4 Weeks ’till Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

It’s only a few days until the beginning of December, and at the log house, the preoccupation with Christmas decorating has come into full swing. Here’s how it goes: tubs of ornaments, glass balls, antiques and rustic stuff is hauled out of storage – we ponder it all and then take to the outdoors to cut the boughs, dig up the pinecones, wrestle pots, pails from their frozen beds and retrieve the well rusted horseshoes from the fences they’ve been resting on all summer and fall. Then we mix it all together to create our own version of country Christmas. Along the way, we create a few ornaments and greenery arrangements to give to friends. Because of their western touches, these often turn out to be some of my most loved gifts.

This year I’ve been gathering inspiration all year at the Western Christmas board at the magazine’s Pinterest page. Here’s a bit of inspiration for you.

4weeksbootarrangementIn the boot genre, try filling an old pair with greenery and a few ornaments . . .

4weeksccbootAttach a boot to a door or wall, fill it with decorations and greenery.

4weeksbootlightsOr, drape a string of lights, in and around a pair and set on a ledge. . .

4weekswreathWreaths provide a perfect attachable canvas for horseshoes, old tack and in this case, baler twine.

4weekshorseshoetreeHorseshoes find a great repurpose around here in wreaths, mantles and centrepieces, but here’s an idea we haven’t thought of yet, a horseshoe tree!

4weekshorseshoeornamentHorseshoe ornaments are easy to put together with a bit of glue and greenery.

4weeksbigornamentTake it one step further and create a bit ornament!

4weeksbwornamentEven I’m handy enough to bend old barb wire and turn it into a beautiful keepsake to attach to gifts or hang on the tree.

4weekslanternlightYou might need someone handy with electrical work to complete this project, stuff a string of lights into an old lantern and wire it up to warm up a front entrance or mud room.

4weekspoletreeA simple arrangement for a front gate or driveway.

4weeksrakeornamentRepurposing an old garden rake with pretty glass bulbs.

4weeksbarrelChristmas in a barrel with a Texas star touch.

4weekscalfpailOr, in an old pail – this one reminds me of the calf feeding pails we employed regularly at our farm.

4weekssimplearrangmenetOld containers hold so much character, and with a few candles and greenery make a beautiful and rustic centrepiece. For more ideas in this vein, have a look at this autumn centrepiece. 

4weekssmalltreearrangementSet a number of small containers together and stuff them with greenery from your shelter belt.

4weekswesternvignetteCreate an entire simple and soft coloured vignette with the simplest of items. Add lights.

4weekslariatwreathFinally, a lariat door wreath great for a barn or shop door.

For more western decorating ideas, visit the Western Christmas board at the Western Horse Review Pinterest Page. (You’ll also find the links for the sources for the photos I’ve employed here.)

4weekscavaliaAND – we’re giving away two tickets to Cavalia’s new production, Odysseo, soon to open in Vancouver, B.C.! All you have to do to be entered in the draw is comment below on what your favourite application of western, as depicted in the pictures above, is, or just mention one of your own.

To receive a double entry into the contest, just head over to the Western Horse Review Facebook Page, and enter there as well.

5 weeks ’till Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

One of the real gratifying perks of my job is the pleasure of meeting the western artists and artisans whose work I’ve admired from afar, as over the years, we’ve structured the content of the magazine to include more of a cultural bend and showcase the vibe of art and crafts in the western world. Consequently, the scope of my Christmas shopping list takes a considerable dabble into this, and we’re all the better for it, supporting our local economy, leaving a gentler footprint on the world, and often gifting pieces bound to become family treasures in the generations to come.

Here’s a few the interesting paths we’ve wandered down lately.

Though the Calgary floods temporarily closed The Van Ginkel Art Gallery – housed in one of the oldest buildings in historic Inglewood – the work of artist, Paul Van Ginkel can again be viewed in all of it’s breathtaking beauty, now that the gallery is open again.

