The Loss of a Mentor: Carol Trimmer

While I was on my way to a Turf Publicists of America meeting in Lexington, Ky., I received word that Carol Trimmer, former editor of the NRHA Reiner magazine, had passed. it was like someone punched me in the stomach out of the blue. In a time when I felt lost after completing my internship at AQHA, she reached out to me and offered me a job with the magazine and NRHA that put me on my path that has suited me and benefited me for more than 12 years now. I was at the cusp of possibly moving back to Indiana and sorting my life out, but at the last possible minute, she called me. I hadn’t even interviewed for the position–I had applied for a position to lead the Youth association.
Carol TrimmerIn that year of living in Oklahoma City, she was like a mother to me. I wasn’t able to travel home much, except for Christmas, but she took me under her wing. To be honest, it was a frustrating year because I felt like I wasn’t learning anything and I wasn’t using my talents to their fullest. I didn’t realize that she was quietly molding me and quietly pushing me out of my comfort zone.
Carol is the National Reining Horse Association. She was the guidebook full of stats, facts and anything you needed. She knew every single person who ever swung a leg over a reining horse. She was the one everyone flocked to see in the media room at the Futurity and Derby just to get a hug, and she worried more about others than herself. She wholeheartedly deserved to be inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame a few years back.

I don’t throw this word around very often, but I was blessed to have her in my life. Her support for me ever since we met in 2006 has been life altering. 

My heart is broken, not just for myself, but for her family and for the reining family. My condolences to her husband, Paul, and her grandkids. The one solace is that she is now reunited with her son, Paul Jr., whom she lost 12 years ago. 

Thank you, Carol, for everything…as a mentor, supporter, friend…

 

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Fit Rider: Battling Hibernation

The cold has certainly set in here in the Midwest. It’s not even Christmas, and we’re battling frozen conditions everywhere, which means not much action happening outside.

Perfect timing, considering my FitRider column for Horse Illustrated‘s November issue was about how to battle the winter doldrums and the urge to hibernate, thanks to help from Andrea Otley, a self-professed former sugar addict, horse-crazy wife with three children, who has turned her life into a healthier, happier one while combining her passion of fitness and horses.

One of the best tips from Andrea was to see winter as a time to really go after your fitness goals, since you won’t be spending as much of your free time at the barn like you do during the summer.

Be sure to pick up the November issue of Horse Illustrated to read more tips. And get ready to tackle 2017 a healthier, happier rider!

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Behind the Stall Door: Extremely Hot Chips

October means it’s time for the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. It’s the mecca for anyone showing stock horse–thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the Ohio State Fairgrounds to show, shop, and just experience the world’s largest single-breed horse show.

While working on another article for The Equine Chronicle, I met Russ Louderbeck, a hotel architect that lived approximately 30 minutes from me. He’s the owner of an up-and-coming Western pleasure stallion, Extremely Hot Chips, and I wanted to share their story. I came out to his farm, Louderbeck Ranch, and met him and the handsome dark brown boy. Not only did I get to know both parties, Russ invited me to take a few laps on his prized stallion–Are you kidding me!? I hadn’t swung my leg over a well-trained Western pleasure horse in years, and it was so much fun! It says a lot about Chip’s personality and attitude to come straight out his stall and allow a stranger to ride without much of a warm-up.

Extremely Hot Chips

That’s why it’s fun to share this stallion’s story. Russ, a hobby horseman and breeder, will be showing Chip at Congress later this month in the Select Amateur Western Pleasure. Last year they finished in the Top 5, and he hopes to replicate, or do better, this year. All without campaigning or a professional trainer. Again, another testament to this wonderful stallion.

 

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Read the article from The Equine ChronicleBehind the Stall Door: Extremely Hot Chips

Thankful for a Successful 2014

The time between Christmas and New Year’s is usually a time to reflect on the previous 365 days and how far we’ve come. I’m always guilty of this because I’ve caught myself saying that the year has gone by so quickly, but then again, you feel as though it hasn’t.

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. — Herman Melville

This past year has seen MA Communications grow exponentially. What started as just a side gig to fill in time and keep in touch with my favorite industry has turned into a second full-time job with a growth in contacts that I appreciate everyday. Last week I sent in my last article for 2014, and I have already been working on articles for the 2015 editorial calendar.

Overall, in 2014, I wrote 80 articles–both online and in print–and covered four live events in person, as well as a couple from afar. I’ve been published in eight print magazines, as well as eight websites.

It was exciting covering the World Equestrian Games for two websites, bringing the excitement of reining to everyone.

It was exciting covering the World Equestrian Games for two websites, bringing the excitement of reining to everyone.

 

I launched my Facebook page.

I love sharing my work and experiences on my Facebook page for everyone.

I love sharing my work and experiences on my Facebook page for everyone.

I traveled to South Carolina to receive my first independent award from the American Horse Publications.

First time entering an awards contest independently =  not too shabby.

First time entering an awards contest independently = not too shabby.

I’ve expanded my horizons and stepped out of my comfort zone to bring the best of what I could offer to different audiences–and I’ve loved every challenge.

I’ve brought along clients for social media marketing and to help grow their business from just starting to thriving in just one year.

I’m looking forward to another great year in 2015. I already know there will be challenges (in February the newest member of the MAC family will joining us as Matt and I welcome our little girl), but that will only make it more interesting!

Thank you for supporting and reading everything from MAC. If you have any article suggestions or topics you’d like to see covered more in any genre, please let me know!

Thank you to the following websites and publications that worked with me in 2014:

America’s Horse
American Paint Horse Journal
American Quarter Horse Journal
American Quarter Horse Journal Online
Canine Chronicle
CanineChronicle.com
Clean Run
The Daily Corgi
DressageDaily.com
Equine Chronicle
EquineChronicle.com
GoHorseShow.com
HorsesDaily.com
The Reiner
Rodeo News
Western Shooting Horse Magazine
The Wrangler–Horse & Rodeo News

On Charleston Time

Thursday I flew into South Carolina to attend the 2014 American Horse Publications Seminar in Charleston. It’s beautiful here! I’m somewhat familiar with the area because in 2012, my husband and I honeymooned on Pawley’s Island and visited Charleston for the day, but I’m so happy to have a chance to be able to spend more time here.

How can you not take a deep breath and relax with this scenery?

How can you not take a deep breath and relax with this scenery?

So far I’ve enjoyed dinner at Prohibition and lots of walking around downtown. I was able to be a guest at CrossFit Discovery Downtown Friday morning, where I did a drop-in workout and actually enjoyed being soaked with sweat even before the workout began (humidity is no joke here).

CrossFit Discovery

CrossFit Discovery

Sessions I’ve attended so far include “Tell Me A Story” and “Beyond Words” with Vanessa Gregory, a journalism professor and freelance writer, as well as “What’s a Platform, and How do I get one?” with Milt Toby and “The Art of Pitching” with a panel of magazine editors.

I’m looking forward to meeting and networking with many more equine publication editors and my fellow freelancers Saturday, as well as see the results from the awards, where I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’ll hear my name!

Ironic that I find this place the day after my dad's 68th birthday!

Ironic that I find this place the day after my dad’s 68th birthday!