Lessons in Liberty – Part 2

STORY & PHOTOS BY JENN WEBSTER

If’ you’ve been reading along in our blog series with Jim Anderson, you may have caught our last installment. If not, you can always catch it here! In the last blog, we revealed 2014 Road to the Horse Champion Jim Anderson’s foundation principles of liberty training. In this blog, we take those notions a step further and build on the first exercise of moving the horse’s hindquarters, to more advanced techniques of body control with the horse in a halter and lead.

“When we put these first four exercises together, we’re laying the foundation of our communication with our horse,” the trainer says. “At liberty, you need this so badly because eventually, we won’t have a halter or saddle or bridle on the horse. If they don’t want to to be there with you, they not going to be. However, if you can train your horse through these basic exercises, there’s never worry nor fear from him – so he wants to be with you.”

The tricky part is teaching a horse the contrast between yielding exercises and “joining up.”

“There’s a big difference in teaching a horse how to yield away from you, but not run away from you,” Anderson explains. “When you put pressure on the horse, they should yield from the pressure – but with confidence. If they yield out of fear and you took the halter off – the horse would be gone. I need to be able to use my giddy-up stick and have it mean certain cues to my horse, without it ever implying to him ‘Leave me.’”

Often, people don’t mean to teach their horses this, but it happens unintentionally.

“It’s one of the most important points of liberty training. Pressure is something that signals to the equine they should remain with us, not leave us. Horses in nature use pressure but they’re actually still joined up. They can put pressure on each other, but they still want to be together. That’s what we need to figure out as riders or handlers. Well-trained liberty horses understand this – they don’t take it personally.”

TOOLS YOU’LL NEED:
• Rope halter
• Soft lead shank (0.5” thick, 16-feet long)
• Giddy-Up stick (On average,a four-foot dressage whip – depending on the horse.)

First Exercise: Yielding the Hind Quarters. Again, you need to read the first blog in our installment for this exercise.

Exercise #2.

Second Exercise: Get the Horse’s Shoulders Yielding Away From the Handler. The horse may yield away from us, but they must remain focused on us as they yield away. So when you yield the shoulder, the horse must always have one eye looking at us.

 

Exercise #3.

3rd Exercise: Softening of the head and neck. Softening it laterally; right and left. And softening it vertically; being able to set the head and neck down. When you can put the head wherever you want, it means the horse really has confidence in us as the handler. It’s an exercise that helps to bring the focus back to us.

 

Exercise #4.

4th Exercise: The Ribcage. When the horse circles on the lead line it arcs its ribcage around us. The horse has to give its ribcage and arc its entire body around yet, their whole focus is on us as they’re still kind of yielding away. They should hold a perfect circle around us and they should not push into us at any point. The horse must keep the same radius around, with the ribcage arced to the outside.

When I point my giddy-up stick at the ribcage, the horse should bend it outward and actually give me one eye or two. When the stick goes to the ground, that’s when he should yield his hindquarters away, but come to me. This is why it’s so important for the development of subtle cues – learned through the repetition of exercises one through four. When we are successful in all of them, I can merely bend my giddy-up stick at my horse and he does what I am requesting. The important point here is that my cues are incredibly subtle.

 

Western Elegance

 

Have you seen the stunning western home we profiled recently in our July/August issue of Western Horse Review? If not, the issue is on stands now! Or better yet, get your subscription up to date here. This serene Albertan cottage borrows inspiration from minimalism and nature. Designed by home-owner Holly Fortier and Braemyn Homes, this 600-square foot home boasts unparalleled visibility of the outdoors from the living room and luxury features. There were so many wonderful photos of the cottage, we thought we’d share them with you digitally – but you’ll have to read the magazine for the full story!

 

Fortier’s mandate of light and brightness is evident throughout the entire space as white walls and doors accentuate both floors. Her desire for a place that was truly comfortable after an extended period of travel for work, was imperative. As was the cottage’s purpose to serve as a retreat for guests who need to decompress. Every element of the three-bedroom, three bathroom residence was meticulously planned because of its small square footage. But that doesn’t mean quality amenities were sacrificed – this home is big on style.

