Giving voice to the living tradition of Canadian horse farming and logging.

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Alberta Carriage Supply

by Terry Bailey and Dale Befus

Who We Are

Alberta Carriage Supply grew from our involvement in single and team driving of light and draft horses. Located just east of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, we have participated in a number of driving events, we use horse drawn farm implements, provide hay and sleigh rides, horse drawn weddings, and camping in the Rocky Mountains with teams and wagons. This led to the inevitable repairs being required as a result of breakdowns, and everyday wear and tear. As we found no easy access to parts, seasoned wood and repairs, we took several courses from practicing wheelwrights and then the wheelwright course at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon. We have now evolved into a company that maintains a complete inventory of carriage and wagon parts, a full repair service, as well as a source for hard to find or specialty vehicles and implements. Alberta Carriage Supply has been in business for 15 years.

Our hands on experience in driving, repairing and maintaining all kinds of horse drawn vehicles and implements gives us a good understanding of how things should work, and what happens when they don’t. If a customer asks a question on a piece of equipment we can hook our horses to the implement and the customer sees first hand how the equipment works.

Our relationship with Pioneer Equipment has been great, and we sell a complete line of Pioneer Equipment. Our website works well for us. If a person has a used vehicle to sell we can advertise this as well. Now we have harness and horses for sale on the website too. We sell top of the line harness that can be customized to each person’s need. We have a skilled leatherwork man to repair harness for customers. Our forte is for the working team not show horses and this is were we excel. Stan Tiege is a professional draftsman. Stan has complete blueprints plans for vehicles, and we sell these plans and all the parts necessary to complete each vehicle. This is one of the first times this has been done that plans exist to build a vehicle from scratch.

Our Mission

“To provide a one stop shop of horse drawn vehicle parts, repairs and sourcing by horse people for horse people.”

Dale: My Dad always had a team of horses on the farm. There was a brief gap where Dad had to leave the farm and work in town, but as soon as he could, his goal was to buy a farm and have a team to work. The first team we had was off our original family homestead. This was a team of Belgians and then we switched to Clydesdales. We work our horses on the farm, plowing, harrowing, rock picking, parading, going for three day wagon treks in the mountains as well as setting up demonstrations at several events over the summer. We have had workshops for beginner teamsters for the past 10 years. If people are having a problem with their team they will bring them to us and we help them get started and solve their problems. There are more people wanting to have a team, and they want to accomplish a job with the team. So we sell them a piece of equipment, it could just be a forecart and harrow to start with. We also help people wanting to learn about wheelwrighting as well. A person can bring a vehicle, they do the construction on site here, and we guide them along and sell them the necessary parts.

Terry: I had two weeks horse back riding in grade 12 and then I met Dale when I moved from Burlington, Ontario to Calgary. This was 26 years ago. This started out with, “lets go for a ride”. This went from riding to driving. Dale had all the expertise and I had enthusiasm. I have an Appaloosa and a Quarter horse for riding, and Dale and I own the Clydesdales together. As we sold the equipment and parts the request for harness came along. We went looking for the best quality harness we could find to sell to customers. We sell leather and bioplastic harness. All of our harness is brought in with stainless steel hardware on it, so customers don’t have to worry about corrosion or pitting. The bioplastic is light weight and easy to clean, you just have to turn the water hose on it for cleaning.

Pioneer Equipment

Pioneer Forecarts come with a pole or shafts, with vinyl bench seats or an implement seat (1-3 implements seats can be used on this cart). The implement seat is spring loaded so they are very comfortable. This forecart is available in Haflinger and pony size as well.
Many people refer to the forecarts as training carts, but they are a work cart. You can hook a set of harrows behind the cart and go to the field. The forecart can be used in the winter by removing the wheels and attaching runners. The forecart has the options of fenders and brakes or a PTO cart for baling hay.

Pioneer Wagons feature behind the axle auto type steering, short turning and true tracking, rear hitch, adjustable reach and bolster springs for a comfortable ride. The Pioneer wagon gears are available in 1/2 ton, 1 ton, 3 ton or 6 ton capacity. There are many options available for the wagons including shafts; tongues; wooden wheels, steel wheels or air tires; sled runners, brakes – mechanical or hydraulic; seats. These wagons can be used as people movers or a pick up truck around the farm. It is handy to have one wagon that can be used in the summer and winter months. Pioneer builds good quality equipment. The Classic wagon has a tailgate with an RV step out for easy entry into the wagon. The customer can buy just the gear and then custom build the wagon box themselves. Pioneer Blade There is a blade attachment for the forecart but the implement seat must be used for this hook up as you have to have easy access to the blade levers. With the blade you can move gravel or snow. We find the blade on the forecart works better than our blade on the Kubota tractor.

Stage Coach Repair Project

We are repairing a stage coach for Anderson Valley Ranch. We had to reshrink the wheels to get the proper “dish” back into the wheels, replace the dry rot with new wood, put new rubber on the wheels, replace the roof and put a fresh coat of paint on it. A good wheel has to have a “dish” to strengthen the wheel’s ablility to withstand loads. If the wheel is perfectly straight the center will have a wobble in it but with the dish the wheel will have tension and the center will not wobble. If you are out to buy a vehicle make sure the wheels have a dish in them. The bottom spokes should be 90 degrees to the ground. The inside of the wheel is convex and the outside of the wheel is concave.

