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Friday, December 19, 2014
This Week in Horses — December 19, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Devastating Christmas week for Florida farm, a new world record in dressage and more in this week's news roundup.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I Never Asked Santa for a Pony
By Leslie Potter

Despite being an equine-obsessed kid from somewhere around age six to, well, the present, I never asked Santa for a pony. I’m sure I had nothing against ponies. I bet I would have happily taken one if Santa had come up with the idea to give me one on his own.
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Friday, December 12, 2014
This Week in Horses - December 12, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Minis help with final exams, actor sued for "breaking" a horse and more in this week's news roundup.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I Had a Great Ride and I Want to Tell You About It
By Leslie Potter

I had a great ride last week. It wasn't the flawless, everything-went-perfectly kind of ride that you dream of pulling off the day of a show after arduous months of practice with your horse, but it was still great.
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Friday, December 5, 2014
This Week in Horses – December 5, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Paint Horse in the NFL, training show jumpers with carrots and more in this week's news roundup.
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Friday, November 28, 2014
This Week in Horses – November 28, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Clever horse plays dead, perfume that smells like the barn and more in this week's news roundup.
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Monday, November 24, 2014
Why Don’t Millennials Like Clydesdales?
By Leslie Potter

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Budweiser is trying to expand its fanbase by appealing to a younger, hipper crowd. Sigh. This again?
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Friday, November 21, 2014
This Week in Horses – November 21, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Dressage star is sportswoman of the year, varsity equestrian blues and more in this week's horse news roundup.
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Friday, November 14, 2014
This Week in Horses – November 14, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Annual beach ride cut rerouted, "Who said anything about a horse?" and more in this week's news roundup.
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Thursday, November 13, 2014
Hunting Season
By Leslie Potter

When I was a kid, there was an incident where a woman was shot and killed by a deer hunter in her own backyard. She was wearing white mittens; the hunter mistook her hands for a white tail. I think I remember this incident clearly because it was a local incident that made national news (and also because we lived on the edge of a large wooded area at the time, and I remember my parents telling me not to wear white mittens.)
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Friday, November 7, 2014
This Week in Horses – November 7, 2014
By Leslie Potter

A dressage mule, a heartbreaking last goodbye and more in this week's horse news round-up.
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Friday, October 31, 2014
This Week in Horses – October 31, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Happy Friday, everyone, and happy Halloween! Here’s what you may have missed this week while you were coming up with the perfect costume for your barn’s party (I’ve been saying for years that I’m going to find a Robin costume for me and dress Snoopy as Batman, but I’ve yet to follow through.)
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Horse Parade
By Leslie Potter

I love small town festivals. Every small town in America seems to have its own version, often named for some local food, like Centerville, Tennessee’s Banana Pudding Festival or New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s Peanut Butter Festival (why have I not been to this?)
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Saturday, October 25, 2014
This Week in Horses—October 25, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Escaped horse in NYC, Lady Gaga's new digs and more in this week's horse news roundup.
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Friday, October 17, 2014
This Week in Horses—October 17, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Horses on buses, horses in costume, horses in bags? and more in this week's news roundup.
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Friday, October 10, 2014
This Week in Horses—October 10, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Downtown Quarter Horse parade, proposed equestrian safety legislation and more in this week's news roundup.
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Friday, October 3, 2014
This Week in Horses—October 3, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Abandoned horses need homes, year-end championships and more in this week's news roundup.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Equestrian Reading List – In Service to the Horse
By Leslie Potter

About a million years ago, I solicited suggestions for horse-related books from you, the HorseChannel.com reading public. I remembered doing that just recently when I found myself on the hunt for something to read in my spare time, and I dug through The Near Side archives to find that post.
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Friday, September 26, 2014
This Week in Horses – September 26, 2014
By Leslie Potter

New York City's equine community, horses for weight loss, Larry the Cable Guy and more in this week's horse news roundup.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Stacy Westfall is Living My Dream Life
By Leslie Potter

As part of my job here at Horse Illustrated, I do my best to keep up with horse industry news and events. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. I like being able to do that, because let’s face it. If I had any other non-horsey office job, I’d probably be tempted to spend half my day reading about equestrian events anyway but would not have any work-related justification for it. But the flip side is that reading about these events all the time makes me want to leave my desk and attend every last one of them.
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Friday, September 19, 2014
This Week in Horses — September 19, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Northeast Thoroughbred track closes, New York City hosts a horse show, zebras and more in this week’s news roundup.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Your Equestrian Identity
By Leslie Potter

There’s a car I’ve seen driving around the area a couple of times that stands out to me because of two decals on the rear window. One is a trotting Saddlebred. The other is a reiner doing a sliding stop. It’s not weird to see either of those things around here, but it’s strange to see the two of them together.
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Friday, September 12, 2014
This Week in Horses – September 12, 2014
By Leslie Potter

A snowy summer horse show, more mane vandalism, WEG and more in this week's news round-up.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Why Do You Ride?
By Leslie Potter

Why do you ride? This was a seemingly simple question posed to my classmates and me by our instructor during a riding class in college. Most of us answered how I imagine most riders would, with some variation on it being fun, challenging, good exercise or a way to spend time with horses.
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Friday, August 28, 2014
WEG Obsessed
By Leslie Potter

It's 1:00 in the morning, and I'm pretty tired and should definitely be sleeping. But I'm not. I'm watching FEITV's coverage of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
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Friday, August 15, 2014
This Week in Horses
By Leslie Potter

Stirrup leather recall, WEG teams announced, and more horse stories from the non-horse media in this week's news round-up.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014
My Horse is My Therapist
By Leslie Potter

I was as shocked as everyone else yesterday upon hearing the news that beloved actor/comedian Robin Williams had died. The fact that it appears to have been a suicide makes the news that much more devastating. It's jarring to think someone who was so vivacious and seemingly full of joy could have that dark place inside his mind, and that it was powerful enough to overcome him in the end.
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Thursday, August 8, 2014
This Week in Horses – August 8, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Beezie Madden keeps making history, equestrianism on prime time TV and more in this week's news roundup.
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Thursday, August 7, 2014
Riding through the Fireflies
By Leslie Potter

Gather up those happy summer memories now. You'll need 'em before you know it.
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Friday, August 1, 2014
This Week in Horses – August 1, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Theft from a therapeutic riding program, cats and colts, a Shetland Pony crisis and more in this week's news roundup.
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Friday, July 25, 2014
This Week in Horses – July 25, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Royal horse doped, buying breeches in the supermarket, a pair of Cinderella stories and more in this week's news roundup.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Carriage Driving with Martha
By Leslie Potter

I just returned from a fantastic week of vacation. I have a pretty sweet gig here at Horse Illustrated, but I have to say, it was really nice to not look at a computer for a week and just enjoy some summer downtime in my home state of Maine.
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Friday, July 11, 2014
This Week in Horses – July 11, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Happy Friday, equestrians! Here's this week's horse-world news roundup.
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Friday, July 4, 2014
The Near Side: This Week in Horses – July 4, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Happy Independence Day to our American readers, and happy Friday to everyone else! Here's what's been in the horse-world news this week.
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Monday, June 30, 2014
Horses in Advertising: Historic Fail Edition
By Leslie Potter

You may have seen old-timey ads where a brand of cigarettes touted that it was the most recommended by doctors, or other dubious claims. But this vintage piece of advertising from 1930 takes the cake. Feast your eyes on this.
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Friday, June 27, 2014
This Week in Horses — June 27, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Hope you all enjoyed the first official week of summer! Here’s the horse-world news roundup for this week.
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Friday, June 20, 2014
This Week in Horses — June 20, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Welcome to this week's horse-news round-up, summer solstice edition. Actually, tomorrow, June 21, is the summer solstice, which means you have the most daylight you'll have all year to get out there and ride. So do it. But first, catch up on the news.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014
If it's not football, it's horseball
By Leslie Potter

One theory suggests that the "foot" in "football" isn't referring to the method by which the ball is moved around the field, but the mode of transportation used by the players — by foot instead of horse. So what are those horse sports that "football" is distinguishing itself from?
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Friday, June 13, 2014
This Week in Horses — June 13, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Here's what was happening in the horse world this week while you were working on your FIFA World Cup bracket. Do people do brackets for the World Cup? I don't know.
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Friday, June 6, 2014
This Week in Horses — June 6, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Here's the horse-world news you may have missed while you were getting your nasal strips ready for Saturday.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2014
Skechers Signs Endorsement Deal with…California Chrome?
By Leslie Potter

Here at Horse Illustrated HQ, I spend my days at a sort of standing desk that I assembled for myself a few years ago. Remember how all the experts were telling us about how our desk jobs were killing us? Well, I bought into it. And it's fine, for the most part, but when I was standing all day, my legs would get tired and my feet would hurt.
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Friday, May 30, 2014
This Week in Horses – May 30, 2014
By Leslie Potter

