Canadians Bring Home World Paint Title

A picture is worth 1,000 words. Photo by Larry Williams Photography.

Big congratulations goes to Sandy McCook of Buck Lake, AB, and We Should B Friends (a home-bred and raised Paint filly) on their recent WORLD TITLE in the Open Class of the Amateur Yearling In Hand Trail at the 2018 APHA World Championship Show held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, TX!

McCook raised the filly (and her momma too), and then the filly was sadly orphaned at eight-weeks-old.

“She’s just such a cool filly…. takes everything in stride and so after going to a couple APHC shows, we decided to take her to the APHA World Show. We went early giving her time to acclimate. I won the Amateur Yearling In Hand Trail and then Jesse Jones showed her to a Res World title in the open class.”

Congratulations to all! Way to make Canada proud ????

McCook and We Should B Friends in action.

 

Show Photographer Larry Williams Photography: larrywilliamsphotog.com

Visionaries of the West – John Ware

John Ware and a team of horses at Red Deer River. Glenbow Archives.

BY DEBBIE MACRAE

Legends are like the wind. You hear them; you feel them; you see their strength; you know their direction and their magnitude; you feel their gentleness and see the lasting effects of their force. They are traditional stories, historically related, told and re-told because of the power of their influence.

Such is the legend of John Ware.

Born into slavery on a cotton plantation in South Carolina in 1845, John was the middle son of a family of 10 children with four older brothers , three younger brothers and two younger sisters. At the age of eight years he was picking cotton with his adult counterparts, and childhood dreams and aspirations had no place in the desensitized world of human trafficking. Human rights were unrecognized, and education was reserved for those with aristocratic backgrounds or potential for more profit. Educating a slave boy wouldn’t make him a more valuable slave.

As a child he was robust, with muscles developed like a plantation mule. He was athletic with the ability to out-run, out-lift, and out-jump any child his age. It was very common for plantation owners to entertain guests with gladiator-style battles among the slave boys; pitting endurance against brawn. The consent of the boys was not an option. Fight rings were roped off and guests were seated in comfortable ringside chairs in the shade, while young Negro boys about 12 to 16 were pitted against each other like roosters in a cock fight. The prize was usually a pair of shoes, and the only rule was that the last “man” standing won only if his opponent stayed down.

Those contests often ended up with John flat on the ground; not because he wasn’t good enough to win – but someone else usually needed the shoes more.

His reputation grew with his stature, and so did respect for him. Over the years, John’s training both in and out of the ring, moulded a giant of a man who would eventually make his way to Canada down the cowboy trail.

John was 20 years of age when the Civil War ended. Most of the southern slaves were uneducated, illiterate, and unfamiliar with the freedom they had suddenly gained with emancipation. Most of them had never travelled beyond the confines of their plantations, and certainly not beyond the swamps of their territorial boundaries. The only thing they knew about Canada was that it was a faraway place at the end of the underground railroad, if they had ever heard of it at all. John was no different.

John’s family had been slaves for at least three generations – living, working, breathing, like work-horses, guaranteed only of limited food and clothing. Education was not a commodity. A man’s future was garnered only by the dirt on his hands and the desire in his heart. With the defeat of General Lee’s Confederate troops at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, the yoke of slavery was lifted, but the weight of an uncertain freedom was almost as heavy. Tensions in the South were high and masked night riders preyed on superstition and fear. Violence prevailed even in the wake of freedom.

John decided that freedom meant heading “out West”, and “out West” meant travelling to Texas. Leaving his sorrowful parents and family, he left in a pair of ill-fitting shoes, remnants from a Yankee soldier. For the next five months he walked, and worked his way west, until he reached the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas.

Trading labour for food, John started to work for “Old Murph” Blandon and for the next several years, worked on a Texas ranch, cutting hay with a scythe, riding horses and mules, and racing – building stamina and strength, experience and ingenuity, and training for the biggest opportunities yet to come.

John wasn’t a cowboy in the traditional sense. He was big, with long legs, and had no formal training as a cowhand. His first big chance to ride herd on a cattle trail came in 1879 – from Texas to the Far North in Montana – where new cattle ranges were being stocked. Inexperienced men always started as “drag men,” trailing in the dust behind the cattle, prodding the slow and lazy as they snaked their way across the prairies. In an industry where Negro riders were not accepted, John earned his way out of the ‘drag’ with his hard work, unrelenting determination, muscled control, and unsuspecting sense of humour. He named the winner of the first trailside longhorn bull fight, “Abraham Lincoln”, at the same time proclaiming “General Lee” as the loser.

He was the level-headed one when the men went into town to celebrate. While the others visited saloons and dance halls, he was the one who assumed the responsibility of the herd. At one point he single-handedly warded off a disastrous night stampede by attacking Sioux – racing to the point of the herd and shooting to turn the lead cows back to their grazing range. After nearly 2,000 miles and four months of eating dust, the cattle arrived at their destination in Montana’s Judith Basin.

