Vimy Ridge – 100 Years Later

Pack horses taking up ammunition to the guns of the 20th Battery Canadian Field Artillery, Vimy Ridge, April 1917.

 

BY TODD LEMIEUX

In the depths of trench warfare, the assault on Vimy Ridge began on Easter Monday at 05:30 AM April 9th, 1917.  By April 12th, through Canadian tactical and strategic innovation, and a radical departure from warfare at the time, Vimy Ridge would be captured.  The cost was tremendous, 3,598 Canadian dead and 7,004 wounded, an average casualty rate of 147 soldiers per hour of battle.

Both the British and French had previously tried to dislodge the Germans from Vimy with no success.  A combination of Canadian pioneer spirit, meticulous planning, study of previous failures, crafty use of “creeping barrage” artillery, and “leapfrogging” of Canadian units to maintain a crushing forward momentum, ultimately took Vimy under 72 hours. The German Army had held Vimy and repelled attacks successfully for 3 years prior.

The taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday 1917, by Richard Jack.

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Vimy represents much more than just an isolated battle in terrible war.  The Canadian Corps radical change from contemporary British warfare tactics of the day represents the first departure and a distinct move towards independent thinking and nationhood from the encompassing British Commonwealth. For Canadian soldiers on the ground, most of a rural background, the fastest and most efficient was the only way to get things done. They cared not for antiquated protocol, especially when their lives were hanging in the balance. It was this thinking that drove innovation and battlefield success.

The Vimy memorial, unveiled on July 26th, 1936, stands as a beacon to our nation’s determination and strength in the face of adversity. France has granted the land that it stands on, to Canada, for all time.

The Vimy Ridge memorial.

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On April 9th, 2017, take a moment to stop and consider the lump rising in the throat of a young Canadian kid, as he stepped to move forward and walk behind the barrage and advance up that daunting ridge.

It is our Canada now, but they earned it for us, forged in fire, steel and blood.

Canadian Calvary moves to position at Vimy Ridge.

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I became a Canadian on Vimy Ridge…
We became a nation there in the eyes of the world. It cut across French and English, rich and poor, urban and rural. Vimy Ridge confirmed that we were as good as, if not better than, any European power.

– Reginald Roy, WW1 Veteran

Canadians advancing on the scarred landscape of Vimy Ridge.

Colt Starting for A Great Cause

The Okotoks Agricultural Society will play host to a special event this Sunday, March 19, as a one-day colt starting demonstration will be conducted by Alex Alves (Bassano, AB) and Nick Baer (Olds, AB) – all in support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

All proceeds generated from the event will be donated directly to the hospital. This includes ticket sales, donations and any other funds raised.

 

“This is something we have been planning for quite some time and are very excited to finally announce the details!” says Sonja Alves, one of the main coordinators of the day. The doors will open at 10 am with the first demo starting at 10:30. March 19 will be an excellent opportunity to come and watch two horse trainers demonstrate their techniques and support a great cause.

Farrier Chad Lausen will also conduct a horseshoeing demo, while JR’s Hat will be offering hat cleanings or re-shapings for a donation to the cause!

Alex Alves at the Saskatchewan Agribition, Trainer’s Challenge.

 

 

Alex Alves operates Hat Creek Performance Horses near the town of Bassano, Alberta. Growing up in the horse industry allowed Alves to develop as a horseman through the many disciplines he either competed or worked in, ranging from hunter jumpers, to western and English pleasure, track and polo horses, and rope horses. Every discipline taught him something valuable. Along with every horse. Today, Alves starts young horses on the right track for any discipline and finishes them to a focus in roping, cutting, or cow horse.

Nick Baer operates Running Bar N Horsemanship and is currently a student at Olds College, studying for his advanced farrier sciences. Baer began learning at a young age about how to start his own horses and has dedicated himself to better horsemanship. Learning his techniques from horseman Doug Mills and Bob Kaufmann he began furthering himself. His dedication has shown at competitions at the Daines Ranch and Rocking Heart Ranch. Baer himself has spent many hours in the Alberta Children’s Hospital as he was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes at a very early age. He lives every day with a insulin pump and is excited to have a chance to give back.

