Honesty Respect Simplicity
Dedicated to Educating the Youth
Dedicated to Educating the Youth
Swiftwind Equine Center was created due to a demand for an outdoor, interactive, hands-on education about horses, horsemanship and all aspects of the equine and agriculture industries. In recent years, there’s a resurgence for children and youths to connect with the outdoors and agriculture. After doing research, there was a noticeable gap in updated knowledge and the interactions within both areas.
This is a perfect opportunity for Swiftwind Equine Center to fulfill this demand. The motto being Honesty Respect Simplicity, ensures members have a solid foundation and understanding about the equine and agriculture communities.
Swiftwind Equine Center started an outdoor, interactive educational curriculum program taught through a variety of weekly sessions, field trips and hands-on experiences. There is a badges' incentive program. Annually, Swiftwind Equine Center hosts a Games and Badges' Day. This fun-filled day comprises of members completing verbal questionnaire tests, lead-in hand horsemanship obstacle courses, costume competition, luncheon then a badges' ceremony.
Swiftwind Equine Center has two locations. The primary location is Swiftwind Farms in Lyndhurst, Ontario. This is a hundred acre property with the following:
- cash crop fields
- grass and woodlands' pastures with trails
- 200ft x 200ft outdoor arena with horsemanship obstacles.
The property also has a beef cattle barn with:
- Horse stalls
- Tack bays
- Large cattle pen
- Smaller cattle pen
- Hay mow
There is a machine shed which houses a variety of farm machinery. Swiftwind Farms’ livestock includes four horses and fifteen head of beef cattle.
The secondary and office location is Swiftwind Farms' residence on Old Furnace Road, Lyndhurst. As the barn does not have a meeting room (also known as a tack room); the craft supplies, tools, educational aids, resources and Lending Library is at the secondary location.
Swiftwind Equine Center started an outdoor, interactive education program about all aspects of the equine and agriculture industries to meet the growing demand for local youths and children to get engaged with the rural communities. After doing research about similar organizations, there was a noticeable gap in updated knowledge and interactions.
A pilot project occurred at Swiftwind Farms for the 2019 year to assess the interest. During this time, the public expressed interest in the program. There were positive comments from parents with enrolled children about the animal interactions and education. Other positive comments referenced the low membership fee.
It was mentioned Swiftwind Equine Center was very affordable. Another point was made that it was safer than riding lessons.
Based on the 2019 project and feedback, Swiftwind Equine Center was officially established in January 2020. It's a for-profit local community social enterprise business. The owner and sole proprietor is Tanya Sweet, co-owner of Swiftwind Farms.
During 2019, Swiftwind Equine Center’s curriculum was designed with the following resources:
- University of Guelph
- American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)
- Ontario Equestrian – incorporating their P’tit Trot program.
- Equestrian Canada – incorporating their Learn to Ride English and Western programs.
- US 4H resources
- Ontario Beef and Canada Beef
- Ontario Farmers Association (OFA)
- Western Gaming Association
- University of Kentucky
- University of Minnesota
- University of Alberta
- Horsemanship resources such as Jeff Sanders
- Local dealerships and mechanics for equipment resources
These are just some of the resources used as each topic of the curriculum.
Swiftwind Equine Center also implemented a badges' program. With over thirty badges, the purpose is to encourage members to independently set achievable goals. The main rewards are:
- Praises from peers
- Personal satisfaction and gratification
- A tangible item (a badge) to show others.
The badge is also a visual reminder to members about their accomplishments. In some sessions, a badge goal is incorporated to generate interest. In the previous year, four badges were incorporated in the topics and earned. Since the last Games and Badges’ Day (end of September 2019), two badges were earned independently and three badges earned through topic lessons.
Meet the Owner
Meet the Owner
Swiftwind Equine Center is owned by Tanya Sweet. She is also the educator.
Tanya co-owns Swiftwind Farms with her husband for over fourteen years. Their farm is over four hundred acres with crops, beef cattle and 4 horses. She has been involved with agriculture and horses since childhood.
She spent a large majority of her childhood on her grandfather's beef cattle farm. Additionally, her aunt is a horsewoman who boarded horses at the farm. This gave Tanya constant interactions with horses.
Tanya has been casually riding horses since her teen years but became dedicated in her twenties. She competed as a hunter in low school and Trillium level shows.
Her educational credentials are Child and Youth Worker/Counselor, Equine First Aid, Management of Equine Environment Certificate, Sickness Prevention in Horses Certificate, and First Aid. She has worked at multiple local riding and boarding facilities. Currently, Tanya volunteers as a leader with the local 4H horse and beef cattle clubs.
Tanya has extensive knowledge about the agriculture community, horsemanship, animal welfare and the equine industry. She developed relationships and rapport within the local community.
Carrying on her passion for horses and agriculture; her children are also aspiring equestrians and farmers.