At the end of the trail, one of the cowboys, Bill Moodie, announced his intention of heading to Canada while they were so close. Ware’s response: “Wheah is Canada f’om heah?”

From there, John and his Moodie continued to the Virginia City gold rush, working the gold mines without success. Moodie returned to Idaho as a cowpoke, and in 1882, John sought his company once again, after losing his faithful horse. A black man without a horse trod a precarious trail in the wild west, and John knew he needed another mount to work. He knew Moodie would help him get one, and John proposed they ride the long trail back to Texas. However, fate intervened in the form of Tom Lynch, Canadian cattleman extraordinaire and the face of Canadian ranching would never be the same.

The Ware family.

After the Land Act received Ottawa’s approval for 21 year leases in southern Alberta, cattlemen moved their herds north and west to the Cochrane Ranch, the Bar U, and the North West Cattle Company. Tom Lynch was looking for dependable cowhands and tried to persuade Bill Moodie to join the group. Bill accepted on the condition that he also hire his friend, John Ware. Lynch was cold to the concept – a Negro without a horse. But Bill was adamant; “take both of us or neither”, so John was hired to peel potatoes and ride night herd. He sang while he peeled, and he sang while he rode, and he was paid a well-earned “dollar a day and grub”.

John was given an outlaw bronco to ride, and perhaps furnish some amusement, as no one except Moodie believed he could handle a real horse. At the end of its violent bucking demonstration, the horse was subdued, and Ware’s comment was, “Thanks Boss. Ah’ll keep this hoss – if it’s ahwight with yo.” He had earned his respect and was promoted to a new position. Never again was he asked to ride night herd.

Along the Marias River, John again earned renewed respect when he single-handedly captured two cattle rustlers and recovered the stolen cattle, leading the rustlers on foot at the end of a long lariat. They were released on foot, without their guns, and thanks in part to John, they weren’t hung in traditional Montana fashion.

September 26, 1882, John hired on with the North West Cattle Company along the Highwood River in southern Alberta, now known as the historic Bar U Ranch. He stayed with the Bar U until 1884, when he joined the Quorn Ranch.

In 1885, he participated in a cattle round-up, rounding up strays, lost, and unbranded cattle – which cattle were divided among their finders. By 1890 he had amassed 75 head of the bovine critters – enough to register his own brand 9999, and start his own ranch, known as the Four-Nines Ranch.

He was known for his self-sufficiency as one of the first ranchers in Alberta to utilize irrigation techniques to ensure a successful hay crop. He had his own milk-cows and butter station, and milked his own cows – not exactly a cowboy tradition.

He met his future wife, Mildred Lewis, formerly of Toronto, Ontario, in 1891 after meeting her father at the I.G. Baker supply store. After several Sunday afternoon dinner invitations, John came to call on Miss Mildred with a borrowed team and democrat buggy. During the visit, John hitched the team to the Lewis’s democrat with double seating benches, so he could take Mildred, and her friends, the Hansons, for a leisurely ride. The afternoon flew delightfully by until thunderclouds opened-up on them. Lightning and thunder continued to assail them, until a bolt of lightning struck the team, killing them instantly in their harness. A stalwart gentleman to the end, John separated the horses from the gear, picked up the tongue of the democrat and, with the strength of the Biblical Samson, pulled the buggy and its passengers the three or four miles back to the Lewis home.

February 29, 1892, “Mr. John Ware of Sheep Creek and Miss Mildred J. Lewis of Calgary, were united. In Holy Matrimony, according to the ordinances of God and the Laws of the Dominion of Canada, in Calgary.”

The Ware homestead in the Millarville, AB, district before the turn of the century.

In the spring of 1892, he spontaneously demonstrated the first cow wrestling display at the Walrond Ranch, albeit came of necessity in the form of an enraged longhorn. His instinctive act of self-preservation would be applauded and repeated, as ‘steer wrestling,’ for the next 125 years.

In 1900, John moved to set up a new ranch near Brooks, Alberta. That move was short-lived, as he was flooded out in a spring flood two years later. Undeterred, with typical John Ware perseverance, he rebuilt on higher ground. But in April, 1905, his dreams collapsed with the death of his young wife. Grief-stricken, he sent his young children to live with their grand-parents who had moved to Blairmore, Alberta. Less than six months later, he too would die, in the most ironic of deaths. John Ware, the man of whom it was said, “The horse is not running on the prairie which John cannot ride” would die; his horse stepping in a badger hole and falling on him.

His funeral was the largest the City of Calgary had ever seen. He left behind five children, helped establish Alberta’s beef industry and bequeathed a living legacy; the John Ware Society, dedicated to the preservation of the traditions of the Old West; John Ware Ridge, Mount Ware, and Ware Creek in Kananaskis country, John Ware Junior High School, the John Ware Building at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, the Four Nine’s Cafeteria, and a legion of admiration and respect for a man who refused to be tried by the color of his skin.

