• How to Bet on a Racehorse

      By Jenn Webster Have you ever wanted to place a bet on a racehorse, but became overwhelmed by the thought of it? Wagering at the track, when done in moderation, can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. In honor of the Kentucky Derby today, we have compiled an easy guide to placing bets… [Continue Reading]

      How to Bet on a Racehorse
    • How the West was Worn

      Blue jeans, automobiles, brightly-colored dishes and even dental bling all have one thing in common – they’ve all been influenced by western design. Discover how the history and craftsmanship of the West influenced goods and culture through the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s newest exhibition, Western Wares, that opened February 11, 2022. The museum… [Continue Reading]

      How the West was Worn
    • (VIRTUAL) OUTLAWS FOR LIFE

      “I can be a Moonshiner now..!” It’s not a sentence I’m used to hearing from my daughter. And never in a million years did I expect to be writing about a video game in Western Horse Review. Yet, here we are. If you’re in my demographic, you were first introduced to the world of video… [Continue Reading]

      (VIRTUAL) OUTLAWS FOR LIFE
    • Spiced Squash Soup

      This creamy, cold weather soup is the ultimate in comfort food. Make it ahead and save in the freezer to suit a busy schedule, or serve it as an appetizer to really wow your family at dinner. This hearty soup combines the sweetness of butternut squash from the garden with a whipped, goat cheese finish… [Continue Reading]

      Spiced Squash Soup
    • Beef Shanks

      If you’re up for a non-traditional Christmas dinner this year, this iconic dish is bound to become your next, family-approved classic. Slow-cooked to perfection, this show-stopping platter of beef is topped with a glaze reduction, vegetables and dainty truffle oil fries, then served on a bed of smoked blue cheese polenta. It’s a meal so… [Continue Reading]

      Beef Shanks
    • Creature Comforts

      Our Gift Guide for the beloved equines on your list! SHOW-STOPPING PadsShow-stopping style is always a wise choice when it comes to gift giving and horse lovers. You will find a huge selection of cutting edge show pads, show shirts and other accoutrement at the Ranch by Design shop near Lacombe, Alberta. Luxx show pads… [Continue Reading]

      Creature Comforts
    • Small Matters

      On June 10, 1799, she became a child bride – married at the age of 13, to a man 16 years her senior. The girl was “…about five feet tall, active and wiry, with black eyes and skin almost copper-coloured”; the daughter of a Scottish investor-partner, named Patrick Small, and an unnamed mother. She was… [Continue Reading]

      Small Matters
    • Gifts Out of the Ordinary

      A unique selection of curated gifts, for the hard-to-buy-for. As it is more important than ever to shop local, many of the amazing gift ideas on this list are from local, small businesses. HEART OF THE HOMEUnique western style area rugs that convey your western style within your home, are like artwork for the floor.… [Continue Reading]

      Gifts Out of the Ordinary

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How to Bet on a Racehorse

A day at the races can be fun – and maybe even profitable – if you know what you’re doing when it comes to placing bets.

By Jenn Webster

Have you ever wanted to place a bet on a racehorse, but became overwhelmed by the thought of it? Wagering at the track, when done in moderation, can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. In honor of the Kentucky Derby today, we have compiled an easy guide to placing bets on racehorses. There’s no bigger thrill than watching the powerful equine you bet on, cross the finish line first!

Thoroughbred racing is the oldest form of organized racing in the world but in North America usually means the horses are flat racing on a dirt or turf surface. Race lengths can vary. In Canada, Thoroughbred racing is seasonal so it’s normal to see many short races at the beginning of the season when many of the horses are not yet conditioned for longer races. Younger animals too, usually run shorter races, taking into consideration the horse’s rate of growth and inexperience. However, some horses (all ages) run consistently better at short distances and these statistics are all recorded – something seasoned bettors note! Depending on the length of the race, Thoroughbreds may run straight sprints or on larger tracks that require them to go around turns.

Quarter Horse (QH) racing is much like Thoroughbred racing, however the race distances are much shorter. There are several different lengths available for these horses, ranging from one furlong (220 yards), to four furlongs (870 yards). Most QH races are straight sprints, which means they must be able to break well from the starting gate.

Standardbred racing is harness racing – the horse pulls a light cart or “sulky” and is driven, as opposed to being ridden. Standardbred horses are either pacers or trotters.

BETTING

1 – Decide how much money you are willing to bet. The minimum bet is $2, but you can always bet more if you like.

