Alexandra Teske was upset at the effects diabetes is having on her husband Katlin, and on thousands of others across Canada, and decided to do her part to help.
She is planning to ride her horse Hidalgo alongside her husband from Lang up to Regina on Saturday, July 2, as a fundraiser for the Canadian Diabetes Association, a campaign she has dubbed “Hoofprints for Diabetes”.
Alexandra has been riding her horse from her ranch northwest of Yellow Grass into town, a distance of some eight kilometres (five miles), to help build up the horse’s endurance for the longer ride, and over the weekend went on a three-day trail ride in Moose Mountain Provincial Park with Katlin and some friends.
Hidalgo is an appaloosa, and is about seven years old, and as Alexandra noted, he’s a completely different horse from when they bought him two years ago.
“He’s come a long way. He was sort of a mutt horse,” she said, noting the horse’s previous owner called him “Hammerhead”, and was scared of the horse as it could be aggressive and hard to ride.
After the horse underwent some training, “he’s totally gone 360 to a different horse,” she said.
Katlin will be riding his horse, Wrangler, which he used to compete in team-roping competitions with, but uses now for team-roping and calf-roping on his ranch, which he runs with his father.
Katlin was diagnosed at age 14 with type 1 diabetes, and uses an insulin pump to enable him to have a normal life.
Prior to meeting her husband, Alexandra admitted she didn’t know a lot about the disease, and was shocked to find out how prevalent it is in Canada.
“I didn’t realize how many in Yellow Grass have diabetes,” she said, noting Katlin has a couple of friends who also have it.
She and Katlin have been married for three years, and they have three children, a son who is five, and two daughters aged four and three.
“Since I met Katlin, I’ve wanted to do something. It was making me angry,” said Alexandra, noting she first thought three years ago about doing a ride, but her horse was not ready for such a ride.
The idea came back to her this past winter, and in the spring started riding Hidalgo to Yellow Grass and back, which is an hour each way. She also contacted the Diabetes Association about doing a fundraiser for them by taking pledges and donations, and wants to also raise awareness about diabetes through the ride.
“The Canadian Diabetes Association has been very helpful to me,” she said, noting she has set up a Facebook page, Hoofprints for Diabetes, with a link on it to make donations.
She also has pledge forms which she has taken to Yellow Grass on her rides, and hopes to sign up more donors by the time of the ride.
Once she and Katlin start the ride on July 2, she will be posting updates throughout the ride to her Facebook page.