Birth of a Champion

Harley. Photo by Lee Ann Rust.

Contestants are gearing up and counting down to the 40th annual Canadian Finals Rodeo, while one in particular has an interesting task on hand while she is there.

Lee Ann Rust, a CFR barrel racing competetior will be there to barrel race, but also to sign a brand new children’s book that she has written. Rust has written a book about her great barrel horse. Harley, and has shared the story of the trials and sucess along the way.

Lee Ann Rust’s new book about her champion barrel racing horse, Harley.

I remember Lee Ann when she first came up to Canada to rodeo, and she was a very unique individual. Her whole life, and spare time seemed to revolve around Harley, and his well being. She spent hours working on him through stimulating acupressure points, and having a natural approach with his health.  Then she would go and run – and win! I am lucky enough that I have been able to get to know Lee Ann over the past few years, and I must say she is a true inspiration. She is always there to cheer you on, and help you if needed, and always has a great story to tell. I have to laugh when I watch some of my barrel racing runs – because all you hear is Lee Ann in the background, “sit, sit, sit, sit, sit!” and as I round the barrel a really loud, “YEAH! Go on now!”

I love hearing how she wants the best for everybody.

Lee Ann is donating an autographed book to each child at the Canadian Finals Rodeo who is involved with the Rodeo Magic, and she will be autographing a limited number of copies at the Rodeo.

Her book is also available (for U.S. orders only) at www.harleythehorse.com, for $11.95 plus tax, plus shipping and handling, and can be found on Amazon.

Just knowing Lee Ann personally – I can assure you this will be a great book to read.

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.

7 Weeks ’till Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

The great gift idea I have for you today is a photo book. With nothing more than a selection of your own digital or scanned photos of hand, these are a cinch to craft online. As posible inspiration for your own creation, I’m going to share with you the one I just completed.

When Teenager graduated from high school earlier this year, I decided to gift her with a photo shoot to record the occasion. On a lovely sunny mid-summer’s day, Krista Kay showed up with all of her camera bags, creativity and lust for a good shoot crammed in the back of her car. Enroute, she had sped by a landscape of golden canola fields, punctuated with a few falling-down old buildings, and I sensed as I met her at the door, the seed of an idea had already been planted. As it turned out, boyfriend and I had to leave to attend a Calgary Stampede function, hence we hastily snapped a few family shots and then we left Krista, Teenager, Wee, and my son to their own devices. The results were stunning and crazily in tune with my wildest desires. You see, in the back of my mind I had pined for a series of photos which reflected the country life which has been so much a part of Teenager’s upbringing, tossed in with a bit of her redneck nature, and accompanied by the equine who has most shared her journey – the infamous Blue. Krista delivered tenfold, and the resulting 100 or so photos blew us away visually.

However showing them to friends via my laptop slideshow began to feel a teensy bit like subjecting them to a very long and squirmy home movie. I decided I needed a better venue to showcase these photos. I’m not a scrapbooker and my photo albums feel somewhat antiquated these days, so the idea of a photo book gradually formed.

My initial inspiration came in the form of an e-book Nancy Lowery of The Natural Leader shared with me a year or so ago, entitled Great Expectations – detailing her reflections of the past year.

After viewing the latest of Nancy’s beautiful series, Breathe, and then subsequently flipping through a friend’s photo book detailing her trip through Russia, I decided to give it a try myself.

To clarify, Nancy’s e-book is a slight riff from the photo book in that the former is not a tangible object, but lives online. The photo book I just created for Teenager is a real book, two copies (one for our own and the second for Teenager’s Gram. Hint, great gift idea!) of which are currently in print. I wish I had the actual book in hand to snap some photos for this post, but it won’t arrive for another three weeks. I decided, if I’m going to throw this out as a gift option, I best do it now, for it takes a bit of production time to pull it all together.

I used Blurb to create my photo book, primarily because it provides tons of custom options, but there is an endless list of choices in the matter of photo book purveyors. Have a browse at Shutterfly, which is a popular choice, as is Mixbook and Snapfish.

