Boots ’N Diamonds

    Win two tickets to a unique New Year's Eve event.

    Boots ’N Diamonds Boots ’N Diamonds

    What Christmas Looks Like in Canada

    Snapshots of Christmas around here so far.

    What Christmas Looks Like in Canada What Christmas Looks Like in Canada

    Rodeos & Rhinestones

    The secrets of a rodeo queen.

    Rodeos & Rhinestones Rodeos & Rhinestones

    How To Clip

    Professional trainer, Clay Webster shares some of his best advice for introducing clippers.

    How To Clip How To Clip

    Winter Horse Care

    A list of 4 crucial cold weather tips.

    Winter Horse Care Winter Horse Care

    Crockpot Rice Pudding

    The ultimate winter comfort food.

    Crockpot Rice Pudding Crockpot Rice Pudding

Boots ’N Diamonds

At the log house we’d just started thinking about how our New Years Eve might look this year when a grand idea came across my desk – The Boots ‘N Diamonds New Years Eve Gatherin’.

This semi-formal evening of western and cowboy art, food and entertainment is set to happen just southwest of Calgary and features some of our favourite artists, artisans and live entertainment.

shannon'sartworkBest of all the evening ends with a live auction featuring some unique western art such as this original Shannon Lawlor painting.

gina'sbronzeA sweet and collectable vintage Gina Cohoe bronze.

karen'sartworkA gorgeous original from a southern Alberta western artist whose work we’ve been keenly attuned to lately, Karen Coe.

holly'sphotoAnd, finally, a framed print of the photo which won the Western Horse Review 2013 photo contest, captured by amateur photographer, Holly Nicholl. How gorgeous would this look in your home?

These and a few other select pieces will all be auctioned off in the first few minutes of 2015 to benefit the Shannon Burwash Memorial Award. If you aren’t familiar with this scholarship check out http://www.eslvet.ca/info.html for more information. Succinctly, the award is for students in any field of study with emphasis on the horse, agriculture, business, or equine veterinary medicine at an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution.

Each piece of art, western gear and donated item will sell with 100% of the proceeds going to the scholarship.

And, because we want to get the word out about this event, and put bums in those last few seats still available, we’re giving away two tickets to the event.

Of course, you might want to secure your seats to this unique western-styled evening and that can be done by contacting organizer Ryan Smith at (403) 897-3787, or visit the event’s Facebook page.

But, be sure to enter the contest too! All you have to do is let us know what your New Year’s Eve plans are below in the comment section and we’ll enter you in a draw to win two tickets. Even if you already have plans, I bet you can come up with two special people to gift these tickets to!

Good luck and perhaps we’ll see you there!

What Christmas Looks Like in Canada

 

Heavy-horses

Happy December! Ever wonder what Christmas looks like in Canada? Under the subdued light of a winter sky, Christmas in Canada is altogether beautiful, challenging and jovial.

Around here, Christmas is also downright comical. Take our gingerbread house of 2014, for example:

Gingerbread-house

The kids and I made it from scratch. And I’m pretty darn proud of it, I’ll tell ya! Pretty. Durn. Proud.

That kit never saw us coming…

As it’s only natural when winter rolls around, many of our international friends like to chide us Canadians about, “living in igloos,” and “driving dogsleds…” We get a chuckle out of it too. After all, Canucks must be tough to withstand the six feet of snow we might receive one day and the -30 temperatures the next.

But, the truth is – sometimes we do! Make igloos and ride in dogsleds, that is.

Riding in a dogsled in winter is one of the most exhilarating and festive things you can do.

Dog-Sledding

And remember what I said about the six feet of snow and minus temperatures? Our horses are pretty tough too. Still, I don’t understand why they prefer to be outside of their shelters on days like this.

Winter-storm

Around here, we take our Christmas gift wrapping very seriously.

Simple yet, creative is what works for me.

Xmas-tree-tagsSugared snow in the winter is a Canadian must. Careful! This stuff is addicting.