I missed last week's horse-news roundup, so this is really more like "this fortnight in horses," which doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily. Oh well. Here's your horse-world news update for approximately the last 14 days.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Saturday Night Dressage
By Leslie Potter

Last year, the Kentucky Dressage Association introduced a 5K run to raise money for the Markey Cancer Center. My dog and I ran it last year and I was happy to find out this year that it would be an annual event. This year's race was held at the Kentucky Horse Park just before the Saturday evening Grand Prix Musical Freestyle.
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Friday, May 16, 2014
This Week in Horses – May 16, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Here's some fodder for your weekend conversation with your barn buddies.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Pony Ride
By Leslie Potter

There's an annual arts fair that takes place at a little park near my neighborhood each year on Mother's Day weekend. It's a very family-oriented event with kids' activities like a petting zoo and pony rides taking place amongst the artists' booths. As I wandered over to the fair last weekend, the pony ride was the first thing I noticed, and no, not because I contemplated getting in line to take my turn.
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Friday, May 9, 2014
This Week in Horses – May 9, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Here's the horse-world news you may have missed while you were out riding this week.
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Friday, May 2, 2014
This Week in Horses – May 2, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Impress the guests at your Kentucky Derby party with the latest news from the horse world. Here's what is going on this week.
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Friday, April 25, 2014
This Week in Horses – April 25, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Here's the horse-world news you may have missed this week while watching the Rolex live feed.
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Friday, April 18, 2014
This Week in Horses – April 18, 2014
By Leslie Potter

Here's the news you may have missed while you were shoveling late-season snow off the barn walkway this week.
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Friday, April 14, 2014
Stop Being So Dramatic
By Leslie Potter

As you may have heard, the Wall Street Journal saw fit to cover our little equestrian world this week. Did they talk about how horses help veterans cope with PTSD? Or how equestrian events raise money for charities in the communities that host them? Or how learning to ride can boost confidence and improve health at any age? Not this time. This time they decided to publish a piece on barn drama.
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Friday, April 11, 2014
This Week in Horses
By Leslie Potter

Impress all of your barn friends during your weekend rides by being on top of the latest horse-world news. Here's what happened this week.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Why Are You Not Trail Riding Right Now?
By Leslie Potter

Seriously. Why are you not outside, enjoying a spring day in the forest or fields with your favorite horse right now? Yeah, yeah, I know. You've got work to do. Family obligations. You're sitting in class reading this on your phone and you don't get out for another three hours. These are not good enough excuses. Your health and well-being depend on you going on a trail ride. And what's more important than your health?
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Friday, March 28, 2014
Blanketing Drama
By Leslie Potter

I like to think that I’m not a worrier when it comes to my horse. He lives a pretty simple life with 24-hour turnout in a field with a shelter and a couple of buddies. He doesn't wear shoes, which means I don't have to worry about him losing one in the mud. He's semi-retired, which means if he seems a little off one day, I can give him all the downtime he needs without the pressure of getting him ready for a show. Snoopy's golden years have been pretty relaxed for both of us.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Put a Swoosh on Your Shadbelly
By Leslie Potter

Here's some interesting news from the world of equestrian sports. Nike has officially sponsored its first American equestrian athlete. Yes, the very same Nike that sponsors household names like Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova and LeBron James. So who is this new star?
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Friday, March 7, 2014
The Not-So-Secret Equestrian Society
By Leslie Potter

I'm proud to be an equestrian and I certainly never try to hide the fact that I am a horseperson through and through. But I don't necessarily try to flaunt it, either. There's a time and a place for dirty muck boots, and it's not Saturday night at a nice restaurant, you know? But sometimes it doesn't matter if you're waving your equestrian flag intentionally or not. Your fellow horsepeople know who you are.
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Ice Dancing, Dressage, and Subjective Judging
By Leslie Potter

I almost never watch sports on TV. I've never been able to get into the professional sports that dominate American culture, or even the college basketball that is like a universal religion here in Lexington. But every two years, the Olympics take over primetime and I'm hooked. Skiing, swimming, speed skating or any of those other sports that get zero airtime when the Olympics aren't happening? I can't resist. I even stayed up past my bedtime to watch curling the other night.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Appy Trails
By Leslie Potter

This week, a new show jumping game was released for iPhone and iPad, titled "Jumpy Horse Show Jumping." It's billed as "realistic," which seems like a funny term. How realistic could an iPhonified experience be? But maybe it's fun. You can compete over pre-made courses or create your own. You can pick one of seven breeds, from the traditional Hanoverian or Thoroughbred to some more, um, interesting choices for jumping, including a Shire or zebra.
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Monday, January 27, 2014
Making the Most of Winter
By Leslie Potter

This winter has been crazy, hasn't it? You have to expect a certain amount of cold and snow at this time of year, sure, but it seems like it's been relentless. I'm usually a cold-weather complainer, but weirdly, I haven't been as bothered by this year's abnormally bitter weather as I usually am by normal winter weather. I got a great new winter coat for Christmas along with some snow cleats for my boots, and I feel kind of invincible with them. Plus, I like having an excuse to drink a lot of hot chocolate. But this winter has been rough for riding.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The Complex Carriage Horse Question
By Leslie Potter

We're three weeks in to 2014 and here in the U.S. we've already had major events take place on some of the hottest hot-button issues in the horse industry. One is the recent passage of a budget that places a de facto ban on horse slaughter in the U.S. This is the same ban that was in place from 2006 through 2011, and since no horse slaughterhouses opened up since the ban was lifted, nothing has really changed yet. It's an important issue, sure, but honestly? I don't want to write about slaughter today.
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Friday, January 10, 2014
Rewards for Riding
By Leslie Potter

I don't have to tell you this, because you already know, but riding is its own reward. I like doing the whole horse show thing, but I can say without a doubt that if I had to choose between competing and riding just for fun, fun takes a decisive victory. But, as I've probably said a few dozen times on this blog, trail riding around the farm on ol' reliable Snoopy can get a little stale.
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Friday, January 3, 2014
My Stupid Mistake
By Leslie Potter

During the winter, I occasionally take my dog, Brit, over to a nearby park that has a fenced-in baseball field where she can run around. It's not quite as good as the dog park, but when daylight hours are scarce, it's an adequate replacement and is a little more fun than the same old on-leash walk around the neighborhood.
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Monday, December 9, 2013
Repurposing Horse Show Ribbons: Holiday Edition
By Leslie Potter

When people talk about showing horses, they'll often say something like, "I don't do it for the $1.00 ribbon." And it's true. If we only cared about those satiny prizes, we'd just buy ribbons. But for me, ribbons represent memories of different moments in my equestrian life. Some of them are proud victories. Some of them are from small classes in which I only got a ribbon because there were more ribbons than riders. But they're all mementos of time spent with horses, and that's something I cherish.
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Horsey Finds on Etsy
By Leslie Potter

It's December, and if you celebrate Christmas, you've got less than three weeks to do all your shopping, wrapping, fretting, and otherwise stressing out for this year's holiday. I try not to get swept up in the madness—you'll never catch me at a black Friday sale—but gift-giving is always stressful. I want to pick out something thoughtful and unique for everyone rather than just buying a gift for a gift's sake and contributing to the future clutter of my friends and family. But it's not easy.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Is your tail light out?
By Leslie Potter

A couple of months ago, we ran a news item here on HorseChannel about rider safety at night. A survey of riders conducted in the UK found that neon clothing and even reflective tape on tack or riding clothes did not reduce the risk of having a close encounter with a car when riding along public roads. Wearing lights, however, did.
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Monday, November 11, 2013
No-Stirrups November
By Leslie Potter

I'm sure I've said it before, but having a senior horse is a mixed bag. At his advanced age and with more than two decades under saddle, there isn't much that Snoopy hasn't experienced before. He's not above spooking, mind you, but I don’t really have to worry about him. I can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
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Thursday, October 31, 2013
Rider Versatility at the Alltech National Horse Show
By Leslie Potter

A while ago, I had a conversation with some friends about the relative difficulty of different disciplines. They were of the mind that if you can ride saddle seat, you can ride any discipline. My riding instructor in high school used to say the same thing, and I can kind of see why you might think that. The saddles are flat, so it's up to you to keep yourself in the right place. You've got to manage two sets of reins. The horses tend to be pretty high-powered.
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Friday, September 27, 2013
Twilight Polo in Downtown Lexington
By Leslie Potter

Last night, my operating plan for the evening to get home in time to catch the season premiere of Parks and Recreation. But when I got back to my car after my riding lesson, I had an intriguing text message with a better offer.
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Monday, September 16, 2013
Tack Shop Euphoria
By Leslie Potter

