Equine Assisted Learning
Located in the heart of Saskatchewan, here at Nickweb Clydesdale Stud we are dedicating our lives to breeding quality Clydesdales for quality people! With a recent move from South Africa, Nickweb Stud now resides near Saskatoon, and we are looking forward to the many years to come of breeding Clydesdales!
Nickweb Stud is not a business, it's a passion, a love, for Clydesdales!
Our extraordinary journey
We are originally from South Africa, for those who don't know it is on the continent of Africa, but way down on the southern tip. We had to cross oceans, fly on planes and use many trucks to get here. Whilst living in South Africa we fell in love with Clydesdales. Once owning our first fluffy-footed horse and realizing that the breed was extremely rare in SA, we decided to start breeding them, this is when we realized that almost every single Clyde in SA was related to each other, and the last time one was imported was over 10 years ago. There was only one registered breeder of Clydesdales in SA and they were the ones that had everything related to everyone. There was another so called breeder as well, however, he had Shires and Clydes and Percherons all running wild together with no way to tell who covered what. All you knew was that you were buying a draft horse, and even that wasn't guaranteed. So we became the second registered Clydesdale stud in SA. Clydes weren't marketed very well and so very few people actually knew that they even existed. This was a huge task for us. Marketing became as important as breeding the Clydes themselves. Thanks to an amazing friend, she made Clydes a known breed in SA. We also bred sport horses, because most horse owners are competitive and want something that can carry a good size person, but also be nimble and light enough to compete at high levels. We mainly crossed Clydes with Thoroughbreds, but many people would think that their mare would look so good crossed with a Clyde, so we ended up crossing Clydes with everything. This really boosted our stud, because we would ride our Clydes in the same competitions as normal horses, like jumping, and they would do so well and blow everyone away. So people started realizing that purebreds are just as great as the crosses. The only reason we crossed the Clydes with other breeds was to keep the stud going while we worked on breeding purebreds. Peri's first son, Antonio, is now a major stallion for a stud in Malmesbury. A stud that registered soon after buying Antonio. So that made 3 studs in SA. But with us leaving the country, it once again became only 2.
Just before we left SA, we were looking at importing a stallion and two mares, unfortunately our sponsor dropped us. So we lacked the funds to bring in horses. But in December 2010, we managed to get some money together for a visit to Canada. We figured that we would check it out and meet the stallion we wanted to buy. We met him, and suddenly the ball started rolling. We decided that we would still buy him, however, instead of making him move to SA, we would move to him! We spent one month here in Canada and got back to SA on New Years eve. 2011 was going to be a big year! We sold the 15 acres that we had, and unfortunately, most of our horses too. There were two horses that we were just not going to leave without. Bailie And Pericleas. We absolutely love these two horses and they are also really good friends. So it was meant to be, the four of us, 2 horses that were best friends and a mother and daughter who absolutely loved them so dearly. Moving countries is no easy task. There is a lot to organize and a lot to say good bye to. We also decided that we weren't taking any risks, we went everywhere with our horses. We wanted to make sure they got the care they deserved. During 2011/2012 we spent 3 months in Mauritius, a tiny island near Madagascar, and 5 months in Germany. We were only supposed to stay in Germany for 2 months but just as we were about to leave, it was found that our horses tested positive for Piroplasmosis. Look it up. 50% of South African horses have the antibodies for this disease, and that's exactly what they had, mere antibodies. Back home its a huge relief that your horse has antibodies for this disease cause it meant they had a better chance of surviving it. It's a blood-borne disease spread by ticks that makes horses anemic and jaundice. So there we were, grounded in Germany. As long as those tests got positive results, Canada wouldn't let them in, even if they only had the antibodies. So after 5 months, we ran out of money and had to leave them there. The saddest day of our lives! But not to worry, this story has a happy ending. Through many, many tests and many, many treatment methods, some similar to Chemotherapy, their tests results eventually tested negative! 2 years after leaving SA, Peri was finally able to make it to his new home, unfortunately he was separated from Bailie. You could see the sadness in Peri's eyes. Eventually, after much praying and testing and treating, Bailie was allowed to come to his new home, 3 years after he left SA. To say that we went through a lot of hard work and dedication is an understatement! But here we are, a family of 5 with our 2 South African horses, 6 Canadian horses, 2 dogs and 2 ferrets, finally in Canada, and boy are we glad to be here. It is such a great country and we look forward to doing our part!
"The conformation of the Clydesdale has changed eagerly throughout its history. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was a compact horse smaller than the Shire, Percheron, and Belgian. Beginning in the 1940s, breeding animals were selected to produce taller horses that looked more impressive in parades and shows. Today, the Clydesdale stands 16 to 18 hands (64 to 72 inches, 163 to 183 cm) high and weighs 1,800 to 2,000 pounds (820 to 910 kg). Some mature males are larger, standing taller than 18 hands and weighing up to 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg). The breed has a straight or slightly convex facial profile, broad forehead and wide muzzle. It is well-muscled and strong, with an arched neck, high withers and a sloped shoulder. Breed associations pay close attention to the quality of the hooves and legs, as well as the general movement. Their gaits are active, with clearly lifted hooves and a general impression of power and quality. Clydesdales are energetic, with a manner described by the Clydesdale Horse Society as a "gaiety of carriage and outlook." Clydesdales have been identified to be at risk for chronic progressive lymphedema, a disease with clinical signs that include progressive swelling, hyperkeratosis and fibrosis of distal limbs that is similar to chronic lymphedema in humans.
Clydesdales are usually bay in colour, but roan, black, grey and chestnut also occur. Most have white markings, including white on the face, feet, legs and occasional body spotting (generally on the lower belly). They also have extensive feathering on their lower legs. Roaning, body spotting and extensive white markings are thought to be the result of sabino genetics. Some Clydesdale breeders want white face and leg markings without the spotting on the body. To attempt getting the ideal set of markings, they often breed horses with only one white leg to horses with four white legs and sabino roaning on their bodies. On average, the result is a foal with the desired amount of white markings. Clydesdales do not have the SB1 (Sabino 1) gene responsible for causing sabino expressions in many other breeds, and researchers theorize that there are several other genes responsible for these patterns. Many buyers pay a premium for bay and black horses, especially those with four white legs and white facial markings. Specific colors are often preferred over other physical traits, and some buyers will even choose horses with soundness problems, if they have the desired color and markings. Roan horses are not preferred by buyers, despite one draft breed writer theorizing that they are needed in order to keep the desired coat colors and texture. Breed associations, however, state that there are no bad colors, and that horses with roaning and body spots are increasingly accepted." - Wikipedia