The Minister’s funeral tribute imparted a fitting farewell; “John Ware was a man with a beautiful skin. Every human skin is as beautiful as the character of the person who wears it. To know John Ware was to know a gentleman, one of God’s gentlemen. Never again will I see a colored skin as anything but lovely. He leaves me with the thought that black is a beautiful color – one which the Creator must have held in particularly high favor because He gave it to His most cheerful people. Make no mistake about it, black can be beautiful”, as is the legend, John Ware.

Much of the research for this blog was obtained from the book John Ware’s Cow Country, written by Grant MacEwan. Inside this particular book is a signed note from the author.

 

 

Introducing WHR Boutique!

The WHR Neck Wrap in Turquoise, with black fringe is a stunning piece to add to your wardrobe.

 

It’s autumn, and staying warm and cozy outdoors is a necessity for every cowgirl who lives in Canada. However, staying warm and fashionable is now a thing, thanks in part to our newest venture – the WHR Boutique! You can check it out here.

The WHR Neck Wrap in Aqua, made from Chief Joseph Pendleton® blankets.

 

In the WHR Boutique, you’ll find an array of beautifully, hand-crafted neck wraps designed by WHR Staff and hand-made in Canada by Janine’s Custom Creations, exclusively for Western Horse Review. Crafted from real Pendleton® Blankets, or iconic Hudson’s Bay Point blankets (not labelled), or with other beautiful western blankets, these wraps are stylishly functional and look attractive with any style of outerwear.

 

The WHR Neck Wrap in Iconic Canadiana, with a red fleece inside lining and without fringe.

 

Light weight and lined with a fleece or sherpa material for comfort and warmth, they are the perfect way to give yourself more protection against the elements. With easy snap closures, they can also be worn over the shoulders or as a wrap.

The WHR wrap in Teal & Eggplant.

We think these wraps make the ultimate gift and are just in time for the chilly weather. With fringe or without, they are also the perfect way to dress up a denim jacket, or give a leather coat more of a cowgirl quality.

WHR Neck Wrap in Turquoise

The other beautiful aspect of these wraps is that when purchased, you are supporting true, local businesses. Hand-made and designed in Canada.

WHR Neck Wrap in Turquoise, with Burgundy and Tan Accents.

 

Now we have to introduce you to the talent bringing these beautiful pieces to life. Janine Stabner (of Janine’s Custom Creations), is a local Calgarian, born and raised. She has over 35 years of sewing and design experience and graduated design schools with top honors. She has worked alongside a number of top designers. In addition to this, Janine is also an official sponsor for the Calgary Stampede Royalty (Queen, and Princesses) and for The Calgary Stampede First Nations Princess. Those outfits you see on the Stampede Royalty on parade day come from Janine’s workshop – which continues to be her favorite place in the entire world. Drawing, design, creating, sewing and helping others bring their visions of design to life is what inspires her.

If you’re a fan of reality TV, you can catch Janine on October 7, on an episode of STITCHED, a fierce, television competition series that fuses jaw-dropping creations and big personalities from the world of North American fashion. The series matches wits and stitches in an epic fashion throw-down in three rounds. In every high-style-meets-high-stakes episode, four competitors face off in dramatically themed challenges with one designer eliminated each round. Facing the resident judges and a new guest judge per episode, designers create ambitious outfits inspired by unique materials and concepts under tight timelines. In the end, the top designer from each episode rises to the top with a couture-level creation that earns them the $10,000 prize.

The WHR Neck Wrap in Aqua, with Fringe.

We can’t wait to see who makes it to the final round! But for now, we are extremely proud to be affiliated with Janine’s Custom Creations in our newest venture. Stay tuned for other exciting products on the horizon of the WHR Boutique!

Make Our Flower Crown

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

The September/October issue of Western Horse Review featured a dainty little flower crown on one our horse models and since fall foliage is so beautiful, we’d thought we share our technique for making one! Collecting wild flowers or nature’s beauty of Autumn is something that you can really enjoy with friends or a loved one.

 

 

The first step is to pick your wild flowers, leaving long lengths of their stems to play with. Gathering flowers and foliage with a friend is always better than going it alone.

 

 

Once you’ve got an array of materials to work with, choose your first flower with a good stem – as this will be the one you build from. Gently split the stem in half to create a small hole (enough to fit another stem through) and stick the stem of your second flower through. Use the second flower’s stem to gently tie a knot to secure it to the stem of the first flower.

 

 

This is our friend Laura – putting together the crown you see on page 14 of the magazine. She was amazing – we pretty much threw the project at her that day. She nailed it.

 

 

Here is the progression of the flower crown, as Laura added more and more flowers. Essentially she would hold one flower in front of the other, wrap the stem under and around the other stem(s) and then back around itself, tying a bit of a knot to secure. Any stems that protruded in a strange way were simply trimmed as needed.

 

 

And finally, we were ready to place our flower crown which worked perfectly as a browband with a western headstall. Here’s our friend Amy, ensuring it sat perfectly on the old mare.

 

 

There are so many ways to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. This simple craft was a perfect way to give an old mare a delicate look. It could be done with autumn leaves as well, ensuring a photoshoot enjoys all the blessings of the season.

