Krystal’s Story – Starring Rufus

Person grooming horse

“The name of the horse that I ride is Rufus. I like him because he is very calm most of the time and is always focused on his job. Rufus has helped me gain more confidence, and believe in myself more, to overcome obstacles that get in the way. Rufus has taught me how to be a leader, and helped me develop leadership skills. He has also taught me how to be calm and patient under stressful circumstances.” – Krystal

Krystal has been in the Alumni program for four years; has been a Leader In Training at Urban Stable, helping younger students in the program; and a volunteer in our summer programs. Krystal is a quieter person by nature, but she has accomplished big things, stepping out of her comfort zone and becoming a leader, with the help of her horse, Rufus. 

The personal growth Krystal has experienced through working with Rufus has been huge. The hard work she has put in to grow, develop, and also use that growth to give back to others as a Leader In Training and program volunteer, was recognized this year when she received an Urban Stable L.E.A.D.S. Volunteer Appreciation award. 

Help more youth like Krystal find their confidence so they can achieve personal success and also give back to their communities. 

His Royal Highness Prince Caspian


Breed: Percheron/Quarter Horse/Morgan 
Born: 2007 
Gender: Gelding 
Colour: Dappled Gray 
Height: 15hh 
Nicknames: Caspian, Caspiano, His Royal Highness 
Resume: trail rides, lessons, 4H, parades 
Caspian is a crowd favourite and very photogenic with his long, thick mane and tail. He is all about relationships and needs to trust his partner, since he can get anxious about tasks that feel daunting to complete without the support of a good friend. In the pasture, Caspian finds support in his best friend China, and in the arena, he looks for support from his human partner. When Caspian finds that trustworthy relationship, he is confident and sweet.

Being a sensitive guy, Caspian really teaches students how to listen to other’s feelings, have empathy, and to communicate clearly and fairly, so both horse and student feel successful and confident. 

Noah and Caspian

Person with horse

Noah has been in our Alumni program for two years and has been working hard to be a strong and empathetic leader to his horse Caspian. Caspian teaches Noah to recognize and effectively control and express his emotions so Noah can be a good communicator, teammate, and friend. 

Check out the video Noah made to share with you how Caspian and Urban Stable have impacted his life.

Click Here For Noah’s Story

A-MAY-zing May


Breed: Tennessee Walker/Paint 
Born: 2012 
Gender: Mare 
Colour: Dark Brown Tobiano Paint 
Height: 14.2hh 
Nicknames: May-day, Miss May, May-May 
Resume: ranch hand, trail rides, lessons, fastest slowest race star 
May is excellent at teaching students self-awareness and how to recognize and self-regulate their emotions and behaviours. She responds really well to students when they are relaxed, confident and being a good team player. May is really good at teamwork and teaches students how to respect and value their teammates for the unique skills and traits they bring to a team. 

May is super sweet and calm. Though she is calm she has a turbo-boost in her back pocket. May can pull out a big, ground eating walk and trot, thanks to her Tennessee Walker genes, leaving everyone else in the dust and a smile on her rider’s face. She’s so smooth though you’ll barely even notice her turbo-boost has been engaged.  

Anna and May

Person Riding Horse
“I ride the horse May. I like her because when we ride we’re really in sync and she follows my directions. May is energetic and sometimes moves around a lot when I groom her, but when we are in the arena she’s in the zone and follows my directions. We are a great team. She has taught me how to be a good leader to someone else and how to make my directions clear.” – Anna

This is Anna’s second year in the Alumni Program where she is riding and working with her horse, May, more independently. Anna has risen to the challenge of being more independent with her horse and has made valuable connections about how she can use the lessons May teaches her at school and at home. 

May has been an incredible teacher helping Anna gain confidence in herself and her abilities, so much so that Anna now feels confident to be a strong leader to her 1000 lbs horse. Not only has May taught Anna to be a confident leader, May has also given Anna important skills, like clear communication, so they can work smoothly as a team.

Way to go Anna and May! To help more student’s like Anna unbridle their potential donate today with #GivingChallengeCA.

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge Is Back!

Person riding horse

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is back! This June, every $1 you donate through enters us to win $20,000! The more you give, the more chances for us to win!

$20,000 would help us take care of our program horses so they can keep doing the amazing work they do to unbridle youth potential. This includes their feed, health care, a place to live, and ongoing training so they are always prepared for their job. Without our horses the magic of Urban Stable couldn’t happen. 

“Horses teach us things about ourselves no one else can.”
 – Anonymous

Each week in June we will introduce you to one of our program horses and one of our Alumni students. Our Alumni students have bravely agreed to share how working with their horses has impacted their lives. 

Donate Today


L.E.A.D.S Volunteer Awards

Woman holding certificate

Thank you to all our selfless volunteers who make Urban Stable a great place to learn and grow! Urban Stable wouldn’t be possible without you. 

As part of our Facebook livestream 50/50 draw event on April 22, 2021, we presented our L.E.A.D.S Volunteer Awards, recognizing a few of the incredible people who help make Urban Stable happen. 

