The New Kid on the Block

No, we’re not giving up on print.
I just want to make that clear.

In fact, we love our print editions of Western Horse Review more than ever since we’ve moved from monthly to bi-monthly. We get to publish much larger issues, while readers enjoy the same amount of editorial pages over the course of a year as they did with a monthly issue. The bi-monthly format has allowed us to significantly reduce the two largest cost factors a magazine publisher faces – the print bill and the Canada Post bill – savings we’ve been able to pass on to you with a lower subscription fee. Clients are also enjoying a longer shelf life for their advertising dollar. Finally, freeing our tiny staff from the monthly grind of production has allowed us greater creativity, more time to produce better features, and even, a chance to stop and smell the roses once in a while.

What’s not to like?

Many of you have already let us know you enjoy the new format. Thanks, thanks so much. We work really hard at putting together a great read for you, and a pat on the back once in a while goes a long way for our crew. It really does.

I wanted to let y’all know that before I introduced you to the newest addition to the Western Horse Review family.

Western Horse Review Spring Digital

The Western Horse Review digital.

Our plan is four every year: Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter. They are digital-only and completely free to all e-newsletter subscribers, Facebook friends and anyone who checks in at www.westernhorsereview.com. That’s where you’ll find them.

It’s an entirely different format than the print publication, and today, I’m setting out our inaugural Spring Digital. We hope you like it, actually we hope you love it. I really appreciate all of our contributor’s hard work on it – collectively, we’re quite pleased with it. Thanks also to all of the advertisers who supported it – links are provided on each advertisement for a quick click-through, how easy is that!

If you’re already an e-newsletter subscriber, you will have already received this issue directly to your mailbox. For those of you who haven’t, click on the cover above to enjoy the Western Horse Review Spring Digital. Enjoy, and let us all know what you think.

Taking Vintage off the Shelf

I like what the American Quarter Horse Youth Association has chosen as it’s theme for the AQHYA World Championship Show, August 5-13, in Oklahoma City.

They’ve dubbed the theme, “Taking Vintage off the Shelf,” and it’s all about keeping traditions alive, says Courtney Martin, AQHA manager of youth and education.

“It’s all about respecting and remembering the roots of the Association and what it stands for, but enhancing it with new experiences. AQHYA is still a young association, but carries traditions that helped it develop into what it is today and deserves our respect and tradition.”

I’m not planning on travelling to the Youth World Championship Show this year, but I hope we can hook up with someone who is. Would love to get some photos of the stall-decorating with the vintage theme. Let me know if you’re going.

It seems keeping the old alive is what it’s all about at the AQHYA this year, but we also have our own take on vintage coming up in our inaugural Spring Digital. Here’s a sneak peek.

That’s all I’m allowed to give you. Western Style Editor, Deanna Paulsen has put together a fabulous feature on fashion entitled Then and Now. You’ll love the vintage shots and the new fashion. And yes, cat-eye glasses are coming back, girls!

Also in the issue – results and photos from the Canadian Cutting Horse Association Finals, as well as an inside look at how the care of the beautiful and brilliant Cavalia horses is handled.

Look for it in the Spring Digital, coming at you next week. To be sure you receive it, sign up for our e-newsletter on our Home Page. It’s free. Cause we love yah.

Kentucky Derby Traditions & Tales

I love this weekend, it's green, the birds are singing, spring has most definitely arrived, and, the Kentucky Derby is tomorrow! Yes, it's the 137th running of Thoroughbred racings first of the Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby. I can't wait, and though I think I have my favorite picked, this morning's scratch of Uncle Mo may change it all for me.

Here at the log house, we're still partially suffering from Royal Wedding withdrawal. Far too much of it, that is. Still, we loved the hats of the Royal Wedding, didn't you. If you think the Brits have the outrageous hats market cornered, check these out from past Derby events.

Is it just me, or is there an odd likeness here?

A head-top re-enactment of 2009's race. Why do I just want to eat this hat?

Lost on the way to the Tournament of Roses?

Wearing this hat actually looks like a riot. Of fun, that is.

Check out this link for a slide-show of comparisons of Royal Wedding hats and Kentucky Derby hats. There appears to be no boundaries.