My beloved schoolie, Dreamer, is as honest as they come. He goes wherever I point him. He'll jump out of whatever terrible spot I put him in. He's just an all-around good guy. But he isn't super-motivated to move forward. Like many seasoned school horses, I suspect he's learned that the consequences for taking his sweet time with an inexperienced rider are minimal, and the work considerably less. So if he's having a particularly lazy day, he might just put 78 strides in a five-stride line.
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Monday, July 29, 2013
Riding the Mangalarga Marchador
By Leslie Potter

A few weeks ago, I shared some photos from my trip to Brazil where I was introduced to the Mangalarga Marchador breed. While I was there, I also had several opportunities to ride some of these horses.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Helmet Cam — Jester View
By Holly Caccamise

As we reach the midway point of the summer, horse show season is in full swing. Back in December, I got a helmet cam as a Christmas present, but being somewhat technologically challenged, it took me until summer to get it up and running.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Meeting the Mangalarga Marchador
By Leslie Potter

A few years ago, I was window shopping online for a new horse. I wasn't in the market, but who doesn't like to look and see what's out there? While scrolling through the breed menu to select "Morgan," I noticed a breed I'd never heard of: Mangalarga Marchador.
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Thursday, June 20, 2013
Summer Solstice Sunset Ride (one day early)
By Leslie Potter

June is my favorite time of year, and that is in no small part due to the daylight that stretches well into the evening. Here in the Horse Capital of the World, we're pretty far west in the Eastern time zone, which makes our sunsets artificially later. Today, the day of the summer solstice, our sunset is officially at 9:03 p.m. Blissful.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The horse world's disappearing act
By Leslie Potter

When I first moved to Lexington, one of the many local horse events I was excited to attend was the semi-annual Saddlebred auction at the Tattersalls sales pavilion. These sales were sort of the flea market of the American Saddlebred industry. There would always be a handful of big price tags for high-profile performance horses, but the real treasures were the diamonds in the rough.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013
What is my horse thinking?
By Leslie Potter

"Horse stuck in ravine rescued through 'telepathy.'"

That headline stood out as I perused today's horse-world news. It came from a Seattle Times article about a young Fjord mare who wandered off and, well, you can figure out the rest from the headline. Fortunately, the story did have a happy ending, which apparently can be attributed—at least in part—to a horse psychic.
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Friday, May 24, 2013
Fifteen Weekends of Summer
By Leslie Potter

Summer doesn't officially arrive until the solstice on June 21, and technically it keeps on going until the autumnal equinox on September 22. But in practice, the summer season is generally agreed to be the wonderful, beautiful months between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
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Friday, May 17, 2013
These Boots Were Made for Riding…But Now They Just Sit There
By Leslie Potter

When it comes to maintaining a collection of worldly possessions there are three types of people. There are the DIY types who have the mental wherewithal to keep things in good working order and fix them if they do break. Then there are those who use things up, and once they're broken or worn out or just plain unwanted, they toss them out and buy a replacement.
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Riding the Rolex Course
By Holly Caccamise

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to tour the famous Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event cross-country course on horseback. I am nowhere near brave enough to actually jump those jumps, so thankfully that wasn't the plan.
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Friday, May 3, 2013
Rolex Also-Rans, Cross-Country Edition
By Leslie Potter

It's no secret that cross-country day is THE day to go to Rolex. Whether or not you're an eventing fan, it's worth the trip just to stand near those cross-country jumps and try to wrap your head around how a 1,300-pound animal could possibly propel himself over them. Then when you actually watch them do it, well, it'll make you rethink what you knew about equine abilities.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Rolex Also-Rans
By Leslie Potter

Here at Horse Illustrated HQ, the week of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of our favorite times of year. The horse community descends upon our fair city of Lexington, Kentucky, and we get to see the world's top event horses and riders compete on one of the world's legendary courses right at our own Kentucky Horse Park.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2013
Running for Donkeys
By Leslie Potter

Last weekend was the famous London Marathon, which went off without a hitch under the long shadow cast by the attack on the previous week's Boston Marathon. After the emotional week in Massachusetts, it was a bit of a relief to see some positivity come out of London.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Stifling Stock Ties
By Holly Caccamise

As eventers, a lot of our show dress originates from foxhunting: the button-down wool coat, light-colored breeches, black leather boots, a velvet cap (now helmet), and stock ties. The supposed purpose of the stock tie was to serve as a bandage or tourniquet for an injured rider out in the field. Yikes! I would hate to be that guy.
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Monday, April 1, 2013
Running with Thoroughbreds
By Leslie Potter

Last weekend, I ran a race at Keeneland Race Course here in Lexington. No, I did not have to go up against Thoroughbreds, but rather 4,000 other human runners and 13.1 miles of rolling hills in the Run the Bluegrass Half-Marathon.
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Friday, March 29, 2013
Why can't we stop soring?
By Leslie Potter

No one in the horse world would come out in favor of soring. In that respect, it's not exactly controversial; everyone is against it, at least publicly. But it's still happening. We're still discussing it more than 40 years after the passage of the Horse Protection Act, which made soring illegal. The court of public opinion (and federal law) are unambiguous in their condemnation of this practice, but there are still trainers who think that it's somehow okay to abuse horses in this way to get a desired result, as long as they don't get caught.
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Monday, March 18, 2013
Is it still a show if no one is watching?
By Leslie Potter

Over the weekend, the Horse Illustrated/HorseChannel editorial team spent some time at Road to the Horse. For the uninitiated, this is a competition amongst horsemanship trainers—mostly top level clinicians—in which each competitor starts a colt from the ground up and is judged on his or her progress at the end of three days.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
It's almost 2014 (if you work on a magazine)
By Leslie Potter

The year 2013 is still in its early days, but here at Horse Illustrated HQ, we're already planning our editorial calendar for 2014. You're right, it is crazy, but that's the way the magazine biz goes.
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Monday, March 11, 2013
Mine That Box Office
By Leslie Potter

Can you take another feel-good movie about a racehorse who overcomes the odds to become a champion on the track? Is it too early for a nostalgia feature about a race that took place just four years ago? View Blog >>


Friday, March 8, 2013
Hoarders (Tack Room Edition)
By Leslie Potter

The other day, a local horse rescue announced on their facebook page that they were looking for a cutback saddle to borrow to use on a horse that they currently have at their facility. I happen to have a cutback saddle sitting in my house, neglected and unused, so I offered to loan it to them. Then I thought, "Maybe I should just donate it. I don't really need it anymore." View Blog >>


Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Who's your mama?
By Leslie Potter

When my sister and I were in high school, we once horse-sat for an elderly American Quarter Horse named Chubby who lived in the boarding stable up the road from our house. Chubby's human called the house one day and identified herself as "Chubby's mom." My sister had answered the phone, and was briefly confused. View Blog >>


Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Springtime Countdown
By Leslie Potter

How's your winter riding going? Have you managed to keep up your training, or has the weather and lack of daylight taken a toll on your schedule? I'm ashamed to admit that I have not been riding as much as I should have. I've managed to get out to ride some, but not the three times a week I pledged to stick with all winter. View Blog >>


Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Through the Ears, through the Year
By Leslie Potter

Horses are popular subjects for photography and other works of art, even when the artists aren't horse people. It's not hard to understand why. What's not to love about those universal symbols of beauty and power? Since we live in a time when everyone walks around with a camera on the phone in their pocket and Instagram filters can disguise a mundane image as a thought-provoking bit of modern art, there are more horse photos floating around than ever.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Adorable Clydesdale Foal...and Beer
By Leslie Potter

In our current video of the week, we featured a viral hit showing some behind-the-scenes footage from the Budweiser commercial sets featuring the legendary Clydesdales. The dashing drafts will again make an appearance during this year's Super Bowl, which is good news, in my opinion.
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Monday, January 28, 2013
Who said that? Probably not Winston Churchill
By Leslie Potter

There are a handful of inspiring quotes that circulate around the equestrian community on bumper stickers, T-shirts and Facebook posts. Surely you've heard many of them. How about, "The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears." Or, "God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses." Or my favorite: "A canter is a cure for every evil."
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Horse Illustrated Special Effects Department
By Liz Moyer

At last, my dedicated viewing of the zombie apocalypse hit TV series The Walking Dead has paid off. I haven't had any encounters with flesh-eating zombies, but the show inspired me to illustrate the first aid article in the March issue of Horse Illustrated with some original special effects. For anyone curious or concerned about the bleeding wound pictured in the article, here's a behind the scenes look.
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Friday, January 4, 2013
Snow Ride
By Holly Caccamise

In central Kentucky, it's pretty rare to have a good coating of snow on the ground. If we get one, it's usually gone within a day or two. Mostly winter is a cold, muddy, miserable mess.
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Friday, December 21, 2012
Seven Tips for Surviving the End of the World
By Leslie Potter

So, how'd the end of the world go in your neck of the woods? Pretty low-key? Here in central Kentucky we had rain, sleet, snow and severe wind, and it almost did feel like the world was ending.
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Tuesday, December 17, 2012
Equine Capital of the World
By Leslie Potter