So, while this isn’t the hard cover item we’ll soon have in our hands, these are a few examples of the pages within, and gives you an idea of the choices when creating your own book. These screenshots are taken from a PDF file, which is a $2.99 option in the Blurb order form process.

I chose not to add text to the layouts, though it’s simple to do so. In this case, I desired the photos to flow visually without the distraction of copy. It’s easy within the layout options of Blurb to choose whatever combination of photos you’d like, simply drag-drop them on the page and then choose a structure from the templates provided. You can change your layout with every page, and, as illustrated above, drop in a background color to the white space.

Alternatively, you can opt for “full bleed,” which allows the photos to run right to the edges of the pages. I liked the idea of profiling Krista’s shots against my own older digital shots and thus, portraying Teenager’s journey with Blue.

On the right, Krista having fun with the country side of Teenager, and an earlier shot of the kid, which may have been our first inclination of that hayseed side of her.

Another of what we in publishing refer to as a dps (double page spread) portraying a full color shot on the left, with a sepia tone and a couple of black and white shots on the righthand side page.

Compiling the now-and-then shots was just so much fun. You could apply this concept to a horse and rider’s journey together, or the compilation of a lifespan of competition – that sort of idea.

I chose similar poses from earlier years for a pretty juxtaposition.

And chronicled a bit of Teenager’s journey with the friends who have shared her horse passion over the years.

Photo by Krista Kay.

P.S. I must add this photo from the shoot, as it illustrates Blue’s perfect co-operation on the day of, but then he always seems to know when a camera is focused on him and profiles his best side as only he adeptly can. He’s such a ham.

I rounded out the story with photos of the grad ceremony, dance and a selection of family shots, both old and new. I suppose I could have gone on forever, but I capped the book at 58 single pages, including covers, chose a hard cover option, added on the PDF option and the cost came to approximately $50.00 for each of two books. Great value for a beautiful keepsake.

Some examples of other great equine blurb-created books you might like to view include:

– The Equine Art of Debbie Flood (stunning example of an equine artist’s book)

– Equine Photo Paintings

– Or, you can even create your own yearly horse journal. 

Blurb promised to turn my online order into a real book in about 4 weeks, and while I didn’t check delivery times of other purveyors, it might be diligent to begin sooner rather than later if you’d like copies of your creation for Christmas. Then again, after-Christmas gifts are always a fun surprise.

So friends, I hope this gift idea is one you can grasp on to and make your own and if so, I’d love to hear of the results.

9 Weeks ’till Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

The gentle and steady snowfall this week reminded me Christmas is just around the corner . . . just under 9 weeks away in fact. What a fitting day to begin the countdown as the first of the serious snowfalls continues outside my door.

Last year, I began my 12 Weeks ’till Christmas countdown with a book that still marks as one of my favorite go-to photography books, Chicks With Guns. I’m not a hunter, but I loved both the prose and photos within this book. The stories, gathered from 80 women across America, explains, often in eloquent language, why they own and use firearms. The reasons frequently relate to a family tradition – though not always. Sport, hunting and occasionally protection, factor in the reasons these women own firearms. Their personal triumphs and occasional fears are compellingly real.

I have two further book considerations for your Christmas wish list today. The first is West.

Penned and photographed by two Swedes, Lars Aberg and Lars Strandberg, who share a passion for the American West.

Physically, it’s a large book, with 300 images and prose printed artfully on a matte paper which suits the style well. The pair travelled extensively throughout the West, digging into the oddest corners of mythology and everyday life, contemplating a lifestyle that involves hard work as well as vision, and portraying a vast region with both environmental problems, stunning beauty and plenty of what we think of as the human touch.

West poster.

It fits dreamy and contemplative Sunday afternoons, one of those books you can get lost in for an hour or so. It isn’t your typical western anthology, nor does it copy the David Stocklein type. Those who side more on the conventional may find it odd and unfulfilling, as it does present a rather unusual take on the American West.