See Paul’s Facebook page for a glimpse of what he’s been working on (horses!), and while you’re visiting be sure to purchase one of his calendars, illustrated with his work. Only $20 and 100% of the donations go to Calgary based charity HOPEthiopia (www.hopethiopia.com).

The Van Ginkel Art Gallery has limited hours, be sure to check before you go.

Nanton, Alberta, western artist, Shannon Lawlor has a great Christmas idea – custom hand painted brands. Here’s a collage of several brands shown here on different colours of hide. Hand painted on 4″ x 4″ squares, they make a unique gift idea for those with brands of their own.

Artist Gena LaCoste brings the Living West to life through her watercolors – horses, cowboys and cowgirls, flowers and heifers, and other gorgeously interpreted western expressions. For your little ones, she’s reprinted her books, “Horses” and “Living in the West” just in time for Christmas giving. They are full colour, about 40 pages, 8 x 10 inch soft-cover books, brimming from cover to cover with Gena’s beautiful paintings.

A perennial favourite in the Western Horse Review offices, western photographer Kim Taylor’s 2014 day planner is just as perfect as every year preceding it. I’ve a stack of these in my office, and often find myself flipping back to find a date or notation I need from a previous year.

Wanda Whaley’s beautiful slate paintings continue to awe me. She also paints on buffalo hide, birch bark and clay, working with organic hand-made paints. It’s about as close to 50,000 years ago as art can be. Check out her new work here. 

Finally, add a little western Christmas music to your day, with the Jeremy Neal Willis CD, Remembering Christmas, available at the Horse Barn in Kamloops, B.C., and Cowboys Choice in Vernon, B.C., or on cdbaby.

Postscript: Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s 6 Weeks to Christmas Contest. We have a winner: Missy Merrill-Davies, contact us at advertising@westernhorsereview.com by next Friday to retrieve your beautiful Paige Albrecht hand-crafted cowhide belt.

6 weeks ’till Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

I haven’t always been a fan of cowhide, perhaps because I haven’t had the vision for it into the decor of the log house. Cowhide placemats and runners have just never really taken my fancy. Pinterest has changed all of that and really popped open my eyes to the endless possibilities of cowhide. I’ve grown to love the idea of it so much, I’m venturing a guess that one or two of the people on my Christmas list will be receiving it in one form or another.

If you’re looking for a lifetime gift for the people who share your home, or a unique western-styled option for the urbanites in your life, here’s a selection of uses of cowhide to inspire.

Cowhide is a thought of as a traditional western accent, but with it’s organic elements of hide, hair and colour, it transfers easily into modern spaces.

Decorators know a cool thing when they see it, but I hadn’t ever thought of putting a cow hide in the bathroom. Is it even practical? Will it stand up to the inevitable water splashes?

Ever more daring, how about a bathtub encased in cowhide? So much warmth in the combination of wood grain, browns and hide.

Cowhide on white plank floor is a favourite for me, especially pulling together this minimal look. . .

. . .  or adding warmth and style to an office.

Boho chic gets a boost of Wild west with a cowhide.

No need to go for the whole rug, opt instead for a piece of furniture, like this award-winning coffee-table design.

Cool and chic chairs and ottoman. . .

. . . or these full loungers, really spectacular pieces.

Why not just drape your entire staircase in chocolate brown sensory overload? This one captures my vote.

There’s also a plethora of smaller decor items in cowhide such as mirror frames, lampshades and pillows.

These carry-ons are neat statements of your love of the West. And wine :).

And finally, what speaks of your love of the West more than a stocking crafted of cowhide.

Turns out the Wild West is alive and well in places modern, not  traditional western homes. If I’ve tweaked the idea of adding cowhide (or more cowhide!) to your decor, you can find much more of it at our Make Mine Cowhide Pinterest board, where we’ve amassed a small collection of all things cowhide. (You’ll also find the links for the sources for the photos I’ve employed here.)

Belt by Paige Albrecht. Skull by Dylan Callaghan. Photo by Krista Kay.

For the love of all things cowhide, we’re giving away this gorgeous cowhide belt by our friend and artisan, Paige Albrecht. All you have to do to be entered in the draw is comment below on what your favourite application of cowhide, as depicted in the pictures above, is, or just choose one of your own.

