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

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

Livestock Publications Council Awards

Earlier this week I was excited to find out that an article I wrote for the American Quarter Horse Journal was awarded Honorable Mention in the Production/Management class for association magazines at the Livestock Publications Council awards. The article was on handling stallions, and that now all stallions are the same and they’re not all ready to mount a mare when they hit the breeding shed.

It was enlightening to talk with Dr. Sue McDonnell, who is an adjunct professor of equine reproductive behavior and founding head of the equine behavior program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. We discussed types of stallions such as the “Bashful Bachelor” and “Mr. Too-Big-Shot in the Shed,” and how stallions owners and handlers can make life a little better for the men of the farm.

Stallion Handling-1

 

You can read more of the article: Handling Stallions

 

Great Rides: An AQHA World Show to Remember

At the 1983 AQHA World Championship Show, Paris Hughes became a legend aboard her trusty gelding, Mr Two Eyed Twist, when the pair won not one, not two but three world championship trophies in one day, barely coming in second for the All Around Amateur title at the show. And that was all while working without a trainer and attending college full time.

It was fun trotting down memory lane with Paris, who now competes in American Paint Horse Association shows lightly, as she’s been recovering from a back injury due to a horse riding accident. This article for the American Quarter Horse Journal was fun to do as Paris shared her memories of the early days of one of the largest horse shows in the country.

American Quarter Horse Journal - Paris Hughes and Mr Two Eyed Twist

You can read the whole story here: Great Rides: A World Show to Remember

Insurance for Your Horse’s Legs – Leg Wrapping

Think of it as insurance for your horse’s most valuable player when it comes to his performance. More than 1,000 pounds of pressure strain the delicate structures that make up the horse’s legs, whether it’s from landing from a three-foot jump, driving through a sliding stop or navigating around a difficult trail course. Proper leg wrapping can help protect his legs, thus protecting your investment.

Wrapping your horse’s legs provides support for tendons and ligaments during exercise, as well as protection from concussion and impact. You can wrap your horse’s legs after a strenuous training session to help prevent or reduce swelling. During transportation, it’s vital to provide extra cushioning and support by using shipping wraps or boots.

“You can wrap a horse’s leg any number of ways,” says Dr. Adam Cayot, a veterinarian with Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital in Ocala, Florida.

But you have to make sure you are wrapping your horse’s legs the correct way with the right things…

Read more from my article in the June 2015 American Quarter Horse Journal:

Leg Wrapping 101

Leg Wrapping 101