RAFTER DIAMOND K LIVESTOCK
We are mostly an outdoor facility where a horse is a horse. Our horses rarely wear
blankets, usually do not have shoes, live outdoors year round and yet are healthy and
Our large outdoor riding pen is where we prefer to spend our time with youngsters,
weather permitting. We ride in mud, snow, rain, good weather... but extreme cold, strong
wind and ice are just not safe. Once we feel more confident with the horse we move to
the grass arena that is sprinkled with a variety of trail and jump items but not yet fenced.
After that we head down the road and into the bush. There are some cleared trails, but
also lots of opportunity to "push bush" as we call exploring uncut dense bush and
negotiating fallen logs.
New horses to the property are isolated in 24' X 48' Electrobraid pens or 12' X 20'
covered stalls away from the remainder of the horses to assess their health. We are
gradually replacing most of the wood, high tensile and barbed wire fences on our pens
with Electrobraid as we like the open look and the horses don't eat it.
Boarded horses are then moved to join the main herd. The main herd is fed grass hay
from round bales. They have free choice access to an electric waterer. We watch the
herd politics and horses that are unable to compete are moved to a less competitive pen.
Occasionally a horse that is having difficulty maintaining weight may need to be moved to
a pen with free choice access to a round bale of hay. Some horses are more sensitive
to dust than others, so we try to have one or more pens available for horses that are fed
grass/alfalfa cubes instead of hay.
Although people say horses like consistency and routine, we find that being "consistently
inconsistent" with our routine results in horses that are more calm and adaptable as there
is no routine to break when trail rides or shows run overtime. We have had many
comments from people who have found their horses are much calmer and seem happier
Horses here for training are usually kept separate from the remainder of the horses.
They normally progress from an individual pen or stall to a smaller group environment.
This group is generally fed grass/alfalfa hay or hay cubes twice a day and also have free
choice access to water. Additional cubes may be given after a training session.
All pens have a salt and/or a mineral block.
Additional supplements are the owners' responsibility.
Behind the two colts in the picture to the left are the sheds for tack storage. They are
lighted but not heated and have individual locks. We need to build another one as all
spaces are occupied at the moment.
Preparing for shows can be a challenge as we have no indoor facilities for washing or
stalls for everyone to stay clean. We do have an outdoor hot/cold set of taps to supply
water to our three stall outdoor wash rack, so we can give them a good warm bath, then
blanket and hope for the best. We normally rise early enough in the morning to rewash
legs and faces. Most times the rest stays surprisingly clean. Our many first place ribbons
and certificates in halter showmanship prove that you can make do without a lot of "stuff".
We now have a few unheated stalls that are available overnight if not being occupied by
broodmares or horses in for training.
As much as we prefer to be outdoors, colt starting and problem horse rehabilitation
requires good footing so we have started work on a 60' X 136' covered riding arena with
sand footing. With no ceiling yet, we are "blessed" with the company of a number of
pigeons during our riding sessions. On a positive note - anything can be a useful training
tool, even pigeons. Hopefully the ceiling and proper lighting will be done within the next
year. We are not planning on insulating and heating for a while, but a space heater is
available for spectators for those cold winter viewings.
The sand is sprayed with a special environmentally friendly dust control product, so you
won't end up looking like you just survived a windstorm after you finish a good ride.
In addition to our outdoor 24' X 48' pens, with more and more good mares coming to visit
our stallions we added a covered wing to the west side of the arena to eventually provide
9 covered stalls that will each be 12' by 20'. 5 stalls are now available and we can put
portable panels up in the remainder of the area so the ladies are out of the mud. 4 of the
stalls can be monitored by infrared camera.
Boarders may have overnight use of these stalls for shows, etc. when they are available.
A 10 stall barn with AI facilities, indoor wash rack and a classroom are future plans for the
|Rafter Diamond K Livestock
Ken and Kerri-Lee Schmuland
50542 Range Road 225
Leduc County AB T0B 3M1
Facebook group - Rafter
Diamond K Livestock
Ken cell: 780-915-3026
Kerri-Lee cell: 780-915-3027
Tamara cell: 780-221-3028
We are in Leduc County,
20 minutes southeast of
15 minutes south of Sherwood
12 minutes east of Beaumont,
30 minutes northeast of Leduc,
5 minutes west of Northern Bear
We are two miles east of
Highway 21 between Township
road 510 to the north and
Secondary 625 to the south.