One of my non-equestrian hobbies is running. In this case, by "hobby” I mean, "a thing I force myself to do on a regular basis because I know it's good for me.” Despite being awarded the dubious title of "America's Most Sedentary City” by the misinformed editorial staff of Men's Health Magazine a couple of years ago, my adopted home city of Lexington, Kentucky has quite an active running community and a lot of fabulous places to put in some miles.
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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Holiday Wish List
By Leslie Potter

Gift giving is a challenge on both ends of the equation. It can be tough to find something thoughtful (and affordable) for each person on your list. It can also be tough to offer ideas when your family or significant other ask that annual question, "What do you want for [Christmas Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Festivus, et cetera]?”
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Monday, December 10, 2012
Definitely Don't Stop Riding
By Leslie Potter

Despite the fact that I am originally from the frozen northlands of New England, I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to winter weather. If I had my way, I'd spend the winter under about twelve blankets with a hot chocolate delivery service making scheduled visits every morning.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Equestrian Sports around the World
By Leslie Potter

I've said it before and I'll say it again: We're pretty spoiled here in the Horse Capital of the World. Since Horse Illustrated HQ is mere miles from the Kentucky Horse Park, we have the opportunity to see top-level competition in just about every equestrian sport and plenty of different horse breeds.
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Friday, November 9, 2012
The Horses of Fieracavalli
By Leslie Potter

The sheer variety of horse breeds and types represented at Italy’s Fieracavalli distinguishes it from most other horse fairs. No matter what kind of horses suit your fancy, you’re bound to find them here, and probably some new types you didn’t know about.
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Thursday, November 8, 2012
Italy's Horse Fair
By Leslie Potter

This week, I packed up my bags, gave Snoopy a farewell carrot, and—after doing my civic duty by casting my vote in exchange for a sticker—hopped on a plane to Italy. I’m writing this blog post from the city of Verona, home of a 118-year-old horse fair called Fieracavalli.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Thoughts on 60 years in the saddle
By Leslie Potter

I took my first riding lesson at age 8. While I’ve never seen a statistical analysis of when American kids start riding horses, I’d say that’s probably around average, if you factor out those lucky individuals born into horsey families and rode before they can remember. What’s unusual about me—and those of you reading this, too—is that I didn’t stop riding.
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Monday, October 1, 2012
Movin’ on Up
By Holly Caccamise

After taking Jester to three events at Beginner Novice level, I decided he was ready to move up to Novice. The jumps are only 4” higher, but that can seem like a mile sometimes. But he had been progressing well in all three phases, so it was time to take the plunge.
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Friday, September 28, 2012
How to Afford Your Horse Habit
By Leslie Potter

We all know the feeling of wanting something we can’t have. I know many of you spent your childhoods in the same boat as me, the one in which your parents wouldn’t let you have a horse. Even if you do have a horse, and you love that horse, who hasn’t coveted a top prospect in their chosen equestrian sport, or some exotic breed to stir up the mix of horses in the back field?
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Close Encounters on the Trail
By Leslie Potter

The weather has cooled down quite a bit here in central Kentucky, which makes for ideal trail riding. Since our abbreviated show season is long over, Snoopy and I are enjoying some relaxing meandering on the paths around our boarding farm. It’s usually relaxing, anyway.
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Friday, September 21, 2012
The making of a barn dog
By Leslie Potter

Brit, my Black Lab/Pointer mix, entered my life just over a year ago. I’d been toying with the idea of adopting a dog for some time, but money and time were always tight, so I held off, occasionally browsing the kennels at the shelter, just in case my canine soul mate showed up. And then one day she did. Life hasn’t been the same since.
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Paralympic Inspiration
By Leslie Potter

The equestrian events at the 2012 London Paralympics have just ended. Did you manage to watch any of the competition? If you did, you’re ahead of me because I couldn’t figure out how or where to do it.
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Saturday, August 25, 2012
Tradition vs. Innovation
By Leslie Potter

What if soccer players showed up for a game wearing khakis and blazers? Or football teams took to the field in top hats and three-piece suits? In most athletic endeavors, competitors wear clothes designed to keep them cool, prevent muscle fatigue, reduce wind resistance, etc. But in equestrian sports, the primary attire concern seems to be adhering to tradition, even when those traditions are archaic.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Seniors in the Show Ring
By Leslie Potter

"I thought you retired your horse.” I’ve been getting this a lot lately. Just about every time I mention that Snoopy and I competed last weekend, this is the reply I hear. However, this show was held at the farm where I board, and thanks to this blog I have written proof that Snoopy’s retirement was from traveling, not competing. So there.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Eye of the Storm
By Holly Caccamise

In June, I took my still-relatively-new horse Jester to his first recognized Beginner Novice horse trial. I thought his dressage test was alright, certainly the best he was capable of at that point as a green 4-year-old. He kept his cool, which is more than I can say for some horses I’ve shown in the dressage ring!
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Thursday, July 12, 2012
Watching the Olympics…or not.
By Leslie Potter

I’ve previously mentioned that I’m an Olympics junkie. I’m exactly the kind of viewer NBC wants to have. I’ll watch whatever sports they put on the screen (and interrupt with Olympic-themed commercials for Coke and McDonald’s and other stuff that Olympic athletes wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.) But I’m feeling a little bitter about the plans for this year’s broadcast.
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Monday, June 18, 2012
Summer of Dressage Part II
By Leslie Potter

Whether it was his intention or not, Stephen Colbert's opening bit about Mitt Romney's indirect connection to dressage has led to quite a bit of mainstream publicity for this relatively insular sport.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Ann Romney and the Summer of Dressage
By Leslie Potter

Big news for the world of equestrian sport. Television personality Stephen Colbert has declared dressage the Official Sport of Summer. Of course, as with just about anything that comes from Colbert, this declaration came with a healthy dose of mockery.
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Friday, May 11, 2012
Summer Pony
By Liz Moyer

Like most horse crazy kids deprived of actual horse ownership, I read voraciously to fill the time in between riding lessons and summer horse camp sessions—every horse book the library had, I read several times over.
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Monday, May 7, 2012
I ride the Rolex cross-country course
By Leslie Potter

Once, in college, I jumped a couple of logs on the cross-country course on campus. A while back, the arena at the hunter/jumper barn where I rode was being dragged during my scheduled lesson, so we went out and practiced over some coops and brush fences, each measuring about 2’. Why, just last summer, Snoopy and I encountered a very small jump just sitting in the middle of the field at our boarding farm, so we trotted over it a few times. And that, friends, pretty much sums up my cross-country riding experience.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2012
Spotty Updates
By Holly Caccamise

I can't believe it's been over a month since my last blog … so much has happened since then. First was the trip to Aiken, S.C., for a week with my trainer and people from the barn. This was definitely an "opportunity of a lifetime" type of trip for me. They've been going to Aiken every year since I moved to the barn, and I'd always wanted to go. So I decided last year to save money no matter what to make it happen!
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Monday, March 5 2012
Spotted: New Horse
By Holly Caccamise

Two years after buying Dexter, an experienced Novice eventer, I came to the realization that he wasn't the horse that was going to get me to my competitive goals. We spent two wonderful years at Novice, and he was always well-behaved and took good care of me. It was very hard to reconcile that what made him so wonderful was also what made him unsuitable for tearing up the turf with blazing speed over imposing obstacles of ever-increasing size.
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Friday, March 2, 2012
Horse nerds and grammar geeks, unite!
By Leslie Potter

Get excited, friends. March 4 is National Grammar Day. If you’ve ever found yourself grumbling about a misplaced apostrophe on a store’s marquee or incorrect homophone usage in a friend’s Facebook status update, this is the holiday for you.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012
News Update: Down with Diving Horses
By Leslie Potter

As many of you probably heard, the owner of the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, N.J. recently announced that the old diving horse act (you know, the one from Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken) was going to be revived this summer. In the show, which was popular in the early 20th century, horses went up a ramp to a 40-foot platform where, in most cases, they picked up a rider, and then the pair would dive together into the pool below.
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Friday, February 10, 2012
Cowboys on the Run
By Leslie Potter

I took up running a few years ago because I felt like I needed to improve my fitness out of the saddle. Riding has its benefits, but it doesn’t quite qualify as cardio. I picked running because once you have the shoes, running is free, and that’s a nice contrast to the expense of equestrian sports. I know lots of other riders who incorporate running into their lives in one way or another, so I imagine there’s a lot of crossover between the two sports.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Heavyweight Horses
By Leslie Potter

Imagine you’re a horse dealer. You specialize in finding people just the right horse for their needs, be it a reliable "husband horse” for easy-going trail rides or a spunky pony for an ambitious kid starting her riding career. One day, you get a call asking for something very specific.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Name That Horse
By Leslie Potter