The second book I want to offer up today is Peter Campbell’s new Willing Partners – Insight on Stockmanship. This simply-styled book, published by A.J. Mangum’s, The Frontier Project, is a smaller sized book, with the depth and straightforwardness many who know Peter would ascribe to his personality. Written in the style of Peter’s mentor, Tom Dorrance’s True Unity, the text is a collection of essays and thoughts on the process of working with a horse.

As he writes in the book, “There are a million different ways to work a horse. For me, there’s only one right way: to work from where the horse is at.”

Peter and his wife Trina, have resided at their ranch in Colorado for many years now, but Peter is Canadian born and cut his teeth in the horse business riding for Parks Canada, training park horses and guiding for a living when he was a young man.

He writes, “Occasionally, though, there were problems with horses, problems I couldn’t solve, no matter what I tried.” He asked a friend for advice and that friend let him know about a man who was coming to Alberta to conduct a clinic on just that subject – solving horse problems.

That man was Ray Hunt, and he influenced how Peter viewed his equine partners. Eager for more, he moved to California to be close to another mentor, Tom Dorrance. Today we know Peter as an excellent horseman and clinician, in the style of the buckaroo, and furthering the philosophies of Dorrance and Hunt. Travelling throughout North America, he shares his insights and inspirations; many are related in essay form in this book, which also happens to be chock full of photos, often snapped at ranches across Canada, and few vintage shots of Peter in his earlier days in the national parkland bordering Banff.

The book is $50 and you can order it from Amazon or the Peter Campbell website.

Over the next 8 weeks I’ll do my best to come up with some of the most innovative western-styled ideas for your Christmas shopping list. We might throw in some giveaways along the way, so remember to keep Screen Doors & Saddles bookmarked.

Thomas McGuane

Last night I had caught up with some reading, including a November, 2010,  Men’s Journal interview with writer, Montana rancher, and cutter, Thomas McGuane.

I’ve long been a fan of McGuane’s writing. Some years ago he graciously allowed us to reproduce a short story about a unique cutting horse gelding named Roanie, excerpted from his excellent book, Some Horses, in Western Horse Review’s 15th anniversary January, 2008 edition.

McGuane and his wife live just outside of McLeod, Montana, where he runs a few cattle, still rides cutting horses and writes, his latest novel, being Driving The Rim. He is now 71 years old and considered one of North America’s foremost writers, along the likes of Jim Harrison and Cormac McCarty.

Thought you might enjoy these musings from the man who, according to the MJ article, once described himself as “a neurotic writer who’d like to be a cowboy.”

ON HIS EARLY LIFE

“I had a kind of tough early life. I had a tough time in school. I had an unsympathetic family in terms of what I was trying to do. I decided that my family situation was simply hopeless. I kinda bailed out, and my brother and sister didn’t. I failed at marriage, which I’m very upset with myself over. I just kept beating my head against these things. So I lit out for territory.”

ON MONTANA

“I knew the minute I set foot out here, once I saw the wild rivers and the expansive landscape, there was never going to be anyplace else. I get needled a lot by the rest of the family, but this is the niche I’ll die in. I just love being here. And I’m sorry I don’t have another hundred years on this property.”

“That will knock the socks off your vanity.” (on living in Montana for 40 years)

ON ROPING

“It was a little like learning to fish. You had to figure some of it out, get a few tips, and then there was an arena where they had practice cattle. At least two nights a week, I’d go rope steers.”

“You practice: You make your loop, you slide it up, you straighten your rope, you make your loop, you throw it, you keep your thumb out of the dally, make your dally on the horn, pull your hand back so in case the dally slips, it’s not going to rip your hand off. If the steer hits too hard, you gotta slow it down. It’s 15 different things that you can learn, like a golf swing or anything else.”

ON BUSTER WELCH

As quoted from Welch to McGuane: “Tom, every really good horse is a freak. Anybody who sets out to do something unique is going to acquire the status of a freak in his own family.”

“Buster Welch has this principle of schooling horses. Never ask the horse to do something it’s going to do anyway. I’ve seen Buster send horses back because they’re too well broke. He said they’re listening to the rider all the time. A good horse will want something to happen on its own, and a seed of creativity is that feeling of wanting something to happen.”