Chad Lausen is a graduate of the Olds College Advanced Farrier Sciences program and operates his business out of Strathmore, AB, currently. Lausen has earned the reputation as being extremely hard-working, with a dedication to the horse. He likes to continuously improve his skill set. Lausen also consistently represents Alberta and Canada on the world stage at farrier and blacksmith competitions across North America, as a past team member of the Western Canadian Farriers team and as an individual. This year Lausen will once again represent Alberta at the World Championships of Blacksmithing in Madison, Wisconsin.

The use of two fillies have graciously been donated for the day by Rocking Heart Ranch.

 

Doors will open at 10am with the first demo starting at 10:30. Minimum donations/admission of $10 will be collected at the door.

 

Contact Alex Alves at 1-403-909-5664 for more information.

BAR T5 Agra Services Inc. – More Than Trailers

Approximately 35 years ago, Greg Thomson and his family moved to the beautiful foothills of Alberta. After leaving a career in petroleum marketing and an enjoyable six year sojourn as a Councillor for the M.D. of Foothills, Greg decided to pursue his entrepreneurial instincts. A love of rural life, animals and business resulted in the formation of Bar T5 Agra Services Inc. A company focused on rural lifestyle and fulfilling the needs of the growing population of like-minded families pursuing their rural lifestyle dreams.

Fast forward 25 years and you have a unique business anchored by a feed, tack and most things rural store, plus a full service repair shop and large trailer dealership. The home location (situated north of Millarville, AB, and southwest of Calgary, AB,) is based on 10 expansive acres and a 6,500 square foot building. As well, Bar T5 has three strategically-located trailer dealerships throughout western Canada to ensure their top of the line products and services can be offered to a broad base of consumers.

The trailer dealership carries horse trailers, livestock trailers, cargo, flatdeck and dump trailers. Plus, the living quarter trailer selection in stock is second to none as well! At any one point in time, Bar T5 Trailers has in excess of 500 trailers to choose from.

From the very beginning, the Bar T5 Agra Services Inc. focus has been simple – source and form long-term relationships with highly reputable and innovative suppliers. From a trailer perspective, the company serves and markets the products of eight trailer manufacturers – each one complimenting the other, to ensure the trailer needs of all customers can be met. Additionally, their highly qualified and trained staff take pride in ensuring their customers needs relating to trailer repairs, service and warranty are met and exceeded. Whether you are looking for a knowledgeable trailer service representative or your needs have changed regarding the trailer you currently have, you can rely on Bar T5 Trailers to get you on the road and keep you there!

Their staff, comprised of the friendly faces you’ll find in the store, service department, and sales and admin offices all live the rural and equine-lifestyle. As such, the authenticity of their experience solidifies the knowledge that comes only from being immersed in the rural and equestrian way of life. Bar T5 Agra Services staff are experts in everything from animal nutrition, to fencing, to trailer safety. And their success is the product of building life-long relationships with their customers.

Life is great in the Foothills. After all this time, Greg Thomson and the Bar T5 Agra Services team continue to see the beauty of the area and recognize the vast importance of preserving the agricultural way of life. Bar T5 believes in building its community with support of numerous local events in reined cow horse, team roping, barrel racing and rodeo. Their sponsorship support has also extended to the Chinook Team Penning Association, 4-H groups and the Calgary Stampede.


Bar T5 Agra Services looks forward to sharing their knowledge and experience with customers as they interact with Bar T5 today, and for many years to come!

Stay tuned for Bar T5 Agra Services BIG EVENT announcement next week, but save the date now! March 10-12, 2017!

Contact Bar T5 today! Toll-Free: (800) 331-6977 – Local: (403) 931-2212.

www.bart5trailers.com
Or stop by for yourself! Bar T5 Trailers located at: Hwy 22 South at 274th Avenue, North of Millarville, AB, Southwest of Calgary, AB.

Skijordue 2017

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

There is an event happening in southern Alberta this February 11, that is more anticipated than the current blast of snow we’re receiving. With fast ponies, plus skiers or snowboarders looking for their next thrill, Skijordue 2017 promises to be the not-be-missed extreme sporting event of the year!

Held at the Calgary Polo Club and in support of the Prairie Sky Equine Assisted Therapy Association, Skijordue will feature sprint and circuit races, plus a long jump. Oh and there will be jaw-dropping trick riding stunts performed by Alanna Nolan and Western Horse Review’s own Sally Bishop!

