Horse Safe Room

 

BY ALEXANDRA MORRIS

From our July/August 2016 issue of Western Horse Review files.

On average, over 1,000 tornadoes occur in the United States every year, especially in severe weather and supercell-prone areas such as Tornado Alley. Yet, according to ongoing research by Environment Canada, Canada experiences an average of 62 tornadoes a year as well.

Upon hearing a tornado warning, the natural response is to gather the kids and pets and hurry down to a safe room in the basement. But what happens to the animals we can’t take to safety below? When time is of the essence and a natural disaster is wreaking havoc in the area, the only logical option may be to let livestock go – and pray they will find refuge on their own.

With today’s technology it’s easier to predict when storms are going to come, unlike 10 years ago. Now we can predict, within minutes, when a tornado is going to hit. That means we also have time to prepare for the worst, gather everything we can and head to the safe room. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a safe room is a hardened structure specically designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria and provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes. Near-absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes, the occupants of a safe room built in accordance with FEMA guidance will have a very high probability of being protected from injury or death.

There aren’t many out there, but Mary Ellen Hickman – who lives in the infamous Oklahoma “tornado alley” – built a safe room for her horses. She constructed it in 2014, after a devastating tornado just missed their place.

“I love Oklahoma, but I could not live here without this. I actually can rest now that I know my animals are safe!” says Hickman. The safe room can hold 10 horses comfortably and there is room for more in the aisle way, in the event two horses don’t get along.

“It’s designed like a slant-load horse trailer and will hold 10 horses plus dogs, cats, and people!” she says.

Each stall is equipped with hay nets, which remain filled throughout the tornado season. The room is intended to house horses for a few hours, overnight if need be, but not for several days. There are no waterlines, though Hickman stocks it with buckets and a nearby water source.

“The safe room has to be 12 feet wide but there is no regulation for length, so I made it 35 feet long,” says Hickman.

Before and after the build.

The cost to build was about $300 USD per linear foot for the building, and a 4×6’ storm door (with three dead bolts) which is eight feet high, plus walls that are eight inches thick. However, there are additional costs for all the other fixtures that could be added. The room’s complete concrete structure is a lot thicker than a normal regulation safety room and it took about a month to finish the whole safe room. Hickman’s shelter exceeds FEMA specs for an F5 Tornado. The safe room sits about 10 steps away from the barn.

“It sits right next to our main barn for easy access,” says Hickman. The safe room is also equipped with emergency lighting. Hickman explains that a basic 12×12 unit for horses, people and other animals would cost around $14,000 to start. Every year before tornado season hits, Hickman performs some emergency drills to ensure she will be prepared when a problem hits and hopefully, load everyone smoothly into the room. If bad weather arises and a horse is not cooperating Hickman will give them a tranquilizer, to ensure the horse relaxes and won’t injure itself or others.

Smokin’ Q

 

BY ESTEBAN ADROGUE

For many, Sunday morning came around smelling of fried eggs and homemade pancakes, with a fresh glass of squeezed orange juice. Tip-toeing all the way to Mom’s room…  For others, Sunday morning had a completely different meaning.

 

The sound of wood burning away in the BBQ’s, heating up the air, spreading that familiar smell, that aroma that takes us back to our childhood… It can only mean one thing: The Smokin Q BBQ Pitmasters Competition was finally here!

 

Lynnwood Ranch (Okotoks, AB) once again played host to the 3rd annual KCBS sanctioned BBQ Competition and BBQ Feast. The Smokin Q gathered 35 of the best Pitmasters and their crews from all around Alberta, in a sizzling battle against the toughest judges to become this year’s Pitmaster Champion.

The competition consisted of four different entries: first entry was BBQ chicken, a classic! Half hour later, competitors presented the judges with their best smoked ribs. Third entry consisted of delicious tender pulled-pork. And last, but definitely not least, judges were delighted with a low and slow roasted brisket. Makes you want to become a judge, doesn’t it?!

