Riders4Helmets – IHAD

Every year I have the privilege of helping with the marketing efforts of a noble cause–International Helmet Awareness Day. I work alongside Lyndsey White and Chad Mendell of Riders4Helmets to do press releases and stories to help increase awareness for the day and spread the word about the great deals riders can get to purchase a new helmet one time a year.

Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day

Aubrey and I always wear our helmets!

In the past, I’ve written short articles regarding concussions and the longevity of a helmet. This year, I wrote an educational article on the makings of a helmet, featuring some of the top helmet manufacturers like Troxel, Back on Track, Ovation, etc.

What Makes A Helmet Safe? 
Gone are the days of simple hard plastic with a velveteen outer layer. Nowadays, helmets are held to a much higher standard of safety testing. They’re more aerodynamic and better padded, without adding extra weight, and they are stylish so riders will want to wear them. The safety of every ride is the main goal for each helmet manufacturer as they strive year after year to develop the safest helmet they can, while keeping it comfortable, attractive, and easy to wear.

A few of the top helmet manufacturers around the world shared with us some of their most important components when it comes to making helmets…


Then, this one article…the kind that makes you stand up and take notice and really think about “what if” when it comes to the smallest decisions you make.

Train accident with helmet

Megan’s Troxel helmet was broken in eight places, but her head was safe.

Back story: I was assigned a story by the American Quarter Horse Journal to tell the story of a veterinary student’s fateful day, but after the interview, I knew it was such an eye-opening story that it needed to be shared during International Helmet Awareness Day. I’m thankful to editor Becky Newell for allowing me to share the story with Riders4Helmets, understanding the importance of educating all horsemen and women about wearing helmets, even for the shortest of trail rides.

This is only a small snippet of Megan Richman’s story–the rest will be shared in a later issue of the American Quarter Horse Journal (you can subscribe online).

Helmet Versus Train
There are some decisions you look back on and wonder what would have happened had you chosen a different option. For 26-year-old Megan, she’s gone through all the “what ifs” and “should haves” repeatedly the past two months. But things remain the same: She’s still alive.

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Keeping Up with the Johnsons

One of my favorite things to do is write profiles on the people of the horse industry. I love to tell their stories, and to share with the world something that maybe nobody else knew. When I am assigned a story about a subject whom you think everyone knows everything about, I see it as a challenge to dig a little deeper…

Bob and Karen Johnson of Burns, Tenn., are those kind of people–their personalities are so big that everyone wants to be their friend. They met at a horse show, and now they spend their time together at horse shows all across the country, showing their American Quarter Horses in ranch riding and halter.

This story earned an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Livestock Publications Council awards in the Feature/Human Interest, Association category for the American Quarter Horse Journal. Continue to read more to learn about this awesome couple.

Bob and Karen Johnson feature in American Quarter Horse Journal

Read more: Keeping up with the Johnsons

On the Hunt – Equine Media Descend on Maryland

As I’m writing this, I realize that I have not been the best in updating my own website, and for that I’m embarrassed. However, maybe that’s a good sign to show that I’ve been so busy with projects and work and promoting others that I don’t have the time to promote myself? Yeah. Let’s go with that.

This weekend I’ve flown East to Hunt Valley, Maryland, for the annual American Horse Publications Media Seminar. It’ll be a weekend of learning, networking, inspiring and (hopefully) being inspired. The weekend starts with a tour of Maryland’s horse country, including fox hunting grounds and Sagamore Farm. It’ll culminate with the annual Equine Media Awards.

This year, I am a finalist in at least one category that I know of. I entered a few different stories, and one that I wrote for the Quarter Horse News was named a finalist in its category. It was a fun article looking into the history and the use of the romal rein, spurred by the use of them by 2016 NRHA Futurity Champion Andrea Fappani.

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You can read it here: Braided in Tradition

I’ll be sure to take photos and chronicle the weekend, in hopes that it kicks me back into updating things and sharing more of my work with you. To say life has been a whirlwind is putting it mildly.

Horses Healing Humans

It’s no secret that the outside of the horse can bring out the best in any human. In fact, Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man,” is seen everywhere horses are prevalent. That’s why equine therapy has started growing in popularity and use.

Last year I wrote an article on Acri Verde Farm in the suburbs of Chicago for the Equine Chronicle. I talked with owner, Jannee Pugliani, who is a horsewoman and a wife of a veteran. While she was finishing her college degree, at 46 years young, she learned about a mode of therapy called equine-assisted psychotherapy and the Equine Growth and Learning Association (aka EAGALA). It is through this line of work she joined with SheForce for female veterans and has made a huge difference in so many lives in just a short amount of time. 65-80

I invite you to read more about Pugliani, Acri Verde Farm and EAGALA…

Read more: Horses Healing Humans — A Reflection of Hope

The Importance of Balance in Reining Horses

While I lived in Lexington, I had the privilege of getting to work with leaders in the equine health industry in many facets. I’ve always enjoyed talking with Stuart Muir, resident farrier at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Stuart is a wealth of information when it comes to the horse’s hoof, so when he knows of a podiatry topic horse owners need to learn about, he and I work together to get that information out there.

One such example is this article I wrote for the NRHA Reiner: “The Importance of Balance in Reining Horses.”

GH-Joe Schmidt

Why is balance so important? In order to alleviate the amount of stress and pressure on the horse’s front legs during movement, it’s imperative that the front legs breakover with as little force as possible. “We need to get the horse moving very efficiently,” says Stuart. “To do that, we work a lot at balancing the hoof with trimming and shoeing. It’s very important, especially in reining, to make sure that the front end is balanced.”

You can read the rest of the article: The Importance of Balance in Reining Horses

Saddle Up for Scottsdale

I know this post is more than a month overdue, but I wanted to share some of the excitement from my trip to the American Horse Publications Seminar in Scottsdale, Arizona, in June.

As you may recall, I was a finalist in one category, plus I had an article that was submitted by a client, the American Quarter Horse Journal, that was a finalist in another.

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I’m proud to say that this editorial series for the Journal won its class!

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My personal profile on Tootie Bland for Western Horse & Gun Magazine took second in the Freelance Writer division, which I’m very proud of.

It was so fun to see fellow writers and magazines that I work for be honored throughout the night. The NRHA Reiner, American Quarter Horse Journal, Quarter Horse News, Western Horse & Gun Magazine and Horse Illustrated were all honored with numerous awards. I’m so lucky to get to work with some of the best writers, editors, photographers and designers in the industry.

Also at the Seminar, I took in some motivating information from renowned editor and writer Jacqui Banaszynski. I had heard so much about her, so I was happy to spend a day in writing sessions to learn about reporting and writing.

I also took in the session led by the Freelance Remuda, and led a session speaking to our student members about careers in the equine media field. It felt a little odd to have younger writers come up and say they’d read my work and aspired to do what I do…wasn’t I just that person a few years ago?

And, who can forget the gorgeous location and scenery around the Double Tree? The cacti were gorgeous, the pool amazing, and the friendships that were solidified were empowering.

If you are ever interested in equine media of some sort, I highly recommend becoming a member of the AHP and attending a seminar. Next year we will be in Hunt Valley, Maryland, and I’m looking forward to the trip already!

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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