Lessons in Liberty

Jim Anderson was recently featured on a television feature this past weekend. It’s all part of Equus: The Story of the Horse airing Sunday nights on The Nature of Things at 8 PM on CBC-TV. Photo by Jenn Webster.

STORY & PHOTOS BY JENN WEBSTER

Did you happen to catch Equus, Story of the Horse on CBC (The Nature of Things) this past Sunday on TV? In this beautiful documentary that will feature over three hours with anthropologist-turned-filmmaker Niobe Thompson, viewers are taken on an epic journey across 11 countries and back in time to the mysterious beginnings of thehorse-human relationship. Thompson also spends a day in the Canadian Rockies with our friend and  “extreme cowboy” Jimmy Anderson, a professional trainer who has many accolades to his name. Anderson has left the old idea of “breaking horses” behind and he showcases his concepts in the TV feature.

We’ve featured Jimmy in many issues of WHR before, but back in 2016 we had the opportunity to spend a whole day with him, his wife Andrea and their horses. On this very special day, we got an inside look at some of the very first steps in liberty training. As the equine world is constantly shifting, those lessons learned back in 2016 are still applicable today. A well balanced seat and effective discipline-specific skills are no longer the only pursuits of the western rider these days. With the desire to create an even deeper connection with their horses, many western aficionados have turned to liberty to enrich their horse-to-human communication.

Jim and Andrea Anderson.

In unrestrained, free environments accentuated by the absence of tack, a handler can take one’s horsemanship to a new level with liberty. It’s a discipline limited only by a handler’s imagination and it’s reached through a willing partnership.

With a collection of exercises from the 2014 Road to the Horse Champion, Jim Anderson that we’ll detail in a dual-part blog series, you too, can achieve a higher level of learning and ultimately, an increased state of “brokeness” with your horse. Upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that the underlying foundation of liberty is no different than that of any other discipline – it simply allows for a little more creativity upon execution.

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.)

It’s important to note a horse must first have an understanding of your cues while still haltered and on your line, before you can turn him loose. If not, your horse will not easily find the answer you’re hoping he’ll reach because he doesn’t understand. Once you’ve laid the foundation for him how to learn, your horse can be successful with liberty. In fact, you are setting him up for success by keeping him on line until he understands your cues 100 per cent.

PREPARING THE HORSE TO LEARN
“When we put any kind of contact or pressure to a horse, he will automatically look for a release or a reward,” says Anderson. “If the horse doesn’t know any better, when you first put pressure on him, his self-preservation kicks in. He will react with fight, flight, a kick or a bite. It’s only after we’ve first taught the horse how to learn and built a foundation for learning, that we can go towards liberty.”

Anderson explains that in order to prepare a horse for learning, a handler must first show the horse how to look for his reward.

“What’s important is that you set the foundation so when your horse is faced with a task, his self-preservation doesn’t kick in and we don’t create worry and fear within him,” the trainer says. “We don’t train for liberty through pressure and punishment – we train through reward.”

He clarifies that the horse will operate from its “self-preservation brain” or from its “thinking brain.” A handler aims to get the horse thinking from the latter so he’s always looking for a reward and not worried about pressure or punishment. After that, you can begin to incorporate body control into the training.

“It doesn’t matter which discipline you go to eventually, it’s all put together by several pieces of basic body control into one maneuver. An example of a higher degree of difficulty maneuver would be the lead change at liberty. In it, you’re asking the horse several things at once. But instead of the horse worrying, he has learned how to think his way through your instruction. You do this by starting with very little, simple things.”

Holding the lead in one hand, you want your horse to walk or trot in comfortable circles around you.

EXERCISE #1
Yielding the Hind Quarters
Working with the horse in a halter on the line and a Giddy-Up stick, the very first goal of liberty in Anderson’s program is to teach the horse how to yield his hindquarters. This exercise is twofold in that it teaches the horse how to physically move his hind end on your cue, but it also brings both of his eyes back to you as the handler – an essential component of liberty. When the horse has both of his eyes on you, he doesn’t have one eye looking out to the pasture.

“In liberty it’s not enough for the horse to be attentive and focused on us – we also need to be attentive and focused on him. With a horse, the focus leaves first and the feet follow. If we don’t have halter and shank attached to it, at liberty the horse can just leave. We have to focused and attentive on our horse, so we keep his focus. We need the ability to divert his attention back to us at any time. That way, we can also join his feet up to us even more,” Anderson explains.

“When the horse’s focus is on you 100 per cent, the join up and the bond between you and the horse becomes really strong. That’s the whole foundation of liberty,” he says.

Hold your Giddy-Up stick in the opposite hand, pointed away from the hindquarters until you are ready to move the hindquarters.

 

“When I want the horse to yield his hindquarters away from me, I hold my inside hand (the one holding the lead) up near his eye and direct my Giddy-Up stick towards his hind feet.” – Jim Anderson

“The goal is to get him to swing his hind end away even just one step, but the main key is to have him put both of his eyes on me as a result.” – Jim Anderson

 

When he does, I relax both my Giddy-Up stick and my focus and reach towards my horse to pet and reward him.

