind and patient teacher.

Ms. Piffles has quickly become a favourite at Urban Stable and we are excited to continue to work alongside her and watch as she helps transform the lives of the students.

CanTRA Celebrations

Congratulations to our CanTRA certified instructors!

We are proud to announce that our Urban Stable instructors, along with two instructors from Manitoba Riding for the Disabled (MRDA), all passed their Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) instructor exams with flying colours this September and now all have new, higher levels of certification.

Our exam and accreditation weekend in September, hosted at Camp Assiniboia, was very busy, but we also managed to have a lot of fun (including an impromptu dance party). There were a lot of people who participated over the weekend and made the exam a success.

Thank you to the Urban Stable students who participated as riders in the exams, to the parents who brought their students out to ride, to our volunteers who came out on the weekend as horse handlers, to Wendy, our Executive Director, who cheered everyone on, and to our examiners Hilary Webb and Sonja Koczekan who made the exam candidates feel comfortable and gave them valuable feedback.

Our examiners were extremely impressed with the high standard of instructing and level of safe practice at Urban Stable. This high level of instructing means that our instructors Tavia McKinnon and Jessica Lawford achieved their Intermediate Instructor certification and Carla Bergen and Hayley Edwards achieved their Senior Instructor certification. The instructors from MRDA, Kelly Scrivener and Heather Clements, also received their Senior Instructor certification. Way to go team!

We are so proud of our instructors who worked extremely hard, spending hundreds of hours over the course of a number of years studying, planning lessons, writing reports and case studies, and travelling out of province for mentorship. This hard work has paid off in dividends.


Urban Stable: Tavia Mckinnon CTRII, Jessica Lawford CTRII, Carla Bergen CTRSI, Hayley Edwards CTRSI

MRDA: Kelly Scrivener CTRSI and Heather Clements CTRSI

June Giving Challenge – The Results Are In

This June you helped us take part in The Great Canadian Giving Challenge and the results are in! Even though we were not the winners of $10 000 this year we still feel like champions because of the strong support team we have in all of you.

Together in the month of June, through the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, we raised $3115 which will go directly to changing the lives of the youth we serve through our Urban Stable School and Alumni Programs.

Thank you for your strong and generous support in The Giving Challenge and throughout the whole year. I know we say this a lot so I hope you don’t get tired of being told how great you are, because you are amazing and Urban Stable couldn’t do the work we do without you. Thank you!

Graham C. Lount – Making a Difference

A massive THANK YOU to the Graham C. Lount Family Foundation who has awarded Urban Stable a three year multi grant to provide funding towards our programs. This three year grant will mark a decade of partnership with, and support from, the Lount Family Foundation.

The Graham C. Lount Family Foundation is committed to the development and growth of youth in the Winnipeg area. The Foundation’s long time partnership with Urban Stable and the awarding of this three year grant reflects the Lount Family Foundation’s understanding of the positive impact Urban Stable programs have on youth.

Thank you Graham C. Lount Family Foundation for seeing the potential in these youth and for your support in helping Urban Stable unbridle that potential – you are making a difference.

You can help Urban Stable unbridle youth potential too. For more information about how you can get involved contact us.

Program Home at Camp Assiniboia

Urban Stable and Camp Assiniboia have been working together and developing a unique, complementary relationship for the past 2 years and we are pleased to announce we will be continuing this relationship and calling the Camp Assiniboia stables our home for the next 3 years.

This relationship with Camp Assiniboia allows Urban Stable many great opportunities such as:

  • Exclusive use of the Camp Assiniboia barn facility during the school year.
  • Opportunities to partner with a like minded not for profit on grants that benefit both Urban Stable and Camp Assiniboia.
  • A home that shares Urban Stable’s goals and values; to enrich the lives of youth and our communities.
  • Beautiful, accessible barn and riding facilities with lots of pasture for the horses to play.
  • A convenient, quiet location, in a natural setting.
  • Opportunities to offer programs together with Camp Assiniboia like the Camp Assiniboia summer camp horse activities. Read more about this in the ‘Summer Adventure’ section of this newsletter.

We love our home at Camp Assiniboia and are excited to continue growing in this beautiful location. If you are eager to visit us at our program location we are planning to host an open house at the barn this year so stay tuned for more information.

