Trailer Shopping? Be Ready to Hit the Road

Summertime means road trips, and for a lot of horse people, that means taking your horses with you–whether it’s for a horse show circuit or a long weekend of trail riding. And, if you’re looking to purchase a new ride for your horses, it’s a lot more than just choosing gooseneck or bumper pull.

In the May 2017 issue of the American Quarter Horse Journal, I did the research so you can answer this question yourself: Are you looking at the right horse trailer?

 

EverythingTrailers

Read more: Hit The Road

Getting the Most from Your Horse

I just returned from a trip to Oklahoma City for the 2017 NRHA Derby, the aged event that celebrates 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses. It’s always fun to see the horses that competed in the prior year’s Futurity, as well as returning Futurity champions all in one building. I’ll post some photos from my trip later, but first, I thought it’d be good to learn how to get the most from your horse in the reining pen from the 2016 NRHA Futurity Champion (and NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider) Andrea Fappani and the NRHA Reiner.

The surprise wasn’t really that Fappani had won the Lucas Oil NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity, but the surprise was what horse he won it on, and how he did it.

Spooky Whiz joined the Fappani training barn at the end of his 2 year old year after Fappani purchased him through agent Eduardo Salgado for Rancho Oso Rio, an NRHA Million Dollar Owner. While the dark bay gelding was a bit on the small size, Fappani could tell, even at an early age, that he had exactly the mind he was looking for.

Andrea-romal

Read more on the PDF:

Trainer Talk: Getting the Most from Your Horse with Andrea Fappani

A Tootie Bland Production – Western Horse & Gun

This weekend I set off for Scottsdale, Arizona, for the 2017 American Horse Publications Seminar. I’m so excited for this weekend, not only for the gorgeous backdrop of Arizona, nor the fact that I’m a finalist in two categories, nor that I’m presenting to our student members, but for the chance to catch up with friends and colleagues that I haven’t gotten to see in some time! I’m looking forward to face-to-face time with my editors and meeting new people, as well as all the education that I’m about to absorb to help better my writing!

Speaking on being a finalist, I wanted to showcase the article in which I’m a finalist for the Freelancer division. Tootie Bland is a legend in the equine world because of her groundbreaking event, Road to the Horse. She’s a firecracker who doesn’t have any quit to her at all, and I was excited to get to spend a couple of hours talking for this cover story for Western Horse & Gun Magazine.

Tootie-open

Tootie has lived a crazy life: growing up on her grandfather’s ranch, attending college, professional rodeo cowgirl, stunt woman, and now an equine production specialist.

One of my favorite quotes from our interview was: “One thing I am known for is: It is not what happens to you that matters, its what you do with it.”

You can read more from the magazine about this inspiring cowgirl: A Tootie Bland Production

I will share more from the seminar later!

American Horse Publications Finalist!

The equine journalism world has what we like to think are the equivalent of the Oscars, only with no red carpet and we truly are excited just to be nominated. This morning the announcement was made showcasing the finalists for the Equine Media Awards. The awards are for work published in 2016 for member publications, associations and individuals, and will be awarded at the annual seminar in June.

And, yours truly is a FINALIST!

I entered only a few articles and crossed my fingers–they were what I thought my best works from 2016 (that clients hadn’t already entered to represent their publication). So to be named a finalist for at least one of the three articles I entered is pretty cool.

I want to congratulate and give a shout-out to my fellow freelancers for their finalist title, as well as some of my clients who were just named finalist: Horse Illustrated, NRHA Reiner, Quarter Horse News, The American Quarter Horse Journal, and Western Horse & Gun Magazine.

Below is the press release:

APRIL 25, 2017The wait is over. The finalists in the 2017 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards (EMA) have been named. “This announcement ends two-months of anticipation for the 71 AHP members who have learned that they placed in the top five in one or more of 64 classes,” says Chris Brune, AHP Executive Director and EMA Coordinator.

Held since 1974, the AHP annual awards contest provides members with an opportunity to be recognized for excellence in equine media. This year’s competition for material published in 2016 drew 783 entries from 105 members, an increase in entries and participants from last year.