Situated just off of the kitchen is a custom-made table featuring a 100-year-old slab of wood and an authentic antler shed chandelier. The dining area’s tiny space demanded an attribute that was functional, but also cozy. Therefore, Braemyn Homes came up with the genius idea of bench seating underneath the windows. This reduction in chairs allows for storage and guest seating simultaneously.

With nature as a backdrop, it was important to Fortier to, “bring the outdoors in.” A concrete hearth and river rock stone wall, with a wood burning fireplace in the living room is the cottage’s main feature piece. However, the room’s floor-to-ceiling windows are show-stopping and lend a view to the heavens in the evening that is a stargazer’s dream.

Throughout the main level, rough wood flooring tie all the rooms together and exemplify its western elegance. A den that may also serve as a bedroom can be found off Fortier’s kitchen, as can a beautiful patio deck shielded by overhead timber frames.

Above the garage is another bedroom which Fortier often refers to as the “hotel room.” The separate space here offers a sleeping area, room for two leather lounge chairs, a sink and coffee area and a private bathroom. Complimented by a white log bed and Pendleton blankets, the exclusive guest room brings western hospitality to a whole new level.

Exquisitely crafted, Fortier’s super, cozy cottage makes all four Canadian seasons look beautiful.

“Home is so important. I never knew I could create such a beautiful place. Even though I lead a public life, I love being domestic. I love serving food and having people over,” Fortier says. “But I also like quiet moments too.I can have both of those things here.”

As it is a small home, being minimal was very important to Fortier and only her most treasured possessions embellish the cottage. The result of pairing down her belongings and living in the nature-inspired space is what she describes as therapeutic and healthy.

“I’m an aspiring minimalist. I really believe that less is more. What I kept were mostly artifacts from my Canadian Indigenous heritage and my dad, who was a cowboy,” she explains.

“I believe the natural elements really bring peace to a home,” she says. “And the whole process of the build has been very exciting for me. I have a lot of young women who come here and say, ‘I am so inspired by the fact that you designed your own home. And it’s so beautiful. I want to do the same.’”

With its natural landscaping and minimal requirement of yard maintenance, plus access to the lake and surrounding trails, Fortier’s cottage has the tranquility to elevate one’s spirits and mind. Western and nature-inspired motif complete the charm, creating a touch of elegance that fits easily with the surrounding area. Given the chance, Fortier would do it all over again.

 

Style Report, from the Calgary Stampede

Gingham tie-up shirt by Wrangler $54.95; Charlie 1 Horse hat (Gold Digger) $99.95. All provided by Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack. Turquoise provided by The Lost American Art Gallery. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

From pancakes to mini-donuts, to bulls and the midway – there are so many great things we can rely on the Calgary Stampede to deliver. And if there’s one thing we can guarantee to start conversations, it’s the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’s spirited display of fashion. With the Canadian summer heat at its peak and a 10-day party that envelopes the city in all its chic western glory, the Stampede is the perfect outlet to bust out your fringe and denim. Not only that, anything #westernfashion is truly the distinctive outfit you’ve been looking for to make your Instagram pop!

With help from Jenna MacMillan of Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack, we’ve rounded up the top 7 western fashion trends seen at the year’s Calgary Stampede:

A Smithbilt hat with pencil roll. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

 

Bold hats like this Natural – Cowgirl Outlaw ($89.95)) from Charlie 1 Horse and Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack were a big deal this Stampede. Turquoise provided by The Lost American Art Gallery. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

1. Accessorize. If there’s anything this year’s Stampede taught us, it was the response of the masses to accessories! Hats were the number #1 desired item, with hats from Charlie 1 Horse flying out the doors of Lammles’ newest exclusive LWW Collection. Flat brim hats were strong, but flat-brimmed hats with a hat band and a pencil roll were THE Hat of the Stampede. People were also drawn to palm leaf styles, or any hat with a pop of color. Burgundy, bold firehouse red, exotic royal blue or anything fun and different in lids were high in demand this year. This included incorporating traditional western emblems in the brim design as well; things like a feather inlay or other fun carved leather details.

