The Grind Doesn’t Stop

Roy on an autumn, Alberta ride. Photo by Taylor Hillier Photography.

BY JENN WEBSTER

Bryn Roy, an Alberta boy who successfully made the journey from cowboy to professional linebacker, is many things.

He was drafted by the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League in 2012 and then played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2016 and the Edmonton Eskimos in 2017. He grew up in a rodeo family, which naturally transitioned Roy into roping, and bulldogging in the competition arena. And he’s a down-home guy who can still remember the first horse he ever swung a leg over, an Appaloosa named Chief. But perhaps most notably for a 30-year-old cowboy of his merit, Roy is an inspiration for other young, Canadian athletes who may want to follow in his footsteps.

“I know how hard it is to be a high school kid coming out of Alberta, wanting to pursue an athletic career,” Roy states. “It makes it tough to go on. There’s a lot of good athletes here who don’t necessarily get the exposure they need.”

This past spring, Roy put together the Bryn Roy Southern Alberta Football Combine and the response was overwhelming for the event’s first year out of the gate. Seeing a need for a Canadian showcasing event that allowed potential football hopefuls to perform physical and mental tests in front of a panel of scouts, Roy brought 25 universities and schools together this past March. He expects more to join the ranks in 2019.

“I started calling different universities, I had schools all the way from Calgary to Texas who came to watch that day. A few kids got signed and got scholarships and are now focusing on the next level! I’m excited about it,” he explained. “I feel that we are at somewhat of a disadvantage up here, because we don’t have the same opportunities American athletes have. And it’s based off numbers alone,” Roy stated.

“From what I’ve seen and what I’ve been able to prove, the good players up here are just as good as the good American athletes – there’s just not as many of them.” Roy says much of his motivation for developing the combine was inspired by his own history. Determined to rewrite the books for a new wave of athletes coming up, he wanted to create a venue that brought out the “right kinds of eyes” for young potentials.

 

From Roy’s Instagram

 

“I wanted it so badly and eventually a way presented itself for me. But it took a lot of work and a little luck,” said Roy, who didn’t actually get to play organized football himself, until grade eight. In many ways, the odds were stacked against the rural Albertan to play professional football. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way and all the nights of watching football highlights, and days playing catch and running routes at rodeos grounds across North America eventually saw him become a collegiate athlete on scholarship. Now with 6 seasons under his belt in the CFL, Roy has a lot of experience he hopes to be able to share with others who want to tread a similar path.

“It’s fun to be able to try and help guys who want to do what I’ve done. The combine was my major emphasis of the spring.” For now, Roy is currently a free agent, which has afforded him the time it takes to put on such an event. Presently, he is already making plans for the 2019 combine, which will likely happen in February.

 

From Roy’s Instagram

 

“I would love to potentially play for the next three years – or I may never play again. That’s the side of sport that not everyone sees. It’s so far out of my control that I don’t even have a good answer for the question of my immediate future,” Roy said with honesty.

Until the next combine, Roy will busy himself training young athletes at Built Strong Athletics in Okotoks, AB, continue to work as a day hand on several different Alberta ranches, and fit some movie work in when he can. There’s also the call that came in yesterday – to see if he’d be interested to play in a European football league.

He’s got some thinking to do.

Until such time as he makes his decision however, he’s enjoying his time at home near Dalemead, AB, getting back to his roots.

“Once the the combine got wrapped up this spring, I was siting there trying to figure out what my next step was. I missed all the spring training and getting ready, as far as rodeoing goes. But I had a few young horses in the pasture that I had been riding, so I decided to get back to that a little,” he told. “There’s this palomino in the bunch that is my favourite – we call her Honey. she was a fun filly to start. We got going with her and eventually, I put her on the Heel-O-Matic,” Roy said.

“Now she’s a three-year-old and I’ve roped a few live steers with her, all the while, taking it pretty slow. I’ve since ranched off her a little and she has been awesome, right from the get-go.” Having talent to fall back on is a gift for which, many people can only wish. And while rodeo still holds its arms open to Roy – he wants to ensure he scores every last opportunity out of football at the same time.