ON WHEN HIS TIME COMES

“I would prefer breaking my neck in a  fall from a fast horse.”

Read the entire article here, friends.

Have a great weekend!


Great Expectations

Over the weekend I received an inspiring e-book which I’d love to share with you.

I’ve known Nancy Lowery for several years, and at Western Horse Review, we have followed her work with interest. I’ve always admired the fact that she left a high profile career in the corporate world to strike out on her own and live the life she wanted – with horses. It takes a bit of courage to take that leap of faith.

Thinking creatively and strategically is something which seems to comes naturally to Nancy and she has spent the the last years employing those skills in the programs she creates and delivers to the corporate sector or to youth programs through her business, The Natural Leader.

As a reflection of the past year, Nancy composed this divine book, full of inspiration and honest reflection of lessons learned.

Pages are delivered with favorite quotes, gorgeous photography and musings on Nancy’s lessons from horses. Such as this essay on the Drama Queen in her life, a 16-year-old mare named Zoe.

I’m hoping this essay might help me understand the 16-year-old in my life. I know . . . it’s a long shot.

I love Nancy’s stories of steps taken, progress made, with favourite horses.

It’s telling to note, that after working for years with such high profile clients as Mercedes-Benz and Proctor & Gamble, Nancy came to the conclusion that much of what she learned about leading people, “I learned from my horses.”

“Thinking requires effort, effort equates with discomfort, discomfort produces a level of uncertainty; uncertainty reduces our capacity to reason and tends to steer us back to what is certain. It is this chain of action and reaction that makes it difficult for us to accept change, even when change is for the best.”

Nancy’s relationship and insightful moments with her horses are told in the book. No matter our background, there are words, passages and stories within this e-book we can all relate to. And learn from.

I encourage you to view Nancy’s A Year of Expectation e-book in it’s entirety at The Natural Leader website.

It’s an inspirational piece of photography, typography and reflections.

Take a moment and enjoy!

8 Weeks ’til Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

I walked out the front door of the log house this morning to be greeted by this.

The view to the West was unsurprisingly similar.

Apparently, it was a universal phenomena.

To the east the view was slightly warmer, but only due to the light of sunrise.

The first serious snowfall. Sometime in the night, the winds had blown in and created a masterpiece of beauty. Still, standing there in a housecoat, over my Duberry boots, I was acutely aware of the cold snap of weather accompanying this poetic still life.

Winter has officially hit.

It hasn’t quite reached these proportions, but we are all aware of the prognosis, aren’t we?

The entire scene reminded me of an Ian Tyson song . . . you know the one. . .

If I get there before the snow flies
And if things are going good
You could meet me if I send you down the fare
But by then it would be winter
Nothing much for you to do
And the wind sure blows cold way out there

And, that reminded me of the book I had just finished reading.

Which inclined me to remember my 12 Weeks ’til Christmas: Great Gift Ideas series. From there, it didn’t take long to crunch the numbers, and . . . bring you today’s Great Christmas Gift Idea – Ian Tyson’s just released memoir, The Long Trail: My Life in the West.

Tyson’s biography is candid. He writes unflinchingly about his life in the music business, from his start as half the duo of Ian & Sylvia in the folk scene of the ’60s, his fallout of the musical flavor of the next decades, and his re-emergence as the cowboy renaissance vocalist and writer of, perhaps, the century.

Throughout it all there has been the horses and the West, the changes thereof chronicled through the eyes of a man who has firsthand, from his ranch in the foothills, observed the disfigurement of the land. Tyson is a man who has fought against this destruction, through his work saving the historic OH Ranch, the Oldman Dam (though it was constructed), and against the drilling of exploratory wells in the eastern foothills of the Rockies.

Tyson lives and works at this own ranch, south of Longview. His descriptions of the ranch, the weather, wildlife and the horses are sentimental, loving and inspiring.

While his connection with horses began as a child and later, young man, near Victoria, British Columbia, where he rode broncs for the fun and thrill of it, it was in Ontario, where he met Walter Hellyer, and bought his first cutting horses.

