Monday, October 31, 2011

I Heart Haflingers

Watercolor courtesy of Emilie Goddard
By Kitson

The November issue of Horse Illustrated has come out and what a thrill to see two letters about my stories from recent issues in the Feedback section on page six. One of them praised the magazine for including a story called “Happiness is a Haflinger” in the September 2011 issue. While writing the breed profile, I interviewed a handful of happy Haflinger owners who event, drive, vault and trail ride their marvelous cream-colored equines. The story (September 2011 cover HI) included a profile of All-Tell RVM, aka “Teddy,” a dressage horse and all-around star performer owned by Rachel King, owner of Deer Haven Farm in Lexington, KY. Deer Haven’s head trainer, Emilie Goddard, is also the very talented artist who painted the Haflingers in the watercolor above. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If you're interested in racing history, check out my latest (also my first) Outrider column for Raceday 360. It includes Citation, Spectacular Bid, and of course, the great Exterminator. It's here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Horses in Unusual Places, Vol. 2

By Kitson

On a recent trip to Whole Foods, while I managed to resist buying a slice of bacon, egg and cheese pizza that looked pretty good, I couldn’t get past the bottles of wine with an eye-catching horse image on the label. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but those beautiful wild horses in reds, yellows and blues sealed my impulse purchase on aisle six. I could give the wine as a gift or serve it to a thirsty guest, I assured myself. I finished shopping, grabbed a bag of overpriced carrots for the ponies and headed to the checkout, comforted to have had my thoughts redirected to horses in the grocery store.

When I got home my reporter’s curiosity led me straight to the winery’s website ( Based in Washington State, the winery’s name, 14 Hands, was inspired “by the spirit of the wild horses that once freely roamed the starkly beautiful hills of Eastern Washington.” That sounded cool, I thought, but what I liked best (since I can’t speak to how the wine tastes) is that they also support a non-profit wild horse sanctuary in California called Return to Freedom. Here’s what I found out about the winery after chatting with Erin Shane, who works for 14 Hands:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

R Gauwitz Hanover

By Eliza
A truly remarkable story about a Canadian harness racer and the man for whom he is named. (Includes a reference to Walter Farley, so. . .)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

War Horse

By Kitson

Topthorn (left) and Joey, the main horse character.
Both photos by Paul Kolnik, courtesy of Lincoln Center Theater.
After I’ve written an article, I love the moment when the magazine fwops through my mail slot and reveals the glossy finished product. They are like scrapbook pieces documenting incredible people and horses that I’ve met through my writing life.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


By Eliza

Here in Washington, D.C., October is Washington International Horse Show time. But out in much of the rest of the horse world, October is Congress time. Not Congress as in D.C., but the All-American Quarter Horse Congress. (In the Quarter Horse world, all you have to say is "Congress," though. No one will think you're talking about D.C.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Horses in Unusual Places, Vol. 1

While the officer didn't give me the time of day, his horse gave me the thumbs up with a kind swivel of his ear.

By Kitson

This year I have had the privilege of working on a writing project for the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. I helped the Foundation write a book about the creation of the memorial. It has been an incredible project and an amazing learning experience, but of course, it has had nothing to do with horses (other than helping to support mine).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Old Friends

By Eliza
One of my favorite books is by Barbara Livingston, the famous horse photographer, and it is called Old Friends. It was published in 2002, a collection of portraits of retired senior racehorses, and includes text about each horse, and his or her accomplishments. (She has some heavy hitters in the book: Genuine Risk, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, and the Bid.) The horses are depicted at home, no longer in racing flesh, hollows above their eyes, manes allowed to grow long. They are beautiful.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


By Kitson
[aro·ma·ther·a·py noun \ə-ˌrō-mə-ˈther-ə-pē\ : the use of aroma to enhance a feeling of well-being]

One soggy Welsh Cob,
happy to see me and my bag of apples.
 When the bag of bruised apples and overlooked carrots that I keep in my refrigerator starts to overflow, it’s a clear sign that the demands of family and freelance work have kept me from the barn for too many days. It felt more like Maine here than DC this weekend, with a chilly rain falling since Friday night. But I was itching to get to the barn.