There will also be Yodelling & Alphorn performance from members of the astonishing Yodel Club Heimattreu – Jodlerklub Heimattreu, Calgary Canada

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Gates open at 10:30am. Races start at 11:00am sharp.

Flaunt your fanciest furs & glammest glasses to win the most Stylish Spectator prize package from uber-chic modern western boutique Cody & Sioux!

Inside the Calgary Polo Club Cantina there will be a patio and heaters, bonfires, a Race Commentator, DJ and Cheese Fondue, Bratwurst & Beverage concession (*cash only*). PLUS! Freestyle ski/board exhibitions.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Your $5, (cash only please), grants you entry plus a bunch of door prize draws throughout the day, so keep your ticket close & your ears open!  DJ G will be spinning mad techno yodelling mixes to get the patio dance floor bumpin’. This is set to be the most exciting snow-equine-fromage event of the season!

IT’S SNOWING, SO COME CHECK IT OUT!

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

So much awesomeness coming together, here’s some of what the Alberta Skijoring Society #ASS has got lined up for you:

*FAAAAST horses & ninja skiers from far & wide.
*Groovy tunes & goofy door prize draws from DJ Graham Mitchell
*Entertaining erudite race commentary from the incomparable Alan Leys
*Jaw dropping trick riding from stunners Alanna Nolan & Sally Bishop
*Yodelling & Alphorn performance from members of the astonishing Yodel Club Heimattreu – Jodlerklub Heimattreu, Calgary Canada
*Epic images from Chad Rowbotham Photography
*Rad video coverage from Atomic10 Inc.
*Proficient paramedics Courtney Isbister & Radar Goddard
*Handsome handy marshalling by Dace Cochlan & Dave Callaway
*Judicious judging by Tracy Thorbjornsen & Anne Thompson

*Venue vistas with SNOW from Gordon Ross Remax

*Truck-Truck viewing experience extravaganza with uber host JR Cox of The Shooting Edge Inc & William Evans Canada

*Prizes prizes PRIZES!!! From: Little Monkey Metal Works, Smithbilt Hats Inc., SS Chaps, Bar T5 Agra Services, Country Living and Garden Centre, Monod Sports, LTD, Sporting Life, Cody & Sioux, Western Specialties, Cam Clark Ford, Water’s Edge Pub, Jane’s, Coffee shop, delicous food and fine art, Sweetgrass Deli & Eatery, Wild Rose Brewery, Knaughty Nets & Pets, Chuckwagon Cafe

Full Circle

with-christa

He came first, into the life of my husband. The sorrel horse was 18-months-old – unbroke, but had a solid temperament. He was sired by Super High Gear, out of the mare Ms Lyndi Lou, born in 1991 and came from John Miller’s breeding program.

My husband, Clay spent countless hours with the gelding who eventually became known as “Doc.” Clay could lead Doc by his tail, send him to the far end of an arena, make him wait patiently and then call him back again. Clay used Doc in his clinic demonstrations, rode him bridleless, brought the cows in at the ranch, and to help start other colts.

doc-at-clinic

Then as often happens in a trainer’s life, came a moment when Doc could become a safe mount for someone else. In 1999, Doc was sold to new home. But as fate would have it, we had the opportunity to buy Doc back in 2001. Clay and I had recently become engaged and shortly afterwards, I incurred a bad ankle break after coming off a polo horse. When I had healed up enough to ride, I needed something to help build my confidence again. Doc was the horse for the job.

I learned to ride western on Doc’s back. I got my first showing experiences with him and truly got a chance to refine my horsemanship. When Clay and I were married, our friend Gabriele Noll painted Doc’s portrait.

Painting by Gabriele Noll.

Painting by Gabriele Noll.

But again, as life sometime goes in chapters, Doc was sold again – to another loving person who really needed him.

