Urban Stable launches “Back in the Saddle Campaign”

Help our students get Back in the Saddle again following the COVID-19 shut-down. Funds raised through our Back in the Saddle Campaign will go toward the cost and care of Urban Stable’s program horses and the sustainability of our school programs.


For nineteen years, Urban Stable has changed the lives of over 700 at-risk youth through its experiential equine learning program. With the COVID-19 shut-down the program has been suspended indefinitely, creating an uncertain future for the horses and youth who benefit from this experience. In an effort to survive and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, Urban Stable is launching its Back in the Saddle Campaign, focused on contributing to the cost and care of Urban Stable’s program horses and investing in the sustainability of our school programs. 

Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic brought Urban Stable’s programming to a halt when the Manitoba school closures were announced on March 13th.  “Some of the youth in our program were on the verge of showcasing their newly acquired skills and life learning to their teachers, parents and supporters,” said Wendy MacDonald, Executive Director.  “We were disappointed they never had the chance to finish their year. Seeing the students beam with pride over their accomplishments is the reason we do what we do.”

Many of the youth in the program struggle with anxiety, depression and ADHD. “I wonder everyday how our students are doing now that their daily routines have changed,” said MacDonald.  “We know that our school partners, families and front-line community resources are working hard to look after the students, but the unique relationship and experiences the kids have with their horses and teammates is hard to replicate.” Getting the students back in the saddle will be more important than ever once school resumes.

Although up to 50% of the program cost is covered by school partners, Urban Stable does not receive any government funding and relies heavily each year on donations, fundraising and grants to cover the remaining costs. Currently, government and other fundraising efforts are focused on addressing front-line needs related to COVID-19. Although understandable, this has left small charities like Urban Stable vulnerable. With funding shortages, all Urban Stable staff and instructors were laid off, with MacDonald only working a few hours per week to continue basic operations. Typically, funds received at this time of year would go toward the lease and care of the horses, current programming and planning for next year. Now Urban Stable is asking the public for their help.

We need your help for our horses:

For the past four years Urban Stable has operated out of Camp Assiniboia where horse costs, care and training have been a shared partnership. The essential needs of the horses are being met, but Urban Stable has been unable to make its usual contribution to the ongoing cost of care. “Our horses open doors for kids who are struggling socially, academically or behaviourally to connect with their peers, families, education and communities. We want to continue to do our part for these horses who are at the heart of our program,” said MacDonald.

We need your help for our students:

Although MacDonald plans to reach out to the students with horse themed materials, she remains focused on the goal of getting the program up and running again. “Our hope is that fall programming will proceed once the schools are back in session. These horses have become a huge part of the kids’ lives. I hope we can make it through to the other side, so we can get the kids reunited with the horses.” To do this, Urban Stable needs to secure funding and have the resources to plan and prepare for next year’s program. 

How you can help:

We realize these are very tough times for everyone but IF you are able to consider a donation this support will ensure Urban Stable’s ability to rebound from COVID-19 as the program enters into its 20th year serving 70+ youth annually in partnership with four school divisions (21 schools) and two community partners. You can also assist by distributing this campaign information to others who may be able to help spread the word or donate.

Please help our students get Back in the Saddle again. Charitable Donations can be made through:

  • Canada Helps – Donate here 
  • By cheque: 308-421 Mulvey Ave East, Winnipeg, MB R3L 0R6

Contact: Wendy MacDonald, Executive Director, 204-410-5042, wendy@urbanstable.ca

Share on social media #BackInTheSaddleCA #UrbanStableCA


What an Impact!

Look at the amazing things Urban Stable accomplished in 2018-2019 in our Annual Impact Report. 

Urban Stable 2018- 2019 Impact Report

Meet A Staff: Taysa

Instructor and horse

We would like to introduce you to Taysa one of our invaluable staff members here at Urban Stable who pours her heart into supporting and building up the students in our program. 

