Sneak Peek

Our annual fashion shoot is all wrapped up and completed. This year the shoot was conducted at John Scott’s picturesque ranch in the foothills of Alberta. To have a look back at that day, see my post A Day at the Shoot.

Because I can’t wait for you to see the magazine, I’m sharing some of the great photography shot that day by Travis Rogers, and I hope you’ll enjoy the full spread in our June issue. Pick it up this week on the newsstand.

One of the concepts we decided upon when we began these annual shoots four years ago was to use real horse people in the shoots. Here, Tannis Kramer (left), cow horse competitor, sorting enthusiast and local rancher, and former high school rodeo competitor, and cutter, Erin Hussey (right). If I recall, when Erin was a wee teenager, I regularly donated cash into her college fund by competing in her class. Fortunately, for me, she finally moved on to high school rodeo, where no doubt she tormented other competitors with her winning ways. Given our history, I’m not really sure how she got in this shoot. Slipped by me she did. Once again. That pesky Erin.

Beautiful boots and accessories were hanging around all day.

Erin was kind enough to drag, er, bring her boyfriend, Johnny Crump, along for a few “guy” shots we needed. He was shy for about 14 seconds. Then he turned into this weird and stylish cross between Nicolas Cage and David Beckham.

Tell me you don’t see the similarity? Well, you do have to visualize hair on Beckham. Then, it’s a dead-on. No kiddin’.

This is John Scott. I can attest to the fact that when John smiles like this, he’s not kidding. That is just the fabric of John – one hundred percent authentic and genuine. At Western Horse Review we love John. Can you tell?

This is Terri Holowath. When she’s not commuting back and forth to Calgary to work at her accounting firm, she resides near Cayley, Alberta, with her husband and two boys, all of whom ride. Her favorite passion is cow horse.

This is fashion shoot co-ordinator and assistant editor, Deanna Paulsen’s mom, Leanne Paulsen. Aren’t moms great? They are always up for helping out. Deanna brought both her mom and dad and they assisted all day, lugging, carrying, driving, getting, setting and more. They even brought prop horses! Deanna’s parents are the best.

And that’s the sneak peek I have for you. Please check into the June issue of Western Horse Review to catch the entire shoot complete with all of our authentic horse folk models.

Vogue Western


I took this shot of the lovely Sunny earlier in January. Sunny lives in Scottsdale and boards her horse at the stunningly gorgeous – for that is the only way to describe the setting – Rio Estancia Arabian Ranch, where I had the good fortune to meet her. I liked Sunny’s style of casual western meets English and she proved to me in her brilliant sense, that breeches with a casual western jacket thrown atop can both look and feel great in a western application.

A Dozen Stunning Ranch Scarves

I don’t own a ranch scarf, but that might change after finding this gorgeous collection, designed specifically for kids online at saddle maker and artisan Jeremiah Watt’s website. I can’t wait to cowgirl-up my girls with them. Here’s my dozen favorites:

It’s so European. Gorgeous with the black hat.

A subtle black and white beauty.

Just barely and beautifully pink, this scarf is sueded giving it a soft nap and a gentle fall when worn.

A vintage calico-print exudes Old West in abundance.

A classy green paisley print.

I think I’ve seen Brad Pitt wearing this steely sage green silk.

It’s a fact – you can never have enough paisley scarves. This one in copper.

Here’s a close-up of one of the paisley patterns in all its passion.

This vintage floral pattern may be my ultimate favorite.

Yes, another paisley, so unique in these soft pastels.

A beautiful bright teal. Love the photographic touch of the weathered hat.

Just one more for the lovers-of-the-color-purple out there – a vibrant wine colored paisley pattern.

There are many more, including a selection of print scarves with buckaroos, Paint Horses, like this one, entitled Colts and Roses. . .

. . . done in original artwork.

Whoever photographed these ranch kid models captured an innocence and essence which truly belongs to the West. See them all at Ranch2Arena.

2010 Scottsdale Arabian Show

Did you know that according to Archbishop James Ussher, prelate of Ireland, the world was created on Saturday, October 9, 4004 B.C.E?

Neither did I.

Did you also know that the Arabian horse is the world’s oldest purebred animal?