“I put rodeo on the back-burner for so long and I’ve lived on the cusp of it. I’m still roping and throwing steers down at home – but you only can play football for so long. I’ve worked hard for that and I’m going to try and squeeze every last drop out of it that I can,” he said. Adding, “But that’s the beauty of the combine. As soon as my career is done, I can help the new generation.”

With the powerful forces of football and rodeo pulling him in either direction, the decision of which path to choose at this point in his life ain’t easy. Yet luckily for him, Roy has meaningful work on the horizon. And a few good horses waiting in the pasture.

 

For more information on the 2019 Bryn Roy Southern Alberta Football Combine, stay tuned to his personal Facebook page and Instagram @bryn_roy16.

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!

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.

Brain Injuries & Mental Health Symposium

Leading Canadian equine organizations recently formed a consortium to increase awareness of Brain Injuries and Mental Health in the Canadian Equine Industry. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Spruce Meadows along with the therapeutic product innovator, Back on Track Canada and leaders from the sport and emergency medicine community, recently announced the formation of a national consortium committed to increasing concussion and mental health awareness across the Canadian equine industry. Leaders from the western and English riding communities have come together to design and initiate the delivery of Canada’s first Symposium on Brain Injury and Mental Health in the Canadian Equine Industry, slated for October 11th at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta.

“It’s challenging to put a figure on just how many Canadians suffer from brain injuries,” says Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, one of the country’s leading medical experts and educators on injury prevention and the Symposium’s keynote speaker. “They don’t all present for care, especially the milder it is. The trouble with a brain injury is that you don’t appear to be injured, (but) it is a leading cause of death.

Brain injuries affect thousands of Canadians annually — most especially those within the sports community — and potentially carry $10 million per patient in economic impact for the country, says the former President of the Canadian Medical Association and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. “There’s an ambulance, there are doctor visits and follow-ups, the person’s IQ may be impacted to the point where they’re unable to work,” he affirms. “Certainly, if its a youth, their parent will have to take time off from work. It can break up families and cause divorce.

“There’s a lifetime impact to brain injuries that add up.”

Prevention is the safest and most effective way to save lives, Dr. Francescutti continues. “The thing I ask all patients when treating for injury from an accident is, ‘did you think it would happen to you today?’ Accidents and injuries always happen when you least expect it.”

Symposium workshop leaders, speakers, and panelists are being drawn from a roster of recognized experts in the equine world. The one-day event is designed to equip participants with resources they can take back to their respective horse-riding communities and put into daily use. “We want to provide a toolbox of resources to all Canadian equine organizations, so they can better deal with the critical issue of rider health and wellness,” says Dr. Blaine Bugg, President of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team.

“Equestrian Canada (EC) is delighted to have been asked to be a part of the continuing conversation surrounding concussion awareness. Although there have been strides made, there is still a lot of work to be done to help athletes and their support teams, in all sports, be armed with the information they need. EC would like to thank the consortium’s founding members for making this Symposium possible,” says Jon Garner, Director of Sport with Equestrian Canada.

 

Back on Track has incorporated MIPS technology into their new line of horse-back riding helmets. Biomechanical specialists developed MIPS (which stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System) at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. It has been scientifically proven to increase concussion safety greatly. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

The consortium’s founding members include Equestrian Canada, Spruce Meadows, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Med Team, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Benson Concussion Institute Inc., Ty Pozzobon Foundation, Back on Track Canada and others.

“We are excited to bring together a diverse representation of the Canadian riding communities in this unprecedented initiative to improve rider safety and long-term mental health in our $13.5 billion industry,” says Tobi Simms CEO of Back on Track Canada.

All Canadian equine organizations will be invited to join the consortium to raise nationwide awareness of the prevention of brain injuries to riders, how to identify related mental health issues, and where to find appropriate resources to deal with them.

