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Over the Fence

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Kitson Kitson Jazynka - Over the Fence

A lifelong horse lover and equestrian, Kitson writes regularly for Horse Illustrated and Young Rider. She has written for the USEF Equestrian and has blogged for the past couple of years at www.thesweetfeed.com. She writes regularly for dog magazines including Dog Fancy, Popular Puppies, Rescue Me! and Natural Dog, as well as children's magazines like American Girl and National Geographic Kids. See full bio >>

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2014
New York's Carriage Horses

My family has a long history with carriage horses. My grandfather had a barn full of them. Once he drove his two favorite horses (Percheron work horses, Benny and Betty) all the way from his farm in New Jersey to Pennsylvania, pulling a covered wagon full of kids including my mother. As for me, I drove my first pony cart at about nine years old. I remember the moments vividly, trotting the pony through that small town to the beat of a proud clip clop with the reins in my hands, and taking in pony smell with every breath. What could be more fun?
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The Story of Sacagawea

Everyone’s heard of Sacagawea, but did you know that the root of her famous story starts with horses? It happened like this: In 1804 Lewis & Clark set out in boats on their famous expedition to explore territory on the other side of the Mississippi River (President Thomas Jefferson had just acquired it in the Louisiana Purchase from France). In order to reach the Pacific, the explorers had to cross the Rocky Mountains. In order to cross the Rocky Mountains, they needed horses.
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Thursday, October 9, 2014
The Washington International Horse Show

There’s something exciting about the closing down of city streets in the nation’s capital to make room for horses. The park police drag out the concrete barriers. Motorcades detour. Temporary stalls go up. Trucks back up, beep, beep beeping and unloading hay, shavings and heavily stitched bags of feed. All this happens amid the chaos of rush hour traffic, power lunches and public transportation that makes the sidewalks tremble.
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Monday, September 29, 2014
Puppy, Meet Pony

My family and I came home from Maine this summer with a puppy. She’s a little German Shepherd dreamboat and we’re working hard to hone her manners and socialization skills. At home in the city, life is something like a page out of Richard Scarry’s "Busytown” books. Tabby has been introduced to all kinds of people like friendly telephone pole workers, bus drivers, delivery men, people wearing hats, people riding scooters, teachers and lots of children.
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Monday, September 22, 2014
Creepy Trail Encounters

I don’t know what scared me more, the creepy guy in the woods my friend and I encountered yesterday on horseback, or the look on the park police ranger’s face when he realized we knew where the man was hiding. We encountered the officer just as accidentally as we’d encountered the creepy guy. One, it turns out, was looking for the other.
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Monday, September 15, 2014
Justin the Artist

Eight years ago, Adonna Combs bought a gorgeous two-year old Friesian gelding as a dressage prospect. But at a schooling show early in his career, Justin made it clear that dressage was not what he had in mind for a career.
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Monday, September 8, 2014
Horsefly

Can I just say first that I don’t normally delight in killing things? Even when it comes to insects – I admire hardworking ants and have taught my kids to stand still (instead of swatting) in the presence of a bee. We relocate spiders and crickets and weathered last year’s 17-year cicadas with a heavier dose of scientific interest than disgust. But horseflies are different.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Stonewall

A friend of mine once declared it’s not a party ‘til someone opens a bag of cheese puffs. I say, it’s not a party ‘til a horse shows up. When my son Quinn turned eight this summer, he wanted to celebrate with friends in nearby Rock Creek Park with a hike to the creek followed by an endless game of kickball. He got all that (plus cupcakes and a lot of poison ivy). He also got a visit from: Stonewall!
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Horseless

"Which horse is yours?”

It was an innocent question. I was leaning on a fence watching a lesson in an outdoor arena at a stable near Centreville, Virginia. But the girl I posed the question to (early 20s, like I was, also in riding boots) took it hard. Her face crumpled. I thought she was going to cry.
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Monday, July 14, 2014
Survival Adaptations

While researching wild animals for various projects over the past couple of years, the term "survival adaptation” often rears up. A survival adaptation is a physical attribute or a behavior that helps a wild animal survive. Like wolves’ innate ability to be tough. Or a tiger’s ability to swim, which gives him an edge while hunting and helps him widen his territory. But what about wild ponies?
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Monday, July 7, 2014
Freak Accident

Webster’s dictionary defines an accident as "a sudden event (such as a crash) that is not planned or intended and that causes damage or injury.” The word "freak” means "one that is markedly unusual.”
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Friday, June 20, 2014
Meet the Przewalski's Horse