I nearly forgot to mention, to receive a double entry into the contest, just head over to the Western Horse Review Facebook Page, and enter there as well. Happy Friday!

Young Guns – Katy Lucas

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I'll reveal one every week or so! 

“I hope to some day be one of the top rodeo broadcasters in North America and be able to cover events all over the continent. I see myself in the near future doing behind-the-scenes interviews at the Canadian and National Finals rodeos, as well as a large pro rodeos during the regular season.”

Katy Lucas

(Nominated for Entreprenuers)
Age: 20
Carstairs, Alberta

She embodies the countrified, go-getter persona of the decade. Katy Lucas’ assertiveness and charm has hit the world of rodeo broadcasting in the sweet spot. This summer, she will be working with Rangeland Media to produce Road to the CFR segments for Edmonton, Alberta’s Northlands Park. She is also working as production manager for Juxtapose Production’s, Hell on Hooves television show, charged with arranging interviews and directing camera crews while on set at rodeos.

“Now that I am finished school, I am setting my sites on a career in rodeo broadcasting,” Lucas explains. She recently completed her Communication Arts Diploma and specialized in Broadcast Journalism at Lethbridge College. Lucas earned herself top honors for each semester and received the program’s ‘Top Broadcaster’ award.

“I hope to some day be one of the top rodeo broadcasters in North America and be able to cover events all over the continent. I see myself in the near future doing behind-the-scenes interviews at the Canadian and National Finals rodeos, as well as larger pro rodeos during the regular season.”

My mom, Sheona Lucas has also always been there every step of the way.

Lucas was raised on a ranch, in a family of four. Her father is retired rodeo cowboy, Joe Lucas.

“He has always tried to give my younger brother, Kyle and I every opportunity to succeed – both in and out of the rodeo arena. My mom, Sheona Lucas has also always been there every step of the way. Whether it was making sure we got our homework done so we could go to the rodeo, or making sure we had enough clean clothes to last the weekend, she was always there helping us out,” Lucas tells.

As for horses, Lucas got her start in junior rodeos at very early age. In fact, she actually has permanent proof on her forehead from falling off a horse when she was only a baby. But as they say, cowgirls dig their scars and it’s clear the young woman is proud of this one.

Alberta High School Rodeo Queen for the 2010/2011 season. She has also been the Vice President and President of the Alberta High School Rodeo Association (AHSRA).

Through the 2008/09 season, Lucas was the Carstairs Rodeo Queen and went on to become the Alberta High School Rodeo Queen for the 2010/2011 season. She has also been the Vice President and President of the Alberta High School Rodeo Association (AHSRA). Next year, she plans to run for Miss Rodeo Ponoka and then move on to run for Miss Rodeo Canada.

As if that weren’t enough, Lucas also has her own booming’ business on the side.

As if that weren’t enough, Lucas also has her own booming’ business on the side. KatyDid Custom Jewelry is a venture she operates in her free time. Triggered by her passion for designing custom western necklaces, bracelets, earring and key chains, Lucas offers a one-of-a-kind flare for forever cowgirl pieces. Lucas may be her own best customer as she admits to owning over 40 pairs of earrings, but for a teenager’s debut into the world of business this should be a journey worth following.

~ Jennifer Webster

7 weeks ’till Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

Music is a constant at the log house. We each have our influences and our tastes meander all genres. Shelves and cupboards overflow with CD’s, and I’m mildly grateful the era of albums is over, for the room it’s saved me. Even with the overabundance of our current collection, and the advent of itunes, new CD’s regularly find their way into the house. I don’t know about you, but itunes just doesn’t cut it for me. Hits aren’t sustainable enough to hold my attention, too much like soundbites of a larger picture. I need to listen to the full CD, to hear the entire story told.

In this house, the gift of music, in any form, excepting of course, Toby Keith, can never be misguided.

Here’s some of the latest we’ve been listening to.

