AHP Seminar Wrap-Up: Awards, Networking & Friendship

It was an awesome four days in Charleston, South Carolina! Not only is the city beautiful, but the experience of the American Horse Publications Seminar was spectacular. I learned a lot, met a lot of new people, rekindled old friendships, and did lots of networking.


The event was capped off with the annual awards, where I earned Honorable Mention for my article on Tammy Sronce and her recovery from a head injury in Western Shooting Horse MagazineRefilling the Glass.


I networked with editors from The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse Illustrated, Western Horseman, Paint Horse Journal, Equine Journal, and the Quarter Horse News–all great publications with huge followings. I also got to spend some time exploring the city, including taking in Charleston’s weekly farmers’ market that took place across the street from my hotel.



I have to thank the editors and fellow freelance writers that I met for their time and camaraderie, especially those who worked behind the scenes to put together the annual seminar. If you’re interested, at all, in equine media, I highly suggest joining the American Horse Publications (students, corporations, freelancers, websites, and publications are all invited to join). It’s like one giant family.


Writer buddies: Rachel Florman (Assistant Editor, Paint Horse Journal), Abigail Boatwright (Abigail Boatwright Communications), Kate Bradley (Kate Bradley Creative), Kelsey Pecsek, Features Editor, Quarter Horse News), and myself


AHP Seminar roomies! (Rachel Florman, Assistant Editor Paint Horse Journal)

AHP Seminar roomies! (Rachel Florman, Assistant Editor Paint Horse Journal)

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

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


One last gorgeous scene from Charleston's boardwalk.

One last gorgeous scene from Charleston’s boardwalk.


Teaching a Soft Touch to Your Horse

I’ve been lucky to be able to talk with some great trainers and learned a lot about how they work with their horses. In this article for the Paint Horse Journal, I learned from Heather Thompson how to teach “guide” to your horse for silent communication.

A Soft Touch

You’ve seen it in the show ring: a horse-and-rider team moving flawlessly through the motions, making square corners and round circles, changing direction with what looks to be no real effort at all. You can barely see the guidance the rider gives the horse through her hands, and yet he responds effortlessly.

That silent communication is the basis of what American Paint Horse Association Professional Horseman Heather Thompson calls “guide,” and it’s something she teaches all of her horses and clients.

“When I work with my horses, I don’t like to pull them. I like to push them,” she explained. “If I’m going left, I put that right rein into the horse’s neck and they know that means to ten left. I’m using rein pressure first.”




“Guide” refers to a horse’s willingness to respond to slight pressure fro his rider. The better your horse guides, the easier he’ll be to ride.




Download the entire article here: A Soft Touch

Thinking of Collegiate Riding? Shoot a Video


One of the best things I remember from my years at Murray State University was competing on the equestrian team as part of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). When I originally went to Murray I went for the Rodeo Team, but I also fell in love with the coaches of the Equestrian Team and ended up spending all four years there, including being captain my senior year. So when I’m asked to write about college and riding, I jump at the chance.

That’s why I was excited to write for the American Paint Horse Association‘s magazine, the Paint Horse Journal, as part of their “Caught on Film” series. I spoke with intercollegiate coaches for both IHSA and NCAA for tips on shooting recruiting videos. I strongly suggest passing this along to any youth rider looking to compete in college to help them make the best first impression.

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You can also read it via PDF here: CollegiateVideos