• Horses with Heart – Sergeant Reckless

      BY DEBBIE MACRAE She was truly a gift of love – her life exchanged for a limb. His sister had stepped on a land mine and $250 meant that Kim Huk Moon could buy her a leg prosthesis. It was the Korean war. But to do so, he had to let his filly go… He… [Continue Reading]

      Horses with Heart – Sergeant Reckless
    • Cowgirl Room Revamp

      Check out this beautiful revamp of a little cowgirl’s bedroom. We are so in love with this room makeover, that is nearly finished! This special cowgirl wanted a farm/ranch/cowgirl theme. Her grandfather assisted in bringing her mother’s vision for her bed come to life. Underneath, the shelves can house books, toys or Breyer horses. In… [Continue Reading]

      Cowgirl Room Revamp
    • Your Winter Home in AZ

      Are you thinking of venturing to Arizona this winter? With blizzards already in full force here in southern Alberta, Siggins Horse Company, located in Eloy, Arizona, is a full service equine facility offering full care board services, team roping practices and jackpots, and much more. Horse training, lessons and horse sales are also part of… [Continue Reading]

      Your Winter Home in AZ
    • Doc West on Rural Crime

      In light of the southern Alberta story of Edouard Maurice who recently filed a counterclaim against the convicted criminal who drove onto the Maurice property south of Okotoks, AB, on Feb. 24, 2018 and rummaged through his vehicles, we thought it might be prudent to run an archive from our Doc West March/April 2017 column.… [Continue Reading]

      Doc West on Rural Crime
    • Ranch Country Horse Sale 2019

      The 15th Annual Ranch Country Horse Sale Inc. (RCH Sale) was held at the Maple Creek, SK, Agricultural Grounds, on Saturday, Sept 14th, 2019. The Ranch Country Horse Sale members include the Perrins, the Parsonages, and the Bertrams. The High Selling Saddle Horse was Lot #47, MM Docs Cowboy, a 2015 buckskin gelding consigned by… [Continue Reading]

      Ranch Country Horse Sale 2019
    • Behind the Scenes

      BY JENN WEBSTER The Western Horse Review fall fashion shoot didn’t go as planned. Originally centered around a specific location, the Sept/Oct. photojournalism piece was forced in a new direction when Mother Nature rained us out. Which in turn, forced us to move the shoot location. There was however, a beautiful consolation in moving the… [Continue Reading]

      Behind the Scenes
    • Summertime Pasta

      BY MIKE EDGAR, PHOTOS BY TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY With a silky sauce, a beautiful colour palate and all the elements of summer, this fresh pasta dish is a fun twist on a hearty meal. This cheesy, fresh, seasonal dinner showcases just how versatile a noodle dish can be. DOUGH 6 Eggs 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour… [Continue Reading]

      Summertime Pasta
    • The Cowboy Sound

      BY PIPER WHELAN Whether it’s through music or photography, Chris Petersen is passionate about providing a glimpse into the western lifestyle he loves. The Utah born-and-raised musician writes country songs with a distinctly cowboy feel, and his popular photography account, Diehard Cowboy, has a huge Instagram following for his images of a working cowboy’s everyday… [Continue Reading]

      The Cowboy Sound

home_b4_blog

Horses with Heart – Sergeant Reckless

Reckless with her main caretaker, US Marine Sergeant Joseph Latham.

BY DEBBIE MACRAE

She was truly a gift of love – her life exchanged for a limb. His sister had stepped on a land mine and $250 meant that Kim Huk Moon could buy her a leg prosthesis. It was the Korean war. But to do so, he had to let his filly go… He cried.

Purchased as a pack horse on October 26, 1952, the little filly was originally named Ah Chim Hai. The translation in Korean is “Morning Flame” or “Flame of the Morning.” Moon called her Flame. She was thought to be of Mongolian blood, but she did have some Thoroughbred similarities. She weighed less than 900 pounds and stood only 56 inches or 14 hands high.

As a pack-horse, she would learn to carry 24 pound shells for recoilless rifles used by the Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marine Regiment of the Anti-Tank Company, 1st Marine Division. Her name, Flame, was modified to reflect a contraction of the name Recoilless – and she became known to the Marines as “Reckless” – quickly becoming part of the unit and creeping into their tents, their hearts – and their meals – eating everything from scrambled eggs to potato chips and drinking Coca-Cola and beer with the best of them. At one point, she consumed about $30 in poker chips! Not your usual equine fare.