 

But before Sunday’s competition all participants had a chance to put their skills to the test.

Saturday night hosted the BBQ Bash Feast and Frolic. This year’s event consisted of competitors displaying a little preview of their abilities, not only to the judges, but to almost 300 guests as well. Everyone was eager to taste the pitmasters’ wonderful creations, which included everything from chorizo tacos with coleslaw, to a delicious fig and shrimp canapés

After sampling magnificent delights, guests were treated to a delicious brisket and salmon dinner, with a side of locally grown steamed veggies, salads and corn on the cob; followed by a dessert course of seasonal fruit trays and sweet delicatessens.

Once dinner was over, it was time to get up from those seats and shake that body to the rhythm of live jazz-fusion music. People came together to share a great time, laughed, had a few drinks and danced the night away as this year’s BBQ Bash came to an end.

To fully appreciate and understand the hard work behind such a fantastic culinary experience, we must venture back to Saturday morning; 10:00 am brought with it the first few trailers loaded with BBQ equipment, food, and competitors ready and full of ambition to demonstrate what they are capable of.

While pitmasters got their fires going, Western Horse Review went around interviewing different cooks and their crews, and talked about which elements a BBQ team should include to be the best.

 

They each described a “perfect BBQ” as having two crucial factors: food and atmosphere.

 

“It has to be the perfect balance among smoke, spices and meat. Not overpowering any single one of them.” – shared pitmaster Chris, head of Rocky Mountain Smokers.

 

All competitors also shared one unanimous tip: low and slow.

 

“…the best? Low and slow! It is a long and slow process, 250 degrees fahrenheit for about 8 to 12 hours” – said pitmaster Danny Cooper, from Fahrenheit 250 BBQ.

 

Sydney from Bordertown Bar-B-Que commented – “It’s all about friends coming together to have fun, a good time. You want to create a ‘party’ rather than a competitive atmosphere.”

 

Not only did they talk about friendship between their crew, but amongst their other rivals too. “We are all (competitors) a big family. If we don’t win, we are thrilled they (rivals) did! Barbecue it’s like golf; it’s not you against the competitors, it is us against those judges.” – Logan, part of the crew of Rocky Mountain Smokers.

 

As a very thankful attendee, I must admit with every bite of the tender brisket I took, I tasted that camaraderie, I felt that love, effort and passion pitmasters put in every single BBQ they cook.

 

Western Horse Review can’t wait to see y’all there again next year!

 

For more information, visit the Lynnwood Ranch website.

 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

BY ESTEBAN ADROGUE

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Western Horse Review wanted to give you a hand selecting the right gift for the most important woman in your life. If you need a last minute gift idea, here are a selection of our favorite items, available online now. Show Mom how much she means to you with these great ideas!

Who doesn’t love a pair of new boots? These Aztec, All-Around Square Toe Boots, from Noble Outfitters, are perfect for the Mom on the go! With a tough, leather exterior and an interior with lightweight Physio Outsole, designed for ultimate comfort, they are perfect for the woman who’s always on the move.

$239. Check out: Noble Outfitters.

With all the hard work she does, the least you can do is ensure Mom’s horse is comfortable. “The Rancher” 5 Star Saddle Pad is the ideal gift! Designed for all those ropers and ranchers out there, this super thick 1-1/8” wool pad eliminates double padding and reduces cinching, excellent for long trial rides! Not a Roper or a Rancher? Not to worry! Visit the  – 5 Star Equine Products website for many other saddle pad options and disciplines to find the perfect gift for Mom. $263.95.

What defines a mother is the love and commitment she had for her children, whether they have two or four legs! Maybe it’s time to treat yourself by treating that 1,500lbs, lovable goof in your life with a brand new “Mesh Sheet” from Back On Track. Their amazing Welltex fabric, reflects the horse’s own natural body warmth creating a soothing thermal warmth – the horse will not get over heated, but the sheet allows sweating to relieve and loosen inflamed or sore muscles. It also helps increase blood circulation and speeds muscle recovery. It’s the closest thing to a good, old fashioned bear hug for your furry creature! Starting at $199.

