Likes of the Week

Likes of the Week

I’d be regrettably remiss if I did not immediately remind you to enter the Western Horse Review Fashion Shoot Steal, Scene 2, as we are giving away this gorgeous pair of Ferrini boots, compliments of our friends at Irvine’s Tack & Trailers. I can attest to the fact of their gold-embossed brilliance, as they are currently residing right here in my office. I confess I’ve tried them on a time or two, and they are brilliant.

At the magazine we’re in production with our July/August issue, and while I’d love to share some of the details of the stories we’re finalizing, they’ll have to remain a mystery until publication date. Just know, we’re thrilled with some of the stories we’ve been able to piece together for the issue, please don’t miss it, it will be one of our best of the year.

I’ve been meaning to do a Likes of the Week post for some time, as I’ve been gathering links I thought you might find useful, enlightening or entertaining.

• If you’ve been keeping up on the possibilities of equine processing restarting in the United States. Valley Meat Co., a processing plant in New Mexico has applied to slaughter horses for human consumption. Here are a couple of links on the latest there:

Horses to be killed for meat in U.S. for the first time in five years due to Mexican demand for unusual food

Horse slaughterhouse in N.M. should be fined, Colorado advocates say

• I happened across an informative article on inbreeding on the True Nicks website, where Thoroughbred breeding is discussed.

• You might be aware of the TED TALKS series of video inspirations by the great thinkers of the world. I loved this one by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, of Handspring Puppet Company, who are known for their ability to bring the emotional complexity of animals to the stage. Their talk begins with a hyena, but is primarily about the evolution of their triumphant War Horse life-size horse puppet. These two are absolute geniuses. Watch Handspring Puppet Co. on TED, if you have a spare 20 minutes.

• I never apologize for my addiction to food blogger sites. My latest fun read is Meat Me, by Sean Rice, who runs with the very un-politically correct byline of, “I don’t really like to eat anything else but meat, with meat, over meat, with a side of meat and if thats not enough a sprinkle of meat on top. Love it. He recently completed a blog series on four women working in the meat industry, from rancher to butcher. The result: Moo to Mouth MEAT: A True Love Story  is a great series, accompanied by a lovely set of creative posters.

• Finally, here’s an odd little clip from The Ride: a television documentary series on the world’s longest, toughest horse race, The Mongol Derby. I haven’t actually watched this, if you have and would like to share a review with us, please do. Enjoy and thanks for tuning in!

Mane Event Ticket Giveaway

It’s been a bit distracting around here lately. Really, for the past two months. All in a good way. For one thing, spring arrived in the usual yard work and seasonal cleaning sort of way. More on that later.

The girl’s 4H club is in full swing. In addition to their regular activities one of the highlights of their month was a clinic with Keith Stewart at the Bullpen Arena, just east of Airdrie.

Keith and his wife, Denice operate The Key Ranch, southwest of High River, along with their two daughters, where they work at their craft and style of horsemanship which is Ray Hunt and Buck Brannaman inspired.

It was a great opportunity for our 4H’ers to get to spend a day with Keith, who took such careful and thoughtful time with each of them – working on groundwork in the morning, and then in the saddle for the afternoon. We all sure did appreciate Keith’s time.

At the Western Horse Review office, the past two months have been a blur of two back-to-back issues – March and April, plus the Canadian Supreme Register. This year’s Register was our largest since 2009, making us pretty darn happy, but insanely busy with it all.

Thanks to all of the stallion owners who support the Register. The Canadian Supreme nomination program is a brilliant way to showcase the Canadian performance horse industry and set yourself up for the prestige of earning a Canadian Supreme championship buckle. Mare owners, be sure to get yourself a copy. Not only was it packaged with the April issue, but we distributed many to arenas and events all over western Canada, and we’ll have them at the Western Horse Review booth at this weekend’s Mane Event in Red Deer. If you happen to be a clinic participant at the show, you’ll receive one in your swag bag.

We also completed two special projects in collaboration with the Horse Industry Association of Alberta: Horses 101 – the third edition of which rolled off the press about a week ago, as well as a new brochure, focusing on basic care considerations for horses. Both publications are handy guides and will be available at this upcoming weekend’s Mane Event in Red Deer, Alberta at the HIAA’s booth. Please drop by and visit with the Robyn, Heather and crew and pick up your copies.

Speaking of which, we have two tickets to give away to the event! Simply let us know in the comment section below, what you’re looking forward to at this year’s event. We’ll do a draw Thursday at 6:00 a.m. and post the results on Screen Doors & Saddles.

Finally, remember you have until April 30 to win this saddle pad. Buddy the cat included. Enter here.

Inspiration Board

In my office it’s known as a bulletin board, but I like the idea of inspiration board which is a concept popularized by fashion and design bloggers of late. It’s a board of photos, quotes and items designed to inspire me when I’m faced with writer’s block, or simply calm me, when I need it. Which is often.

This is the latest version, recently renovated on a chilly Saturday a few weekends ago, when the weather was just too vicious to bear much outside time, and reorganizing the kitchen shelves somehow didn’t hold the same appeal.