Reckless was taught to be a Marine. She was trained in battlefield survival skills; she would lie down under fire. She knew not to become entangled in barbed wire. On hearing the cry “Incoming!”, she learned to run for a bunker – and even appeared to take interest in the operation of the rifles she was carrying. She learned to deliver the guns and shells to the front lines, and when learning a new route, required to be led only a few times before she learned the route on her own. There was a standing order not to ride her, but on one occasion that order was violated and Reckless sprinted through a minefield with her mount, surviving in spite of her rider.

During the Battle of Outpost Vegas on Vegas Hill in March of 1953, she made 51 solo trips in one day, covering over 35 miles and carrying over 9,000 pounds of ammunition – rider-less, no lead, under fire. She travelled through rice paddies and steep mountain ridges, carrying her load; sometimes guns, sometimes ammunition, even the wounded. They would tie them on, send them back down, and at the bottom, they would turn her around, slap her rump and she would head out again.

The whole battle lasted 3 days. She was wounded twice. At the end of the battle her fellow Marines were so grateful for her service, they offered her a beer, which she drank down lustily, like a true soldier, and begged for more.

Sergeant Reckless beside 75 mm recoilless rifle, circa 1952 – 1955, Andrew Geer, Public Domain.

On one occasion, Reckless approached a group of Marines, and nuzzled one unsuspecting marine on the back of the neck, nipping him in the process. He jumped and started screaming obscenities at her yelling at a Marine Lieutenant to remove the nag from his presence. The Lieutenant blasted the marine, “That horse has done more for the United States Marine Corps than you have, or ever will do. And besides, she outranks you. If I ever hear you talking to that horse like that again, I’m going to have you written up and court-martialed.” 1 Sgt. Reckless, America’s War Horse by Robin Hutton

Her role didn’t end on the front lines. She packed telephone lines for her platoon – stringing as much wire on her own, as 12 men on foot. She was the first horse in the Marine Corps to have engaged in an amphibious landing.

Her platoon played on her “Reckless” reputation, challenging Kentucky Derby contender, Native Dancer, to a “Paddy Derby” on the “Upsan Downs,” over a 1.5 mile course of rice paddies and hills, carrying 192 pounds of ammunition and no riders. Their challenge went unrequited, although Native Dancer would come in second in the Kentucky Derby, thereafter winning the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, and the Belmont Stakes in New York. All in good fun, Sergeant Reckless won her own red and gold blanket with insignia, and was promoted again to staff sergeant (E-6) on August 31, 1959 at Camp Pendleton, California, where she was honored with a twenty-one-gun salute and a 1,700-man parade of Marines.

Reckless was a hero. She was awarded two purple hearts, and the battle of Outpost Vegas prompted a promotion to the official rank of Sergeant for the only animal, before or since, in history.

Sergeant Reckless was retired from active service with full military honors in 1960. Her Marine Corps documents provided her with free room and board in lieu of retirement pay. She was treated like the VIP she was, well cared for and respected. She bore two colts and two fillies, at Camp Pendleton, the last of which survived only a month.

Eight years after her retirement, Reckless would injure herself, ironically by falling into a barbed wire fence. She died under sedation for treatment at approximately 19 or 20-years-old.

As we approach the Anniversary of Remembrance on November 11th, we salute our war heroes, and war horses, with honor and respect for the service they have offered in the protection of our countries, our front lines, and our troops.

Sergeant Reckless is honored with a statue by sculptor Jocelyn Russell in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, a memorial at Camp Pendleton, as well as a monument at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

Cowgirl Room Revamp

Check out this beautiful revamp of a little cowgirl’s bedroom. We are so in love with this room makeover, that is nearly finished!

This special cowgirl wanted a farm/ranch/cowgirl theme. Her grandfather assisted in bringing her mother’s vision for her bed come to life. Underneath, the shelves can house books, toys or Breyer horses.

In one corner her Grandma’s old trick riding saddle is featured, along with one of her Great-Grandfather’s bridles hanging at the entrance and a toy barn her Grandpa made for her.


It’s a special room full of love. Her mother made a lot of the pieces hanging on the walls.