Rock & Roll Cowgirl Lace Cover-up $64.95; Ariat Denim shorts $79.95, all from Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack. Turquoise provided by The Lost American Art Gallery. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

2. Anything romantic. Interest remains in maxi-style dresses. Perhaps it was the summer heat but the Stampede saw a step away from traditional button up western blouses, to a move towards anything flow-y or Bohemian in design. A looser fit was much more on-trend than the traditional button-up style of blouses the Stampede is accustomed to seeing.

Kimes Ranch Jeans. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

3. High waist lines. While it’s safe to say that Ladies fashion was kind of all over the place this year, it’s exciting to realize the general public is finally embracing the “western side” of fashion and couture. High-waisted skirts and jeans are very popular in brands such as Wrangler right now. And the fact that companies like Wrangler and Ariat are making shorts is a trend being met with great enthusiasm. A full bottom fit (riding cut or the lower cut,) in brands such as Kimes Ranch Jeans are for certain, a strong (raw denim) trend. In regular denim other suppliers are really stepping it up in the stretch. It’s no longer about heavily-embellished pockets and seams – the trend now is more about how jeans fit and stretch. Especially in Ariat! Wrangler is going away from stitching on the pocket and finding more ways to play up the simplicity of the ‘W.’ In fact, they’re really embracing the W and showcasing the patch. It’s no longer about where we can put all the “glitz.” Denim is more streamlined and classic now.

Painted ponies wild rag, black $49.95; from Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack. Turquoise provided by The Lost American Art Gallery.  Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

4. Wild Rags. We saw a lot of people interested in vintage print wild rags this year. Super fun bold patterns are being embraced there.

Silver arrow necklace with earrings (not pictured) $29.95; Turquoise feather necklace $24.95, from Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack.  Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

5. Affordable turquoise. We found a lot of success with turquoise that was affordable. Price point is a big deal. It might not have been a true squash-bottom but anything that is crafted to look like one is hot right now.

6. Obviously, Boots. Boots and the Calgary Stampede are synonymous. The fun, turquoise styles from Lane boots were a big hit. Boots that don’t incorporate as much “sparkle” as styles used to reflect but instead rich stitching and higher quality leather are very in right now. The classic brown boot that fits higher on the leg is not going anywhere. Also, fun patterns like the serape prints from Ariat were popular. Same with anything that incorporated a bandana print into the shaft of the boot or serape pattern on the shoe.

Charlie 1 Horse Hat (Grey – Old Hag) $169.95, provided by Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack. Boots provided by Classic Rodeo Boutique. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

7. Embroidered Boots. Embroidery on boots deserves its own mention. Boots with floral or paisley embroidery were all on-trend, big time this year.

Forecasting. While we’re all loving the summer dresses right now, fall fashion we predict, will be all about great ponchos and rich wool coats this year. And we’re seeing a ton of bell sleeves! I’m talking bell sleeves on everything from a fun button-up shirt to a 3/4 length baseball tee. This is how much we might see in the trends coming around. And as for colors, certainly the mustard yellow is here to say. If you’re not on board with it now, we’re going see mustard everywhere next year.

Backyard Burgers

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

BY MIKE EDGAR, PHOTOS BY TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY

These grass-fed beef burgers with smoked cheese, bacon jam, grilled red onion and roasted garlic mayo will ruin you for any future burgers to come. Nothing can compare!

Bun:
Any bun will work, however for this recipe I used a brioche bun. Pretzel is always good idea or a classic burger bun will work too.

Patty:
For these burgers, we used 100% grassfed and finished beef, BlackAngus/Wagyu cross from Bar P Ranch in Nanton. A delicious choice! Once your patties are hand-formed into eight-ounce formations, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. I prefer to sear the patties in a cast iron pan and finish them in a 400-degree oven. But a grilled burger is always a good decision too. About eight minutes a side, on the Bar-be-que.

Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise:
1 cup Mayo
5 cloves Roasted Garlic
2 tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 tbsp. chopped Fresh Chive
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix.