Ryan Fritz writes all of his own material, inspired by the trails and cowboying life he’s led. He grew up in southern Alberta, and worked for many years on Canada’s renowned ranches such as the Gang and Douglas Lake Ranches. Ryan Fritz and his family now live in eastern Saskatchewan where they run cattle and manage a 5,000 steer pasture. And, play guitar. Produced by fellow prairie musician, Eli Barsi and John Cunningham, Wind Blown Buckaroo is Fritz’s fourth album, and his best, keeping the tradition of cowboy music alive. Order direct from Fritz at ryefritz@gmail.com.

Western Horse Review writer Deanna Buschert interviewed Tim Hus for an earlier issue this year, and upon the edit, I was awed by his humbleness. He didn’t let an answer go by without thanking his mentors, fellow musicians and always, his fans and friends. Just one of the reasons why it’s so satisfying to see his latest album, Western Star, receive such fantastic reviews and play. Some compare him to the late and great Stompin’ Tom Connors; I don’t see that comparison myself in the music, but one thing is sure, he is a true Canadian and original roots musician.

And, finally, Johnny Cash. Insight Editions recently published House of Cash:  The Legacies of My Father, Johnny Cashwritten by his son, John Carter Cash. This book gives you an insight into the Man in Black the likes of which you’ve never seen before. It is an intimate exploration of the soul behind the music, housed in a beautiful mock-leather binding, with a feature CD, accompanied by reproductions of handwritten song lists, lyrics and liner notes.

Gathering together previously unpublished photographs, lyrics, art, notes such as this humorous “to do list”. . .

. . . letters to June, and recollections from the Cash family archives, John Carter paints a portrait of his father’s inner life, and the values he imparted to his son and family.

This is truly a unique portrait of a deeply spiritual, creative, and passionate soul whose music sprang from the way he lived, and one I don’t mind saying, I would love to find under our tree.

Young Guns – Madison MacDonald

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I'll reveal one every week or so!

A free spirit who has had the honour of working with some of the best equine entertainers in the world, Madison isn't slowing down anytime soon.

Madison MacDonald

(Nominated for Entertainers)
Age:20
Stephenville, Texas

So how does a girl from the small town of Okotoks, Alberta end up being chosen as a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Contract Act in 2011 and 2012 while studying at Tarleton University? Not many can answer that, but Madison MacDonald sure can.

“My mother used to produce the Black Tie Wild West Shows for the Calgary Stampede. When I saw the trick riders, I told my parents that that was what I wanted to do,” remembers MacDonald.

Starting at the tender age of 4, MacDonald was competing in dance and unknowingly preparing herself for an exceptional career doing what she loves.

“Performing was something that I knew I wanted to do. I was fortunate enough to be able to follow my aspirations and never thought I would be where I am at the age of 20.”

As with everything worth having in life, the road to where she has gotten has been long and arduous, but he has had experiences and opportunities that people twice her age have not yet seen. She began riding with Ron Anderson and still credits his wisdom as the foundation that has helped her succeed atop a horse. At 11, she learned to twirl a trick rope in her own living room by legendary Tomas Garcilazos. Then in 2011 she found her greatest inspiration in Los Angeles.

“I would not be the trick rider I am today if it wasn't for Tad and Wendy Griffith. I have been extremely fortunate to be able to train under Tad who is referred to as the greatest gymnast on horseback. I lived with Tad and Wendy in Los Angeles where I trained under Tad for the National Finals Rodeo WNFR and then for Fort Worth where I trick rode with Tad's 3 boys. I never wanted the Fort Worth Stock and Rodeo to end. Each day felt like it was just another of practicing with Tad and his boys, as we came into that show of 3 months straight of practice and preparation, the show was the easy part compared to the rehearsals prior to. They are my “other” family.”

How do you start to list the credits of a young woman that has traveled the world doing what she loves? Her high school years were filled with rodeo; earning countless awards in pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying, breakaway roping and team roping.  In 2012, she was cast as part of the Calgary Stampede’s production Tails, which kept her busy for three performances daily over the ten days of Stampede. She has performed twice at the WNFR in Las Vegas and repeatedly performed at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse.