Christa Vindum purchased Doc back in 2008. Before that sale, we had said we never wanted to part with Doc again. But never, say never. Christa too, needed a mount that would build her confidence. Doc was 15 at the time. Considering his age, it would have been hard for anyone to take a chance on an “old horse.” But during her time with Doc, Christa has ridden him on trail rides, in cowboy challenges, in shows, clinics… you name it. All the youngsters in her family also learned to ride on his back. Christa would later move to Idaho and she took Doc with her, where they continued their adventures.

names-on-papers

So again as life turned over another chapter, Christa contacted Clay and I earlier this year (2016). Now at age 25, Doc was still in great condition and still, the miraculous type of horse that could teach riders and instill confidence in them. His brand is faded, he has a lot more gray hairs now and in theory, he might not have many more years left in him.

But Christa wanted to know if we wanted Doc back.

Obviously, we agreed to take him back immediately – although we weren’t quite sure how to work out the logistics of shipping him up from Idaho at the time.

Christa offered to trailer Doc straight up to us.

dsc_0566

And we found it ironic as she told us the story of crossing the border.

“The Customs officer wanted to know what Doc’s value was,” she chuckled. “I’m looking at the guy – telling him that Doc is 25, suffers from ‘excessive sleepiness,’ and requires some special supplements for joint maintenance because of his age. How do you put a price on a horse like that?”

With a smile on her face and perhaps a tear in her eye, Christa continued. “To me, a horse like that is priceless.”

doc-little-b

We think so too.

Doc has had amazing homes with the other people on his papers. But he has returned to us for his remaining years. We are so grateful to have him back for the things he will teach our young children, are invaluable. He’ll teach them to ride a couple times per week. He’ll teach them about responsibility and empathy. He’ll teach them about commitment and love.

Doc has come full circle. He will live in the barn, be turned out during the day and given all the necessary joint supplements. He deserves it.

While we can’t take all of our horses sold throughout the years back, there are definitely a few that deserve to live out their days with us. We could never regret giving the mounts that have given their wisdom and precious gifts of education to us, a good home in their senior years.

They’re worth it.

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If you have a special story of a horse that’s come Full Circle, please let me know by firing WHR an email at: editorial@westernhorsereview.com

 

 

 

 

First Year Sell Out for Country Thunder AB!

Calgary love for Country Thunder AB.

Calgary love for Country Thunder AB.

Due to the overwhelming interest in the inaugural year for Country Thunder Alberta, organizers announced today that the festival has reached capacity and is officially sold out.

“We are so grateful to the people of Calgary for their overwhelming support. Our walk up sales were incredibly strong yesterday, helping to drive our attendance to capacity,” said Kim Blevins, director of marketing. “It is very encouraging to us as organizers of a first year show, to get this amount of support.”

Backstage Experiences are truly the best way to do Country Thunder, AB.

Backstage Experiences are truly the best way to do Country Thunder, AB. Some lucky Western Horse Review readers got to experience just that this weekend.

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Although no additional tickets will be sold to this event, current ticket holders looking to upgrade to the backstage experience, can still do so at the box office at each entry gate.

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Big-and-Rich

Big & Rich gave a thundering performance to kick off the first night of Country Thunder Alberta on Friday, August 19, in front of the gorgeous Calgary skyline. The entire day of entertainment was stellar, from Jess Moskaluke’s electric performance, to the sweet sounds of Chris Young later in the day.

Tim McGraw is one of the headliners at Country Thunder, AB, 2016.

Tim McGraw is one of the headliners at Country Thunder, AB, 2016.

Fans will be treated again tonight with veteran Neal McCoy, showman Phil Vassar, Bobby Wills, Chris Janson, and topping off the evening with superstar Tim McGraw.

Special thanks to Country Thunder’s official charity, the Rotary Club of Calgary South for providing most of the staff for the event.

Special Festival Information

The Child Find is located at the medical tent adjacent to the main entry to Prairie Winds Park. Families can bring their children for a special wristband to help locate them if they happen to get lost in the park.

As the temperature rises, festival organizers are offering a water filling station for patrons to keep people hydrated in the heat. In addition, patrons are allowed to bring in a sealed bottle of water with them to the event.

A Water Station is available...

Water Stations are available in Prairie Winds, to help patrons stay hydrated this weekend.

Parasite Burdens

by Clix Photography.

Photo by Clix Photography.