Bacon Jam
1 lb. Bacon, chopped
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1.5 lbs. fresh Tomato
2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 tbsp. White Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Ground Mustard
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

METHOD:
Fry bacon in skillet until crispy, drain the bacon from the fat, keeping two tablespoons of the fat for later. Fry the onion in the two tablespoons of bacon fat until translucent. Add the bacon and all other ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally. Mixture should yield about two cups.

Charred Red Onion
Peel the onion and cut half inch slices. Separate the onion slices into individual rounds. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on high heat until tender.

Lettuce
Any green lettuce will work. For this recipe, I used a butter leaf lettuce.

Cheese
Smoked blue cheese

BUILDING THE BURGER

When the patty is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest. At this time put on your cheese and let the remaining heat in the burger melt it.
Toast your bun.
Spread the mayo on the bottom bun. Next comes the burger and cheese, followed by the bacon jam. Then, gently place the charred red onion, followed by the lettuce and finally the top bun which also has mayo on it. Top your burger off with a skewered pickle or olive.

 

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

Dig in!

Thank-you to Bar P Ranch of Nanton, AB, for providing the beef used in this recipe. 100% grassfed and finished beef, BlackAngus/Wagyu cross. For more information please visit: www.barpranchbeef.com

 

Jurassic Adventure

Discover fossils at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre and meet the world’s largest (Guinness Record-holding) mosasaur “Bruce,” in Morden, Manitoba.

If you’re wondering what the connection is between horses and fossils, the answer will delight Jurassic Park (and World!) fans across the board. Did you know that many different horse sounds were used in the making of the original Jurassic Park movie? For instance, in the original movie (which is now one of 5 box-office hits) introduced us to intelligence of the Velociraptor. Do you remember the part when the Raptor appeared in the door of the kitchen, breathing terrifyingly on the glass window in pursuit of the two kids? The breathing noise was the recorded sounds of a horse.

And that wasn’t the only usage of Equid sounds in the movie.

The Gallimimus flock sounds like a stampede of wild horses. The squeal the Gallimimuses make when they’re passing by the actors who marvel at their likeness to a “flock of birds, evading a predator,” are actually a recorded mare in heat. Same goes for the squeal the ill-fated one at the end of the sequence makes when it’s attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The brachiosaur’s singing is made from the unique sound a donkey, slowed down into a “song-like” sound. And in case you were wondering about the Triceratops
 – a lot of cow noises were used to animate that species in the movie.

So for all you Jurassic World fans – did you know that we have the largest Guinness World Record-holding Mosasaur in Morden, Manitoba? He even has a name! In 1974 “Bruce” was discovered north of Thornhill within the Pembina Member of the Pierre Shale Formation. Bruce lived during the late Cretaceous period, approximately 80 million years ago. He swam in a deep sea environment with numerous other marine reptiles. It took approximately two field seasons to excavate the skeleton, which was reasonably complete with 65-70% of the original bones.

Aaaaaand we have Bruce featured in the July/August issue of Western Horse Review, as part of our #HaveHorsesWillTravel feature! If you’re headed to the Manitoba Stampede & Exhibition this July 19-22, the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre (which features Bruce, Suzy and a rare new mosasaur skeleton coming July 25!) is only roughly 74 kms away.

The incredible new mosasaur skeleton coming to the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre (CFDC) is of a rare species known as Kourisodon puntledgensis, or razor-toothed mosasaur of the Puntledge River. It’s a unique species whose fossils have only been found in Canada and Japan. The new addition further establishes the CFDC as one of the world’s foremost collections of mosasaur.

“This addition has been a long time in the planning stages and we are very excited to see it finally come to fruition,” said CFDC executive director Peter Cantelon. “People will notice right away this is a very different mosasaur from Bruce and Suzy – particularly its ferocious, razor-like teeth.”

 

Calgary Stampede 2018 Winners

Ryder Wright scored a career high 93 points on Stampede Warrior to become the $100,000 Saddle Bronc Champion. Photo by Shellie Scott Photography.