Untitled-1

Getting a Christmas manicure with a loved one is a perfect way to spend time together.

Christmas-nails

And speaking of loved ones… some of our children are terrified of Santa…

Photo courtesy of Jaime Krausert.

Photo courtesy of Jaime Krausert.

 

…But have no hesitation when it comes to handling a reindeer with cloven hooves and antlers.

 

Reindeer02

As horse people, you can bet we will haul through crazy storms and road conditions just to make it to the next cow practice. Because you know, Christmas is coming. But so are the January shows. And we wouldn’t want to miss a beat.

Trailer

 

As horse professionals, Christmas decorations like these are plentiful on our trees:

Santa-ornament

 

Frost on barbed wire fences is beautiful.

Frozen-barbed-wire

 

And absolutely nothing beats a little ice skating on a frozen, outdoor pond.

Skates

The CP Holiday Train was a new custom we incorporated into our Christmas affairs this year. As a fund-raiser for food banks in Canada and the U.S., the CP Holiday Trains — one travels through Canada, the other in the U.S. — have covered over 100,000 miles and raised close to $9.5 million and 3.3 million pounds of food since the program started in 1999. And with a healthy donation to the food bank, we got to listen to Jim Cuddy, for free, from a box car turned into a live stage.

HOliday-train

As Canadians, we are always mindful of others in need during this time. Young and old alike, ’tis the season for sharing, caring and joy.

More importantly than that however, this is a mindset we try to hard maintain throughout the year.

Selena

With only a few days left to go, I hope Christmas is looking as wonderful for all of you as well!

wreath

 

Rodeos & Rhinestones

Surely at one time or another we’ve all been sweet on the charming young gals flying around the rodeo arena in their spangled outfits and accoutrements – the princesses and queens, all curls and smiles beneath their glitzy cowboy hats. Recently, at one of our fall editorial brainstorming sessions, we wondered what the real life of a rodeo queen might look like. Behind the scenes. And out of the public eye. 

And we thought, maybe, such a story might make a good story. A captivating story. Even an important story. We just needed the right queen to tell it. 

In Canada, Miss Rodeo Canada is chosen in mid-November, at Northlands Park in Edmonton, and timed with the pinnacle of Canada’s rodeo season, the Canadian Finals Rodeo.  This year, Katy Lucas – incidentally also named as one of Western Horse Review’s Top 25 Under 25 in 2013, and currently one of the magazine’s writers – won the honour of wearing the crown for the year.

We couldn’t have been more pleased with the choice. For we already knew Katy as a) an accomplished journalist; b) an ambitious and budding star in the rodeo world; c) a feisty soul unafraid to take on difficult subjects such as animal activism and other misconceptions of the horse world (don’t assume for a second Katy’s narrative will centre on bling and queen selfies); and, d) just the right combination of all of the above to take on the role of telling what it’s really like to be a rodeo queen for a year, and just how such a queen can make a difference in how the rest of the world views our western way of life. 

In a world increasingly populated with people disconnected with the agriculture way of life, and a lifestyle often misunderstood, judged and even attacked, we feel it’s never been a more important banner to wear. 

I’m excited. And, you reader, should be too. Stay tuned, it’s going to be a great ride. 

So, without further ado, here is the first edition of Katy’s blog. Look for future editions under her own blog banner, coming soon to this website. 

~ Ingrid Schulz

Secrets of a Rodeo Queen

Episode One

~ by Katy Lucas

Rodeo Queens are much more than a pretty face that can sit a horse. They have to wear an infinite number of hats, and from that necessity comes a great deal of stories to tell.

I was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada in November, and would love to share my experiences with you as they happen during my reign! Winning this title was truly a lifelong dream, I have been saying I was going to run since I was a toddler, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.

Rodeo queens will tell you that there’s more than the eye can see behind the flawless makeup and rhinestone covered outfits. So I’m pulling back the hazy curtain of hairspray to reveal the true life of a rodeo queen.

