Happy Trails in Your Retirement Wendy!

Woman with horse

We are pleased to honour Wendy, our Co-Founder and Executive Director, as she transitions into retirement. For these last 20 years Wendy has been the heart and soul of our organization and we want to honour Wendy and her outstanding contribution to Urban Stable and the youth in our community. 
Wendy MacDonald co-founded Urban Stable in 2001 and she has been the Executive Director for these last 20 years. Urban Stable grew from Wendy’s desire to provide much needed support and programming for middle years students in Winnipeg, MB and the surrounding area. Working with Winnipeg youth in social services, Wendy witnessed a lack of programming available for these youth and also came upon the opportunity to experience the incredible positive impact being around horses had on one of the clients she supported. 

This experience made Wendy determined to help more youth make this connection with horses to help them build confidence, self-esteem, problem solving skills, leadership, communication, teamwork, and a sense of belonging that comes naturally from interacting with horses. 

Building a program from the ground up is no small task, but Wendy’s dream became a reality in Urban Stable, which has grown and flourished. Twenty years later, through Wendy’s hard work and passion, Urban Stable has impacted the lives of over 700 youths and their families in our School and Alumni Programs! In addition, Urban Stable has touched at least triple that number of youths through summer programs, year-end and annual activities, and celebrations. At these events participants’ friends and families, along with Urban Stable’s board members and staff, with their friends and families, have also been positively impacted. 

Urban Stable has gone through many periods of growth and change over the years and through Wendy’s tenacity has grown from two students to serve over 70 students annually. Wendy has been the leader and visionary in expanding Urban Stable’s partnerships and supporters, growing its programs along with the staff to support these programs, and through it all continuing to learn, dream, and build for the future of the organization and the community it serves. 

Wendy’s incredible service and dedication to helping youth unbridle their potential through Urban Stable has been recognized with a number of awards throughout the years. Wendy was awarded the RBC Financial Group Local Hero Award in 2009; the Rotary Club of Winnipeg – Charleswood, Paul Harris Fellow Award in 2016, in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world; and most recently she was honoured provincially when she was named a Manitoba Hero in 2017. Wendy has also been featured as Urban Stable’s Co-Founder and Executive Director on numerous occasions in local media. 
The undying passion, commitment, and belief Wendy has for connecting youth with horses to promote positive change in youth lives is inspiring and has changed the lives of countless youths, their families, and their communities. 
Co-founding and directing Urban Stable has been Wendy’s focus for many years and her service in the organization has known no bounds. Wendy has participated in all aspects of the program from transporting students to and from the stable, volunteering as a horse handler and youth assistant, organizing and planning programs, connecting with supporters and partners, securing funding, steering the organization forward, and so much more. 
The need for supportive, creative programming to help youth unbridle their potential that initiated the start of Urban Stable has not diminished. Wendy’s vision, determination, and support has brought Urban Stable to where it is today and continues to build and create better opportunities for youth now and for years to come. 
Wendy is very deserving of her retirement and this small tribute doesn’t do justice to the impact she has made in so many lives. Wendy’s incredible dedication to youth, her community, and the building of such an impactful organization is a daily inspiration. We will miss Wendy immensely, but her passion and enthusiasm for helping others has left an indelible mark on Urban Stable and we know that mark of determination and kindness will continue to serve Wendy in her well deserved retirement.  

New Home Update


You have all been so amazing in your support as we search for a new home. Over the last year we have had many helpful conversations, visited wonderful barn and arena facilities in the Winnipeg area, met incredible people and made important connections. We have learned a lot, built relationships and clarified many questions as we looked for our new home. 

The search for our new home has yielded all these amazing opportunities, experiences, relationships and connections. We continue to move forward with our dream of a permanent home for Urban Stable and we have gained a lot of knowledge of what this dream will require, what it will look like and are working on our plans to make this dream a reality. 

While the search for our permanent home continues we are so thankful that our current home at Camp Assiniboia has extended our lease for one more program year. We are grateful for the strong and supportive relationship we have built with Camp Assiniboia and the opportunity to continue our partnership. 

Stay tuned for more news on our future home as we blaze the trail ahead. 