Showdown Sunday at the Calgary Stampede is known as the ‘Richest Day in Rodeo.’ After nine days of battling it out in the rodeo arena, winners of each event  took home a cheque for $100-thousand dollars.

Here are your 2018 winners:

SADDLE BRONC: Ryder Wright of Milford, Utah, scored a career high 93 points on Stampede Warrior to become the $100,000 Saddle Bronc Champion.

BAREBACK RIDING: Richie Champion of Dublin, Texas, rode Virgil to the championship of the $100,000 Bareback title.

BULL RIDING: Marcos Gloria of Brazil is the $100,000 Bull Riding champion.

STEER WRESTLING: Matt Reeves of Cross Plains, Texas, won the $100,000 in the steer wrestling with a time of 4.7 seconds.

BARREL RACING: Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, and her horse Sister are your $100,000 champions with a time of 17.078.

TIE DOWN ROPING: Tuf Cooper, Weatherford, TX, is the $100,000 Tie Down Roping Champion.

GMC RANGELAND DERBY: Kurt Bensmiller, Dewberry, AB, wins the Dash for Cash at the Calgary Stampede.

Hailey Kinsel and her horse, Sister dominated the competition every day they were up. They are your $100,000 champions. Photo by Shellie Scott Photography.

 

Tuf Cooper is the $100,000 Tie Down Roping Champion. Photo by Shellie Scott Photography.

 

Marcos Gloria of Brazil is the $100,000 Bull Riding champion. Photo by Shellie Scott Photography.

 

Kurt Bensmiller, Dewberry, AB, wins the Dash for Cash at the Calgary Stampede. Photo by Shellie Scott Photography.

 

 

An Interview with Cieran Starlight

How the 2018 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess is breaking barriers and maintaining the ethos of Stampede.

BY JENN WEBSTER

If you haven’t picked up a copy of the May/June Western Horse Review, you need to – soon! In this issue, we had the opportunity to photograph and interview Cieran Starlight, the 2018 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess. Lending her photography talent, was Shelby Simmonds of Twisted Tree Photography. There were so many amazing photos taken at this shoot and since it’s not always possible to fit everything onto the printed pages of a magazine, we simply had to showcase them here. Here too, is an excerpt of the interview.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Cieran Starlight is a fresh face in a heavy conversation about Indigenous awareness.

Raised traditionally, Starlight hails from the Tsuu T’ina First Nations. She represents the tribes of Treaty 7 (Siksika, Tsuu T’ina, Stoney, Piikani and Kainai Nations), Indian Village and the Calgary Stampede as the 2018 Indian Princess. It’s a commitment of colossal proportions and one that requires large shoulders. As Princess, Starlight will attend numerous events during her reign (more than there are days in the year), and educate the people she meets about the vibrant First Nations culture.

The name of her title will be questioned.

That fact alone should make the general public realize that upon winning her crown, Starlight won herself a very important role in promoting Indigenous richness – not a beauty pageant.

Starlight in her white, satin fancy dress, colourful shawl, and other breathtaking, cultural regalia. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

However, it doesn’t hurt that she has the kindest eyes, a genuinely beautiful smile and flawless skin either.

Growing up around the Calgary Stampede teepee owners, Starlight is well educated about the history of the Indian Village. Her family has been part of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth since 1912. She comes from a long line of Starlight performers who year after year, stay in the Village for the duration of Stampede’s 10 days answering questions for tourists, performing in Rope Square, and participating in mini pow-wows. She even worked one summer stint as an interpretative guide. It’s possible Starlight’s transition into the Indian Princess role, was a birth right bestowed on her by the universe.

There may be no more genuinely authentic person to represent First Nations peoples and their Stampede traditions at the moment than Starlight. Her challenge – one shared by a younger generation that has inherited the after effects of a cultural trauma – is how to encourage a better understanding of Aboriginal Peoples and how to keep that difficult conversation relevant for the future.