*NOTE: It’s important to note that there is a balance between yielding exercises and joining up. There’s a big difference in teaching a horse how to respond to the Giddy-Up stick, rather than running away from it. It’s normal in horsemanship to train horses to go forward or faster when we longe them – increased pressure from the stick means “go faster” or “move out.” In liberty, a handler must refine the concept with the horse somewhat and teach him that we will put pressure on him with the stick, but when the horse yields away from the pressure with confidence, he is rewarded. He’s still joined up with the handler and not reacting in flight mode. When the horse isn’t worried about pressure, we can finally take the halter off and he won’t leave. Utilizing a Giddy-Up stick should never indicate “leave the handler” to the horse. It’s only after we’ve established exercises like yielding the hindquarters plus other basic body control concepts, that we can then advance into more intermediate liberty concepts. Stay tuned for our next blog and until then – keep your halters on!

Visionaries of the West – Mary Schaffer Warren

 

Mary Schäffer with horse, between 1907-1911, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Mary Schäffer fonds (V527/ps-151), whyte.org.

Mary Schaffer Warren – Hunter of Peace
By Debbie MacRae

It was the spring of 1908, when a small party of six ascended a ridge of mountains at 8,750 feet, over what is now known as Mount Unwin, to view beautiful Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta – the first white persons ever to have witnessed its allure.

Mary Schaffer, her female companion, Mollie Adams, a botanist, three guides, 22 horses, and a dog, were on a quest to locate the mythical lake spoken of by the Stoney Indian Band of Morley, most of whom had never seen it themselves.

Depicted in poetic post-card perfection, Lake Maligne now presents on the covers of travel magazines and brochures – luring tourists to shores once guarded sacredly only by the native hunter. Mary, with her drawings, her camera, and her colored slides, opened the world that lay “away from civilization… lost so far as the world was concerned, in a sea of mountains to the north.”

The paternal branches of her family tree traced back to 1682, as Quaker refugees who had fled from Britain to America, having suffered the persecution of their religious beliefs. British society rejected them and they journeyed with their children to pursue a new start along Pennsylvania’s Ridley Creek.

Each of Mary’s parents married “outsiders”, and their unconventionality and determination formed a foundation of strength for their girl-child, traits, which coupled with her curiosity and rebellious nature, would carry her through the many trials she would suffer in her lifetime.

From a privileged upper-middle-class Quaker family life, Mary received a strong formal education, with enriched extracurricular classes in flower painting, geology, minerology, archaeology, sciences, botany, and natural history. Consequently, she developed strong interest and respect for nature, the indigenous people of North America, and their culture.

After eaves-dropping on a particularly heart-wrenching story told by her “Cousin Jim” in the US army, Mary learned of the advancing tide of white settlement, and the carnage wrought by the removal of western native populations from their land. He spoke of a baby peeping out from under the body of its fallen mother and her horror was so profound, she cried out, and was discovered, and sent to her room. Her introspection led to a love of the native people and the friendship which would eventually lead her to explore the Rocky Mountains on horseback, year after year.

Mary’s first opportunity to explore the “wild west” came when she was 14-years-old. Her father, remembering his own first rail travel at the age of eight, endeavoured to provide his daughter the same experience – across the great plains. Eager to explore the wild and free lifestyle of the western frontier, and its intriguing indigenous populations, Mary was dismayed and saddened to witness instead, the condescension and mistreatment of her “friends.” Yet even at a very young age, she was able to convey a message of affection, compassion and understanding for a very misunderstood race of people.

In 1880, on a steamer trip she made to the Alaskan coast, she explored Native settlements at every opportunity, even against the counsel of her chaperone. Her courage and acceptance led to a lifelong intrigue and fascination with the indigenous lifestyle and she embraced the people with an open heart and mind.

Mary Schaffer’s buckskin shirt, donated to the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

As a young adult, she expanded her travel after the 1885 completion of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. She would be accompanied by a chaperone, Dr. Charles Schaffer, who would later become her husband, despite being 23 years her senior. As a physician, and an avid scientist, her husband was devoted to the natural sciences, and in 1889, Mary agreed to accompany her new husband to a scientific gathering in Toronto. On her arrival, she was enthralled by a series of images of Lake Louise, which captivated her imagination. She had to travel there, and only a few short months later she would once again accompany her husband on her first visit to Canada’s wild west.

On that trip she witnessed vestiges of Colonel Wolseley’s boats, abandoned after the 1869 Riel Rebellion. She met Sitting Bull’s brother and his wife, and sought permission to take his picture. She was rebuffed by his request for money, and turned away – regretting her missed opportunity later.

Her first glimpse of the mountains would be from the tiny railway station at Gleichen, Alberta at 4:00 a.m. and that first impression would be indelibly carved in her mind for the rest of her life.