Program Update

3 kids riding horses giving a high five

As school staff know too well, many of the struggles youth face (e.g., depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, grief) have been heightened for 1 ½ years with changes to school routines, isolation from friends and family and cancellation of activities. Youth need that calming connection and experiential learning with horses now more than ever. We see a need to do more going forward, not less, for our current participants and also for other individuals or groups who are struggling.

We are pleased to have students from our participating schools and community partners coming back to Urban Stable this fall so we can provide the support our students desperately need.

This year will be one of rebalancing for us at Urban Stable. We made it through the challenges of the last year, with huge thanks to the support of the Winnipeg Foundation and the Graham C. Lount Family Foundation, as well as from all of you. In our rebalancing year we will continue to support youth, recover from the effects of the pandemic and provide opportunities for new school and community partners to come to Urban Stable and unbridle youth potential. We will continue to do all of this, just on a smaller scale this year than we had planned for pre-pandemic.

Our School Program will remain at the same smaller size it was last year in order to accommodate the still uncertain changes and health regulations that face us. Our classes will be groups of two students, rather than our usual four, and we are so excited to be moving forward with in-person programs. We can’t wait to welcome our students into the barn where they can connect with, and experience their horses, not just virtually but physically. 

Our school and community partners are, as always, extremely supportive and excited to have Urban Stable programs available as a positive, life changing opportunity for their students who are struggling and often underrepresented. We see the amazing growth students experience at Urban Stable and are gifted with stories from their teachers and families about how they see that growth shine at school and at home. 

We are glad to be back in action, in-person at the barn, and can’t wait to see how the horses unbridle the potential in our students this year!

Westgrove School Pilot Program

Kid hugging horse

We are offering an exciting, new pilot program for students at Westgrove School this fall, thanks to funding from our long time supporters, The Winnipeg Rotary Club – Charleswood. 

Our current School Program supports students in grades 5-8, but we know there are many more students out there who can use the calming connection and experiential learning from our horses at Urban Stable. This pilot program will help us reach some of those students at Westgrove School in grades 4 & 5. We know there is an incredible need to connect with and support youth who are struggling and underrepresented and we thank The Winnipeg Rotary Club – Charleswood for helping us address that need. 

In this new pilot program eight, grade 4 & 5 students from Westgrove School will have the opportunity to meet and learn from our horses in Urban Stable’s fun, safe environment designed to reduce anxieties and foster growth. We look forward to spending time with these students and continuing to expand and grow a diverse set of programs that will help us support more youth facing challenges in our communities. 

Thank You JumpStart

JumpStart logo

In February, Canadian Tire Corporation announced an additional $12 million commitment to Jumpstart’s Sport Relief Fund to help sport and recreation organizations build back sport and play in Canada.  

Jumpstart conducted a State of Sport study via Ipsos which revealed the pandemic has not only impacted current access to sport and play but has real long-term effects as well. Urban Stable and the communities we serve have experienced the impact of the pandemic first-hand.  

We recently received confirmation that we will be provided with grant support through the last round of Jumpstart’s Sport Relief Fund. In 2021, Jumpstart has now disbursed funding to more than 1,200 organizations across Canada through Jumpstart’s Sport Relief Fund. We are beyond grateful to receive this news and know the positive impact it will have on sport and recreation organizations, and ultimately, on kids across the country. 

Jumpstart’s support, will pay a portion of the cost for every student in our School program to attend Urban Stable for the 2021/2022 year! 

Thank you JumpStart for supporting youth at Urban Stable and helping them unbridle their potential!

Join Our Team!

Urban Stable is recruiting for two positions – Program Driver and Instructor.

Program Driver Position

We are looking for a Program Driver to join our dedicated and dynamic team. We are looking for a passionate, energetic, reliable, and experienced driver to provide student transportation to and from the program location using the program vehicle. 

Interested individuals are invited to submit their resume along with two references to hayley@urbanstable.ca, deadline is September 22nd, 2021.

Learn more about the Driver Position here.

Instructor Position

Urban Stable is currently looking for a certified Instructor, or a candidate that has the equivalent horse and coaching knowledge and experience of a certified Equestrian Canada Instructor of Beginners or CanTRA Intermediate Instructor, to join our dedicated and dynamic team. We are looking for a passionate, energetic, reliable, and experienced Instructor to coach the youth in our programs.