As usual, no matter what topic I’m researching, call of horse talk pulls me in. This time, I was researching tigers for a children’s book that I’m writing for the National Geographic Society. In the past few weeks I’ve zeroed in on details related to species survival plans (SSPs) created around the world to save endangered species
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Thursday, June 12, 2014
Cultivating Balance

According to Alivio Farms lead trainer Tina Ann Legno-Cope, cultivating and strengthening balance in your horse provides an opportunity to strengthen any weakness.
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Saturday, May 31, 2014
Meet Amos the Wonderhorse

About a year and a half ago I interviewed a little horse with a big personality for a story in National Geographic Kids magazine. Amos is a super-cute basketball playing equine that made for a super-cute story. His story also appears in a book I contributed many stories to for Nat Geo that came out this month. So I got in touch with Amos to see if he’d be up for a quick interview.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014
April Showers Bring May Flowers

I’m sitting in a field of buttercups on a sunny day on Memorial Day weekend. Stress blows away on the breeze. The buzz of insects replaces the hum of a hectic life. I’m grateful for my horse. Grateful for the beauty of buttercups (yes, I have read they can be poisonous to horses, but in our 15 years here, it’s never been an issue.) I love how having a horse encourages (forces?) me to live in the moment long enough to appreciate all of this.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014
A Young Horse-Rescue Volunteer

A few months ago, I took on a story assignment for a new magazine in the Horse Illustrated/Young Rider family called Rescue Me. The magazine is all about the world of animal rescue. The story was to be about young volunteers at animal rescue organizations--totally my kind of story. I knew I wanted to include a horse rescue kid, but I had a hard time finding just the right super-star volunteer.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Pure Thoughts Horse and Foal Rescue

For a homeless horse, entering the realm of Pure Thoughts Horse and Foal Rescue in Loxahatchee, FL sparks a magical transition: a starving horse becomes well-fed; a neglected horse becomes cherished; an unwanted horse becomes part of a family. Jennifer Swanson and Brad Gaver have rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed close to 2,000 equines over the past ten years. I’m lucky to be able to say I’ve known them for most of that time. I have seen it with my own eyes–for horses at Pure Thoughts, the grass really is greener.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2014
Baby, Baby, Baby

Back in December I blogged on The Sweet Feed about an unexpected and super-fun visit to the Glenhaven Welsh Ponies and Cobs in Unionville, Virginia where my Welsh Cob, Glenhaven Atheron (aka Taff), was born. At the time, owner Suzanne Moody showed us around her farm and introduced us to some of her ponies. Eight of her Welsh pony mares were in foal. She invited us to come back in April when she’d have foals.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Easter Pony

Easter morning couldn’t have been more beautiful, the sun shining down on the spring-green fields that gently slope up from the Monocacy River toward Maryland’s iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. This year, we took our chocolate bunnies to go, on our way to Monocacy Equine Veterinary Associates. Hmmmm you say. Who’s in the hospital?!
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Horses and Wolf Conservation

My husband tells me I can turn any conversation to the subject of horses. Last year, as I was working on a children’s book for National Geographic Kids about wolves (it comes out this week!), I took this as a personal challenge: how would I fit horses into a book about saving wolves? As it turns out, I didn’t have to work too hard to figure out a connection between wolves and horses.
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Monday, March 31, 2014
A Real Flying Horseman

It’s always a thrill when a magazine with an article I wrote in it shoots through the mail slot. Conducting interviews and meeting deadlines is one thing, but seeing that work transformed into a glossy spread with gorgeous photos is another. Like last week when the May/June issue of Young Rider arrived.
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Monday, March 24, 2014
Like Magic

There’s a magic that happens between ponies and boys. It’s a quiet partnership. A silent understanding, perhaps, between tamed creatures whose wild spirits bubble close to the surface.
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Monday, March 17, 2014
Aromatherapy

Have you ever wondered about the word "aromatherapy” in the context of horses? The word has to do with using good smells to make one feel better. I was thinking about this today when I noticed the grocery bag of barn apples that I keep in my refrigerator.
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Over the Fence

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Reader Comments

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

3/24/2014 11:51:46 PM

Looks like fun.

PKL    Somewhere, WY

3/24/2014 6:07:00 AM

Thank you for this article, because I did not even release that it was there. I will have to check it out.

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