“I am not offended to be called the Indian Princess. I’m okay with it. It’s beaded into my crown. People have just used it in such an offensive way to Natives in the past,” Starlight says. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Luckily, for many of her adventures as Princess, Starlight is accompanied by chaperone Holly Fortier, who is a Cree/Dene from Ft. McKay First Nation, Alberta, and was also born in Treaty 7 Territory. Fortier has travelled the county conducting cultural sensitivity workshops to literally thousands of people, through her Nisto Consulting business. Fortier is in the ripple-effect generation of Indigenous people who suffered first-hand from Canada’s Residential School policies as her own mother was taken from her family at an early age. She has her own story and has carved out her own powerful role in the world by helping others adopt a respectful comprehension of Indigenous awareness.

Together and separately, both Starlight and Fortier are a spiritual force we can’t help but embrace. They are the winds carrying change.

“I’m so happy that I get to be a voice and not just a face,” Starlight tells us afterwards.

Starlight’s custom Princess buckle and a jingle dress she created herself. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

In the interview, we talk about the history of the Calgary Stampede, Guy Weadick and the positive relations between the Stampede and the Treaty 7 First Nations people. We also talk about the Indigenous name controversy. It’s an enlightening conversation to which, we are privileged to have Fortier’s guidance on the subject.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

We also discover the many talents Starlight possesses: she often makes her own jingle or fancy dresses and shawls to compete in traditional dance. One of her favorite tasks as the Princess are her days spent with the Happy Trails organization – a monthly event during her reign that requires all of the Stampede Royalty to meet at Senior Citizen homes and spend time with the residents.

“We sing old songs and do live performances for them,” Starlight grins. “Sometimes they want to sing along with us so we’ll find the page in their songbooks for them too. Things like that.”

She often tries to wear her yellow jingle dress on these visits because she knows many of the seniors need their spirits lifted. “I do a healing dance for them. A lot of the older ladies want to touch the jingles afterwards – they’re so cute. And it’s so nice if you can bring a smile to their face,” she says.

 

Starlight curbs the chill of the winter temperatures, in a Pendleton Night Dance Robe blanket. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

“My role as Princess is to try and break down barriers and help people understand – this is about more than just a title. The Calgary Stampede is run on volunteers. The Royalty programs are youth development programs that help young women learn to speak publicly and build their confidence. I’m trying to educate people about my culture. We all have different dialects of language and different traditions that we practice. A word is not what I’m focusing on – it’s the Treaty 7 and the Calgary Stampede as a whole.” – Cieran Starlight.

To read more of this exclusive interview, order your subscription today at: www.westernhorsereview.com

7th Annual SK Equine Expo

The 7th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo takes place February 15-18, 2018 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK. Together volunteers from Saskatchewan Horse Federation, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, various equine breed groups and the staff of Prairieland Park work together to facilitate this annual event. The event presents equine related lectures, presentations, demonstrations, entertainment and opportunities focusing on the equine industry. As a participant or spectator, you can experience the newest in equine products, techniques and technology!

Tickets are on sale now and include the extravaganza, tradeshow, demonstrations and clinics. Tickets are available online and on the website: http://saskatchewanequineexpo.com/

Stay up to date with the schedule of events at: http://www.saskatchewanequineexpo.ca/events/

 

Realizing there was a need within the Saskatchewan horse industry for a quality event that showcased the newest technological advances, the latest developments in equine health, and a demonstration of horsemanship excellence, organizers created an event that is equally as entertaining as it is educational.

The Saskatchewan Equine Expo on February 15-18, will again celebrate the diversity of the equine industry with live demonstrations, breeds on display and outstanding horsemen and women. Make plans to be there, get your tickets today!

As an addendum to the event this year is the newly added, Off Track Thoroughbred Challenge. In this highly anticipated event, qualified trainers purchase a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and will spend six months to one year retraining it to compete in a variety of chosen disciplines at the 2019 Saskatchewan Equine Expo.