For MacDonald, the horses are about more than the tricks and the bright lights. “The horses keep my life busy and full. They have been my life forever they are a part of me and it is something that I cherish everyday as I feel fortunate to be able to have the lifestyle that I do. Between training horses, practicing trick riding, roping and keeping my barrel horse going my days are full but I love every minute of it.

“I was like a lot of young girls – they see the costumes and the fast horses and it catches their eye. I see it now when I perform stateside, afterwards at the autograph signings we are surrounded by young girls that are enthralled by the performance and have the same dreams as I once had. It is inspiring to know that my performance has captivated them and lifted their spirits to encourage their aspirations.”

What better inspiration could there be?

~ Dainya Sapergia

Young Guns – Amanda Antifaev

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I'll reveal one every week or so! 

Amanda has a lengthy list of accomplishments in the reining pen, but credits her horses and mentors along the way.

Amanda Antifaev

(Nominated for Entrepreneurs)
Age: 25
Nanton, Alberta

The reining industry in Canada has seen Amanda Antifaev’s name at the top of the competition for many years. First in the youth and non-pro classes and now in the open, competing against the best horse trainers Canada has to offer.

Antifaev decided to go professional when the National Reining Horse Association came out with their Apprenticeship program, making it possible for her to try training and showing in the open pen for a year before taking the full leap and committing herself to a career in training horses professionally. This young woman however, was made for open competition and a life of training horses. So, at the young age of 19, Antifaev turned in her Non-Pro card and took on the challenge of training and showing full-time.

Antifaev’s success in the open pen started out with some great horses she got from mentors Wayne and Duane Latimer. Lokota Chic, Shiners Lena Dust and Mambos Whiz helped carry Antifaev to multiple championships throughout Canada and the United States, including winning the North American Affiliate Championship at the NRHA Futurity in 2009 and 2010 aboard Lokota Chic. Her success in the show pen continued with her accomplished show skills and training program, taking young horses she started and trained to multiple wins for their owners.

“My next was Sugarplum Nic, owned by Larry and Deb Manley who have been long-time supporters for me. The mare and I were co-champions at the Reining Alberta Fall Classic in the Open Futurity and made the finals in the level one and two at the NRHA Futurity – a first in my career.”

“My success has also been on horses that I have started and trained which has proved that not only can I show a broke horse, but that I could train one to do all the right stuff too,” says Antifaev. “My first was Hard Times Sailor who I was reserve champion on in two futurities and went on to more wins as a derby horse. My next was Sugarplum Nic, owned by Larry and Deb Manley who have been long-time supporters for me. The mare and I were co-champions at the Reining Alberta Fall Classic in the Open Futurity and made the finals in the level one and two at the NRHA Futurity – a first in my career.” Antifaev had one of her best years in 2012 as an open rider, showing the young stallion Conchicador to the Wild Rose Reining Classic Open Futurity Championship, Montana Big Sky Classic Open Futurity Championship and a reserve championship at the Silver slate Reining Classic Open Futurity, winning over $13,000 for the year.

Antifaev wouldn’t trade her profession for anything. “I love the horses, everything about them. I love starting them, bringing them along and seeing how they learn and progress. I love maintaining broke horses and getting inside their heads to understand how they think and what makes them tick so I can get the best out of them so they also enjoy their job.”

Antifaev gives a little advice to those looking to become an open rider, “Learn from a trainer and stick with them for as long as you can. I believe that experience takes time and can be expensive, but no one can learn all there is to know about horse training and showing in a short time. If you learn from someone experienced such as I did from Wayne Latimer, you can learn from both their successes and their trials and errors.”

~ Deanna Beckley

Young Guns – Hayley Stradling

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I’ll reveal one every week or so! 

At only 16, Hayley has already achieved significant success in both hunter jumper and cutting, not an easy feat for the most seasoned rider.