When I worked as a riding instructor at a summer camp, nearly half of the kids who came to ride were named either "Emma” or "Emily.” Okay, yes, that’s an exaggeration, but it seemed that way. We recently compiled a list of the top names for mares, geldings and stallions based on Club Horse profiles. Apparently, the equine equivalent of "Emma" is "Buddy".
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Monday, December 19, 2011
Once an equestrian, always an equestrian
By Leslie Potter

I came across this gem in my daily perusal of horse world news. A 98-year-old great-grandmother in Montana mentioned to her granddaughter that she’d like to go for a ride. Gladys McLarnon had ridden throughout her entire life, but it had been 15 years since her last ride. Her granddaughter passed the request along to a hospice worker, who contacted a nearby therapeutic riding center.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Don't Drink and Ride
By Leslie Potter

During a family road trip as a kid, I remember driving past an ice cream shop where a group of riders had stopped for a snack. This blew my mind at the time. I’d never thought about people still using horses for transportation like that, and the idea of being able to ride a horse down to the store to get some ice cream seemed like the ideal summer afternoon to me. Frankly, it still does.
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Friday, December 9, 2011
Armchair pole bending
By Leslie Potter

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of helmet cams. Since it’s a safe bet that I will never ride the Rolex cross-country course or race a Thoroughbred, getting a rider’s-eye view of those experiences is a fair replacement.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Horse Illustrated Covers 2011
By Liz Moyer

Here at the Horse Illustrated offices, a lot of effort goes into creating the cover each month. We sift through hundreds of thousands of images from top equestrian photographers, looking for the perfect shot of the perfect horse to represent the issue. The image of the cover horse is what you see first on the newsstands, or when you open your mailbox. We want it to catch your eye and make an instant connection.
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Friday, December 2, 2011
Course walking to the beat
By Leslie Potter

Everyone knows that hunt seat riders, especially equitation riders, are very serious. Clad in conservative, traditional beige breeches and navy coats, these riders demand perfection from their horses, their grooms, and themselves. Horse shows are a place for hard work, discipline and concentration, not for self-expression.
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Friday, November 23, 2011
Know Your Tack Shop
By Leslie Potter

Now that Black Friday is here and Christmas shopping season is officially open, you’re probably making your list and checking it twice, unless you’re one of those overachievers who gets it done by the end of October. For the rest of us, it’s time to decide on a shopping plan of attack.
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Friday, November 18, 2011
Another horse movie
By Leslie Potter

I’ve been reading a lot about War Horse lately. People who follow the movie industry seem to think it’s got a shot at an Oscar nomination. The highly-anticipated screen adaptation of the stage adaptation of the novel will be out on Christmas. If you can’t wait ‘til then to get your new-horse-movie fix, there is another film that was released in limited markets last week.
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Friday, November 11, 2011
Another cute horse video
By Leslie Potter

There’s nothing quite as moving as inter-species friendship, is there? I came across this video this week, and it’s one of my favorites. A French Bulldog meets a stately police horse in New York City, and initial timidness (on the dog’s part) eventually turns into unabashed canine joy.
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Friday, October 28, 2011
Snoopy’s Swan Song
By Leslie Potter

Last weekend, Snoopy had a retirement party. We went to our first, last and only off-the-farm show of the season, and I had decided it would be our last hurrah. When I told friends and family members of my plans to retire him, the nearly universal response was, "Again?”
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Friday, October 14, 2011
No foxes were harmed
By Leslie Potter

Fall always makes me a little sad, as it means that summer has ended and we're moving into the dreary days of winter. It's too bad, because fall itself is a nice season with perfect temperatures for enjoying long trail rides. The crisp air and smell of dried leaves always triggers the memory of the first—and so far, only—time I tried fox hunting.
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Monday, July 25, 2011
Cute horse video of the day
By Leslie Potter

I'm not one to complain about the heat, but it has been a bit too much lately, hasn't it? I've spent much of my time at the barn just hosing Snoopy down with cold water and leaving him in his stall with the fan on for the hottest afternoon hours. I've scrubbed and refilled his water bucket to make sure he has access to cool, clean water (which he invariably snubs and instead waits until he's back outdoors where he can enjoy the earthy flavor of the shared pasture trough.)
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Friday, July 22, 2011
Why is there a horse in my basement?
By Leslie Potter

I read a lot of horse-related news here at Horse Illustrated HQ, and after a few years of doing this, I've noticed trends. For example, several times throughout the winter I will read stories about horses that have fallen through an iced-over pond in or near their pasture. Surprisingly, these tend to have happy endings after an edge-of-your-seat tale that usually involves volunteer fire departments. This trend helps me to appreciate the importance of secure fences and safe turnout areas.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Dressage for everybody
By Leslie Potter

They say dressage is good for every horse and rider. It's just correct training, right? So when the announcement for my boarding stable's annual dressage and combined test show series came up, I said, "Why not?" and signed Snoopy up for Intro Test A.
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Friday, July 8, 2011
Celebrities, horses and hypocrisy
By Leslie Potter

Singer Sheryl Crow recently announced that she would be donating part of the proceeds from an upcoming concert to The Cloud Foundation. Crow has long been a supporter of the Mustang advocacy group and she's putting her money where her mouth is to help the cause of blocking a large-scale BLM roundup in Nevada. So why are other animal welfare advocates angry with her?
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Junkyard Horse
By Leslie Potter

If you're plugged into equestrian social media, you may have heard about Sugar, a 33- or 34-year-old (reports vary) horse in the town of Mattawan, Michigan. She is known to locals and her facebook fans as The Mattawan Junkyard Horse because, well, she lives in a junkyard.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Spielberg and Horses
By Leslie Potter

By now you have probably heard of War Horse, the young adult novel turned London/Broadway stage sensation. The play recently cleaned up at the Tony Awards, winning the big award for "Best Play" along with five other awards. The production is noted for its use of lifesize horse puppets to portray the equine characters. While the puppets are highly stylized, the trained puppeteers control their every movement and mannerism, creating a convincing equine portrayal.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011
Celebration at Old Friends
By Leslie Potter

Recently we posted a news item about Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement center here in Kentucky. Due to a clerical error at the bank, the charity found itself in dire need of a pretty substantial amount of money to pay the mortgage. The good news: They were able to raise the funds and negotiate with the bank to get everything resolved. The better news: They posted this video of their mascot, Little Silver Charm, playing soccer, and it is ridiculously cute.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Olympics: do you still watch?
By Leslie Potter

It seems like just yesterday we were trying to follow the equestrian events across the globe at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and yet, we're now about a year away from the 2012 London games. Where has the time gone? And moreover, does anyone still care?
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Friday, June 3, 2011
My Day as a Dressage Scribe
By Holly Werner Caccamise

For a long while, I've been interested in learning to scribe for a dressage judge. As a rider who competes, I spend long hours pouring over the scores and comments on my tests, so what could be better than sitting with the judge as she evaluates dozens of riders right in front of you?
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Thursday, May 26, 2011
Latin Rhythms in the Bluegrass
By Leslie Potter

One of my favorite things about working at Horse Illustrated is having the opportunity to visit different farms and meet horses and horse people that I would probably never meet otherwise. If you've received your July issue, you know that we featured horses of South America (and if not, you'll be getting it soon!) In preparing that article and the related HorseChannel video, we had the opportunity to meet some wonderful ambassadors, human and equine, from the Paso Fino world.
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Monday, May 16, 2011
Richard Jeffery Rolex Course Walk
By Holly Werner Caccamise

On Sunday morning, May 1, 2011, the media had a special invitation to walk the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event show jumping course with its famed designer, Richard Jeffery. Snappily dressed, as the British are known for, he patiently answered questions and told us about the course's winding design.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011
A Romantic Cowboy
By Leslie Potter

The other day I heard "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" by Paula Cole on the radio. I hadn't heard that song since sometime in the 90s, and to be honest, I hadn't missed it. If this song didn't immediately spring into your head when you read the title, it's the one where she is lamenting her one-sided relationship with an inattentive boyfriend/husband who doesn't pull his weight around the house.
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Friday, April 29, 2011
Riding the Rolex Course
By Holly Werner Caccamise

On Thursday afternoon I also had a wonderful opportunity to "ride the cross-country course” with a small group of media in a mounted course walk hosted by David O’Connor, Olympic gold medalist and future U.S. eventing team coach, as well as Olympic eventer Bobby Costello.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011
Show Season Kicks Off
By Holly Werner Caccamise

After one of the snowiest winters in Kentucky's history, most horses around here are pretty rusty. It was definitely a challenge to keep horses going through December and January, and most ended up having extended vacations. Thankfully February was more cooperative. Through it all, I tried my best to keep my semi-new partner, Dexter, in baseline fitness.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Horses on TV
By Leslie Potter