Taysa joined us this fall in the role of Assistant Instructor and also in the essential role of Driver ensuring our students get to and from the barn safely. Taysa has a real passion for creating opportunities and environments for youth to grow and develop and a real passion for the horses who activate this growth.

Her love of supporting and building up youth led Taysa to pour herself into working with youth at summer camps and her love of horses and animals drew Taysa towards studying to become a veterinarian. After finishing her undergrad and a practicum with a veterinary practice however, Taysa realized that what she really wanted wasn’t just to work with animals, but to also be able to help others grow and learn. 

Urban Stable offered the perfect way for Taysa to put her love for helping others and her love of caring for horses and animals to work. We are so glad to have Taysa on our team helping youth unbridle their potential!

Meet A Horse: Brownie

This is a whole lot of horse with a whole lot of love to give. This incredible gentle giant of a lady joined our program June 2019. Brownie is a 2010 model Thoroughbred, Quarterhorse, Percheron cross. Each of these breeds brings a valuable piece of the puzzle together in this awesome mare. She has proved to be an amazing addition to our team of hooved teachers here at Urban Stable.

Brownie has a great sense of humour and an affinity for dressing up. She’s first in line to try on costumes and a great sport about fittings and adjustments while her students work their creative magic. She bows her great big head down low so it can be decorated with goofy hats and ribbons just to see the smiles on students’ faces as they turn her into a reindeer or a cowgirl. 

Brownie teaches us that things are not always as they seem from the outside. We might assume that with her great big body and presence Brownie would have the confidence to go with it, but she does best when her student steps into the leadership role with confidence and assertive energy to get her big feet a movin’! Sometimes we all need a little help to get where we are going.

The power of love is always working its magic between Brownie and her students here at Urban Stable. 💜

Shout Out To: Lloyd Jensen and Sue Werner

Announcing Urban Stable’s very own…(drum roll please)…Endowment Fund!

After the passing of their daughter Jenn, Sue Werner and Lloyd Jensen sought out meaningful ways to support youth. After attending a Winnipeg Foundation Community Learning Session they learned about the work we do at Urban Stable, unbridling youth potential. This led them to establish the Walter and Joan Werner Memorial Fund with The Winnipeg Foundation in memory of Sue’s parents. Lloyd and Sue wanted to honour Walter and Joan with a fund that would provide long lasting, meaningful assistance. 

Urban Stable has been designated to receive an annual grant from the Fund. As the Fund continues to grow more income will be generated and granted to Urban Stable each year. In addition, Lloyd and Sue intend to match the annual grant to help us even more. It is also their intention to add to the fund each year on October 14th to celebrate the day of Walter and Joan’s wedding anniversary and Joan’s birthday. What an amazing way to honour loved ones as well as support youth through Urban Stable! 

We are so grateful for the support Lloyd and Sue are providing the youth we serve at Urban Stable. Thank you a thousand times over! 

If you would like to join Lloyd and Sue in their support, maybe honour the memory of someone you love, you can add to the Walter and Joan Werner Memorial Fund through the Winnipeg Foundation here. All donations to the Fund are held in perpetuity by The Winnipeg Foundation to generate operating funds for Urban Stable.


Bud and Spud – March 13th, 2020

You are invited to Urban Stable’s fun, family friendly, annual Bud and Spud Fundraiser!

Purchase tickets for you, your family and friends and come enjoy a delicious meal, great company and a night out supporting a worthy cause. Try your luck in our 50:50 and silent auction (which has awesome prizes), and maybe you’ll even win a door prize just for coming out.

Here’s everything you need to know to get yourself to the event of the year:

Event: Urban Stable Bud & Spud Fundraiser
Date: Friday, March 13, 2020
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: TYC Event Centre, Canad Inns Polo Park, 1405 St Matthews Ave., Winnipeg

Event Tickets: $25
BBQ Charbroiled Chicken dinner.                                                                                      (Vegetarian option available upon request at time of purchasing ticket).

Support Tickets: $10
For those who cannot attend the event

For tickets and prize donation drop off contact hayley@urbanstable.ca.