I didn’t know that one either.

But I learned them both after attending the 2010 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show.

Held this past February 11-21, the show celebrated its 55th Anniversary this year. Granted there were several wet days – it was a rainy February for the Scottsdale, AZ, but host facility, Westworld Park is equipped to handle all kinds of weather. And there was no denying, Arabian horses attending this event were turned out in high glam fashion. So I thought I would share a few pictures that I snapped at the event.

Once again, the show featured an Arabian and Half-Arabian Reining Futurity Classic and a Platinum Performance Liberty Class.

And the Scottsdale Arabian Show brings in excess of $33 Million to the local economy during its ten-day stint.

Statistically, the Arabian horse public outspends other area visitors two to one, during the show.

And total prize money awarded to competitors, who come from every state and more than a dozen countries around the world, is over $1 Million.

And if that doesn’t impress you, the Arabian stall decorations should…

From yearlings in halter, to costume classes, to sidesaddle to reining events, this show has it all.

And it’s definitely a place to go if you want to see beautiful and talented horses.

2010 AZ Sun Circuit

It’s over for this year but I thought I would share with you, some neat pictures I had a chance to snap at the 2010 Arizona Sun Circuit.

Jason Hershberger giving a pep talk to son, Wyatt prior to youth roping.

Held at Westworld in Scottsdale, AZ, the annual event is a fabulous circuit of AQHA Shows. Here, you can obtain the most AQHA points possible in one place, than you can at any other single circuit in the world.

Featuring 8 AQHA Shows, the AZ Sun Circuit truly offers something for everyone.

The shopping is fantastic! And yes, I behaved myself. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that my husband made me give up my credit cards when he heard I was heading towards the trade show…

“But Hon, I swear! I’m just going over to take pictures!”

Randy Paul caught in a smoking stop. He marked a 74 on this ride.

Clay visits with Bob Avila.

This show offers everything from showmanship, to western riding, to cow horse, to jumping and driving. Plus much more.

Don’t you just love horse shows?

Vogue Western


Photo by Muriel Knowler.

Cowgirl poet, Doris Daley, Turner Valley, Alberta, in a traditional Sheridan-styled silverbelly hat and plaid western shirt.
Note: Recently announced on her website: a Daley Double at the 2009 Western Music Association Awards in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when Daley was awarded Best Female Cowgirl Poet and Best Cowboy Poetry CD. More at

And watch for our feature interview with Doris in the May issue of Western Horse Review.

A Day at the Shoot

What I like most about photo shoots is the complete absence of responsibilities I have. For the most part, all I really need to do is show up and thank everyone for coming. Apparently I can keep this job for as long as I like.

This year, however, I decided to step out of my box and have my own photo shoot at our annual fashion shoot. For this project, I chose a highly technical and sophisticated camera. My iphone. The photos you see here are taken with a mod little iphone application called the Hipstamatic.

Yes, that really is the Lone Ranger. Well actually, not. It’s better than the Lone Ranger, it’s John Scott, head of John Scott Motion Picture Animal Productions, and on whose ranch we’ve been allowed to conduct this year’s fashion shoot.

This place represents dream territory for a photo shoot. Not only because the ranch is set in the Alberta foothills with a stunning – and on this day sparkling snow-capped – Rocky Mountain backdrop, but John Scott’s ranch has provided the real-life western landscape of many a Hollywood movie. In fact, John has been involved in three Academy award winning movies filmed in Alberta, including Days of Heaven, Legends of the Fall and Unforgiven. Many a scene has been shot right on the ground I’m standing on and the land is populated with some impressive sets such as the buildings above.

And this General Store.

I love the patina on this building. I’d like that on my barn. John, may I take this building home?

Photo shoots are a lot like horse shows. Hurry up and wait.

This leaves time for everyone to stop and smell the roses. Hey look, it’s a crocus, the first of the year.

This is Travis Rogers, our fantastically talented photographer. He’s looking out onto a herd of buffalo, where the next set of photos are to be taken. That slight appearance of concern might be traced directly back to John relating to him we could have had horses in this set, but two of the female buffalo are prone to charging.

Yes, I took this photo from inside the truck. I didn’t want to startle the herd, is all.