Some pieces were removed, some re-pined to the board, some found the recycling bin, others the shoe box of things I can’t yet leave behind.

The left side is a collection of old photos, newspaper clippings, drawings and a few favorite firsts, including my very first press pass – issued to interview Pat Parelli. I remember walking out of Pat and Linda’s motorhome that long ago afternoon at the Claresholm Agriplex, breath taken somewhat away by the energy and passion of this incredibly driven couple. It was clear to me they were going to reach a great many people throughout their careers.

There’s a photo of myself cutting to remind me how much I love this sport, and inspire a return to it. Below it is tacked a poem Teenager wrote about my cutting mare, Iggy. Have I ever told you my Teenager is an amazing poet? She would probably prefer I let you know that the poem pictured above was written many years ago, not in her current senior high school year.

There’s the roots corner – an old drawing, the farm, my beloved barn, the chicken house. My mom, over a very many years nurtured hundreds of chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys whose lives began in that tiny outbuilding. That long twig-like object is a vintage piece of tinsel, derived of foil and an incredibly fragile and thin glass. It once graced our Christmas tree.

Wee composes the odd poem as well, and this one is adorned with a couple of shots of my Dad. Those two were a pair – Wee and my father.

There’s a few photos, artwork and other items to remind me of what I’d like to write about sometime.

My favorite photo of Joan Didion. There’s something hauntingly familiar about this snapshot, it always grabs me. I’m into a book of Didion’s this week – Slouching Towards Bethlehem – not her latest – Blue Nights, but you can find that on literary lists and bookstores. She rocked the world of journalism in the ’60’s and 70’s, and followed up with an amazing life collection of non-fiction in later decades. Equally, her poise and prose I intensely admire. Ready for any interview, any time, I love her “To Pack and Wear” list, which she kept taped to the inside of her closet door. Oh, to have the freedom of spirit to travel this lightly to any horse show, exchanging naturally, the stockings and skirt, for denim and boots.

Near to it, this. The backlight, the absence of the typical female encumbrances such as a purse – nothing but sunglasses, a casual pair of jeans and sweater, and the incredible sense of playfulness in her eyes. Jackie Kennedy would have been in her 40’s when this was snapped by paparazzi photographer, Ronald Galella. Of the entire collection of her posed and pretty photographs, this, her most beautiful, in my view.

I wasn’t conscious of the parallel of these two women’s lives when I tacked these shots up on the board, but recognize now that both endured great tragedies in their prime. Strong females definitely a recurrent theme in my personal reportaire of icons.

Inspiration boards, the barn chalkboard, pinboards, bulletin boards, the fridge door for that matter; the point is surround yourself with a slice of the incredibleness of your world, your history, and that of which drives you. It will spur you to remember to stop and enjoy it once in a while.

So, hey, share – what’s on your board?

It just so happens I was recently scrounging through the Western Horse Review storage locker and discovered a box of goodies we really should think about dispersing, including a stack of Corb Lund’s vintage Hair on my Eyes Like a Highland Steer, which we’ve apparently been hoarding since 2005(?).  Come to think of it, the photo on this CD cover illustrates an inspiration wall. As incentive to get you thinking about your inspiration board, and what is, or might be on it, we’ll do a random draw amongst the comments below and give away one of Corb’s CD’s.

So share . . . it’s a mandatory activity.

P.S. – I nearly forgot to announce last week’s winner of the On the Trail daytimer. Andrea, claim your prize by contacting [email protected] Congrats!


Likes of the Week

This is how this time last year looked at the log house. This view of Blue with his head stuck out of a shelter was a similar sight for days.

The view today is quite dissimilar, and I can’t even bore you with a photo, it being just too uninteresting, wherein lies the downfall of good weather in this land. A winter landscape without the snow, the hoar frost, the pure white of it all can be dreary and lifeless. Loving the mildness, not so much the brown.

On the subject of unusual weather, Nasa scientists recently declared 2011 as the ninth warmest since 1880. In fact, nine of the warmest 10 years in modern times have occurred since the year 2000. This film really clarifies it.

The documentary Buck may not have made the short list of the Oscars, but remains the popular favourite of so many horse people. I caught this interview with Buck a few nights ago, which you might also find interesting. If you are a follower or fan, don’t miss our feature with Buck Brannaman, coming up in the March issue of Western Horse Review. 

This story, which dominated equine media this week, was both disturbing and oh so sad.

Along came Rosie, at the ready to aid the restoration of my shaky faith in humanity. Rosie made National Geographic’s Woof of the Week list and how could she not with those eyes. Rosie was rescued when she was nine weeks old and now lives happily in Long Beach, California with her caring owners. Every so often, my soul craves Woof of the Week and this was such a week.

At the magazine we’re closing sales on the March issue, and just beginning to lay out the issue. We have several features I’m thrilled about, and I hope to preview them for you over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, because it’s Friday, and gorgeous out, we’re giving away our very last On The Trail daytimer.

If you weren’t one of the fortunate ones to receive one of these beauties for Christmas, you still have a chance to provide a home for the very last one we have in the office.

