Shauntelle Harding looks over one of several rescue horses her family has welcomed at their ranch in Oasis.

Every year is Year of the Horse for local riding stable

Harding Heights Ranch began with one horse, but their stable has grown and includes rescue horses.

Just when you thought the celebrating was over and the New Year’s resolutions could be forgotten for another 12 months, it’s time to kick up the festivities again.  While many of us were sleeping last night another page of the calendar turned over, the Chinese calendar that is. As of midnight we ushered out the Year of the Snake and welcomed in the Year of the Horse.

The Chinese new year falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20 each year, this year falling on Jan. 31. It starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later, culminating with the Lantern Festival.

While many will have donned silly hats and popped corks on Jan. 1, welcoming 2014, going by the Chinese calendar this is the year 4712.

According to the Chinese zodiac, those born in the Year of the Horse are energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent, and able.

Similar to the zodiac followed by many in Western culture, Chinese zodiac time cycles are sectioned into 12 divisions except rather than months named after constellations in the sky, the Chinese recognize years associated with animals.

Shauntelle Harding, of Harding Heights Ranch, has her own take on the traits of horses, and, glancing over at one of the 15 equine examples her family trains and cares for on their property in Oasis, she smiles and relates her experience.

“I see in them their intelligence, their ability to forgive, they’re genuine, intuitive, loving, strong,” Harding said.

“They can be your best friends.”

The Harding family began with one horse but soon found their stable growing, buying new animals themselves and, increasingly, taking in “rescue” horses from intolerable situations.

“We brought in (the Clydesdale) when he was only six months-old,” Harding said, regarding the large draught horse as it nuzzled her shoulder. “He was left in a barn, starving, covered in manure. His legs hadn’t developed properly and the vet told us it wasn’t likely he’d ever walk normally. He thought we should put him down. Now here he is and you’d never know anything had been wrong with him. He’s training to pull the horse carts and sleds.”

In addition to bringing wagon rides and horse riding to numerous community events in the area, Harding Heights Ranch offers guided tours, horse camps for kids 4 and older, farm tours, and opens their ranch for birthdays, a women’s riding group and holds an Easter egg hunt in the spring.

“They’re very affectionate animals,” Harding said. “All they want is to be comfortable and safe and they’ll do almost anything for you.”

Just Posted

Drug use a problem at Trail hockey games, warn RCMP

Police recommend changes to Trail Memorial Centre washrooms

Montrose moves to ban pot retail

Retail, production and distribution of non-medical cannabis sales prohibited under Montrose bylaw

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

Setting sail to fight kidney disease

Trail’s annual Kidney Walk included an opportunity to raft down the Columbia River

MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read