WHEEL BUILDING CLINIC March 17 & 18th
Come and learn how to build and repair wood spoke wheel for carriages and wagons.This clinic will begin the evening of Friday March 16 at 7 PM.  Wheel assessment will be discussed along with the principles of wheel building.  To be discussed as well, assessment of horse drawn vehicles, poles and shafts.  Lunch will be provided both Saturday and Sunday.
•Instructiors: Dale Befus & Terry Bailey
• 9AM – 5PM at Alberta Carriage Supply shop •Cost $250.00 per person •Maximum of 10 people •Contact: Alberta Carriage Supply 403-934-9537

PUTTING YOUR TEAM TO WORK April 27, 28 & 29
Fort Steele has a great draft horse program running, they invite teamsters to bring their horses and help horse farm their fields. Camping and stabling is available. Friday 27, Fort Steele hosts a hands-on clinic devoted to putting your horse team to work. Come and learn the basics of putting your horses to work, hitching to various equipment, getting the most from your team.
Instructor: Dale Befus 9:00AM – 5:00PM Cost: $150.00 includes lunch.
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 – Teamsters are invited to join Fort steele in preparing the farmland for seeding. Plowing, discing and cultivating. Contact: Tyler Setzer; 780-420-7166 Tyler.setzer@fortsteele.bc.ca

MANE EVENT  April 27, 28 & 29 in Red Deer. Visit our booth and see whats new in vehicles and harmess for 2012 Alberta Carriage Supply 403-934-9537

BASIC DRIVING CLINIC May 12
Learn the basics of single and team driving in a friendly hands on format. You will learn how to; harness properly/how to hook safely to a vehicle/how to drive both a single horse and team.This clinic goes rain or shine so dress warmly as part 0f it is held outdoors. This is a hands on clinic, everybody harnesses and drives so be ready to get dirty and have lots of fun.  Lunch is provided.
Instructors: Dale Befus, Dwight Beard, Gordon Mowatt, Terry Bailey
Held at Alberta Carriage Supply 9AM – 5PM Cost $250.00 per person Maximum of 20 people Contact: Alberta Carriage Supply 403-934-9537
First Time in Alberta!!!!
Lynn Miller, America’s foremost expert on horse farming is coming to Alberta Carriage Supply
PUTTING YOUR HORSE TO WORK   With LYNN MILLER – June 2
Lynn is joining us at this year’s field day to share his knowledge and expertise with draft horse enthusiasts.  Lynn is an accomplished horseman and a well known author of books about the practical everyday use of draft horses.  Lynn will be covering the use of multiple hitches in farming.  When to add horses, the equipment needed and how to do it.  The morning session will be in the classroom then after lunch it’s out to the field.  The day will conclude with a roast beef dinner.
Held at Alberta Carriage Supply 9AM – 8PM
Cost $200.00 per person
Maximum 50 people
Contact: Alberta Carriage Supply 403-934-9537

ADVANCED DRIVING CLINIC
June 23 & 24
Learn how to put multiple hitches together properly and more importantly safely. Some of the hitches taught; three abreast/four abreast/six tandem-two rows of three with rope & pulley hitch/eight in tandem – two rows of four with rope & pulley/four up with lead evener and rope & pulley hitch/six up/ eight up. As this clinic involves the hooking and driving of multiple hitches, individuals attending must show a proficiency in driving a team. This hands on two day course is held entirely outdoors so dress warmly. Lunch will be provided both days.
Held at Alberta Carriage Supply 9AM – 5PM Cost $400 per person
Maximum 10 people
Instructors: Dale Befus, Dwight Beard, Gordon Mowatt, Terry Bailey
Contact: Alberta Carriage Supply 403-934-9537

HORSE FARMING AT
HISTORIC BAR U RANCH May 19, 20 &21
Bring your team and join us this long weekend as we prepare the soil and plant our first crop of oats – all with horses. Camping on site.
HARVEST AT THE HISTORIC BAR U RANCH
August 25 & 26
Our oats should be ready for harvest, barring drought, floods, freezing, pestilence, etc. Bring your team and help us cut the oats to ripen. All with horses. All teamsters and teams welcome.

THRESHING AT THE HISTORIC BAR U RANCH
September 7&8
Again bring your horses and help us collect the bundles and haul them to the thrashing machine, and grain to the bin.

CHORE HORSE COMPETITION
September 9
Finish the weekend off with this great competition, show how well you and your team can complete various tasks
Contact: Debra Pigeon: deb.pigeon@pc.gc.ca (403) 395-2212

MILLARVILLE FAIR
August 18
Bring your team join us for a fun day of wagon rides, ice cream making and competitions designed to test your skills and make you smile.
Millarville Race Track
Camping Available
Contact: David Farran 403-519-0641 nopointranch@gmail.com