Interested individuals are invited to submit their resume along with two references to hayley@urbanstable.ca, deadline is September 22nd, 2021.

Learn more about the Instructor Position here.

See all of our job opportunities here.

We’re Hiring!

We’re hiring for two new positions; Executive Director and Program Instructor & Driver.

Executive Director, Urban Stable:
Urban Stable is currently recruiting its next Executive Director. We are looking for a passionate, energetic and resourceful leader to guide Urban Stable’s future. The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for ensuring Urban Stable’s capacity to deliver its annual program offerings, securing funding, and building partnerships with funders. Interested individuals are invited to submit their cover letter and resume to board@urbanstable.ca no later than August 6th, 2021.  The position will start September 2021.

Learn More about the Executive Director Position

Instructor and Driver, Urban Stable
Urban Stable is currently looking for a certified Instructor to join our dedicated and dynamic team. We are looking for a passionate, energetic, reliable and experienced Instructor to coach the youth in our programs and to provide student transportation to and from the program location using the program vehicle. Interested individuals are invited to submit their cover letter and resume along with two professional references to hayley@urbanstable.ca no later than August 6th, 2021.  Position will start Late September / Early October 2021.

Learn More about the Instructor and Driver Position

See all of Urban Stable’s Job opportunities here.

Thank You For A Great Month Of Giving!

Collage of people with horses

Last month, for the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, more than 214,000 Canadians supported their favourite charity. Thank you to everyone who made a donation in support of Urban Stable, giving us a chance to win $20,000.

Although we weren’t the lucky winners of the draw this year, your donations make it possible for youth like Anna, Noah, Krystal, Lisa, Wyatt, and Peyton, who you met in the month of June, to experience life changing growth and personal success at Urban Stable as they unbridle their potential. 

We can’t express enough how far your generosity goes in creating opportunity for youth who are struggling. Your support helps youth find confidence and strength. It helps them create connections to their education, families, self, and communities. 

Thank you, you’ve made an extraordinary difference. ❤️


Ms. Piffles (Piff the Magic Pony)


Breed: Pony of the Americas 
Born: 2009 
Gender: Mare 
Colour: Dun 
Height: 14hh 
Nicknames: Piff, Spiffy-Piffy, Ms. P, Piff the Magic Pony 
Resume: trail rides, lessons, and the sport of mounted shooting 
Ms. Piffles is a great partner. She is quietly confident and dependable. She insists you are serious about a task before she will participate; then she will complete the task merrily at her own steady speed. She is a fun and versatile pony who isn’t very demonstrative in her show of affection, but as you gain her trust and friendship, you can see her soften and you know she will do anything for her friends. 

Ms. Piffles is a great teacher of assertiveness. She is very willing, but her pony personality means her rider needs to be clear, kind, and certain about what they want before she will agree to do the activity. Learning to be assertive with kindness and respect is an invaluable skill. Thanks Ms. Piffles for teaching it so well!

Peyton and Ms. Piffles

Person and Horse

Peyton is a student in our School Program and has attended for two years. Peyton is passionate about her bond with her horse, Ms. Piffles, and works so hard to learn how to best care for and be a good friend to Ms. Piffles. When we asked Peyton what Ms. Piffles and Urban Stable have taught her, this is what she sent us:

My speech:  

You only live one life on this earth, you don’t know what is going to happen 3 months from now, you don’t know what will happen a day from now. Do you? Well, if you are trying to be gentle, if you are trying to find a leader in yourself, if you are having hard times at school and stressed out every single time the teacher hands out a new assignment, then hear me out.

I never knew I would like horses because I always felt so intimidated standing by one, never mind riding one. Ever since I went to Urban Stable they helped me with my fear of horses, they helped me want to live my life and try new things. I never knew I would even get the opportunity to ride a horse in my life or GROOM it. When I heard we get to ride, groom, and talk to our horse I was so excited.

Urban Stable has helped me out a lot in life, school, family, friendships, and more. Ms. Piffles always kind of just makes me feel like I have no need to be stressed. Ms. Piffles is always posing for the camera and always ready to get the job done. Thank you, Urban Stable, Carla, Hayley, and Ms. Piffles.  

Love, Peyton

Help more students like Peyton and join in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge today!