A cowboy using a Blackberry to conduct business from horseback. It sounds like a lead in to the kind of joke you'd hear on A Prairie Home Companion. It turns out it might actually be a stroke of marketing genius.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Girls and Horses
By Leslie Potter

In my daily scanning of the horse-world news, I came across an NPR article about the unsolvable mystery of why girls love horses. It's a human-interest piece, not a scientific study, and it doesn't really make any serious attempts at answering the question, but it offers some interesting opinions.
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Friday, February 4, 2011
Horse Toys
By Leslie Potter

Does your horse play with toys? Mine definitely doesn't. You could give him the latest and greatest stall toy, and he'd sniff it once, decide it wasn't edible and go back to his nap. In fact, most horses I've known are just not that excited about toys. The peppermint-scented stall toys lovingly purchased by doting owners for their beloved horses always seem to be ignored until they end up becoming yet another plaything for the nearest Border Collie. View Blog >>


Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Riding Through the Fire
By Leslie Potter

Have you ever heard of the festival of San Bartolome de Pinares? This annual celebration includes one of the most bizarre equestrian traditions still in existence. Residents of this village in Spain create a sort of steeplechase track where the jumps are flaming piles of brush. View Blog >>


Friday, December 30, 2010
New Year's Resolutions for the Horse World
By Leslie Potter

I always make New Year's resolutions, and sometimes I even remember what they are long enough to stick with them for a few months. But I'm not going to bore you with my pledges to eat more vegetables or go to bed earlier. Instead, here are my thoughts on what I think the horse industry should work on in 2011. View Blog >>


Monday, December 12, 2010
Christmas Shopping for the Equestrian
By Leslie Potter

Right now, my inbox, mailbox and even my facebook news feed are all filled with holiday gift ideas for equestrians. Usually they come with some enticing 10% off or free shipping offer or something like that. It's all very tempting, of course, but there's one problem. I have no equestrians on my holiday shopping list. I'm just not sure that my non-horsey parents and siblings would be excited to receive a pair of winter riding breeches or a colorful saddle pad. View Blog >>


Monday, November 8, 2010
Last Show of the Year
By Holly Werner Caccamise

Last weekend was the last show of the year for Dexter and me. It's always a bittersweet time—your horse is at the peak of his fitness and preparedness, but once it's over you know you'll be staring out the window into the cold until at least April, dreaming of horse shows and warmer weather. View Blog >>


Thursday, November 4, 2010
Bring Your Horse to School Day?
By Leslie Potter

When I was a senior in high school, my class decided that our senior prank would be to stage our own Take Your Dog to School Day. One spring day, a bunch of seniors went to class with Fido in tow. It's a pretty tame senior prank, but it was cute and amusing, and the administration had a sense of humor about it, although the principal did make everyone take the dogs home by the end of first period. View Blog >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Show Season
By Leslie Potter

Last weekend, Snoopy and I went to our final show of the season. It was also our first real show of the season. We did a schooling show back in March, but then a whole lot of nothing all summer until this sole rated show. It's our 2010 show season condensed into a single weekend. View Blog >>


October 18, 2010
Reflections on WEG
By Leslie Potter

Now that we've had a few days to recover from the madness of 16 days of the World Equestrian Games, I'm going to share a few thoughts that just didn't fit into our regular coverage of the events. View Blog >>


September 28, 2010
What I Did in One Day at WEG
By Liz Moyer

Got my boots shined at the Bit of Britain store with some fabulous Italian shoe polish, the name of which escapes me at the moment—might have to go back and get some... View Blog >>


September 27, 2010
Test Driving a Reining Horse
By Leslie Potter

I've tried various forms of English riding throughout my life, but I have to admit, my riding resume is woefully devoid of any substantial western experience. So when I heard that the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) was giving visitors the chance to ride a reiner at the World Equestrian Games, I signed right up. View Blog >>


September 26, 2010
Going Shopping at the World Equestrian Games
By Holly Werner Caccamise

Most equestrians love a good trade fair, and I’m no exception. Today I decided to go out and get the lay of the land among the vendor booths and other tents at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Whether you’re coming out later on, or just living vicariously, here’s a rundown of the offerings. View Blog >>


September 25, 2010
Welcome to WEG
By Kimberly Abbott

There’s really no eloquent, professional way to describe my being at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games other than, "this is so cool!” Upon arriving this morning to watch the reining competition, the horse park was still fairly quiet. It has been transformed into a Disney-esque "It’s a Small World” ride. View Blog >>


September 21, 2010
Riding in the UK
By Lesley Ward

I just got back from my yearly jaunt over the pond to attend the Burghley Three-Day Event in Stamford, Lincs. I used to live and work in England so it’s always fun to visit friends and relatives—and to shop at one of the biggest horse trials in the world. View Blog >>


Friday, August 27, 2010
Working out with Zenyatta
By Leslie Potter

At 5'8", I will never be a jockey. But, thanks to video recording technology, I can see the view from the back of a Thoroughbred race horse. Check out this video from CBS News and the Washington Post. View Blog >>


September 10, 2010
Horseless Horse Sports
By Leslie Potter

Good news for the horseless horse lovers out there. You can compete in your favorite equestrian sports without investing all of your time and money into horse ownership. Well, these are slightly modified versions of horse sports, but it's better than nothing, right? View Blog >>


Monday, August 16, 2010
Finding a Horse-Friendly Town
By Leslie Potter

We recently ran a poll here on HorseChannel asking visitors if their town is horse-friendly. About 18% of you said yes while nearly 50% picked "not at all." View Blog >>


Thursday, July 8, 2010
Dexter's Debut
By Holly Werner

After a rough spring with a pesky, persistent abscess, I was finally able to show Dexter last weekend for the first time since buying him in November 2009. After recently selling Zephyr to a lovely family with a young daughter, I had more time to focus on Dexter and get him fit. View Blog >>


Wednesday, July 7, 2010
"We Regret the Error"
By Leslie Potter

You've probably come across a horse-related article or two in your local paper. Usually they're nice human interest pieces about a successful local equestrian or some sort of riding program in the area. Every once in a while, though, you'll read one of these articles that was so clearly written by a non-equestrian that you just have to laugh. View Blog >>


Friday, June 25, 2010
Fly Masks: Functional and Fashionable
By Leslie Potter

I used to be a casual fly mask user. I'd put one on Snoopy if I was turning him out after a ride, but if he went out without one, I didn't worry about it too much. Most of the other horses at my barn weren't wearing one, so it can't be too bad to go without, right? View Blog >>


Thursday, June 24, 2010
Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries
By Kim Abbott

The new Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., is a must-see not only for Arabian horse enthusiasts, but for all horse lovers. It's a wonderful representation and dedication to the history, beauty and talent of a breed that has played such an important role in human culture as well as the evolution of the horse. View Blog >>


Monday, June 14, 2010
New Digs
By Leslie Potter

Last month, I moved Snoopy to a new barn. In the seven years that I've owned him, he's really only lived at two different boarding stables, so I was worried about how he'd settle in, but so far, he seems quite content. View Blog >>


Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Just Jump It
By Holly Werner

While waiting for Dexter to recover from his abscess, I recently had a chance to borrow a wonderful horse for a lesson. Basil is an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred cross who competed in a long-format CCI* last year at the age of only 7. View Blog >>


Friday, April 30, 2010
Equine Affaire, Ohio
By Kimberly Abbott

As a self-proclaimed horse fanatic, I jump at any opportunity to totally immerse myself in anything and everything horsey. So when I found out that I was going to the Ohio Equine Affaire for work, I was obviously ecstatic (Ah, the perks of my job!). View Blog >>


Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Cowgirl Up!
By Kimberly Abbott

I had my very first western riding lesson yesterday! I've been a dressage rider from day one, with a little jumping education thrown in here and there, but I've always been interested in trying western riding, or stock seat. View Blog >>


Sunday, April 25, 2010
Rolex Wrap-Up
By Holly Werner

When all was said and done, Great Britain's William Fox-Pitt maintained his lead to win the 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Phillip Dutton moved from fourth to second aboard Woodburn, and Becky Holder remained in third with Courageous Comet. View Blog >>


Saturday, April 24, 2010
Rolex Day 3: Cross-Country
By Holly Werner

Yet another day dawned rainy and wet, with extreme thunderstorms and "tornadic winds" forecast for the afternoon. It was announced early on that the ride times would skip the normal 11:45-1:30 lunch break in order to send riders through the course earlier and finish long before the usual time of 3:30. View Blog >>


Friday, April 23, 2010
Rolex Day 2: Dressage
By Holly Werner

The second day of competition at Rolex dawned gray and rainy. Phillip Dutton kicked things off with his third horse, Woodburn. A steady test in the downpour yielded a very respectable score of 47.7. View Blog >>


