Langley Horse Federation Workshop

The Langley Horse Federation is taking on a new lease of life as a vehicle to boost the horse industry in Langley.  In this it is supported by the Township of Langley and by its Mayor, Rick Green, who is a well-known horseman.

Its most visible and well-known presence up till now has been the "Spirit Of The Horse Memorial Garden", which is situated in Campbell Valley Park at 1200 208th Avenue, Langley, B.C.  That was started by Joy Richardson, one of the key movers and shakers on the Langley horse scene.

Now the Langley Horse Federation will be holding a “Team Up For Success” workshop from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm on Saturday September 18th, 2010 in the Banquet Room at the Langley Events Centre.  It puts forward the following challenge:

Langley, “the Horse Capital of British Columbia”.  Factual statement or idle boast?  With approximately 6000 horses and an estimated $125 Million annually in direct, indirect and imputed economic benefit, great credence can be attributed to that statement.  Almost every sector of the economy is impacted: tourism; retail; hospitality; horse facilities; agriculture; and the list goes on.  What would you like to see happening in the horse community in Langley?

The workshop will suggest a number of initiatives for the horse industry to consider and encourages members of the horse community to get involved. Two in particular caught my eye.

Public relations and marketing initiatives
Can we raise the public and political profile of the horse industry by:

  • establishing a formal, ongoing relationship with media in the Lower Mainland to promote positive coverage of horse industry events and issues
  • establishing a relationship with tourism Langley for marketing initiatives
  • establishing a lobby group to work with local government and regulatory agencies to make sure the horse industry and horse community has a ‘voice’ in the discussion of issues affecting them
  • work with local council to encourage land use policies that further establish and support equestrian activities
  • encouraging close and ongoing communication between Langley horse clubs, and horse industry sectors like boarding stables

Educational initiatives
Can we educate members of the horse community by encouraging the development of:

  • equestrian and farm management courses at Kwantlen College or through community education programs
  • a series of specialty clinics held by high-caliber clinicians

Can we educate members of our community about horses by:

  • introducing books about horses into school reading programs
  • organizing school field trips to horse and riding stables

One sector of the industry that can play an important role in both of these initiatives is that of therapeutic horseback riding.  There are several fine centres offering such services in Langley including VTEA  and PRDA.  As an example, VTEA is hosting a free horsemanship demonstration by Jay O Jay on Saturday August 28 that will help on both of these initiatives.  (Details are on the VTEA website.)