Here's a really great link to the 13 worst Thoroughbred names in Kentucky Derby history, including such memorables as The Winner (who unfortunately didn't live up to his name and finished second to last in the 1896 Kentucky Derby), Degenerate Jon and Air Forbes Won (yes, it really is a bad pun).

Of course the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep, but if that doesn't spin your wheel, www.foodandwine.com offers up nine Kentucky Derby cocktails in this slideshow, from the Wager to the Aqueduct.

If that's too much alcohol infusion for your tastes, you can indulge a teensy bit and pay tribute to the excellent bourbons brewed in the state with a Chocolate Bourbon Walnut Pie. I may have to break down and make this one.

Whatever hat your wearing this weekend, enjoy, indulge, cheer and have a fabulous one and thanks for checking in with Screen Doors & Saddles this week.

Equestrian Fever in Hermes 2011 Collection

Hermes Spring/Summer 2011 Show. Photo by Jacques Brinon for the Associated Press.

I’d love to fancy myself as a fashionista, but the truth is, I can’t see past my maternity wardrobe these days. However, whenever something in the world happens that involves horses, I am immediately drawn to it. That’s why Jean-Paul Gaultier’s last show for Hermes held in Paris, in the fall of 2010, caught my attention straight away.

Image Credit: Reuters

Utilizing dressage horses and riders as a backdrop underneath a chandelier-topped arena at the end of the catwalk, Jean-Paul Gaultier showcased a collection that recognized Thierry Hermes’ long history of fine leather work (Hermes got his early beginnings with his fine craftsmanship of horse harnesses.) The Hermes Spring/Summer 2011 clothing collection combined buttery leathers with tailored jackets, sultry corsets, jodphurs, vests and even a watercolor dye chiffon dress bound by a leather corset. Crops, boots and Spanish style hats added extra touches of equestrian flair to the outfits, while snaffle bits and lunge-like whips showed off pretty waistlines as belts. The colors of the outfits ranged from butterscotch to warm white, to caramel and black, with a dash of blue suede, red and bright orange for good measure.

Fashion Week, Paris. Hermes Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.

The collection signified Jean-Paul Gaultier’s departure from Hermes and marked the end of his 7-year tenure as creative director there.

Or Here at Lookbooks

3 Weeks ’til Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

Counting down the weeks to Christmas, hope you’ve managed to catch all of my Great Gift Ideas, if not you can catch them all by clicking on Gift Ideas in the right hand side column under Topics.

Western Horse Review lifestyle editor, Deanna Paulsen shared some of her “bargain buy” ideas with me recently, and here’s a few of my favorites.

Elusive Cowgirl, concho star Swarovski crystal sunglasses – $55.00. Amazingly vogue.

Reata Ranch Gear, iPhone and Blackberry western and horse themed cell phone covers – $39.00. I really hope I’m going to find one of these under our tree!

Miss Me boot cut jeans, available at many tack store retailers – $92.00. I have a pair of these and can give witness to their amazing comfort fit.

Gypsy Soule, bucking cowgirl belt buckle – $42.00. The epitome of vintage chic.

You can catch the rest of Deanna’s Bargain Barn suggestion in the Feb/Mar. issue of Western Horse Review. We’re already working on this issue, complete with redesign and a whole new take on content – we think you’re going to like it. Find it on newsstands and in your mailbox mid-February.

10 Weeks ’til Christmas: Great Gift Ideas

Sometime in the next seven weeks, I’ll endeavor to catch up to the calendar and present you an idea in the correct week of count-down.

Today ain’t that day.

In the meantime you might want to catch up with 12 Weeks ’til Christmas and 11 Weeks ’til Christmas, for which, I’ve provided the links here for your extreme convenience.

Today, we’re going to check out one of my favorite obsessions – funky cowboy boots. Don’t confuse these with riding boots – that they isn’t.

My only pair of Old Gringo’s were purchased in Fort Worth, but now I’m loving the fact that the  Calgary Stampede store carries Old Gringo boots. You can check out their entire line at www.oldgringoboots.com, but here’s some samplers.

The Cactus Razz boots.

An old-style Texas look with Luckenbach.

I love pale green and chocolate together making this one of my faves.

A view of the toe.

The Old Gringo Lucky Star.

If you simply must do the white cowboy boot thing, the Vencida may be for you.

And for the really funky, the Star Cow.