Among them was a “big, buckskin broodmare” – a daughter of Doc Bar named Doc’s Able Mable.

“Having a horse with Doc Bar blood was a very big deal in the 1970s,” writes Tyson.

This was long before the time of chilled or frozen semen, so Tyson took the mare to Texas and had her bred to cutting legend Buster Welch’s rising star, Mr San Peppy. The resulting foal – “a little yellow colt” – was named Doc’s Summer Wages.

After his go at the Fort Worth Futurity with “Yeller”, Tyson eventually advertised him as a stallion, and today, many people are still riding the grand-get of this golden palomino.

It’s all in the book. If you love the West and horses, you’ll love the book, and you’ll appreciate Tyson’s truths about it all.

As he recently stated in a National Post article, “I’ve gotten the s–t kicked out of me, and writing the book was very emotional, but if you can make it through life’s trials and tribulations, it’s cool.”

Ian Tyson is the real deal, he’s lived the life that many only dream of.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

9 Weeks ’til Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

So I’ve been counting down to Christmas and sharing some of my best gift ideas with you over the past few weeks. Catch up at the beginning with 12 Weeks to Christmas.

This is one of the simplest gifts you can give your family. And, it doesn’t have to “cost” you anymore than time spent with them and a bit of grocery money.

This book is not just a cookbook, it’s a journey into learning to provide a cleaner diet for your family.

I love Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution right from the opening statement on his website. . .

“This food revolution is about saving America’s health by changing the way you eat. . . it’s a movement for you, your family and your community. If you care about your kids and their future take this revolution and make it your own. Educate yourself about food and cooking. Find out what your child is eating at school. Make only a few small changes and magical things will happen. Switching from processed to fresh food will not only make you feel better but it will add years to your life. You can…”

It’s about throwing away the packets, bottles and stuff sitting in your freezer in boxes pretending to be food. It’s a simple enough concept. Our mothers and grandmothers knew it like the backs of their hands.

You begin with a few essential tools.

And a well-stocked pantry. All the more essential when you live in the boondocks, like I do.

Jamie Oliver’s food revolution, and his cookbook, based on the movement, is about learning how to cook with real ingredients – simple ingredients.

Rediscover the cucumber salad – with four delicious variations.

Or try it out with tomatoes.

Salad dressings are really incredibly simple to make, but we’ve all become so accustomed to the colorful commercial varieties, it feels like a gourmet venture to whip up our own. How crazy is that?

In this household, we’ve made a concerted effort to rid our diets of packaged and processed food over the past few years. And, I’ve taken the time to teach some basic techniques to my kids. Teenager makes a killer chicken noodle soup from scratch, and in a pinch, Wee can whip up scrambled eggs and bacon.

My mom cooked everything from scratch. I swear the only items she purchased at the grocery store were flour and sugar.

Oh, and ketchup. But, she even made that herself for a few years.

I wish she had taught me to cook back when I was a kid, but then I probably wasn’t very receptive to it. I likely would have choosen the barn over the kitchen any day of the week.

But, nowadays, I like to cook. In another life, I lived in the city with a girl who was French Canadian and taught me how to make things like caesar salad dressing and spaghetti sauce from scratch.

The connection between the heritage and recipes beats me too. But, her love of cooking from scratch and entertaining awakened the same qualities in me.

She’s become my lifelong friend, and we still exchange recipes. Cooking together is something we both look forward to when we meet up.

Nowadays I can make a beautiful and healthy lasagne from scratch. But, someday soon, I’m going to try Jamie’s.

I’ve always loved the “it takes a village” concept and Jamie’s philosophy embraces it. He’s spent a lot of time teaching ordinary people in his neighbourhood how to cook and dispersed throughout this cookbook are their stories. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the book.

Meet Tracey & Andy. They now own Sunday dinner roast.

Geoff, who has the most amazing set of coffee mugs above his windows!

and Julie, who learned how to cook out of her traditional box.

Last night I made this. Yum.

So, if you’re still haunting the aisles of your local Costco freezer section, go out and buy this cookbook, I dare you to.