This is Urban Stable’s main fundraising event of the year so spread the word, invite your friends, family, colleagues and teammates and we’ll see you there!

Please note:

  •  Deadline for purchasing tickets is March 6, 2020
  •  Deadline for donation drop off is Feb. 29, 2020
  •  Vegetarian dinners must be ordered at time of ticket purchase.

Board of Directors

Do you want to make a difference for youth in your community?  Are you interested in being part of a unique organization delivering equine facilitated learning programs to youth, benefiting their social and emotional growth?  If so, we invite you to consider a position with Urban Stable’s Board of Directors.

We are currently seeking 2-3 people to join our board of directors with expertise and experience in ONE or more of the following areas:

  • Fundraising/ Marketing
  • Accounting/ Financial Management/ Business
  • Education/ Social Work/ Psychology
  • Equine Assisted Learning/Therapy

As a member of our board you will have opportunities to:

  • Be part of a dedicated and passionate team of board members, volunteers and staff working together to make a difference for youth in our community
  • Broaden your professional and personal networks  
  • Utilize and/or gain skills in decision making, governance, strategic planning, marketing, financial management, etc.
  • Learn more about equine assisted learning and its benefits

Type of Position: Volunteer
Requirement:  4-6 hours/month from Sept. to June (start date September 2020 or sooner as available)
Duration:  Board members are elected for a two-year team (with opportunity to renew for an additional term)
Experience: Previous board experience desired but not necessary. No horse experience needed.
Note: Board members are subject to a criminal record check and child abuse registry check

If this opportunity interests you send you resume and brief letter of interest highlighting how you can contribute to the board to: board@urbanstable.ca

Horse Handler/Youth Assistant

Volunteer as a Horse Handler/Youth Assistant!

We are seeking volunteer Horse Handlers/Youth assistants to support the students in our program. Be part of a fun, positive environment working with youth and horses helping youth unbridle their potential.

Horse Handler/Youth Assistant Requirements:

  • Horse experience preferred
  • 18 years or older
  • Available during the day on a weekday (Tues., Wed. or Thurs.) starting February 2019
  • Able to transport self to program (located 15 minutes West of the perimeter)
  • Able to attend orientation on Jan. 28 10:00-11:00am and training Feb. 5 and 6, 2020 9:30am-12:30pm

We are a Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) accredited centre and provide full training and support to all volunteers from beginners to experienced.

To learn more about this opportunity or to apply contact: hayley@urbanstable.ca




Paint Party – Running Wild

Join us for an evening of fun and creativity for our Paint Party fundraiser. 

Date: Thursday Jan 23rd, 2020
Time: 7:00pm-9:30pm
Location: The Hanger, 121 Scurfield Blvd, Winnipeg 
Tickets: $45 available here

All are welcome to attend, so please invite family and friends to join you. This event makes a unique Holiday gift idea. All money raised will benefit youth programming at Urban Stable.

Our artist will guide you through, step-by-step, to complete an acrylic painting in just two hours while you enjoy sipping on drinks, snacking and chatting up a storm (please note food and drink are not included in your ticket price and must be purchased at the restaurant). The Paint Party starts at 7pm and lasts approximately two hours. All supplies are provided – paint, brushes, canvases and aprons. All the paint we use is non-toxic and water soluble, but we still recommend you wear clothes you do not mind getting dirty.

Come with your friends, bring an open mind, have some fun. We will help you unleash your inner artist – you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!

Remember you can arrive early to chose your seat and to have some dinner and drinks before the painting begins. See you there!

Get your tickets here. 

Come and Volunteer at Urban Stable

Be part of a fun, positive environment working with youth and horses helping the youth to unbridle their potential.
Urban Stable is looking for horse handler/youth assistant volunteers for our programs starting October 2019. Horse experience is preferred. Orientation is Thursday September 12th from 9:30-10:30am.
Contact us at urbanstableprogram@gmail.com to request a volunteer application or for more information.