This beautiful dark leather bridle with extensive silver buckles, conchos and accents is designed for the Cowgirl within you! Make Mom’s horse look fantastic – and by extension, you look fantastic – with this piece from HB Leather.

Complete Mom’s outfit with beautiful hand-made belts, bracelets and accessories from Noble Outfitters offers many mix-n-match options such as the Aztec bracelet and belt. Why not top it off with an Ombre headband? Perfect for those cold days in which she wants to ride and still look great! (Even though Mom always looks great, right?) $22.95-$69.99.

Finish Mom’s special day by treating her to an amazing culinary experience. Gaucho Brazilian BBQ is a one of a kind Brazilian Barbecue. Experience the original taste of Churrasco, an authentic barbecue style made famous by Gauchos – the cowboys of South America. Want to become the best husband ever? Obtain a gift certificate from Gauchos, offer to take care of the kids, and let her enjoy a night to herself with her friends instead! (If you are lucky enough, she might even brag about how good of a man you are!)
Located in Calgary and Canmore. To make a reservation or for more information visit Gaucho Brazilian BBQ online.

Mane Event Red Deer, Post Coverage

 

BY ESTEBAN ADROGUE

That’s a wrap, folks! Western Horse Review Magazine had the pleasure of attending the 11th annual Mane Event Expo held at Westerner Park, in Red Deer from April 21-23, 2017. This year’s event hosted amazing clinicians and speakers who presented a great variety of disciplines and topics; from barrel racing and ranch roping, to dressage and jumping, to driving the horse and tack fitting. Plus, the well anticipated “Trainers Challenge”. But what would be an expo without the shopping? The Trade Show, as expected, didn’t disappoint. With an array of options for everyone, from jewelry made from your horse’s hair, to saddles and farrier equipment.


Highlights of the expo included presentations by Van Hargis and Peter Gray (over 35 years of experience in the show arena and Bronze medalist at the Pan Am Games in Eventing, respectively) who filled both arenas with thrilled spectators. There was also the “Live Like Ty” booth, which commemorated the loss of champion and an exceptional individual – both on and off the arena – Ty Pozzobon. Looking to raise awareness, protect and support the health and well-being of rodeo competitors and hosted by the Ty Pozzobon Foundation, a presentation on Liberty Training was conducted by Kalley Krickeberg. During this time, Krickeberg taught the audience how to build awareness and educate the horse’s instincts, in addition to presenting other interesting topics.

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The always anticipated Trainers Challenge consists of a three-day event and this year’s competitors Glenn Stewart, Martin Black, and Shamus Haws went head-to-head, putting their skills and knowledge to the test. Each trainer relayed their methods to the audience while handling unbroke horses provided by Ace of Clubs Quarter Horses. In a progression that usually takes between 30-60 days, these amazing trainers managed to achieve it in just as little as 96hrs! After Sunday’s final session, Martin Black was named the champion of the 2017 Trainers Challenge.


On Sunday afternoon, Western Horse Review had a wonderful visit from the Calgary Stampede Royalty. Queen Meagan Peters, Princess Brittany Lloyd, and Princess Lizzie Ryman helped us draw names for our give-aways for the expo and delivered Western Horse Review goodie bags, plus had pictures taken with the public.

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After the conclusion of the Trainers Challenge, people gathered their belongings and shopping articles, loaded their horses into trailers and this year’s Red Deer, AB, Mane Event came to a closing. We hope to see y’all at the next Mane Event, which will be held in London, Ontario from May 12-14, 2017!

DOC WEST: Property Theft Protection

ILLUSTRATION BY Dave Elston

In all the years I’ve been living out West, I’ve never encountered or heard about property theft as much as in recent times. More than several of my country neighbours have experienced thefts of varying degrees – from fuel to equipment, some have even lost their prized horses. Audacious thieves are committing their crimes in the middle of the night, while country-folk sleep soundly in their beds, and not much seems to get done about it. Maybe there’s something to be said about the Old West and it’s way of dealing with thievery. Are our current property theft laws substandard? What’s a rural property owner to do? 