Opportunity Of A Lifetime

Urban Stable had the great privilege of being able to invite Urban Stable students and their families, volunteers and staff, to experience Cavalia’s Odysseo on Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Thank you to Cavalia for donating 62 tickets and giving Urban Stable youth and their families the opportunity to experience this spectacular show. We have been inundated with emails of thanks and gratitude. Here are some of the messages we received:

“I wanted to say thanks again for the tickets to Cavalia. The show was absolutely fantastic! We had excellent seats! The girls loved it! This is something we would never have been able to do on our own! So grateful for the experience!” – Parent and family

“I just wanted to express my HUGE GRATITUDE for the Cavalia tickets. The seat was most excellent :D. Six rows up and right in the centre! A perfect view!!! The show was absolutely mesmerizing, spectacularly stunning and just took your breath away. Wow, what a privilege it was to experience such a fabulous event with more talent and beauty than you’d ever expect to see in one place. Remarkably AWESOME!!!  Thank you again and again for going to the trouble to make this happen… I so appreciate it.”   – Volunteer

Chaeban Ice Cream Gives Back

Thank you to Chaeban Ice Cream who donated all the money from their tip jar for the month of June to Urban Stable. And thank you to the wonderful citizens of Winnipeg who love eating ice cream and supporting their community, you have blown us away with your tip jar generosity!

We first met our friends from Chaeban Ice Cream the day we moved into our new office. Their delightful ice cream shop happens to be just down the street from us (Yum!) and they were the first people to greet us when we moved onto the block. Chaeban Ice Cream immediately took an interest in the work Urban Stable does and set us up as their June Tip Jar recipient.

The results of our adventure became real when a group from Chaeban Ice Cream came out to see our program in action, meet the horses, and present Urban Stable with the proceeds of the June Tip Jar…a cheque for $885! This incredible gift will go directly towards equipment we need to run our programs and keep our horses healthy and happy in their work.

Thank you to everyone at Chaeban Ice Cream for choosing Urban Stable, for your generosity, and for giving back to your community. We didn’t know ice cream could get any better, and then you showed up!

Summer Camp Adventures

This summer Urban Stable has been connecting with youth through summer camps. We had the pleasure of partnering with Camp Assiniboia again to run Camp Assiniboia’s summer camp horse activities AND we had the opportunity to dive back into our own Urban Stable summer camp day.

We love working together with Camp Assiniboia’s staff and volunteers to make each Camp Assiniboia camper’s experience with horses at camp amazing. Over the summer, through Camp Assiniboia’s summer program, we helped bring the unique opportunity to meet, learn about and ride a horse to many campers who soaked up the experience and always left with big smiles.

We were also excited to offer our own Urban Stable summer camp day on August 17 in partnership with Family Dynamics and The Winnipeg Foundation. Through these partnerships Urban Stable was able to invite youth from the Tuxedo Manitoba Housing community in Winnipeg to come out to the barn for an afternoon of fun, learning and friendship making with the horses. It was a beautiful day!

Our summer adventures were a whirlwind of great activities, amazing partners and youth whose lives will be enriched and transformed by their experiences and the relationships they built with the horses and each other. We look forward to more camp adventures next year!

If you are part of an organisation who works with youth in Winnipeg or the surrounding area and you want to get your program and youth involved with Urban Stable’s summer camp please contact us for more information.

Check Out Our New Office Space

We are very excited to announce that after many years of waiting and invading our Executive Director’s house, Urban Stable now has an office to call home at 308-421 Mulvey Ave. East, Winnipeg!

Our new office is amazing and Assiniboine Credit Union has awarded us a grant of $5000 to put towards computer upgrades and office equipment so our new office can run smoothly and efficiently. Thank you Assiniboine Credit Union! Your generosity is appreciated more than you know!

Once the office is fully set up we will be hosting an open house/office warming party and you are invited! Stay tuned for more information.

Setting up an office is a huge step forward for Urban Stable and a dream come true. Our new office gives us:

A Publicly Accessible Location – you can visit us in our office, we can have staff and board meetings, trainings and workshops, and have space for all our staff to work in one place.

Increased Visibility and Opportunities for Networking – while working out of our Executive Director’s home was cozy it was a pretty anonymous existence; now Urban Stable has a sign up for everyone to see and we are meeting new people and making new and exciting connections in our community and office building. In fact it was in our new office that we met the owner of Chaeban Ice Cream. Read more about how Urban Stable and Chaeban Ice Cream teamed up in this newsletter.

Space – Our Executive Director and her family can have their house back and the ever growing Urban Stable family has a place to call home, to meet in, work in, and keep our administrative tasks and documents organised.

Thank you to our Executive Director and her family who stored 17 years of Urban Stable paperwork in their house and gave up their dining room table to host Urban Stable staff, board members and volunteers for so many years.

Enjoy an ice cream and support Urban Stable at the same time!

Don’t you just love going for ice cream on a hot summer’s day?! Well you can treat that sweet tooth, enjoy your ice cream and support Urban Stable at the same time! It’s true – Chaeban Ice Cream at 390 Osborne Street, Winnipeg are donating all the money from their tip jar this June directly to Urban Stable.

So what are you waiting for? Head down to Chaeban Ice Cream, support Urban Stable, and share a picture of you and your friends enjoying ice cream on our Facebook page. Let us know your favorite Chaeban ice cream flavour! Is it “Mustang Sally” or “Prairie Berry”? Let us know.