Article By Jenn Webster

When Dr. Ela Misuno, DVM, MVSc first came to Canada from Denmark to pursue her veterinary residency program, she was surprised to learn of the differences our country presented in terms of equine deworming strategies. By comparison, Denmark had been employing routine fecal egg examinations since the 1990s and dewormers were only sold to horse owners by veterinarians – after they delivered a fecal sample for testing. Only horses that were determined to be moderate and high shedders in respect of the level of parasitic eggs found in one gram of manure, were then given a dewormer.

“When I first came to Canada, it seemed as though no one was talking about fecal egg exams and pasture management,” says Dr. Misuno, now a technical veterinarian for Vetoquinol.  “And learning about parasites in vet school was not an exciting subject. I felt it was a highly important topic for horses in North America, so chose parasitology research project for my master’s studies.”

With internal worms developing increased resistance to deworming drugs, the war against equine parasites has changed. Rotational deworming is a thing of the past. Here Dr. Misuno guides us through new parasite considerations such as geographic location, herd management, manure control and targeted deworming for better practices to suit our needs as horse owners today.
Pasture-pic-(Deworming-)
GEOGRAPHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
All horses carry some amount of a parasite burden. The big questions are, are they carrying numbers high enough to cause disease? And are any of those burdens large strongyles, tapeworms or small strongyle encysted larvae? No amount of deworming will eliminate parasites completely however, the point of a parasite control program is to prevent horses from amassing such high parasite burdens that cause those animals to experience diarrhea, colic, weight loss or even death.

The parasitic cycle is such that to develop parasites, a horse will ingest larvae from their surroundings. Next the larvae develop and migrate through the body. They become egg laying adults in the gut and eggs are passed through the horse’s manure. The eggs hatch and larvae live in the horse’s environment – and the cycle starts all over again. The parasitic cycle is very dependent on weather conditions and the environment.

“A freeze / thaw cycle will kill larvae because they are sensitive,” states Dr. Misuno. “Except for one specific worm – parascaris (roundworms). In Canada the cycle is generally halted in the winter because the cold will stop larval development. It all depends on temperature and humidity. Larvae like moderate temperatures and high humidity, hence, they can develop quickly in the spring early summer and fall.

Eggs are much more hardy than larvae. Eggs can start to develop slowly in a cool, Canadian spring. Any temperatures above 30-degrees Celsius can kill both eggs and larvae however, the ambient temperature must also be dry – no humidity. That’s why the Canadian prairie provinces get a winter break from parasites, but British Columbia can have a problem all year long. Not all provinces are the same. Parasite burdens depend on susceptible horses and favorable environments.

Deworming-potential-lead-#3

MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
Dr. Misuno states that every equine property needs to be assessed on an individual basis. The best way to create a tailored parasite control program is to first identify “herds” of horses in each property. A herd is a group of horses who are in close enough contact to transmit parasites to each other. This would include horses who are housed together on one pasture or pen. Each herd would then have a parasite control program based on the concentration of horses per acre, feeding practices, age and fecal shedding levels. Horses kept in individual stalls should be treated individually.

“Larvae develop on grass where there’s organic material and moisture. That’s why their development is a bit halted on dirt paddocks. Paddocks aren’t perfect but at least they have less parasitic transmission. In a pasture, the concentration of horses to land is crucial. That’s why there are certain things an owner can do for management practices to help stop parasitic transmission.”
These include cleaning up the areas in pastures where horses eat regularly. In the wild, horses eat grass and walk away. In a pasture situation, they walk around in a circle and come back the eating area.

“If you can only do one thing like clean around those high-traffic areas in your pastures, you would be making a great difference in parasite control,” Dr. Misuno says.

“Notice the trends of your pasture to help you make a difference. And why are we talking about this in the first place? Because of the accelerating problem of resistance to current deworming drugs. We have to start thinking about what else we can do to manage parasites. The simple fact is, if you provide your horses with an environment that has very few parasites in it, you help decrease the infection level in your animals..”

Additionally, not all horses on the same property are the same. Based on research we have to date, it seems that adult horses tend to follow the 80/20 rule in regards to their egg shedding levels. If you follow a fecal egg exam on horses over the years, you will see that only 20-30% of horses will be considered “high shedders.” Why does this happen? Because the immune system of every horse is different.

“We believe that horses of three years of age and throughout their adult life, are consistent in their shedding levels. Young horses need time to prime their immune systems against parasites. An old (geriatric) horse’s immune system changes as they get older – so older horses may change their shedding levels.”