Visit www.botcanada.com for more information about the symposium check out: www.botcanada.com

 

Western Elegance

 

Have you seen the stunning western home we profiled recently in our July/August issue of Western Horse Review? If not, the issue is on stands now! Or better yet, get your subscription up to date here. This serene Albertan cottage borrows inspiration from minimalism and nature. Designed by home-owner Holly Fortier and Braemyn Homes, this 600-square foot home boasts unparalleled visibility of the outdoors from the living room and luxury features. There were so many wonderful photos of the cottage, we thought we’d share them with you digitally – but you’ll have to read the magazine for the full story!

 

Fortier’s mandate of light and brightness is evident throughout the entire space as white walls and doors accentuate both floors. Her desire for a place that was truly comfortable after an extended period of travel for work, was imperative. As was the cottage’s purpose to serve as a retreat for guests who need to decompress. Every element of the three-bedroom, three bathroom residence was meticulously planned because of its small square footage. But that doesn’t mean quality amenities were sacrificed – this home is big on style.

Situated just off of the kitchen is a custom-made table featuring a 100-year-old slab of wood and an authentic antler shed chandelier. The dining area’s tiny space demanded an attribute that was functional, but also cozy. Therefore, Braemyn Homes came up with the genius idea of bench seating underneath the windows. This reduction in chairs allows for storage and guest seating simultaneously.

With nature as a backdrop, it was important to Fortier to, “bring the outdoors in.” A concrete hearth and river rock stone wall, with a wood burning fireplace in the living room is the cottage’s main feature piece. However, the room’s floor-to-ceiling windows are show-stopping and lend a view to the heavens in the evening that is a stargazer’s dream.

Throughout the main level, rough wood flooring tie all the rooms together and exemplify its western elegance. A den that may also serve as a bedroom can be found off Fortier’s kitchen, as can a beautiful patio deck shielded by overhead timber frames.

Above the garage is another bedroom which Fortier often refers to as the “hotel room.” The separate space here offers a sleeping area, room for two leather lounge chairs, a sink and coffee area and a private bathroom. Complimented by a white log bed and Pendleton blankets, the exclusive guest room brings western hospitality to a whole new level.

Exquisitely crafted, Fortier’s super, cozy cottage makes all four Canadian seasons look beautiful.

“Home is so important. I never knew I could create such a beautiful place. Even though I lead a public life, I love being domestic. I love serving food and having people over,” Fortier says. “But I also like quiet moments too.I can have both of those things here.”

As it is a small home, being minimal was very important to Fortier and only her most treasured possessions embellish the cottage. The result of pairing down her belongings and living in the nature-inspired space is what she describes as therapeutic and healthy.

“I’m an aspiring minimalist. I really believe that less is more. What I kept were mostly artifacts from my Canadian Indigenous heritage and my dad, who was a cowboy,” she explains.

“I believe the natural elements really bring peace to a home,” she says. “And the whole process of the build has been very exciting for me. I have a lot of young women who come here and say, ‘I am so inspired by the fact that you designed your own home. And it’s so beautiful. I want to do the same.’”

With its natural landscaping and minimal requirement of yard maintenance, plus access to the lake and surrounding trails, Fortier’s cottage has the tranquility to elevate one’s spirits and mind. Western and nature-inspired motif complete the charm, creating a touch of elegance that fits easily with the surrounding area. Given the chance, Fortier would do it all over again.

 

Style Report, from the Calgary Stampede

Gingham tie-up shirt by Wrangler $54.95; Charlie 1 Horse hat (Gold Digger) $99.95. All provided by Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack. Turquoise provided by The Lost American Art Gallery. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

From pancakes to mini-donuts, to bulls and the midway – there are so many great things we can rely on the Calgary Stampede to deliver. And if there’s one thing we can guarantee to start conversations, it’s the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’s spirited display of fashion. With the Canadian summer heat at its peak and a 10-day party that envelopes the city in all its chic western glory, the Stampede is the perfect outlet to bust out your fringe and denim. Not only that, anything #westernfashion is truly the distinctive outfit you’ve been looking for to make your Instagram pop!