There are still more plans for this bedroom, but we’re in love with how it turned out. 💕 Stay tuned to a future WHR for an update on the entire space.

Your Winter Home in AZ

Are you thinking of venturing to Arizona this winter? With blizzards already in full force here in southern Alberta, Siggins Horse Company, located in Eloy, Arizona, is a full service equine facility offering full care board services, team roping practices and jackpots, and much more. Horse training, lessons and horse sales are also part of their beautiful facility, which includes covered stalls, wash racks, tack rooms, a barrel racing arena, team roping arena, lights for night riding, RV/Trailer Hookups and an atmosphere that is sure to make everyone feel like they’re at home!

Those who choose to stay at Siggins Horse Company in one of their 11 RV hookups are invited to join them for happy hours, BBQ cookouts, and opportunities to get involved in gathering cattle from the desert, branding, and breaking in steers. Hookups are located in grass covered areas, with trees allowing for privacy if desired. 

On Mondays through Friday mornings, the facility hosts team roping practices for ropers of all levels. They also host weekly roping jackpots where they’re known to award some great money and prizes. 


The Siggins Horse Company staff ensure that your horse’s health and wellness is their top priority offering a full care program, 24-hour onsite staff, daily stall cleaning, premium feed and if requested, access to the area’s top vets, farriers, and equine body-workers. 

Siggins Horse Company is located in Eloy, Arizona, an easy one-hour drive from the urban centres of Phoenix and Tucson. The smaller communities of Casa Grande and Coolidge are in close proximity for any of the daily essentials like groceries, dining and entertainment.  


The facility offers rates for nightly layover services, short stays, and all inclusive discounted rates for longer stays. They’re inviting Canadians to enjoy more of what makes them happy this winter by inviting you to join them at Siggins Horse Company this year! 

Find them at:
www.sigginshorsecompany.com

IG: @sigginshorsecompany 

FB: facebook.com/sigginshorsecompany

Doc West on Rural Crime

In light of the southern Alberta story of Edouard Maurice who recently filed a counterclaim against the convicted criminal who drove onto the Maurice property south of Okotoks, AB, on Feb. 24, 2018 and rummaged through his vehicles, we thought it might be prudent to run an archive from our Doc West March/April 2017 column. […]

[Continue reading…]

Ranch Country Horse Sale 2019

The 15th Annual Ranch Country Horse Sale Inc. (RCH Sale) was held at the Maple Creek, SK, Agricultural Grounds, on Saturday, Sept 14th, 2019. The Ranch Country Horse Sale members include the Perrins, the Parsonages, and the Bertrams. The High Selling Saddle Horse was Lot #47, MM Docs Cowboy, a 2015 buckskin gelding consigned by […]

[Continue reading…]

Behind the Scenes

BY JENN WEBSTER The Western Horse Review fall fashion shoot didn’t go as planned. Originally centered around a specific location, the Sept/Oct. photojournalism piece was forced in a new direction when Mother Nature rained us out. Which in turn, forced us to move the shoot location. There was however, a beautiful consolation in moving the […]

[Continue reading…]

Summertime Pasta

BY MIKE EDGAR, PHOTOS BY TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY With a silky sauce, a beautiful colour palate and all the elements of summer, this fresh pasta dish is a fun twist on a hearty meal. This cheesy, fresh, seasonal dinner showcases just how versatile a noodle dish can be. DOUGH 6 Eggs 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour […]

[Continue reading…]

The Cowboy Sound

BY PIPER WHELAN Whether it’s through music or photography, Chris Petersen is passionate about providing a glimpse into the western lifestyle he loves. The Utah born-and-raised musician writes country songs with a distinctly cowboy feel, and his popular photography account, Diehard Cowboy, has a huge Instagram following for his images of a working cowboy’s everyday […]

[Continue reading…]

MOOSE JAW 2019 LIMITED AGE EVENT CHAMPIONS

Here are results and photos of the champions from the Saskatchewan Cutting Horse Association, Moose Jaw Horse Show & Limited Age Event, held August 1-4, 2019 at the Golden Mile Arena in Moose Jaw, SK, Horse Non-Pro Futurity Rider Score Payout Score Payout Score Total Payout Its Not A Swoosh Danielle Oslund/same 65 $371.80 70 […]

[Continue reading…]