The Old West had its own unique brand of justice cooked up just right for the frontier. Back in those days the law didn’t require a cowpoke riding solo on the high plains to holler for help before drawing down with his Colt on midnight rustlers fixing for his best horse. The lonely pioneer widow could still swing a double-barrel Coach gun from the veranda with authority on a peeping scoundrel and wouldn’t be charged with careless use of a firearm. However, those days are long gone and today we live in a more civilized and gentile age where it seems you must treat robbers, murderers, bandits, and thieves with courtesy and serve them tea as they load up your wares and ride off into the sunset. So what can you do and what can’t you do? As a starting point, know that legalese is not ole’ Doc’s forte – so don’t go quoting me to the judge if you accidentally get a bit twitchy and start blasting away at some wayward visitors.

First off, Doc is a firm believer in the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Thieves always look for the easiest target, and will often “case” properties for a good haul and a quick easy getaway. You don’t need rows of razor wire or a moat to make your property an uninviting target, but there are preventative measures you can take. Thieves don’t want to be seen, they work most comfortably under the cover of darkness and anonymity. A bright, well-lit farmyard or acreage might just be the only thing he needs to see to move on to another target. Security cameras and alarms also enhance the deterrence effect – so long as the culprit knows that they are there – so if you have them, make sure they are visible and the intruder is alerted as to their existence. Gates are a terrific source of deterrence, crime statistics will attest that gated residences have significantly lower incidents of break-ins than ungated properties. A grumbly old yard hound will make a racket and if he’s mean enough might take a chunk or two out of a bandit’s backside. Remember that your acreage doesn’t have to be Fort Knox, it just needs to appear to be more impenetrable than your neighbours’.

However, I know as a wannabe John Wayne you’re really not interested in all the panzy stuff that the police tell you to do, and hell, you’ve not moved way out to scenic acres just to hide in your closet and dial 911. You want to know (not withstanding all reasonable precautions of course), if a determined rustler breaches the sanctity of your property and is in the process of loading up your best roping horse, can you draw down? Well, the answer is, it depends.

In 2012, the Conservative government passed Bill c-26 (also known as the Lucky Moose Bill after Chinatown store owner David Chen – who was charged with assault after he chased down, tied up and detained a shoplifter at the Lucky Moose Food Mart), which streamlined Canada’s antiquated and convoluted “defence of property” provisions. Overall, a successful claim of defence of property in the law requires three things:

  • A reasonable perception of a specified type of threat to property in one’s “peaceable possession”;
  • A defensive purpose associated with the accused’s actions; and,
  • The accused’s actions must be reasonable in the circumstances.

In acreage cowpuncher terms, that translates to:

  • That ropin’ horse you believe is belongn’ to you needs to be legally belongn’ to you;
  • What you do must be for the purpose of saving your roping horse from theft; and,
  • The force you use to save your roping horse from theft must be reasonable in the circumstances.

Each case will turn on its individual facts. For example, farmer Brian Knight of Lacombe, pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing bodily harm after giving chase to, running down and shooting ATV thief Harold Groening in the hiney with a shotgun. Whereas Saskatoonian Hugh Lindholm was never charged at all for firing two warning shots with his hunting rifle at a stranger who had hurled a brick through his front window, and was standing on his deck demanding his car keys.

The rule of thumb is there is no rule of thumb. Each situation is different and so is each prosecutor and each judge. There are no hard and fast rules, but a good dose of common sense will tell you what force is reasonable and legal, and what force is going to land you a free stay at the crowbar hotel.

Doc West is grateful for the consultation provided by Dunn and Associates for the legal clarification offered in this article. 