That’s model Sandy Hansma to the right. She was conducting her own photo shoot at the photo shoot as well. I think the gal on the left might have been a technical director and is quite likely wringing her hands and praying Sandy doesn’t forget herself and scuff up the outfit she’s wearing for the next shot.

And this is Command Central at the photo shoot. Hair and make-up. Six talented and lovely gals from MC College in Calgary came out to make the models look like a million bucks. Not that they didn’t already. Those gals did a fabulous job.

Thanks gals! Y’all come back next year!

Walking towards me is Donna Andersen, one of two leads on this shoot. Donna and Deanna Paulsen had most every detail organized, and each outfit meticulously co-ordinated. Running on time relaxes everyone, makes for a fun day and leaves room for little mishaps such as loading the entire photography crew in the wrong truck. Those darn white Fords all look alike, don’t they? I’m going to hold a contest later this week to see if you can guess who might have been behind that. Hint: she may be in the photo above.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into our fashion shoot day, and hope you’ll join us for the real deal – complete with fabulous photography, an array of real-life western riders stepping out as models, and stylish fashion and jewelry, all in the June issue of Western Horse Review.

Biceps & Evening Gowns

Large biceps make it incredibly hard to look feminine in an evening gown. And my shoe supply is somewhat limited these days… When invited to a wedding last summer, I panicked. Did I have a prayer of converting my cowboy boots into wedding attire?

With a full time career in the horse industry, fashion and I have developed a love hate relationship. I love the fact that I can run out to work in a pair of Wranglers. And I hate the fact that I can I run out to work in a pair of Wranglers. Said jeans – aka, my work attire – may or may not even be clean!

Gone are the days when I might have spent up to an hour curling and prepping my hair for a day in the office. These days, a ballcap and hair elastic will suffice.

Make-up, makes no difference to the cows.

And high heels would likely get me killed or at least severely injured, in a fresh patch of Saskatchewan gumbo.

Sadly, I have an entire closet full of beautiful clothes that I barely wear anymore. Ironically, my hubbie’s side of the closet has fallen down three times in the last month.

“What can I say?” He grins. Yeah, I guess an excessive amount of Wranglers and a cantilever closet organizer are a terrible combination.

The issue of my closet came to a head when Clay and I were invited last August to a country wedding for our close friends, Danielle and Wade LaForge. Clay was to be the MC. I panicked. Any evening gowns I own – worn in a previous lifetime – have not seen the light of day, in years. And of course, I never left myself enough time to do some shopping prior to the big event. Then there was the issue of shoes. I deliberated, “Could a pair of cowboy boots work with a skirt?”

Maybe if I scrubbed and Lexall’ed them up well enough. And took my spurs off.

In the end, I decided on a pretty black and white summer dress and a pair of black, strappy sandals.

Danielle and Wade LaForge, at their country wedding.

Upon our arrival at the ceremony, my sandals proved difficult for walking across an uneven pasture and became accomplice to a twig stabbing of my left foot. And I won’t mention the near-Marilyn Monroe move I pulled when a gust of wind caught me by surprise. That’s precisely when it hit me: What was I thinking? Danielle is a country girl after my own heart. She probably still would have loved me had I shown up in jeans!

Vogue Western


Welcome to Vogue Western, a category I’ve decided to devote to the unique genre of clothing and accessories we call western. Throughout it I’m going to post photos of what I consider hits to the core and vitality of western wear – in all it’s tradition, cosmopolitanism, luxury, polish, hipness and flair. Since my travels can take me anywhere from a 4-H club show in rural Alberta to the culture-shock of an Arabian Show in Scottsdale, I figure I’m in a great position to amass an interesting cross section of all that is western to entertain and inspire your own sense of fashionableness.

For our opener, I chose this shot of a vaquero-styled ranch hand at a clinic I attended a year or so ago, because he, quite likely unbeknownst to himself dominated the film of most of the media’s cameramen and women that day. Yes, it was the blue shirt, the sky blue shirt – ageless in style, modern in adaption. It was a bleak Canadian wintery day, a dark arena, a conservative crowd, and he chose this to wear.

Our cameras loved him.