With help from Jenna MacMillan of Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack, we’ve rounded up the top 7 western fashion trends seen at the year’s Calgary Stampede:

A Smithbilt hat with pencil roll. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

 

Bold hats like this Natural – Cowgirl Outlaw ($89.95)) from Charlie 1 Horse and Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack were a big deal this Stampede. Turquoise provided by The Lost American Art Gallery. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

1. Accessorize. If there’s anything this year’s Stampede taught us, it was the response of the masses to accessories! Hats were the number #1 desired item, with hats from Charlie 1 Horse flying out the doors of Lammles’ newest exclusive LWW Collection. Flat brim hats were strong, but flat-brimmed hats with a hat band and a pencil roll were THE Hat of the Stampede. People were also drawn to palm leaf styles, or any hat with a pop of color. Burgundy, bold firehouse red, exotic royal blue or anything fun and different in lids were high in demand this year. This included incorporating traditional western emblems in the brim design as well; things like a feather inlay or other fun carved leather details.

Rock & Roll Cowgirl Lace Cover-up $64.95; Ariat Denim shorts $79.95, all from Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack. Turquoise provided by The Lost American Art Gallery. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

2. Anything romantic. Interest remains in maxi-style dresses. Perhaps it was the summer heat but the Stampede saw a step away from traditional button up western blouses, to a move towards anything flow-y or Bohemian in design. A looser fit was much more on-trend than the traditional button-up style of blouses the Stampede is accustomed to seeing.

Kimes Ranch Jeans. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

3. High waist lines. While it’s safe to say that Ladies fashion was kind of all over the place this year, it’s exciting to realize the general public is finally embracing the “western side” of fashion and couture. High-waisted skirts and jeans are very popular in brands such as Wrangler right now. And the fact that companies like Wrangler and Ariat are making shorts is a trend being met with great enthusiasm. A full bottom fit (riding cut or the lower cut,) in brands such as Kimes Ranch Jeans are for certain, a strong (raw denim) trend. In regular denim other suppliers are really stepping it up in the stretch. It’s no longer about heavily-embellished pockets and seams – the trend now is more about how jeans fit and stretch. Especially in Ariat! Wrangler is going away from stitching on the pocket and finding more ways to play up the simplicity of the ‘W.’ In fact, they’re really embracing the W and showcasing the patch. It’s no longer about where we can put all the “glitz.” Denim is more streamlined and classic now.

Painted ponies wild rag, black $49.95; from Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack. Turquoise provided by The Lost American Art Gallery.  Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

4. Wild Rags. We saw a lot of people interested in vintage print wild rags this year. Super fun bold patterns are being embraced there.

Silver arrow necklace with earrings (not pictured) $29.95; Turquoise feather necklace $24.95, from Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack.  Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

5. Affordable turquoise. We found a lot of success with turquoise that was affordable. Price point is a big deal. It might not have been a true squash-bottom but anything that is crafted to look like one is hot right now.

6. Obviously, Boots. Boots and the Calgary Stampede are synonymous. The fun, turquoise styles from Lane boots were a big hit. Boots that don’t incorporate as much “sparkle” as styles used to reflect but instead rich stitching and higher quality leather are very in right now. The classic brown boot that fits higher on the leg is not going anywhere. Also, fun patterns like the serape prints from Ariat were popular. Same with anything that incorporated a bandana print into the shaft of the boot or serape pattern on the shoe.

Charlie 1 Horse Hat (Grey – Old Hag) $169.95, provided by Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack. Boots provided by Classic Rodeo Boutique. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

7. Embroidered Boots. Embroidery on boots deserves its own mention. Boots with floral or paisley embroidery were all on-trend, big time this year.