See you there!

www.saskatchewanequineexpo.com

Western Wedding: A Story of Second Chances



The Wedding of Stephanie Clarke & Kyle Golinsky

Photographer: Carmen Freemark

Date: July 29, 2017

Their Story: The bride, Stephanie Clarke, remarks that her, and her husband-to-be Kyle Golinksy wanted a wedding that was natural, easy, and as much about their children, family, and friends, as it was their love. It was, after all, family that brought them together. Stephanie, a registered nurse, was working at the University of Edmonton hospital, alongside a fellow nurse, who just so happened to be Kyle’s brother-in-law. “He was persistent in trying to set us up,” says Stephanie, “finally, I decided that we should meet up on a blind date.”

As they say, the rest is history. The couple share a great love of the outdoors and a passion for their children. Kyle is a retired bareback rider, who still trains horses from time-to-time. Both Stephanie and Kyle enjoy packing into the mountains with their horses and hunting, and are both parents from previous relationships. “We are kind of a story of second chances. We spend a lot of our time in the summer camping and being outdoors with our children. Our wedding was just as much for our children, as it was for us.” Kyle’s Best Man was his son Carter, and Stephanie’s daughters, Hope and Reese, shared the Maid of Honour duties.

Stephanie says their wedding came together quickly and easily, because they both knew exactly what they wanted. “We wanted to be surrounded by family and friends, and we really just wanted to have a good evening. We wanted to enjoy each other, and celebrate our love, and that’s what we did.”

The Bride wore custom tooled shoes created by Eamor’s Saddlery.

Two of the more tender moments from their day came in the form of gifts to one another. Stephanie and Kyle had talked in-depth about taking his last name, “it was kind of something that played a little on my heart strings because of our children. I wanted to honour him, and our farm.” In a special moment, Stephanie had custom shoes designed by Eamor’s saddlery in Nanton, Alberta. “Our shoes had his last name, and brand, carved into them. That’s how he found out I was in agreement to taking his name. We partook in a foot washing ceremony, which is symbolic also of our close relationship with god, which helps keep our own relationship so close. During the ceremony when he went to take off my shoes, he saw my new last name. It was a special gift to both of us.”

The Bride, Stephanie, alongside her two daughters, made a fantastic entrance to the ceremony.

Kyle’s gift to Stephanie was also spectacular. “We were trying to figure out a way to get to the wedding, a carriage was suggested, but I’m not really a fancy cinderella-style girl,” says Stephanie with a laugh. “So the day of the wedding a knock came at the door and it was Kyle and our very good friend. He asked if me, and my girls, were ready to go. We got into a car that took us to the airport, and there was a helicopter waiting for us. It was the most fun and fantastic experience ever, especially to be with my girls up there, we flew over the North Saskatchewan river before landing at our wedding.”

The wedding was at a friend’s private residence and was the perfect backdrop for their nuptials.

Ceremony & Reception Site: At a friend’s beautiful private home, near Stony Plain, Alberta.

Dress: Modern Vintage Bride Collection by Alfred Angelo from The Bridal House in Edmonton.

Jewelry: Stephanie chose to borrow jewelry from friends in an effort to continue with the laid-back theme. Her earrings and cuff bracelet were her splurge, custom from Elegance by Carbonneau in silver and rose gold.

Hair & Makeup: The bride wore her hair down and curled, and makeup natural. Her long-time hairdresser, Shallyn Rathgeber, of Calgary, was on hand, and her makeup was done by Katie Soliman of Blush Artistry in Edmonton.

Cake & Deserts: “Our cake was a natural cake by Cake Affair from Spruce Grove, who also did an amazing desert bar afterwards,” says Stephanie. “We also had Marble Slab Creamery come out and cater a variety of ice creams and toppings for everyone. It was thirty degrees out that day, so the ice cream was a huge hit.”

The Golinksy’s take their first dance as newlyweds.

Dinner: The couple opted for a pig roast, which they said was absolutely delicious, and was catered by All Seasons Pig Roast of Red Deer.

Entertainment: “We had fireworks in the evening, and two live bands that kept us dancing long into the evening. We had a traditional country music band play, and then a rock band come in between sets. Our wedding was a lot of fun.”

The wedding had a laid-back vibe that celebrated fun, family and friends.