Hayley Stradling

(Nominated for Competitive)
Age: 16
Aldergrove, British Columbia

You don’t have to be very old to think that sixteen seems so young. But for an Aldergrove, British Columbia equestrienne, the years have been plenty to secure her place as one of the top competitors in the country.

Guiding her are the words of Stan Smith: Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it. She is well on her way with the confidence and experience, but possibly the element that sets Haley Stradling apart from her competition is diversity.

“I have been riding horses my entire life. I love riding both cutting horses and hunter jumpers and competing on them. I also have been in Pony Club since I was 6-years-old, and currently have my C1 Level.”

She has carved out a training regime that helps her to excel. On her cutters, she rides with Dr. Denton Moffat of Armstrong, BC and with her hunter jumpers, she trains with Brent and Laura Balisky and Laura Jane Tidball. No lackluster list of coaches on this girls resume, and it shows.

In 2012 alone, Stradling won an AQHA World Cutting championship and won two gold medals for Team Canada at the AQHA Youth World Cup in Kreuth, Germany. Closer to home, she was reserve champion in the youth cutting at the Calgary Stampede and won awards with the British Columbia Cutting Horse Association and the British Columbia Ranch Cutting Horse Association. On her hunter jumper, she was 2nd overall at the Canadian Equestrian Team Medal Regional Finals in Langley, BC and went on to finish 3rd overall at the Canadian Equestrian Team Medal National finals in Toronto, Ontario. It is no small feat for a rider to ride multiple disciplines, let alone excel in both.

On top of her awards inside the arena, Stradling was nominated by the Horse Council of BC for Junior Female Sport BC Athlete of the year and came third overall.

“My parents are my main supporters and are incredible,” raves Stradling.

During the rare moments that she is not homing her skills, Stradling helps with her local pony club by teaching stable management to the younger kids. She volunteers at her school building theater sets and likes archery and snowboarding. A diverse set of interests has gone a long way to form an exceptional young lady.

~ Dainya Sapergia

9 Weeks ’til Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

Christmas is just around the corner . . . nine weeks away today.

What was once a 12 Weeks ’till Christmas countdown here at Screen Doors & Saddles has evolved into nine weeks. Really, what was I thinking? Does anyone really want to know this detail, whether nine or 12? Seriously, I’m just getting my head wrapped around Halloween.

Still, I can’t deny it, the 25th of December looms and over the next nine weeks I’m going to share a few unique Christmas gift ideas with you – offerings geared specifically for country and western living – my favorite genre of shopping. I hope you’ll find something that catches your eye and incites a cross off your list.

By the way, if you’re not a subscriber to the print magazine, it’s a great time to join up, and also give a gift. We have a holiday subscription special currently on – two for one! Only $24.95 – two subscriptions for the price of one – catch it here. 

On to this week’s Christmas gift idea. I recently caught wind of a nifty new equine subscription service. A Horse Box is a unique home delivery gift idea that’s been omnipresent in the U.S.A. for sometime, and just launched this August in Canada.

Photo by Krista Kay

The folks at A Horse Box kindly sent me the August box to review and it really impressed with the choice of products. I really like this idea. How much fun is it to receive A Horse Box? Akin to a mini-Christmas, I tell ‘ya! It’s innovative, brilliant, fun and a perfect anecdote for the hard-to-buy for rider, or anyone who loves to try new horse products.

This box of goodies in mini-sizes merit attention, and offer up a perfect way to test out an array of equine products you might otherwise miss on the store shelf, or just never think of trying.

Photo by Krista Kay

Here’s how it works: Each month members receive 5-7 handpicked items – from grooming products to alternative health items and gourmet treats.

Even. . . MAGAZINES!

That’s right, I’m thrilled to let you know that A Horse Box has partnered with Western Horse Review and thousands of A Horse Box deliveries in early 2014 – in both the U.S. and Canada – will contain the Jan/Feb issue, bundled with a special subscription offer.

I hope you love the sample issue, as much as I love A Horse Box.

P.S. A Horse Box is available for order in the United States and Canada, each with a separate order website. I’ve linked them here for your convenience.