Forecasting. While we’re all loving the summer dresses right now, fall fashion we predict, will be all about great ponchos and rich wool coats this year. And we’re seeing a ton of bell sleeves! I’m talking bell sleeves on everything from a fun button-up shirt to a 3/4 length baseball tee. This is how much we might see in the trends coming around. And as for colors, certainly the mustard yellow is here to say. If you’re not on board with it now, we’re going see mustard everywhere next year.

Internal Parasites and Your Barn Cat

By Dr. Bronwyn Atkinson & Jennifer Council of Barrett Veterinary Practice

Barn cats are an integral part of a farm/acreage environment and play an important role in rodent population control. Hardworking barn cats can be very useful to keep rodent populations in check as well as a pleasure to have around. So, how can we keep these kitties healthy and best equipped to do their jobs? In this blog, we will go into more detail about diseases that commonly affect barn cats and the different ways we can keep them healthy and performing at their best.

Internal Parasites in Cats

Roundworms: Roundworms are the most common internal parasite found in cats – kittens often carry more due to their age and young immune systems.  Adult roundworms are about 3-5 inches in length, off-white in colour and live in the cat’s intestines.

Kittens often carry more round worms due to their age and young immune systems.

A mature worm lays its eggs in the intestines where they can be passed in the cats’ feces. Once out in the environment the eggs mature into larvae and infect new cats. Rodents also carry these larvae in their tissues – infecting cats, which are hunting. Roundworms can cause disease in people, especially those with weaker immune systems. It is rare, but if there are numbers of larvae in the environment and they are ingested, they can migrate around human tissues trying to find a good place to settle, causing serious health problems.

Hookworms: Cats can be infected with hookworm larvae when they burrow through their skin – usually the paw pads. Infestation also occurs when a cat eats a rodent that is carrying hookworms in its tissues. These worms are about 1/2-inch in length and live in the intestines. Young worms burrow into the lining of the intestine, whereas adult worms use their hooked mouthparts to anchor into the intestinal lining where they suck blood. Heavy hookworm infection can cause cats to have poor growth, poor hair coat, diarrhea, anemia and even death from blood loss. Hookworms can also migrate into human skin, causing irritation and need for medical attention – luckily, this is rare as humans are not the hookworm’s preferred hosts.

Tapeworms: These are long, ribbon-like worms with bodies made up of egg-containing segments. These worms live in the cat’s small intestine and use their heads to hook onto the lining of the gut. The segments at the worm’s tail end mature first, break off and are passed in the cat’s feces. These segments can also sometimes be seen around the cat’s anus or tail area and look like rice grains if they are fresh, or sesame seeds if they are dried. Cats can pick up tapeworms by eating rodents that carry them, or by ingesting fleas that can also carry tapeworms. Adult tapeworms in the gastrointestinal tract are usually harmless to the cats. However, the younger tapeworm life stages that is shed by cats can cause cysts in organs such as the liver of horses, cows and pigs.

Echinococcus multilocularis is one specific kind of tapeworm that lives like the others, spending part of their life cycle inside a rodent, often being eaten by carnivores along with its host. They mature to an adult tapeworm in the carnivore’s gut and if ingested by people can cause significant disease by causing cysts that multiply and damage internal human organs.

Combating Feline Parasites

If you’re concerned about parasites your barn cats may be carrying, here’s a list of things you can do:
• Wash your hands after touching barn cats.
• Clean up any feces as well as dead rodent carcasses, to keep the environment as clean as possible.
• De-worm your cats routinely.

There are 2 types of de-wormer that Barrett Veterinary Practice prescribes; Profender, and Advantage Multi. Both are liquids that are applied to the back of a cat’s neck. This application is much easier than trying to pill a shy, barn cat that may not be used to handling!

Profender works to kill roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.
Advantage Multi kills hookworms, roundworms, fleas and ear mites.

As these products have action against different internal parasites, it is a really good idea to alternate using them. Cats that are actively mousing need to be dewormed every three months. Good parasite control is key to ensuring a healthy barn cat and preventing disease in other species as well.