Summer of Thunder

By Piper Whelan

Medicine Hat’s Terri Clark has produced myriad hits over her two decades in Nashville, and she’ll return to the prairies this summer for two noteworthy country music festivals. In July, fans can enjoy Clark’s upbeat set at Country Thunder Saskatchewan in Craven (July 13-16). She performs on Sunday, July 16, and is looking forward to going on before fellow country star Keith Urban. “He’s, to me, just the most legitimate talent we have in our format,” she says a day after a show at the Grand Ole Opry where both she and Urban performed. “We haven’t worked together on the stage in a long, long time, so it’s going to be fun.”

In August, Clark will be back in her home province for Country Thunder Alberta in Calgary (August 18-20). After the success of last year’s inaugural Country Thunder Alberta, Clark is excited to play to an audience in the province she grew up in, and fans can look forward to an energetic show when Clark hits the stage on Saturday, August 19.

These are just two of Clark’s tour stops in a jam-packed summer that will take her from Tacoma, Washington to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. In addition to a busy tour schedule, she has many projects on the go, including collaborations with some friends in the industry. “I just want to start doing some things that are a bit different, and keep things fresh for me, too, as an artist, as well as the audience,” she says. You can also hear Clark interview country artists on her weekly radio show Country Gold, which now airs on 120 stations. As well, she has plans for new music in the works. “I’m doing a bunch of work this summer on the road, and I’m writing songs and I’m going to start recording new music this summer … so I’m going to be busy for a while,” she laughs. “No slowing down.”

 

For more information about the upcoming Country Thunder concerts, check out: www.countrythunder.com

Oldstoberfest Returns for Second Round

 

Oldstoberfest returns for a second round of rodeo, beer and lederhosen.

The unique event that combines rodeo with an Ocktoberfest swing to it is returning to Alberta this September 15-16 at the Olds Regional Exhibition grounds.

In 2015, the event brought over 8,000 visitors into the town with a professional rodeo, an authentic Biergarten and world class concerts. Under new ownership of C5 Rodeo Company, Oldstoberfest will now return as an annual event once again.

“We are so excited to bring this event back to Olds and continue a tradition that brought many together in such a fun, unique celebration.” said Gillian Grant, C5 Rodeo Coordinator. “Our goal is for Oldstoberfest to be the premier fall community event in the town of Olds for years to come!”

Oldstoberfest will continue the tradition of combining the World’s First Bavarian Rodeo and Cow Palace Biergarten, with exceptional outdoor concert entertainment. A volunteer meeting will be held at the Olds Cow Palace on April 13th, 2017 at 6:00 pm and is open to anyone who would like to be involved.

Canvas Auction Numbers Up

In a show of strong community support for the sport of chuckwagon racing, the total auction proceeds this evening are $2,420,500 up $123,000 from 2016. Kelly Sutherland takes home the top bid of the night, $110,000, courtesy of Friends of the King.

“This sport has deep roots in our city and in our country, and tonight’s bidding makes that very clear,” said Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon committee chair Mike Piper, following the auction. “The support pledged to these drivers helps to ensure we will continue to enjoy chuckwagon racing for years to come.”

In total, more than 175 groups and companies registered for the opportunity to advertise with the 36 men who will be competing in the 2017 GMC Rangeland Derby during the Calgary Stampede, July 7-16. The proceeds of tonight’s auction will help those drivers cover the expense of caring for and travelling with their horses, not just during the Calgary Stampede, but throughout the racing season.

In addition to gaining valuable exposure for their brand, successful bidders now have the opportunity to offer clients, employees, friends and family a one-of-a-kind experience in the chuckwagon barn area during the 2017 Calgary Stampede.  For interested parties, a select few of those opportunities may still be possible post-auction by teaming up with successful bidders. More information is available at calgarystampede.com.

 20172016
Total Auction Proceeds $2,420,500$2,297,500
Average Bid$67,236$63,819
Top bid driverKelly SutherlandKurt Bensmiller
Top bid$110,000$120,000

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.