Thursday, April 22, 2010
Rolex Day 1: Dressage
By Holly Werner

The first day of Rolex began very quietly with nearly empty stands, as usual. A particularly chilly April morning clocked in at only 47 degrees as the sun came up. View Blog >>


Friday, April 16, 2010
Borrowed Wheels
By Holly Werner

Before Dexter got his abscess, I had entered a spring event. Usually the weather is terrible in early April, but I decided to take my chances since I was itching to get out. By the time it was determined Dexter wouldn't be able to go, it was too late for a refund. However, my fabulous trainer, Megan, was nice enough to offer me one of her horses to ride! View Blog >>


Friday, April 2, 2010
Spring Fever
By Liz Moyer

Spring has finally sprung here in Kentucky. The bluegrass is turning green and horses are feeling frisky, including Chance and his pasturemate, the lovely Dapple Apple. View Blog >>


Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Abscess!
By Holly Werner

Several weeks ago, it was time for Dexter to be shod again. I'd been working with him a lot in hopes of not having to resort to tranqs again, and he seemed much calmer about having his feet pulled and prodded in every direction. View Blog >>


Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Riding with Will Rogers
By Liz Moyer

"A man that don't love a horse," Will Rogers wrote August 17, 1924, in the New York Times, "there is something the matter with him. If he has no sympathy for the man that does love horses then there is something worse the matter with him." View Blog >>


Thursday, March 11, 2010
Horses, Helmets and Equestrian Heroes
By Leslie Potter

By now, you've surely heard about Courtney King-Dye's accident in Florida. You can read the article here. Current reports are that she is gradually improving and her vital signs are good, but she is still in a coma. View Blog >>


Monday, March 8, 2010
Short and Tall, Big and Small
By Kimberly Abbott

I recently started riding two new horses that couldn't be at more opposite ends of the equine spectrum. Chyanne is a 14-hand Haflinger and Diesel is a 17-hand Clydesdale-cross. View Blog >>


Thursday, March 4, 2010
Spring is in the Air
By Leslie Potter

This has been a particularly rough winter. We haven't had any major blizzards here in central Kentucky, nor did we have a debilitating ice storm like we did last year. No, this winter wasn't so dramatic, but it has just sort of droned on and on and on with neverending cold weather and just enough snowfall to be inconvenient. View Blog >>


Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Wonder Years
By Liz Moyer

Today is Chance’s birthday—he turns 4, which makes him an official adult horse now. I have been getting a lot of comments lately on how much he’s grown up and filled out. Which he absolutely has! But he’s still a baby to me. View Blog >>


Friday, February 12, 2010
Top 10 Horsey Wish List Items
By Holly Werner

As February drags along, we are faced with yet another icy, snowy day here in Kentucky. Apparently there is snow on the ground in 47 of 50 states right now, with 49 (and possibly 50) of 50 expected by Saturday.  View Blog >>


Thursday, February 4, 2010
Point-Two Air Jacket
By Lesley Ward

I spent last weekend snooping around the American Equestrian Trade Association show in King of Prussia, Penn. It was great looking at all the new equestrian products on offer. One new item stands out in my mind, the Point Two Air Jacket. This is a vest that you put on over your body protector before you gallop off to jump cross-country fences. View Blog >>


Monday, February 1, 2010
Retired Police Officers on the Auction Block
By Leslie Potter

Without a doubt, 2009 was filled with bad news in the horse world and the world at large. One depressing trend of recent news is the loss of mounted patrols from cities across America. View Blog >>


Friday, January 29, 2010
Blue Hors Matine
By Leslie Potter

Some sad news from the dressage world this week. On Monday, January 25, Dutch dressage star Blue Hors Matine was euthanized after breaking a leg in a pasture accident. View Blog >>


Friday, January 22, 2010
As Seen on YouTube
By Leslie Potter

It's hard to be lazy when you have horses to take care of. Unless your horses live on green pasture with a source of potable water, you have chores to do every day. At bare minimum you have to scoop grain, toss hay, fill buckets and muck stalls, and that's on a slow day. View Blog >>


Friday, January 15, 2010
Dressage King
By Leslie Potter

If you follow the international equestrian scene at all, or if you read the news here on HorseChannel, then you are no doubt familiar with Dutch dressage rider Edward Gal and his remarkable mount, Moorlands Totilas. View Blog >>


Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Winter on the Farm
By Lesley Ward

After reading Leslie’s blog about the freezing conditions we’re experiencing here in the Bluegrass, I thought I’d contribute my two cents. I’m fed up with this crappy weather! View Blog >>


Monday, January 11, 2010
A Winter Wonderland
By Leslie Potter

Most regions of the United States have been experiencing extreme cold over the past couple of weeks. Sure, it's January, so we shouldn't be expecting sunbathing weather, but it has been exceptionally frigid. View Blog >>


Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Arresting Argyle
By Holly Werner

I recently purchased a couple of new turnout blankets for Dexter and Zephyr, since the old rugs were A) totally devoid of all waterproofing and therefore acted more like a sponge; and B) torn to shreds and sit horribly on the shoulder so as to create rubs. View Blog >>


Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The Measure of a Horse
By Liz Moyer

When I bought Chance and brought him home this summer, I went through a major downsizing in the horse and tack department. View Blog >>


Thursday, December 10, 2009
Winter Reading List
By Leslie Potter

As I write this, snow is furiously blowing past the windows. It won't stick, and the forecast predicts it will be clear by this afternoon, but for now it makes for a dramatic view. View Blog >>


Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Back on the Vaulting Pad
By Kim Abbott

I recently had a vaulting lesson for the first time in a few months. Although I was wary about my muscles and the cold weather, it was worth it! View Blog >>


Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Belated Thanks
By Leslie Potter

Thanksgiving is a fairly low-key event in my house. My family celebrates the holiday a thousand miles away, and given Thanksgiving's inconvenient proximity to Christmas, I prefer to save the air travel fund for the latter. View Blog >>


Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Tally Ho!
By Liz Moyer

Last weekend my barn held a "mock” fox hunt. What exactly is a mock fox hunt? Well, no actual foxes or hounds were involved, but instead it was a big fun group ride and a chance to get out of the arena to hack and jump, plus a scavenger hunt and costume contest, all followed by a potluck at the barn. View Blog >>



Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I Grab Mane over 18" Crossrails
By Leslie Potter

Despite recent warm temperatures, it is November, and there's no denying that winter is getting close. I'll be the first to admit that I lose a lot of motivation when daylight saving time ends and the cold weather sets in. View Blog >>


Saturday, October 31, 2009
Horses in Disguise
By Leslie Potter

One equestrian experience that I've missed out on is entering a costume class. In fact, I don't think I've ever dressed my horse in costume at all, unless posing him in a Santa hat for Christmas pictures counts. View Blog >>


Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Pumpkin Carving!
By Leslie Potter

The other day we got together with some of the staff from our sister publication, Hobby Farms, and had a pumpkin carving party. View Blog >>


Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Parade of Breeds
By Leslie Potter

My first trip to Kentucky was a field trip with my riding instructor and a group from my barn when I was about 15 years old. We visited several of the legendary Saddlebred farms in the area, watched a race at Keenland and spent a day at the Kentucky Horse Park. I was pretty sure I'd found heaven. View Blog >>


Monday, October 5, 2009
Vaulting Demo
By Kim Abbott

I made my first public appearance in vaulting this weekend at the Festival of the Horse in Georgetown, Ky. I was nervous about being nervous, but the event was fairly small, and since it wasn't a competition, I felt almost completely comfortable; let's not forget that I was exhibiting myself in a skin-tight unitard. View Blog >>


Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Movie Star in the Making
By Kim Abbott

I had a star-studded weekend that began at the Secretariat Festival in Bourbon County, Ky., on Saturday. View Blog >>


Monday, September 28, 2009
My Rainbow Latigo
By Allison Griest

This July I celebrated my purchase of a used Crates Lady Reiner. I am still so excited that I stumbled upon such a gem. For the purposes of this story, know that my saddle conveniently came with a leather latigo, so I didn't think about putting on the nylon one from my old saddle. View Blog >>


Thursday, September 24, 2009
Vaulting Lessons
By Kim Abbott

With each vaulting lesson I take, my fears subside and my confidence grows. I've graduated from a stout Haflinger named Cheyenne to a much taller (probably 15.1 or so) Quarter Horse named Leo. View Blog >>


Thursday, September 17, 2009
Not Quite Right
By Lesley Ward

It’s always frustrating when a horse comes up slightly lame and there doesn’t seem to be a cause for the lameness. My five-year-old Thoroughbred, Tee, hasn’t been quite right for about a week and a half. View Blog >>


Wednesday, September 16, 2009
A Day at the Park
By Leslie Potter

On Saturday, Snoopy and I attended the Kentucky Equine Humane Center benefit show here in Lexington. The show was held at a fabulous nearby park with an extensive equestrian center. View Blog >>