The Equine Media Awards, open to AHP members only, offer a Publishing Media Division for publications and freelancers and a Business division for equine-related businesses, organizations, and colleges.

The awards not only recognize excellence in equine media, but every entry is critiqued by professional judges to encourage members to improve.

The excitement isn’t over for the finalists. The next milestone is the announcement of the winners. Awards are placed first, second, third, or honorable mention, so every finalist is recognized for their achievement. The Equine Media Awards presentation will be held on Saturday evening, June 17, 2017, at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Paradise Valley during the AHP “Saddle Up for Scottsdale” Equine Media Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Members interested in attending the AHP Equine Media Conference & Awards in Scottsdale can access conference information and register online.

The results of the Equine Media Awards will be available on the AHP website after the awards presentation in June.

Who will be this year’s stars who earn EMA gold in Scottsdale? Here is the list of AHP members who are Equine Media Award finalists for 2017. Congratulations!

PUBLISHING MEDIA DIVISION FINALISTS

  • American Cowboy
  • American Racehorse
  • America’s Horse
  • Barrel Horse News
  • BloodHorse
  • California Horsetrader
  • Chrome
  • Cowgirl Magazine
  • Daily Racing Form
  • Dressage Today
  • Driving Digest
  • Equine Career Network
  • Equine Journal
  • EQUUS
  • Hoof Beats
  • Horse & Rider
  • Horse Illustrated
  • Horse Radio Network LLC
  • Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred
  • Modern Arabian Horse
  • New York Horse
  • NRHA Reiner
  • Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine
  • Paint Horse Journal
  • PATH Intl. Strides
  • Pennsylvania Equestrian
  • PleasureHorse.com
  • Practical Horseman
  • Quarter Horse News
  • Ranch Horse Journal
  • Sidelines Magazine
  • Speedhorse
  • The American Quarter Horse Journal
  • The Chronicle of the Horse
  • The Florida Horse
  • The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care
  • Thoroughbred Daily News
  • Untacked
  • USDF Connection
  • USHJA In Stride
  • Western Horse and Gun
  • Western Horseman Magazine

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

  • Megan Arszman
  • Abigail Boatwright
  • Melinda Brown
  • Kate Bradley Byars
  • Sarah Evers Conrad
  • Jennifer Keeler
  • Bianca McCarty
  • Merri Melde
  • Kathryn Navarra
  • Dusty Perin
  • Cheri Prill
  • Kelly Sanchez
  • Kara Stewart
  • Scott Trees

BUSINESS DIVISION FINALISTS

  • American Paint Horse Association
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
  • Central Garden & Pet
  • Certified Horsemanship Association
  • Horse Lifestyle
  • Horseware Products, Ltd.
  • Manna Pro Products, LLC
  • Monty Roberts JOIN UP International
  • National Reining Horse Association
  • Ohio Quarter Horse Association
  • Pinto Horse Association of America, Inc.
  • PM Advertising
  • Purina Animal Nutrition
  • Road to the Horse/Ride the Remuda Productions
  • SmartPak

Finalist stamp

Podcast: Sharing My Experiences as a Freelancer

I’ve been a freelancer for about 12 years, starting back in college…I can’t believe it’s been that long. Since then, I’ve gained and lost clients, met so many new people and shared countless of stories.

But, unlike a lot of my freelancing friends who do it full-time, I am also employed full-time elsewhere. I made the decision years ago that I wanted my freelancing career to be my “side hustle” and to continue working in a similar field. And while it’s considered “side hustle”, being a freelancer to the degree that I am is more than just a part-time gig. I’ve evolved my communications company to be a second full-time job, working almost as many hours at home, and in the truck, as I do in the office with the job with benefits.

Oh, yeah, and then there’s that other “full-time job”…the one I’ve held for a little more than two years now, with a very demanding boss, one that calls me nicknames like “Momma” and “My Mommy”. So, yeah, when you see my Instagram posts with the hashtag #3jobs2paychecks, that’s what I’m talking about.

So, when fellow freelancers, and friends, Abigail Boatwright and Kate Bradley Byars, approached me to talk about my experiences and to offer tips for those who want the “side hustle” for their podcast The Freelance Remuda, I was flattered. While I try, and hope, to keep everything in line, I’m not the best. But, I try. And that’s all you can do, is try.