How-horse-ingests-larvae

How a horse ingests larvae.

 

FECAL EGG COUNTS – A HOW-TO
There is actually a proper way to submit a fecal sample for testing. Two to three fecal balls are necessary. Also, “A sample must be fresh (‘steaming’) but that still means it can be kept in the fridge for two to three days to be considered ‘fresh.’” says Dr. Misuno.

This allows horse owners, or boarding facilities time to collect samples from numerous horses for a simultaneous submission – since it’s often difficult to collect samples from several horses on the same day.

Ziploc bags are the best way to store samples and each bag must be clearly labelled on the outside as to which horse it belongs, the age of horse and the time of last treatment with dewormer. Samples should never be frozen or left at room temperature. When samples are submitted to a veterinarian, horse owners should also make the vet aware of any current symptoms occurring in a particular horse. These include things like diarrhea, colic or weight loss.

Ideally, another fecal sample should be submitted to your veterinarian two weeks after deworming your horse. It is called a fecal egg count reduction test and helps you choose the most effective drug for your herd of horses and assure that no resistance is developing to it. Parasites of foals may be sensitive to different dewormers than parasites of adult horses. It is recommended to perform fecal egg reduction test on around 30% of moderate to high shedders, and repeat it at least once every three years.

“If we can kill all the adult parasites, there will be no new egg production,” explains Dr. Misuno. “In a moderate to high-shedding horse, a rechecked fecal example two weeks after deworming means there should be zero eggs – we killed 100% of all adult forms.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE
The best way to develop a parasite control program for your needs is to contact your local veterinarian and have them devise a plan for you. Fecal egg samples are crucial for success as is appropriate pasture management. Do not spread horse manure on your pastures. Cross-species grazing is a smart technique to keep parasite levels down – it’s better to rotate one year with cattle, if possible. Also remember that if your system is to typically deworm only in the spring and fall, you’re not protecting any high shedders on your property.

With only four drugs to rely on and drug resistance becoming a very real problem, Dr. Misuno points out the time for action is now.

“Parasites are a problem that affect 100% of horses. Not addressing this problem is no longer an option.”

DeWormingInfochart

Q & A With the Calgary Stampede Queen

Where-to-next

The Calgary Stampede kicks off this week! Western Horse Review sat down with Maggie, this year’s Calgary Stampede Queen about her experiences, her Stampede horse and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

Can you please tell me what has been one of your most memorable experiences of being part of the royalty to date?

My most memorable experience so far has been our time spent at Aggie days. Not only was this our first time doing an even with our horses, it was our first grand entry! All of the kids were so enthusiastic which made the event even more memorable.

The Stampede Royalty on a promotional trip to London.

The Stampede Royalty on a promotional trip to London.

What have you learned about the experience thus far?

I’ve learned that this year is full of surprises. The committee works so hard and does such an amazing job taking care of us that we always seem to be being surprised with something special they’ve done for us or arranged for us to do. We are so lucky!

Can you tell me about your clothes and boots? Do you have a favorite outfit?

All of the clothing we wear is sponsored. Our cowboy hats are provided by Smithbilt, our cowboy boots from Alberta Boot Company and our clothing comes mainly from Janine’s Custom Creations and Lammles. My favourite outfit is our formal outfit that features Flores LaDue. The outfit is comfy but also formal and highlights this amazing cowgirl, giving us the chance to explain her role in the start up of the Calgary Stampede.

 

How do you ladies always look so beautiful? Any hair, make up or nail tips you can share?

Well thank you! Aria, our skin care and make up sponsor, definitely plays a huge role in keeping us looking our best. Katie Kempthorne keeps our hair looking fabulous and Lushus Nail Concepts keeps our nails fresh! All of these things are definitely difficult when you spend a lot of time with horses, so if you need some help in any of these areas those are the people to talk to!

Maggie on her Stampede horse, Kansas.

Maggie on her Stampede horse, Kansas.

Can you please tell me about your Stampede horse?

My Stampede horse for this year is Kansas. Kansas is a bit of a goof in the sense that everything seems to frighten him but that’s what makes him so unique. He’s always the one to walk up to you out in the pasture as if to say, “Yup I’m ready to go mom!” The girls and I decided that his celebrity personality match up was Jimmy Fallon because of his jokester personality.

