The Prince Albert native, who now resides in Edmonton, was honoured to provide a day’s worth of equine first-aid training and donate $200 to the Red River Roping and Riding Club’s 4-H group.
“There were people in this community who would let me brush their horse, let me ride their horse... There were instructors who taught lessons — people who gave me their time freely expecting nothing back,” Preston said.
“And 16 years later, I own a breeding stallion, I’ve ridden upper-level dressage with international riders, I have a resume and it started because of the kindness and generosity of these people,” she added.
Ten per cent of proceeds from the course was factored into Preston’s donation.
Preston received her equine first-aid certification just last August, though she has already certified nearly 100 people.
“I run a clinic just about every second weekend,” she said, noting the importance of equine first-aid training. “Horses are expensive enough and not just on the pocket book. They’re very expensive on our emotions, on our hearts.
“The idea (of this course) is to take care of your horse in an emergency situation and be able to aid the veterinarians’ efforts in treating your horse,” Preston continued. “We can’t replace a veterinarian but we can better prepare them to treat our animals and be able to care of minor injuries with our animals as well.”
The demographic for Saturday’s clinic consisted mostly of adults.
“We’ve had old cowboys who have been raised on the back of a horse 40 years in the saddle come into clinics,” Preston said. “We have people who don’t own horses, who have never owned horses. But it’s their spouse, their child, somebody in their family is involved or wants to become involved in horses.”
Former president of the Red River Roping and Riding Co-operative Loretta Hrenyk said Preston’s visit was informative since a lot of the club’s members are not familiar with equine first aid.
“Having Amanda travelling all the way that she did and teaching us what she did and then giving a donation back to us, is, to me, absolutely incredible,” Hrenyk said. “All of us here will be able to take this knowledge back and share it with others.”
Hrenyk highlighted the usefulness of knowing the techniques for cleaning and bandaging a horse’s wound.
“It’s very tricky with horses to keep bandages on them,” she said. “When you’re on the farm, sometimes you’re miles and miles away from your vet, and you’ve got to do something before you can get them to that secondary care ... If you own a horse, you will use this knowledge without a doubt.”
The Red River Roping and Riding Club is a non-profit co-operative that is run and maintained by its members.