Mary would spend the next several years until her husband’s death, assisting him with his scientific research; studying plants, identifying, pressing, drying, painting, and photographing rare and beautiful botanical specimens. She became known as the “painter of slides,” and was eventually granted a life membership in the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, despite threats of strong opposition due to her gender. At one point, she travelled with Dr. Schaffer on the top of a boxcar, forty miles, to camp outdoors on the shores of Lake Louise!

In 1903, Mary met Sir James Hector, surgeon to the famous Palliser Expedition. Sadly, he would return immediately to his home in New Zealand, after the death of his son to appendicitis. Within a few short months, she too, would lose her mother, her husband, and her father. Mary’s life would plunge into despair; Philadelphia society would shun her; her family would take advantage of her. She would learn the “bitter lesson, to count the pennies, to lean on no one, and make the best of crumbling fortunes.”

But the brief encounter with Sir Hector stimulated Mary to seek solace in the mountains, their majesty and their mystery. She resolved to compose and illustrate the Guide to the Flora of the Canadian Rockies that she and her husband had dreamt about but never started. And so she returned to Lake Louise, entrusted to the care of a young Boer war veteran and guide, by the name of Billy Warren. Under his guidance, she developed the outdoor skills required to complete her mission, and in so doing, became the first non-aboriginal woman to explore the areas encompassed by Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National parks.

A picture of Mary Schaffer-Warren is in her book entitled A Hunter of Peace. The picture  was taken by her friend Mollie Adams in 1907.  It says Moore family fonds (V439/PS-2) WMCR – which references the second edition of A Hunter of Peace with illustrations from photographs by the author and by Mary W. Adams and others – as referenced in the book available at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (WMCR).

In 1911, the Canadian government approached Mary to survey Maligne Lake, a task previously assigned only to men. Her accomplishment as an artist, photographer and writer stood her in good stead. Her survey resulted in the inclusion of Maligne Lake within the confines of Jasper National Park.

Despite being 20 years his senior, Mary would eventually marry her guide and mentor, Billy Warren, to whom she always referred as “Chief,” out of respect for his skills as an outdoorsman. He would build her a home in Banff, which stands to this day as a symbol of the respect she garnered as an accomplished “Mountain Woman,” the name given her by the Stoney people.

In an excerpt of a letter to Raymond Zillmer of Milwaukee from Mary [Schaffer] Warren, on April 12, 1928, she wrote:

“No one may know I went among those hills with a broken heart and only on the high places could I learn that I and mine were very close together. We dare not tell those beautiful thoughts, they like to say ‘explorer’ of me, no, only a hunter of peace. I found it.”

 

Meet our Models

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Have you seen our September/October issue of Western Horse Review yet? Photographed by the talented Shelby Simmonds of Twisted Tree Photography at Webster Ranch, WHR put together one of our most elaborate fashion shoots to date. Focusing on fall fashion, we had several wonderful people come together to bring this shoot to life. This includes the make-up talents of The Aria Studios and hair by Amber BigPlume. We also shot some amazing Food of the West dishes for future editorial – but we’re going to have to share those with readers in the future. So stay tuned!

For now, we’d like to introduce you to the lovely models seen in our Sept/Oct. fashion spread. Priding ourselves on featuring real people of the horse industry, we thought you might like to get to know them a little bit as well (if you don’t already).

Wearing a couple of outfits from Cody & Sioux, plus modelling some fantastic jewelry designs by Scott Hardy was Wendy Nelson. Wendy owns and operates Wendy Nelson Reining and Performance Horses – a training and breeding facility near Cochrane, Alberta. Wendy has been an active part of the Equine and Reining Horse Industry for 25 years throughout Canada, Europe and the USA. She has bred, trained, and produced many Reining Horse champions and finalists in Futurities, Derbies and Aged events. Wendy has accomplished year-end championship titles in NRHA Germany, Ontario Reining Horse Association, Reining Alberta, Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association, AQHA, and Reining Canada as well as being in the NRHA ‘Top Ten.’ Her coaching skills have led many of her Non-Pros and Youth to the same success.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

Next we have our youngest models. Wearing the new EQ3™ helmets from Back on Track and some lovely  back-to-school fashions from Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack these two cuties kicked off the shoot. Both girls are avid riders in real life and can be found playing around with their Miniature horses, or taking in a trail ride on their senior mounts whenever the opportunity presents.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

Next we have have Maggie Short. Maggie was the 2016 Calgary Stampede Queen and an avid show jumper. (Check out the past blog we ran about her here!) Besides the “Blake Lively” look she has going on, Maggie is one of the kindest people you could ever get to know and is always eager to help. For instance, on this shoot we had Maggie helping with everything from picking wildflowers, to looking after kids, to picking up our photographer, to packing up clothing at the end. And then, she steps in front of the camera and absolutely nails the shot…

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

Next we have Amber BigPlume, who has helped us with a few WHR fashion shoots already. Amber was the 2013 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess and helped spread the word of Indigenous communities in trouble, during the torrential floods Alberta witnessed that same year. She is a talented musician and has been a performer in the Trans Alta Grandstand Show. She is additionally a very skilled hair stylist and has helped us create many looks for WHR fashion spreads. As if that weren’t enough, Amber is a fabulous model and always helps us bring the entire feature together.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