2 – Pick your horse. People pick their horses in a variety of ways. You may like its name, colour, number, jockey or colour of its silks. Many advanced bettors choose their horses based on past performance, the trainer’s reputation or the jockey’s records. Other considerations they might keep top of mind is the type of track, the weather, bloodlines of the horse, or the size and shape of the track. And here’s a pro tip! If you’re ever observing the racers in the paddock prior to a race, the horse that is jumping, rearing or displaying a lot of extra activity is not usually the one you want to bet on – the horse that is calm, cool and collected in the paddock is the one conserving its energy for the race.

Race programs too, give you the information on every horse and every race for the day and they are usually available for a small fee. They can be helpful in picking a horse.

3 – Choose your Bet. Straight wagers are the best type of bets for visitors completely new to the world of racing. When you making this type of bet, you are only betting on one horse.

WIN – This means you are betting on a specific horse, to come in first place.
PLACE – Your horse must finish first or second.
SHOW – Your horse must finish first, second or third.

Odds are something else you’ll want to look consider. These are the numbers appearing beside the horse’s number (displayed in numerous places around the track, in the program, etc.) The more a horse is liked by bettors, the lower its odds are and the lower the pay-out will be. The underdog horses have higher odds and consequently, a higher payout.

4Master More Advanced Bets. Once you are comfortable with how win, place and show works in a basic bet, you may want to move on to a more exotic wager. Here is some terminology you should know:

EXACTA – You bet on two horses to come in first and second, in an exact order.
QUINELLA – You bet on two horses to come in first and second in any order.
TRIFECTA – You bet that three horses will finish in first, second, and third in an exact order.
SUPERFECTA – You bet that four horses will finish, first, second, third, and fourth in an exact order.

Many racetracks like Century Downs in Balzac, AB, even offer Betting 101 classes for free. You can join them and learn about placing exotic bets, multi-race wagers, Jackpot High-5 or Century Down’s own unique wager. Their experts can walk you through the betting basics so placing your first bet isn’t so daunting. Have fun and enjoy yourself!

How the West was Worn

Blue jeans, automobiles, brightly-colored dishes and even dental bling all have one thing in common – they’ve all been influenced by western design. Discover how the history and craftsmanship of the West influenced goods and culture through the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s newest exhibition, Western Wares, that opened February 11, 2022. The museum is based in Oklahoma City, OK.
 
Western design is a term familiar to a global audience, drumming up images of pearl-snap shirts, rhinestones, and cowboy hats. Visitors will learn that western design has been crafted over time by different people and traditions. It is a continually evolving style that is both connected to the geography of the west, but also defined by each person who wears it. 


“Here at The Cowboy, we know that the history and legends of the West have influenced many aspects of American culture deeply,” said Natalie Shirley, Museum President and CEO. “This exhibition is a fun way to see the impact that cowboy and. western culture has had on the world of design.”
 
Western Wares will take museum visitors through the history behind the rise in popularity of the western aesthetic, from the 1890s, to its historic peak in the mid-twentieth century and then on to present day.


 Upon entering the exhibition space, museum visitors will first experience the early influences of design that stemmed from Indigenous, Hispanic and European cultures and were used on the range starting in the 1800s. The exhibition will then explore varied interpretations of western design by rodeo performers, musicians, vintage enthusiasts, and people looking to reclaim their cultural traditions. It will also feature a space that delves into the mechanical processes of making a look, including sewing, leather working, silversmithing and design. 
 
Much of the western fashion presented in the exhibition will come from the museum’s extensive collections. The exhibition will also feature many never-before seen photographs. Western Wares will be on exhibit through May 1, 2022.

(VIRTUAL) OUTLAWS FOR LIFE

“I can be a Moonshiner now..!”

It’s not a sentence I’m used to hearing from my daughter.

And never in a million years did I expect to be writing about a video game in Western Horse Review.

Yet, here we are.

If you’re in my demographic, you were first introduced to the world of video games on an original Nintendo – the gray box system that came with Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. Whenever the chores were done, us kids leaped at the opportunity for a few minutes to play. Watching the pixelated, Italian characters (twin brothers Mario and Luigi,) dodge fireballs and break bricks with their heads for coins became a fond childhood pastime.