Monday, September 14, 2009
A Horsey Keepsake
By Kim Abbott

After Mirkos lost a shoe, I decided to make an art project out of it. You can purchase horseshoes decorated with beads and ribbons and hang it in your home as a sophisticated way of showing your love for horses, but wouldn't it be more meaningful if you used your own horse's shoe and decorated it yourself? View Blog >>


Friday, September 11, 2009
Party Like It's 1959
By Leslie Potter

When I was a horseless (and equitationally challenged) teenager aspiring to be a world champion saddle seat equitation rider, I dreamed of someday making it to Louisville. The word itself seemed magical. View Blog >>


Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Graceland in Pictures
By Kim Abbott

Here are some photos from my trip to Graceland. View Blog >>


Saturday, August 29, 2009
Aged to Perfection
By Leslie Potter

Our latest HI Spy question asks about the older horses that have had an impact on your equestrian life. If there's one topic that makes me sentimental, this is it. View Blog >>


Thursday, August 27, 2009
Herding...Goats
By Allison Griest

I think baby farm animals are adorable. I remember growing up and seeing baby goats and sheep in the fields in Texas and thinking, "I really want to play with baby farm animals!" View Blog >>


Saturday, August 22, 2009
"No Hoof, No Horse"
By Holly Werner

We've heard it said a thousand times, but the old adage remains true. Last night, Certified Journeyman Farrier Rodney King of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital gave a talk at Alltech's monthly News & Brews meeting. View Blog >>


Friday, August 21, 2009
Excuses, Excuses
By Leslie Potter

It's too hot. It's too cold. It's raining. It might rain. It rained yesterday. I have errands to run. The ground is too soft. The ground is too hard. I don't have time.

I am the queen of excuses. View Blog >>


Wednesday, August 19, 2009
My Visit to Graceland
By Kim Abbott

I recently took a very special trip to Memphis, where I was given a tour of Elvis Presley's stables. View Blog >>


Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Ups and Downs of Horselessness
By Allison Griest

As a free agent in the horse world, there are lots of pros and cons. Within the past week I've gotten to experience both extremes. View Blog >>


Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Vaulting Lesson No. 2
By Kim Abbott

For my second vaulting lesson, I left the stationary barrel behind and moved on to the real deal--an adorable, plump little Haflinger. View Blog >>


Friday, August 7, 2009
Vaulting Lessons
By Kim Abbott

I've decided to embark on a new journey in my equestrian life: taking vaulting lessons. View Blog >>


Wedensday, August 5, 2009
Living in a One-Horse Town
By Leslie Potter

I'm lucky enough to have my dream horse. I may have had to wait 21 years to enter the world of horse ownership, but it was well worth it. View Blog >>


Tuesday, July 28, 2009
In the Pink—Again
By Lesley Ward

This weekend I did something I haven’t done in a long time—I went out and jumped some cross country fences. View Blog >>


Thursday, July 23, 2009
The Young Ones
By Allison Griest

During the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to ride my friend's young horse. He's a very willing, polite little guy, but he is absolutely still a baby. View Blog >>


Friday, July 17, 2009
A Purple Ribbon
By Leslie Potter

In an act of support for the rare-in-Kentucky Morgan breed, my co-boarder Dana and I decided go to one of the nearby county fairs that offered a Morgan class. I'd never actually competed at a county fair before, so I wasn't sure what we were in for, but for a twenty minute drive from the barn and five bucks a class, there really wasn't much to lose. View Blog>>


Friday, July 10, 2009
Misadventures with Mirkos, Part Deux
By Kim Abbott

Mirkos was recently moved to a new pasture after his herdmates left him with one too many hairless patches of skin. I urged him several times in the past to stick up for himself, but as the low man on the totem pole, I guess there's not much he could do. View Blog>>


Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Good Morning!
By Leslie Potter

I am not a morning person. I've never been a morning person. Sure, I'll get up at the crack of dawn for the occasional horse show or something fun and out of the ordinary. But for the daily grind, I am very much one of those people who abuses the snooze alarm until the last possible second. View Blog>>


Thursday, July 2, 2009
Saddle? Check. Horse? Not yet.
By Allison Griest

This weekend I road-tripped to Murfressboro, Tenn., with the Managing Editor of Hobby Farms, Lisa, to watch the American Ranch Horse Association World show. View Blog>>


Friday, June 26, 2009
Yay for Yard Sales!
By Kim Abbott

I recently came across the buy of the year, no, the decade, no, the millennium! The Kentucky Equine Humane Center, an equine rescue facility in Nicholasville, Ky., collected horse tack, blankets, buckets, et cetera for a yard sale to raise money to help take care of the horses. View Blog>>


Monday, June 22, 2009
My "Aha" Moment
By Kim Abbott

I attended Centenary College in New Jersey for its equestrian program and had the opportunity to ride many horses throughout my four years. Learning to work with various horses and their unique personalities is a great way to improve your riding experience, but I always wanted to work with one horse so I could hone my skills. View Blog>>


Friday, June 19, 2009
Alltech Tour
By Holly Werner

On Tuesday afternoon, the Horse Illustrated staff was invited on a tour of Alltech's headquarters in Nicholasville, Ky. As you probably already know, Alltech is the title sponsor of the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. View Blog>>


Thursday, June 18, 2009
Best Monday Ever
By Allison Griest

This week I had the best Monday night I've had in a long time, and it wasn't because The Bachelorette airs on Monday nights. It was for a number of reasons. View Blog>>


Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Rockin' the Rust Britches
By Lesley Ward

Young Rider Magazine is doing a feature about riding in college in the next issue, so assistant editor Allison Griest and I went on a hunt to find pictures of ourselves competing. View Blog>>


Tuesday, June 16, 2009
"Sit Happy!"
By Kim Abbott

That's the motto of Salli Systems, manufacturer of saddle chairs that are touted as being able to improve your posture and overall health. Here at HI, we receive information about new products that can benefit the lives of equestrians on a daily basis. View Blog>>


Monday, June 15, 2009
The Life Aquatic
By Leslie Potter

Our current HI Spy question asks visitors to share what they would love to have in their dream barn. This is a topic I could probably go on about for a very long time. View Blog>>


Friday, June 12, 2009
Misadventures with Mirkos
By Kim Abbott

As Mirkos and I neared the end of our ride one afternoon, I noticed a skunk waddling his way toward the arena. Although I was debating continuing our ride a little longer, that clinched my decision to stop for the day. View Blog>>


Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Brain Buckets
By Leslie Potter

I recently retired my old helmet after many years of service. And by "many years of service" I mean it protected my head for three or four years, and then spent the next five or six years sitting on my head looking like it was doing something useful. View Blog>>


Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Back in Texas
By Allison Griest

This weekend I was able to visit my family in Texas. The main reason for the visit was to help my parents pack and get ready for their move. However, Saturday morning was reserved for a visit to my old barn. View Blog>>


Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Show Ring Victory
By Leslie Potter

A couple of weekends ago, Snoopy and I went to our first big show of the season. This was a landmark show for me, since it was the first all-Morgan show I'd ever competed in. View Blog>>


Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The Sustainability Principle
By Holly Werner

On May 18, I had the pleasure of attending Alltech's 25th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium. The theme was "the sustainability principle." View Blog>>


Friday, June 1, 2009
A Horse to Remember
By Liz Moyer

June 1st was the day I said my final goodbyes to Ted. While today is the anniversary and it will of course be on my mind, not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. View Blog>>


Saturday, May 30, 2009
The Kentucky Experience
By Kim Abbott

The plans for "The Kentucky Experience" were unveiled in a press conference held at the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday. Two of my co-workers and I took a break from work to find out what this is all about. View Blog>>


Friday, May 29, 2009
Happy Birthday Snoopy!
By Leslie Potter

When your best friend turns 21, it's an unofficial American tradition to take him out for a drink or two. However, today is Snoopy's 21st birthday, and I think we'll find some other way to celebrate. View Blog>>


Friday, May 29, 2009
Ponies & Peonies
By Liz Moyer

I recently horse-sat for my friend Debby. She has three horses on her property. They live out full-time, so the daily routine is pretty low maintenance. View Blog>>


Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Trail Riding at Shaker Village
By Lesley Ward

On Memorial Day, my friend Bridget and I packed up my horses Jasper and Tee in my trailer in the morning and headed off to Shaker Village, near Harrodsburg, KY, for a trail ride with my neighbor Judy and her horse, Luna. View Blog>>


Friday, May 22, 2009
I Ride a Rocky
By Elizabeth Moyer

In putting together the July issue of HI that’s hitting the mailboxes right now, I was able to get out of the office and do a little "field research.” View Blog>>


Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Showing in Kentucky
By Allison Griest

As a girl from Texas and a rider who hasn't shown her own mount in five or more years, it goes without saying that competing in a combined test in Kentucky this weekend was quite the experience. View Blog>>


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