Sporting a Smithbilt hat, neckace from Cody & Sioux and a belt from Scott Hardy is Whitney Watson Wilson. As an accomplished competitor in the reining and cow horse competition arenas, Whitney is making a name for herself on the professional show circuit under the guidance of Clay Webster Performance Horses Inc. She recently won the Int. Open Hackamore at the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity held in Claresholm, AB, and took the championship of the Level 1 Open Derby at the Equistro Cowtown Derby earlier in the year. She helped us saddle and prepare horses for this shoot and although she’s never had to model for WHR before, she pretty much killed it.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

You won’t see this shot in the magazine, but we’re so glad it was suggested that Maggie try on one of our signature Skijor shearling coats, created by Janine’s Custom Creations. We think it was the perfect way to end the day. Stay tuned for some more behind-the-scenes looks from our autumn feature!

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

First Futurity Results Are In!

Submitted by Elaine Good, Photos Courtesy of Barbara Glazer.

Glen Beveridge rides NRR Coles China Doll to the Open Futurity championship.

The first two days of the Moose Jaw Cutting Horse Show were dedicated to the Limited Age Event. These are classes restricted to horses just beginning their show careers and competing against horses of the same age for over $12,000 in prize money. It’s also the very first time for the three year olds to be shown and it’s amazing to watch these youngsters! This event is organized by the Saskatchewan Cutting Horse Association to help breeders, trainers and owners develop and showcase their horses and programs. It’s held at the Golden Mile Arena in conjunction with the 4 day Moose Jaw Cutting Horse Show where the facilities and great footing allow these horses to show their full potential!

The Barry & Elaine Good Open Futurity Aggregate went to “NRR Coles China Doll” for owner Warren Russell, Stoughton, Saskatchewan under the saddle of Glen Beveridge, Valley View, Alberta. Glen saw this 3 year old mare sired by “NRR Cat King Cole” and out of the mare “Chinas Instant Choice” being worked by Cody Smith at Ponoka, Alberta which prompted a phone call to Warren. Warren said “If you think she’s a good one go ahead and buy her.” He never saw her until she was shown at Moose Jaw! This mare is real sweet to be around and they hope to keep her feeling good and keep showing her through the fall futurities. They want to thank everyone who helped along the way including Clint Christianson, Tyler Darroch and Mike Belof. Thanks from GD Cutting Horses!

Elaine Speight was the victor in the Non Pro Futurity with her great mare, Hickory Boonlight.

The 3 Year Old Non Pro Futurity Aggregate also sponsored by Barry & Elaine Good was claimed by the accomplished showperson, Elaine Speight riding “Hickory Boonlight” owned by Bill & Elaine Speight, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. The Speights found this blue roan mare, sired by “Boonlights Shining” out of the mare “QR Duals Hickory” advertised on the northernhorse.com website. They purchased her in the fall of her yearling year from Jennell Heptner and had “Boony” started by Anna Petrova of Strathmore, Alberta, as a two year old. Bill continued with training her on cattle, then the flag during the winter and more cattle work into her 3 year old year. The Speights were happy and proud that she did so well at the Moose Jaw Show. With her size, strength in the hind quarters and tremendous long stride they feel she has the potential to make a great horse.

Hesa Rey Cat is a stallion with serious potential, after taking home the derby title with Clint Christenson aboard.

The 4 Year Old Open Derby Aggregate went to “Hesa Rey Cat” owned by the class sponsor Kali Fortner, Bracken, Saskatchewan! Kali’s partner, Clint Christianson trains and shows “Hesa Rey Cat,” the sorrel son of “Dual Rey” that they purchased from Montana Ranch Cutting Horses of Big Fork, Montana. “Hesa Rey Cat” is the third colt that Clint has had the good fortune to train out of the great producing mare “ Shes A Cuttn Cat” and they look forward to his potential both as a show horse and stud prospect.

RH Purralator Cat made breeder and owner, Sandy Reid, proud, by taking home the Non Pro Derby win.

“RH Purrolator Cat” owned and shown by Sandy Reid of Leduc County, Alberta claimed the 4 Year Old Non Pro Derby sponsored by Donna Reid of Webb, Saskatchewan. This home raised gelding sired by “Smooth As A Cat” out of their mare “Jazzys Pep Talk” earned consistent 72’s during the show. “RH Purrolator Cat” is one of a pair of full brothers that Sandy was showing in the 4 year old class! They are both a finished product from Jeff Schwitzer’s Melville, Saskatchewan training program for 3 year olds that were easy for her to take over and show. Sandy says ““Rush” is the horse that won and he is a bit more sensitive that the other. Thank you for having great ground for us to play in that is so important to us competitors!”

Hot Metal Smarts showed off her cow smarts winning the Open Classic for rider, Glen Beveridge.