I’m here to tell you that video games have come a long ways since…

With a mature rating, I wasn’t sure what to think initially, about Red Dead Redemption II (RDR II). Created by Rockstar Games, RDR II comes from the home of Grand Theft Auto – which in all honesty, isn’t a game I allow my children to play. RDR II too, has a long list of warnings for violent content, strong language, etc., and suggests that it should only be played by gamers aged 17 and up.

Somehow, however, we were drawn to RDR II and I now realize why. This vivid game boasts insanely, beautiful graphics and oozes the wild west. Set at the dawn of the modern age in 1899 America, RDR II is at its core, about survival. The main character, Arthur Morgan finds himself at a crossroads after a robbery goes horribly wrong in the town of Blackwater. He’s forced to choose between his own ideals and the gang of outlaws who raised him.

Players experience this epic game as the tale of Morgan and the Van der Linde gang unfolds – the group must flee federal agents and bounty hunters that are closing in. Characters have to cross cruel and rugged territory, and survive wildlife and the elements. Of course, there are more underhanded tasks too, as the gang fights and robs their way through.

Players travel on horseback and this is where one truly begins to notice the extreme level of detail in the game. There are 19 different breeds of horses in RDR II and each one has different characteristics and handles differently. Characters must bond with their mounts and if not, some horses won’t hesitate to buck their riders off when faced with a threat. Then there are times when the horses get impatient and begin to stomp their feet if a player is taking too much time to decide on things.

Both situations are not that much different in real life.

The graphics in Red Dead Redemption II are stunning and the story line will make you think you’re in a movie.

There are many astounding features that come together to bring RDR II to life. (Did we mention that Willie Nelson lends his voice on the game soundtrack?) There are dogs to pet, mountains to cross, pockets to pick, mustangs to break, outlaws to kill and gold bricks to find. Meanwhile, you’ll marvel at the scenery and the wildlife and the cinematic shoot-outs.

Love ‘em or lump ‘em, video games are here to stay. The Red Dead series is all part of the modern west and I don’t mind it one bit that my kids are fascinated by a virtual world, inspired by a western adventure. It’s another way western heritage is being infused into the 21st century: a day and age where western culture is slowly disappearing. With all of its sagebrush, sunsets, drama and gorgeous scenery, Red Dead Redemption II is wildly satisfying. So, if you find yourself brushing a kid aside for a chance at the controller yourself – Hey, a mom’s got to do, what a mom’s got to do.

  • By Jenn Webster

Spiced Squash Soup

This creamy, cold weather soup is the ultimate in comfort food. Make it ahead and save in the freezer to suit a busy schedule, or serve it as an appetizer to really wow your family at dinner. This hearty soup combines the sweetness of butternut squash from the garden with a whipped, goat cheese finish […]

[Continue reading…]

Beef Shanks

If you’re up for a non-traditional Christmas dinner this year, this iconic dish is bound to become your next, family-approved classic. Slow-cooked to perfection, this show-stopping platter of beef is topped with a glaze reduction, vegetables and dainty truffle oil fries, then served on a bed of smoked blue cheese polenta. It’s a meal so […]

[Continue reading…]

Creature Comforts

Our Gift Guide for the beloved equines on your list! SHOW-STOPPING PadsShow-stopping style is always a wise choice when it comes to gift giving and horse lovers. You will find a huge selection of cutting edge show pads, show shirts and other accoutrement at the Ranch by Design shop near Lacombe, Alberta. Luxx show pads […]

[Continue reading…]

Small Matters

On June 10, 1799, she became a child bride – married at the age of 13, to a man 16 years her senior. The girl was “…about five feet tall, active and wiry, with black eyes and skin almost copper-coloured”; the daughter of a Scottish investor-partner, named Patrick Small, and an unnamed mother. She was […]

[Continue reading…]

Gifts Out of the Ordinary

A unique selection of curated gifts, for the hard-to-buy-for. As it is more important than ever to shop local, many of the amazing gift ideas on this list are from local, small businesses. HEART OF THE HOMEUnique western style area rugs that convey your western style within your home, are like artwork for the floor. […]

[Continue reading…]

Holiday Side Dishes

If you saw our recent Western Foodie post about the Holiday Beef Wellington, these are the perfect side dishes to go with. And if the Beef Wellingon doesn’t steal the show, these side dishes definitely will! By MIKE EDGAR, Photos by TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY ROASTED GARLIC MASHED POTATOES Ingredients: 1 Bulb Garlic, Intact Olive Oil […]

[Continue reading…]