Welcome to our blog section! Here you’ll find guest bloggers covering a variety of equine subjects to entertain and enlighten. Be sure to check back frequently to see what our bloggers are up to.


Sara RunnallsHave an equine related insurance question? Sara Runnalls has the answer. The vice-president and associate at BFL Canada, the official insurance provider of the OEF, helps our members better understand and navigate the world of insurance. Go ahead, ask her a question!

Sara Runnalls is vice-president and associate at BFL CANADA Risk and Insurance Services Inc. in Toronto. Sara grew up in the horse business. Her parents purchased their first commercial horseback riding establishment in 1977 and retired in 2008. Sara ran the riding school aspect of this family business and competed professionally from 1991 to 1996, including two years named to the National Talent Squad for Show Jumping. She has experience in various other riding disciplines, including Hunter, Three-day Eventing, Dressage, Western, and most recently, Reining. Sara is an Equine Canada certified coach and a national examiner with Canadian Pony Club. She also holds the Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional and Canadian Risk Manager Designations. Her lengthy and varied equestrian background, combined with her more than 16 years of experience in the insurance industry and commitment to continuing her insurance education, make Sara a valuable resource to OEF members.

To ask BFL a question, e-mail OEF@bflcanada.ca


It’s A Coach’s Life

Helen Richardson

Thinking of becoming a coach but don’t know where to begin? Perhaps you were once certified, but have let your coaching status lapse? Or maybe you are certified and want to find out more about the programs available to coaches? Just ask Helen Richardson!

Helen is an Equine Canada Certified Level 1 Equestrian Coach (English) working out of Oakhurst Farm in Ashton, ON. Growing up riding in the Ottawa area, Helen was active in Pony Club, Eventing and Dressage, also competing in Hunter, Jumper and Equitation on the “A” circuit for many years.

Certified in 1992, Helen coaches students who are entering the world of competition up to Training level Eventing. She is also an Evaluator and Evaluator Mentor for the Equine Canada Rider Levels Program.

Follow along as she works to demystify the certification process and offers her thoughts and tips on how to navigate the coaching program and make the most of your certification.

To ask Helen a question, email helen@oakhurstfarm.com


Nutrition For The Equestrian Athlete

Ian Harris

As an equestrian athlete, proper nutrition is fundamental for your mind and body to achieve peak performance during shows, events and training sessions. If you want to take your riding to the next level with better nutrition, this blog is for you!

Learn more about the need for carbohydrates, protein, fats and water; the importance of vitamins and minerals; eating for the colder and warmer months; preparing for cold and flu season; meal planning; healthy shopping; understanding how to read labels and more. You will also find easy-to-prepare recipes that will keep you fuelled, as well as tips and tricks to stay healthy in the saddle.

Ian Harris, RNT, NNCP, Dip.NC, CWC, CFPC, CPFC, PPC – Registered Nutritionist, Wellness Consultant and Personal Fitness Chef, has been involved in nutrition for eight years. A blogger, columnist and motivational speaker, he has consulted for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and President’s Choice Ottawa and has been featured on local radio and television.

Ian’s love for horses started in his early teens. At the age of 56, after a 40-year hiatus, he returned to riding and is an equestrian in training with his beautiful equine partner, Juno.

Ian can be reached at ian@ianharris.ca. You can also follow his nutrition tips on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nutritionequestrianathlete or visit www.ianharris.ca


No Hoof, No Horse

Paul Lepiane

What should you look for in a good farrier, and how do you know you’ve found the right one for you? Are you unknowingly creating a less than ideal environment for your farrier that could be affecting the quality of their work? While many horse people put considerable thought into their horse’s nutrition, training plan and equipment, that’s not always the case when it comes to finding – and keeping – a good farrier.

In his blog, No Hoof, No Horse, farrier Paul Lepiane will share his insights, discuss techniques and offer tips on hoof care that he hopes will enlighten horse owners.

Paul has been an American Farriers Association certified farrier for over 20 years and has his ORC license as a farrier. His affection for horses began when he was a young child traveling with his family to Mackinaw Island in Michigan where horses are the sole transportation. The rest, as they say, is history. He now has horses of his own and is a qualified ORC trainer. As a farrier, he has worked with pleasure horses to high performance mounts and everything in between. Paul was the official blacksmith at Cedar Run Horse Park for two years and he shod horses for the Nations Cup in Wellington, FL. for an accomplished American pro rider.

Have a question you want answered in an upcoming blog post? Email Paul at paulsfarrierservice@yahoo.ca or call (705) 818-6220.


Blog photo SiobhainGuest Bloggers

If you like to change things up and continually challenge your knowledge and perspectives of the equine world, this is the blog for you. Our guest blog section features, you guessed it – guest writers! Since these contributors are always changing, you’ll find a wealth of different experiences on a variety of subjects. So no matter what discipline you ride or where your interests lie, there’s something here for everyone.