“Hot Metal Smarts” returned to Moose Jaw after winning the 2017 Open Derby to take this year’s Les & Coreen Jack 5/6 Year Old Open Classic under the saddle of Glen Beveridge. This 5 year old mare by “Metallic Cat” out of the mare “Jazzy Jay Bar” was bred and owned by Hollingworth Farms Limited of Valley View, Alberta. This mare has really come on nice this year and they hope to keep her going for the fall futurities.

The Non Pro Classic championship went to Scott Brady aboard One Cuttin Cat.

The Belof Performance Horses 5/6 Year Old Non Pro Classic Aggregate was won by the 6 year old mare “One Cuttin Cat” for owner and rider, Scott Brady of Midale, Saskatchewan. Scott purchased this mare sired by “One Time Pepto” and out of the great mare “Shes A Cuttn Cat” raised by Montana Ranch Cutting Horses as a two year old from Clint Christianson and Kali Fortner. She was a finalist in last year’s Futurities in Red Deer and Calgary. Scott says “this mare is very sensitive and because of that she makes me a better rider; it’s a challenge that’s good for me!”

Tazalittle and rider Carol Bailey finished off the aged event by captured the 7 Up Champion title.

The turnerhorses.com 7 Up Non Pro Aggregate went to “Tazzalittle” owned and shown by Carol Bailey of Kyle, Saskatchewan. Carol describes her bay gelding sired by “Pepto Taz” and out of the mare “Paulas Little Lena” as her “lifelong partner in this sport. He’s easy to get ready and he knows his job. A true testament to his training foundation.”

Full results of the Moose Jaw Cutting Horse Show and Limited Age Event are available on the SCHA Website: www.scha.ca.

It’s a Big Deal: Western Performance at Farmfair

The Canadian National Team Roping Futurity held during Farmfair International is one of the most exciting events to take in. Photo Credit: Northlands.

Farmfair International is one of Canada’s largest agriculture showcases. From November 7-11, Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta fills with over eight halls of western entertainment, including top producing sales, showcases and clinicians. Today Western Horse Review is focusing on what makes Farmfair International so unique for breeders, trainers and enthusiasts of western performance horses. During Farmfair events are held that bolster and boost the equine economy and bring performance horse enthusiasts in by the thousands. So, whether a breeder, trainer, or competitor, how do you get your piece of the Farmfair pie, while showcasing your best up-and-coming bloodstock and prospects? First, you start with the sales.

Two sales are hosted at Northlands for the western performance enthusiast. Photo Credit: Northlands.

The two sales offered during Farmfair International are the place to be. Both sales are the premier auction events for performance horses throughout Canada, with deadlines closing October 1st. For breeders of top performance horses across Canada, the Bloodstock Sale is the premier auction and marketing opportunity for yearlings, two-year-olds and three-year-olds. This year, Northlands is only accepting 20 of the above, and the horses that enter the ring will be highly sought after prospects. An exciting pay back for breeders, trainers and owners that enter their horses in the sale is the Northlands Bloodstock Sale Incentive. Horses that enter the sale ring are eligible to return for the added $10,000 Northlands Bloodstock Sale Incentive in subsequent years and can compete in the futurity of their choosing to win back the added money available to all horses, as well as the incentive money available to them.

Bloodstock Sale
Friday, November 9
Preview at 9 am, sale at 3:30 pm

Directly following the Bloodstock Sale is the Ranch Horse Sale.

The Ranch Horse Sale
Friday, November 9
Preview at 9:30 am, sale at 3:30 pm

Top yearling, two and three-year-old prospects are available at the Bloodstock Sale. Photo Credit: Northlands.

After attending top sales, take in the next level of young performance horses at two futurities offered at Northlands. If you were one of the lucky members in attendance that took home a top prospect from the Bloodstock sale you can sit back and envision your colt or filly competing for the huge added purses, as well as the Northlands Bloodstock Incentive in the coming years.

Barrel Racing Futurity
Saturday, November 10
Start time at 9 a.m.

The electrifying barrel racing held during Farmfair International features $5,000 in added prize money. Photo Credit: Northlands.

The Barrel Racing Futurity is open to any four or five-year-old horse. The Futurity will be two go rounds, with champion declared on average score and a $5,000 added purse. Don’t miss out on blazing fast runs with some of the top barrel racing competitors on the future power horses of the Canadian barrel horse scene.

The Canadian National Team Roping Futurity is one of the most exciting events to take in during Farmfair International. Photo Credit: Northlands.

Canadian National Team Roping Futurity
Sunday, November 11
Start time at 9 a.m.

A guaranteed five head judged event that showcases the best young rope horses in Canada. Open to horses five-years-old and under, the Canadian National Team Roping Futurity has become the premier showcase for roping prospects. Horses compete for $25,000 in prize money and provides breeders and trainers a unique opportunity to promote their horses to team roping enthusiasts from across Western Canada.

So, whether you are raising and training top performance horse prospects, or are riding and showing the best horses in Western Canada, Farmfair International has events for you. The money is waiting, and as the Farmfair slogan says, “It’s a Big Deal.”