Rodeo Queen Secret Number One:

Rodeo-Queen-Secret-Photo-1There is no such thing as packing too much.

I once wore seven outfits in one day as a rodeo queen so there is nothing that gets left at home when I head to a queen event like the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. As you can see by the teetering tower behind me, my entire wardrobe made it to Vegas.

PS: I unloaded the truck and pulled that cart uphill into the hotel myself!

Rodeo Queen Secret Number Two:

Rodeo-Queen-Secret-Photo-1.1

Know your sponsors.

My dad laughs now when he tells the story of qualifying for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. His buddies were bugging him that he may have to take out a loan to pay the large entry fee for the finals, and dad, not realizing that fee was sponsored by Benny Binion, almost considered not going to the NFR!

Rodeo-Queen-Secret-Number-2

So it pays to know the people out there that support you! Some of Miss Rodeo Canada’s major sponsors are Northlands Park, Wrangler, 790 CFCW, Dodge Ram, Roper Boots and more!

Rodeo Queen Secret Number Three:

Rodeo-Queen-Secret-Number-3.1Sharing clothes is a binding contract.

Just like a cowboy’s word is sealed with his handshake, rodeo queens loyally share their clothes.

Before I arrived in Vegas I had never met Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Teen, Elise Wade. Truthfully, I’d never even talked to her directly. But at the first event I walked in to at the MGM Grand, a young woman I’d never met before wildly ran across the room and embraced me like we were old friends that had been separated for a long period.

The reason? I had asked to borrow some clothes from her and she couldn’t wait to meet the girl from Canada that was going to carry her clothes into the famous Thomas and Mack arena.

On day two of our newfound relationship I started calling her my sister. Rhinestones are powerful binding agents…

Rodeo Queen Secret Number Four:

Rodeo-Queen-Secret-Number-4Be you!

Every queen is different and all of them have talents of their very own. I happened upon a roping dummy at the Wrangler giveaway room and I couldn’t resist spending at least a few minutes of my day roping!

Roping is what makes me who I am, and I wasn’t afraid to show it.

How To Clip

DSC_0899

Western performance horses can be shown or rode in a variety of styles. That’s the beauty of our disciplines – we have a lot of freedom when it comes to manes and tails. Certainly some rules apply to specific classes but for a great majority of us, long flowing manes are the trend. Whiskers may […]

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Winter Horse Care

Great-winter-shot!

Many parts of the country have been completely overtaken by winter’s harsh grip this last week. It’s not to say that we didn’t expect it – it’s just that if you’re a wishful thinker like me,  you were probably hoping winter would not have struck so fiercely already. I was thinking it could lash out […]

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Crockpot Rice Pudding

Crockpot Rice Pudding

If the cold weather has you craving a hot, steaming dessert after supper, I have the most amazing (and simple) recipe for you! Rice pudding is the ultimate comfort food. When it’s made in a crockpot, it’s the ultimate convenience. Here’s the recipe… Rice Pudding INGREDIENTS: • 1,892 mls (2 quarts) of Vanilla Soy Milk […]

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Alberta Whisky Cake

awcradio

It’s becoming increasingly prevalent to consider source (local) and company (niche) in our world. In a sense, our western culture has perhaps always leaned more towards a high standard of craftsmanship, than an overload of cheap trappings. We cherish one well-made bit crafted from a local artisan, over 10 made overseas. A pair of chaps so […]

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Paige Callaway

pursuearts

In our March/2013 edition, we profiled 20 interesting artisans of the West, casting a sweet little spotlight on a few of the most ambitious silver, leather, jewellery and gear makers, fashionistas and even a cake baker. Since then we’ve stayed in touch with nearly all of them, and continue to feed our own inspirations with both their love of […]

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AQHA Disease Panel Testing

DNA-testing-card

It’s that time of year again. Before the mad rush of the Christmas season begins, it’s time for me to get all of my records in order with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). Time to get the foals registered (before they become 7 months of age), time to ask questions for any of the […]

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