Last year, the Observer presented Crystal Harper to you after the rider made the cover of Horse Country magazine. Harper, who has lived in the area for five years now, has had a lot happen since then.
Originally from Vancouver Island, moving to Manor, Saskatchewan was a big decision she has never regretted.
“I love it here. People warn you about the winters, but once you get used to it, it’s great here,” said Harper.
Her passion for horses and riding led pushed her to her schooling choices.
“I went to college at Olds College. And I majored in Equine Science in western horsemanship. That was a two year diploma, and I’d been riding for 10 years before I even went there,” Harper declared. “And then I also became a Certified Farrier, so learned trimming and shoeing feet. I got into the breeding business as well, I own my own stallion, and also have mares.”
Breeding and shoeing are not the only services available at Artesian Sands though, they also provide lessons to those in the area.
“We do a lot of riding lessons, English and western. From kids wanting to barrel race and do gymkhana to jumping. We offer horse boarding; there are about six clients that are there now,” she explained.
Something else that may catch your eye on the company’s website is the horse tail extensions.
“People are either really interested in them or they think it’s gross,” she laughed. “When I did my internship in Alberta when I was going to college, I went to a show barn that made their own extensions. Most people just buy them but they got them from the beginning and then they made them.”
After seeing this Harper quickly became interested in doing this herself. It seemed easy enough at the time, and she continues to find some time to create these after having two babies.
“I have probably 20 left right now that I am trying to sell, because I am actually downsizing,” she stated. “So for showing Western and sometimes English, a lot of the quarter horses especially, put a tail extension in. It just gives your horse a more balanced look. So I make the hides which they braid into the top part and then I also make the plugs, which is just tail hair that’s kind of in a plug that clips in.”
Riding lessons are still going for $25 per hour if you own your own horse, and $35 per hour if you want to use a lesson horse from Harper. She is also currently trying to organize a horse camp for some time in the summer.
“We camp out in the field and we ride and play games for a couple of days, it’s a lot of fun. You should come and check out the facilities; check out our horses and services.”
If you are interested in taking lessons or attending the camps, you can call Crystal Harper at 448-2272 or contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Artesian Sands website is also very helpful and can be found at www.artesiansands.com.