So, I invite you to listen as I try to pass off as an “expert”, but mostly as someone who has lived and learned, and yet I realize that you are constantly improvising and improving.

And, then, I invite you to listen to their other podcasts with other wonderful freelance writers and marketers, editors and publishers. If you’re interested in being a part of equine media, this is the podcast for you!

The Freelance Remuda: Catching Up with Megan Arszman

Lark-Sr

Throwback Thursday: Not Your Typical Horse Owner

When Casey Deary slid into the 2015 NRHA Futurity Finals aboard a flash Palomino mare, her owner was just so happy that not only was she in the finals, but she was spinning in the middle of Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City.

Rob Curtis is about strategy–management strategies for business owners to help them succeed, and strategies for building the next great reining breeding family. While he might seem all business, when you talk with him, you hear the passion he has for his business, his family and his horses, including Shesouttayourleague.

I met Rob a few months after his mare catapulted Casey to Million Dollar Rider status when she won the 2015 NRHA Futurity and got to share his story for the Quarter Horse News. I thought it’d be fun to highlight Rob again because he’s the type of owner you like to talk with!

QHN: Not Your Typical Owner

RobCurtis

Are You Using Social Media to Build Your Brand?

(Originally posted for Cornerstone Advertising.)

Social Media is no longer just about selfies and life updates, but now it is a place where your business needs to be. As of July 2015, there was a total of 3.17 billion users on the Internet, with 2.3 billion active social media users…and that number is only growing larger. Ninety-one percent of bands are using more than one social media platform.

If you want to get your business in front of new customers, social media is the easiest way to aim your advertising to specific groups of people.

Why?

Social media is important for web traffic. You know that fancy website you just paid thousands for? Now you need to drive traffic to that website—share your knowledge, deals and products with the world. Well-placed social media posts can help drive traffic to your website.

Using social media helps boost your presence with search engines. You’ve heard about search engine optimization—it’s about how certain web pages are ranked on Google, Bing, etc. The programs used in ranking web pages knows what pages are consistently getting traffic and which don’t. And while you need to have a solid strategy for content and SEO, you need to drive traffic using social media to help garner more attention to those pages as well.

Social media is important for building relationships, and we’re not talking about the “it’s complicated” type. You can learn a lot about your customers by being active on social media. Twitter and Instagram allows for more insight into daily lives (their home, activities, lifestyle, etc.) and Facebook is a little more direct—after all, you can communicate in more than 140 characters on Facebook.

Users still see social media as a social network, not something streaming commercials/ads constantly, yet it does. A customer posts a review, and you respond, starting a conversation. Potential customers send a message on Facebook with a question, and you respond as you would over the phone. Using your social media posts and messages more as conversations with customers rather than ads builds trust and interest, thus driving traffic to the website.

Social media is important for brand loyalty. Users of social media want immediate satisfaction, that’s why you’ve seen an uptick in reviews posted on sites like Google and Facebook. This requires you to be more reactive—quick and sincere responses, and fast results.

Social media is important for level playing fields. So what if your biggest competition has a marketing budget 100 times your budget. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s a more level playing field—it’s all about how you approach your content sharing and your engagement. You need flexibility to be able to capitalize on the weather, local events, etc., and social media allows you to do that.

Social media is important for visibility. It brings your product and service to the forefront of customers who might not have ever known you were available. And vice versa—you’ll find customers that you didn’t know existed when you become active on social media.

And, finally, social media is important for the price. Sure, signing up for Facebook, Twitter, Houzz and Pinterest are all free, and posts are free (except for the boosted posts and paid advertising), and free is always good. But it does take time—time to monitor, time to gather content and time to interact. It will take someone dedicated to providing you the best social media presence, whether that’s in-house or by hiring an agency that’s used to handling everything, such as Cornerstone Advertising.

Without social media, your brand has only a slight existence online, no matter how awesome your website is. It’s time to start putting a little more emphasis on social media—it’s not just for selfies any more.

Brand Marketing Advertising Identity Business Trademark Concept