Rocketbuster boots have been around for a couple of years, and have some fabulous and decidedly offbeat styles of late.

Wow. Zebra Fields forever.

Slightly more subtle, the Starfire Platinum, priced at $2,895.00 U.S.

The Day of the Dead – $1,595.00.

And, for those of you within a certain mountain range.

Yes, they really are called the Sasquatch, at $1,695.00 U.S.

Y’all oughta’ step out more often in these.

Finally, the Italian brand Ferrini has a specialty line of well-priced exotic leather products just for horse people.

The blue-sting ray at $169.00.

Or, the pink tiger-stripe.

Guitars and peace signs help the world go round.

For the Dwight Yoakam in you.

If boots are your thing, I hope I’ve brought you some new sources of shopping.

Finally, for those of you who double as these for the season. . .

Jingle. Jingle. Jingle.

Cowboy Boots to High Heels

I know what you’re thinking – how does the picture above tie into deworming and breeding AVs and 46 mm? Easy.

It defines the segway of last Friday.

Friday morning for me, last week, started at 3 am.  Clay and I had to make a quick run to Moose Jaw to pick up one of our horses who had made a one-day turnaround trip to Moore & Company vet clinic in Balzac, Alberta.

The morning ensued with laundry tasks, a run to the post office, some light paperwork, emails and deworming of the herd:

Keeping current with the vaccines and deworming of 40+ head is sometimes a challenge. I do it with the help of handwritten files, kept right in the front of our tackroom for easy access. The trick is to updating the files as soon as something happens. And if not, my back-up plan of writing the date and name of the horse done on the back seems to help me get it recorded at a later date.

That is, except when I forget to go permanent and use a dry erase marker instead…

Staying on top of things is especially tough when you have a busy Friday. Covered in white paste, I began to realize how quickly my day was about to fly by. Literally.

This was Friday afternoon:

Upon a routine ultrasounding appointment around 2:40 pm, we discovered one of our mare’s – Pine – had a 46mm follicle.

I had planned for ultrasound time. I had planned for the time it would take to  “usher” Pine and her filly out of the pasture and into the barn: a job that isn’t much fun since the filly has now developed “independence”.

But I hadn’t planned on breeding her that afternoon. Of course Pine would have a 46 follicle today – if nothing else but for the  fact that I had a plane to catch at 6 pm.

Thanks a lot Pine.

With a good collection in the AV, Clay took over the breeding side of things along with our vet, Jeremy Ross, and sent me off to pack my suitcase and have a shower. As much as I would have loved to get on that plane covered in white paste and smelling like the barn – amongst other things – a shower and maybe some perfume, was in order.

At long last, and with only 2 minutes to spare, I was packed and clean and ready to head to Edmonton, Alberta, to attend the wedding of my youngest brother.

I traded in my cowboy boots for some flip flops and later, high heels and armed only with my little point-and-shoot, here’s how the rest of my weekend went:

The bride and maid of honor getting ready.

(L-R) Angeline, the bride Kacey and daughter, Kit.

Obviously, it was a proud moment for everyone in our family. But what has really impressed me, inspired me, awed me – was my brother’s commitment not only to his new wife, Kacey, but also to her young daughter, Kit.

Way to go Little Bro. On this day you have proved yourself more than just a Man.

My weekend may have started with deworming and breeding dummies and cowboy boots, but it transformed into a most joyous occasion.

Plus, I got to wear a dress!

My brothers, my sister and I, along with our cousins, welcome our new sister-in-law into the family.

Western Vogue

REINING ALBERTA SPRING CLASSIC, RED DEER, ALBERTA, 2010

Deanna Paulsen snapped this shot of reiner Marilyn Copland at the recent Reining Alberta Spring Classic. It’s the sweet embroidered shirt which caught my eye, completely quirky and individual.

The 70-year-old Victoria, British Columbia reiner placed third in her Prime Time class and quipped she had a son old enough to compete in the same class!

Western Vogue

Sooner Trailer’s newest sponsored rider, Gayle Jones is a life-long horse enthusiast who competes in barrel racing events across North America. Among her career highlights is a first place finish in the 2007 World Barrel Racing Production Finals. KC Jones, Gayle’s husband, competes in bull-dogging events and is also a Sooner sponsored rider.