Congratulations and thank you to this year’s recipients:

Leadership – Lisa 
Empathy – Karen
Adventurous – Krystal
Dedication – Kim
Service – Elisabeth

Lisa – started as a student in our School Program, joined our Alumni Program, and became a volunteer Leader In Training helping younger students with their horses. Lisa fit very naturally into her role helping younger students and she has become a strong and competent leader. 

Karen – began by volunteering in our School Program and for the last few years has been volunteering in our Alumni Program. Karen’s empathy for the students and horses she works with shines through as she makes the people around her feel comfortable and capable. 

Krystal – started as a student in our School Program, joined our Alumni Program, became a volunteer Leader In Training helping younger students with their horses, and volunteered helping campers in our summer program for a number of years. By nature Krystal is quieter, but you can see her adventurous spirit in all these challenges she has taken on and conquered.

Kim – our longest serving School Program volunteer. Kim is so dedicated to the students and the Urban Stable program that she’s been with us for over 6 years. She reliably supports and challenges her students and the students know they can count on Kim to be there for them.

Elisabeth – started by volunteering in our School Program and when she took on her volunteer role she wasn’t messing around. She didn’t just volunteer for one class, but came to 2-3 classes a week, supporting and giving back to the youth in her community. For the last number of years Elisabeth has volunteered in our Alumni Program and her commitment to service is as strong as ever, she often gives her whole Saturday to our Alumni to support them and help them grow.  

Live and In Person!

3 people with horse

Our virtual lessons this year have been a hit. We have enjoyed connecting with the students and helping them build relationships while learning about their horses from a distance. We can see and feel the importance of these virtual lessons in our students and the connection they build with their horses and Urban Stable each week. We have received very positive feedback from parents and teachers about the impact Urban Stable has had on participating students this year.

 “Urban Stable has been a life-line for my child this year.” – Parent

Though our virtual lessons have been great, there is certainly nothing that compares to being live, in person, and up close to the horses at the barn. Our students have been asking us all year when coming out to the barn could be a reality, and we are so happy that we can welcome our students from Red River Valley School Division and Seine River School Division back to in-person lessons at the barn! 

In order to follow all the public health guidelines and keep everyone safe our group sizes are smaller this year and we’re doing a lot more sanitizing and laundry. The extra precautions and changes we have had to make are more than worth it to see the students bond with their horses face to face. Welcome back to the barn!

Check Out Our New Ride

Van with person and horse

It has come time to retire our old program vehicle after many years of reliable, safe transportation of our students, with help from long time supporter and generous mechanic Brent McLellan.

We have been on the hunt for a new, reliable vehicle to get our students to and from the stable. We are happy to say that we have found a beautiful, like new, 2017 Dodge Caravan that suits us perfectly!

We are very excited about our new wheels and so grateful to everyone who pitched in to make this new vehicle a reality. Thank you to Kim Robinson, one of our new board members, with assistance from her husband and friends, for connecting us with the Auto Gallery of Winnipeg and putting in the time and effort to find this new vehicle. Thank you to Dan Gagnon and his team at the Auto Gallery of Winnipeg whose generosity in supporting local charities, like Urban Stable, made this vehicle deal possible. Thank you again to Brent McLellan who did the final check over of the mechanics of the vehicle to make sure it was the right choice to keep us rolling for years to come. Thank you to The Thomas Sill Foundation for awarding us a grant specifically for our new vehicle. And thank you to a number of anonymous donors who ended up matching the grant we received, which helped allow us to purchase such a high quality vehicle.

In this one story of finding the right vehicle you can see how much a community comes together to make a difference. It is amazing and wonderful to see the many layers of collaborative support, dedication, and generosity it takes, that is graciously offered, to make Urban Stable and our mission to unbridle youth potential possible. 

Thank you everyone! See you on the road!

20 Years of Unbridling Youth Potential

Collage of pictures, kids with horses

We can hardly believe it, Urban Stable has been helping youth unbridle their potential for 20 years! 

Co-founded in 2001 by Wendy MacDonald, Urban Stable grew from a desire to provide much needed support and programming for middle years students. Working with Winnipeg youth in social services, Wendy witnessed a lack of programming available for the youth she worked with and came upon the opportunity to experience the incredible positive impact being around horses had on one of the clients she supported. 

Wendy was determined to help more youth make this connection with horses in order 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. 

Wendy’s dream became a reality in Urban Stable as it has grown and flourished. Twenty years later Urban Stable has impacted the lives of over 700 youth and their families in our School and Alumni Programs! In addition, Urban Stable has touched at least triple that number of youth 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, having begun with only two students and growing to serve over 70 students annually. Over the years Urban Stable has operated at a number of different facilities around Winnipeg; expanded its partnerships and supporters; grown to include more programs along with the staff to support these programs; and through it all we continue to learn, dream and build for the future as an organization. 

The need for supportive, creative programming to help youth unbridle their potential that initiated the start of Urban Stable has not diminished. Thank you all for your continued support in getting Urban Stable to where we are today and for helping us continue building to create better opportunities for youth now and in years to come.