Just let us know in the comment section below, what your weekend plans include. We’ll draw randomly from the responses and divulge the winner next week. Good luck everyone!

Likes of the Week

We’re currently on deadline with the Jan/Feb issue of Western Horse Review, so before I get into anything else I want to let you know what we’re finalizing in this issue.

World champion bucking horse Airwolf's clone, "Wolfie." Photo by Deanna Buschert.

• A fantastic and may I say, cutting-edge piece on cloning by our own Deanna Buschert. I have to say, this was an article which challenged my stand on the issue of equine cloning. Don’t miss it, much has transpired in the past two years.

Sneak peek at one of our profile western weddings. Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

• Western Wedding Style. Wow, I’m in awe of the new generation of cowgirls and guys who embrace their unique western tradition, with a twist of modernist. Fourteen pages of amazing photography, and three gorgeous western weddings.

• Nearly two years ago, we ran one of our very first contests on The Barrel Patch blog. The swag was Petrol jeans and the question was: If you could pick your all time favourite barrel racer to go out to dinner with, who would it be and why? One of the most mentioned competitors was Deb Renger. Hence, the article idea. Hey, it ain’t dinner with, but it’s a fabulous profile of arguably, Canada’s top longstanding barrel racing competitor.

• Results, pictures and interviews from both the Team Roping Futurity and the Canadian Snaffle Bit Futurity, both held during Northland’s recent Farmfair.

• Profiles of competitive riders and horses remain a core mandate in Western Horse Review. This issue we also interview an up-and-coming cow horse trainer from Saskatchewan, and an Ohio Congress champion.

• Winter chores the old-fashioned way is the theme of the photographic essay in this issue’s Out West. 

• Dainya Sapergia’s sweet interview with the modest Blake Schlosser – on his final days as pick-up man, and his heartfelt reasons for giving up the rodeo trail. I love the photo. So much, I’m not about to reveal it before the issue.

• Our health feature follow up on EHV – what top equine health professionals are advising as move-forward strategies. And leading Thoroughbred breeder and therapeutic equine care center – the impressive Bar None Ranches is featured in Horse Farm. 

• My interview with Katie Tims, who is scheduled to appear this mid-January at the annual Horse Owners and Breeders Conference in Red Deer, Alberta. Fantastic insights from Katie on the trends we in the horse industry can expect over the coming years.

By the way, if Red Deer is too far for you to travel in the dead of a Canadian winter, there are two equally inspiring educational seminars on our radar in the New Year: the Horse Council of British Columbia’s Equine Education Conference, and Saskatchewan’s first annual Equine Expo.

• Speaking of equine education, we host a section of equine schools in Canada in this issue as well.

• Don’t let me forget – Deanna Beckley also profiles six amazingly talented spur makers in Product Showdown, and one barrel racer determined to meld her passion with her business in Storefront. 

And . . . more, so much more. If you’d like to make sure you receive this issue by subscribing, you can do so here.


This week, I admired these photographs by Montreal photographer, Irene Suchocki. Currently the top-selling photographer on Etsy, I’m in love with her series capturing the gentle nature and graceful power of the wild horses of Camargue, a region in the south of France. Visit her Etsy store here. 

I’m impressed by the new Equine Lameness Online Lab, brought to us by Pfizer Animal Health and the Equine Guelph, particularly the Video Challenge, which shows a video of four different horses, allowing viewers to identify which horse is lame, and which leg is lame. Make your assessment, and then view the incredibly insightful audio commentary version from equine veterinarian, Dr. Nicola Cribb. Resourceful idea!

In case you missed it Bobby Kerr and Poncho were clearly the fan favorite of the 2011 Extreme Mustang Challenge.

And finally, it’s a bit of a lengthy view, but Emma Massingale’s Synchronicity with Horses is all about peace, understanding and love. We can always use a little more of that.

Thanks for tuning in to today’s post, I hope to be back with one final post prior to Christmas Day, with some last minute Christmas ideas and links.

Likes of the Week

While we’re in the midst of final preparations on our new WordPress theme, as well as production of Nov/Dec issue of the magazine, I haven’t had a lot of time to spend on anything else. I’ll be back later in the week with my Christmas countdown, but in the meantime, here’s some things and links I’ve been enjoying and thought you might as well.

Up close and personal on a racehorse is possible and thrilling with EquiSight.

I enjoyed blogger Heather Anne, from Sealey Lake, Montana’s poignant musings about her grandfather. “He was a hard man, but romantic and nostalgic. He didn’t often come into your world, but if you made the effort to know him on his ground, he openly shared his wealth of knowledge on many topics.” Beautifully done, young gal, keep writing. Read it all here.

My continuing love affair with the Hipstamatic camera app on my iphone. Oh, the shots I’ve been able to capture, including my latest favorite, the vintage-like, textural feel of this shot of Wee.

Loving the definition of the new Cinemagraph technique – “an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly,” and intrigued with how this technique might be applied to equine photographs.

Finally, if you’re searching for a fall theme baking recipe, we whipped up these pumpkin spice muffins (with cream cheese frosting and decorated with a gooseberry) for an editorial meeting. Delicious.

Back to work!