It’s loaded with photos and step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. Perfect for the beginner cook, for lazy cooks, for busy horsepeople, like me, like you, who don’t have time to spend all afternoon in the kitchen, and for anyone who just needs a little bit of inspiration in the kitchen.

If you already practice clean diet, aka, cooking from scratch practices, pass it on! To your kids, your spouses, your friends, and neighbors. I promise it will be one of the best gifts you can give – at any time of year.

Besides, how hard is this guy to look at. . .

Ahhhheeem, where were we on that recipe?

12 Weeks ’til Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

It snowed today at the log house. A significant amount. Enough to scrap off the deck.

Alright, I didn’t, but I could have.

Instead, the snow reminded me of this idea stewing in the back of my brain for a 12 weeks ’til Christmas series on Screen Doors & Saddles, with my best shot at the most unique gift ideas for y’all I could think of. Equus-related of course.

Problem is we’re nine weeks and a bit from Christmas today.

All I can offer is “what the hey?”

Like where did October go?

I know you’re with me on that. So, I’m going to do this thing regardless. Just do it. I’ll throw in the missing weeks here and there. Try and keep up with me.

To rocket this series off in high fashion, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite books; a compilation which I guarantee would be an incredible addition to any horseperson’s library. Technically, Horses, by French photographer, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, might be categorized as a horse breeds book, but it is anything but an A-Z encyclopedia. It’s more like a cornucopia, actually a gallop, indeed a full-out stampede in the greatest of glory, riddled with richness, lavishness and incredible depth and diversity.

If there were an America’s Next Top Horse Model television series, Arthus-Bertrand would be Nigel Barker. Renowned photographer, with an incredible eye for capturing the essence and true beauty of the equine.

I give you the forthcoming cover of Italian Vogue.

Arthus-Bertrand travelled the earth and eventually completed a 15 year project of photographing animals, horses among them, against a plain backdrop, treating his subjects more as models than animals. The result is the photographic captivation of horses that are not only a departure of the four-square traditional profile shot, but animated beyond belief, even surreal at times, and in all cases, most definitely alive with the spirit of the equus.

It is a collection you cannot help but fall in love with.

I gaze through this book and stand in complete awe. Of the connections we hold with the people of the world. Of the history of the world. Of my horses, and all they represent. This book brings all of it crashing into my little corner of the world.

Majestic is a word often over-used as a descriptor of the horse. Here it stands true.

While the breeds we are most familiar with are represented, it is the stunning photos of horses from the most far-flung regions of the world which most capture my heart. Not to mention their incredible handlers.

For instance, this beauty.

This bold, magnificent pair.

Meet the Bashkirsky mare, Anessa, a mare whose pedigree dates back to one of Leo Tolstoy’s stud farms. An ardent breeder, the Russian author crossed English horses and Russian trotters with an original Cossack breed of Russian pony called the Bashkirsky. This award winning descendant is presented with foal at foot, guided by her breeder, who carries on her arm, a bucket of koumiss (a slightly fermented milk, and highly prized drink, which was once considered on the level of a magic potion.)

Consider these matching beauties.

A prized pony!

These are the heavy horses. In all their glory. The handler, in all of hers. And wearing dress slippers! Bravo!

Yes, the glorious Shires.

More ponies!

The true hunters.

And jumpers.

Cowboys and their mounts are liberally represented. As are a Canadian western horse breeder couple. But, I won’t spoil that for you by previewing it here.

The Argentina section enthralled me, including the stunning athletic sleekness of this polo horse.

And this breathtaking shot – an Argentine Criollo cow horse, with his trainer.

I love this book so much, and I’m happy to share it with you. But, if you’d like your own copy, we added it to the Western Horse Review store, for your convenience, if you wish to order. Or, you can find it at the usual online outlets such as Amazon.

By the way, Yann Arthus-Bertrand didn’t reserve his camera for only the equine. For you cattlemen and women there is a book of livestock as well with such specimens as this magnificent bull . . .

and this belle.

I refer to the Jersey, not handler.

Moo.