In the Banff, AB, parade.

In the Banff, AB, parade.

Can you tell us about a day in your life, when you are required to appear as part of the Stampede Royalty? When we are required to make an appearance, the getting ready starts a few hours before we’re needed at the event itself. We always go to events in full make up and curling our hair can take a bit of time. I usually leave at least half an hour before attending the event to research what it’s about and the organization that’s hosting it.

Queen Maggie, being herself.

Queen Maggie, being herself.

For others who might aspire to try out for the Royalty competition, do you have any tips or advice to offer? Always be yourself! People can always tell when you’re being genuine and I think that really shines through and means a lot to everyone you meet. Also, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Although it may be terrifying, it is always worth it.

Maggie, in her spare time.

Maggie in her spare time.

Country Festival Survival Kit

Craven Country Jamboree, Craven, SK.

Craven Country Jamboree, Craven, SK.

 

Summer music festivals are a blast and may be a highlight of the season. But they can go downhill very fast if you don’t have the right essentials. With a long list of country music festivals happening this summer like Craven Country Jamboree, held in Craven, SK on July 14-17 (featuring Eric Church, Alabama, Kacey Musgraves and the Zac Brown Band!) or the inaugural Country Thunder in Calgary, AB at Prairie Winds Park on August 19-21 (headlining Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, and more!), you’ll want our list of hacks to make your experience that much better.

cocoa-beach-bound1

Sunscreen

The smell of sunscreen isn’t always fragrant, especially if you need to douse yourself in it to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. So why not get an amazing smelling sunscreen that can also double as a perfume or body spray? Sun Bum makes the perfect sun protection (that also smells amazing) and is available in travel size. You can find scents such as mango, pineapple and jasmine, fresh lavender or banana coconut daiquiri.

trustthebum.com

Walkie-Talkies

Don’t rely completely on your cell phone to communicate, while at an outdoor festival. Often, cell service slows or Wi-Fi stops completely. It may something to do with population density and overloaded networks. Plan accordingly. Walkie-talkies can be a concert lifesaver – especially if you want to split up from your group to see different bands or singers.

Festival-Lead-in

Backseat Air Mattress

If you prefer to camp in a car instead of a tent, these nifty amazing mattresses that fit the back seat of your car. This way you can still get a pretty good sleep – depending on if people party through the night in your camping area, without the worry of falling off the back seat of your car.

The Full Suite

Car-Back-Seat-Sex-Self-drive-Travel-Air-Mattress

Head Torch

Sometimes, walking back to camp in the dark after a night of partying can be somewhat difficult – especially if there is no light to guide the way. It’s always handy to pack a head torch to make that lovely walk back to camp much more safe and enjoyable.

fringefannypack

 

Fringe Fanny Packs

When anyone thinks of fanny packs, it’s likely to recall the ugly models of the 80’s and 90’s. Thankfully, fanny packs have been revamped to stylish, new country designs. A functional and fashionable fringe fanny pack could be the icing on the cake for your festival outfit, especially because it will hold all your necessities. Providing you with peace of mind from losing something important.

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Lip Balm

Lip balm is always important, especially if the festival is in a really dry, hot place. You could opt go for your typical cherry chapstick, but why not try something a little different? Long Winter Farms has created all kinds of unique lip balms and “Pony Breath” – with its apples and sugar cubes fragrance – is one of them.

www.longwinterfarm.com

Polaroid Camera

Polaroid cameras are a must have if you want genuine pictures of the memories you had at the festival. Sure you can use your iPhone or Android, but its not the same as a polaroid. You can easily get your pictures within a minute ans decorate your campsite with all the crazy adventure you had during the festival.

Temporary Metallic Tattoos

A fun accessory that will bring any outfit to another level is Metallic temporary tattoos. You can get everything to feathers, Aztec patterns and much more. The metallic shade will glimmer in the sun add more pizazz to an outfit. A Bonus about them is that they only last 4-6 days. Under $10

FlashTattoo2

 

If you have all these essentials and some of these fun accessories you’ll be sure to have a memorable time at any music festival you go to! Be sure to see our July/August Western Horse Review for a full summer line-up of country music festivals and gatherings!