Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Visit to Glenhaven Farm

By Kitson

It's not every day you drive by the birthplace of your horse by accident, but it happened to me. It involved a hasty u-turn, spilled hot chocolate in the backseat and a few complaints from my young passengers (are we home yet?). But there it is -- how can you just drive past the birthplace of your horse without stopping (even if it meant certain passengers missed an NFL kickoff on TV)? I couldn't, so we did.

A cruise down the driveway turned into a lovely visit with the farm's owner and resident Welsh Cob and pony breeder, Suzanne Moody. We had a grand time visiting with the beautiful ponies and cobs, admiring the farm's rolling hills and making plans to return in April when her next batch of babies will have been born...

These two Section B Welsh pony yearlings seemed happy enough to see us.

welcome wagon

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Very cool, unnerving 1920s-era photo of horses and people dressed as skeletons

Sometimes I am just wandering the Internet as if I were wandering in a new city or something. I have a vague destination, but it is really more about what I could find along the way. Today it was a hunt for images of the racehorse Exterminator. That led to a site called Retronaut, and next thing I knew I was looking at an unforgettable image of an adult and child dressed as skeletons along with their horses. A hunt country Halloween parade? Check it out here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Article about Sunny Hale, world's most famous female polo player

Here is another New York Times article. (I scan the entire world for articles about horses in non-horse publications so you don't have to.) Fascinating piece by Geraldine Fabrikant about a part of the horse world I don't know too much about--polo. The piece says that women are the fastest-growing part of the sport, so maybe it is time for me to take up the mallet. (Kitson, how do you think Sugar would feel about becoming a polo pony?) This is a profile of the wonderfully-named Sunny Hale, who is the most famous female polo player in the world. (Best detail may be about her mom, Sue Sally Hale, who played before women could play, so "disguised herself as a man by tucking up her hair, taping down her breasts and painting on a mustache. She played under the name A. Jones." 

Makes me sad to hear about a racetrack closing. . .

Just one less link of people to horses. . .here's a well done piece from the New York Times on the closing of Hollywood Park.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fashion Models + Horses

A friend shared a link to this HorseNation post yesterday and I thought it was the funniest thing I have seen all week. I find it so distracting when catalogs models stand there all awkward when forced to pose with a horse.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Shania Twain Loves Horses

By Kitson

WOW -- what an entrance! Check out this video of Shania Twain and many of the horses she has worked with and loved.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The New York Times, Weddings, and Horses

The New York Times has had quite a bit of horsey coverage over in their Vows department. Check out this charming video about two equestrians who compete against each other, and are getting married, too. Their horses are beautiful, they are both good riders, I love the fiddle soundtrack, and they even cover the uncomfortable topic of watching someone you love do something so dangerous (jumping horses.) And also, check out this Vows piece about someone who declares she hates horses, and ends up marrying a polo player. (That one sounds like a movie. What happens when. . .)

Looking Forward to the Mine That Bird Movie; 50-1

Because of my obsession with Exterminator, the 30-1 longshot who won the Derby in 1918, I love a Derby longshot story. I am very pleased that there is a movie being made about Mine That Bird, the 2009 winner, called, appropriately enough, 50-1. It was mostly shot in New Mexico, and will premiere there. Calvin Borel plays himself, and Skeet Ulrich is in it too. The trailer comes out in mid-December and the movie comes out March 21.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Horses That Look Like Miley Cyrus

For so many reasons, I am probably the last person who should ever go on Buzzfeed. I always end up looking at way too many lists, and I am so pop-culture ignorant that half the time I don't even know what I am looking at. This, however, caught my eye. Yes, it is horses that look like Miley Cyrus. Flashback picture: Miley Cyrus riding horseback in 2009.

Sports Illustrated Longform Piece on Jeff Lukas

I'm a little late pointing this one out, but Sports Illustrated ran a really interesting longform piece about Jeff Lukas by Tim Layden. Here is the way you get into a story; Layden writes, "It’s a very different life from the one he once lived, when some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in America gave his father their money to buy and race thoroughbreds, and his father entrusted him with much of the work involved in developing those horses into wildly profitable running and breeding machines. But that was before the accident that almost killed him." Click here to read the rest.

Bill Hyers: A pretty good horse-picker

Today's Washington Post has an article about a campaign manager named Bill Hyers. As they do for many people, horses (these are Thoroughbreds) provide him with something outside the norm of his hectic and pressure-filled life. Beautiful photos, fascinating subject--a man who calls himself a pretty good horse-picker--and a great read.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mt. Furball

By Kitson

A chilly day at the barn had me admiring the winter coats that Chico and Taff have been growing...

A peachy haflinger mountain of warm horse hair against a brilliant, cold Midatlantic sky today.
Taff is registered as black but...
My fingers were so cold I couldn't keep my iPhone steady, which resulted in Chico gaining and extra leg and some weird fur patterns in his hair.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Horse wandering on Tulsa highway rescued

This story reminds us how important it is to go the extra mile to help. In this case, some people helped a horse in Oklahoma get off the highway. (How scary is it to imagine your horse breaking free? Terrifying.) At least this has a happy ending. . .check those fences!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Time warp!

Very classic, beautiful photograph that looks like it could have been taken a hundred years ago. Look at the way the handler is standing, the building in the background. . .

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Horses in The Washington Post

By Kitson

I've noticed that The Washington Post has done a really nice job covering horse topics recently, like the lead photo in this beautiful essay about Virginia written by my neighbor Mike Ruane. My story about a young rider with Cavalia's "Odysseo" and three other young riders was in the paper today. I had originally pitched my editor on a bunch of kids hoping she'd pick one, but instead we did all four of them with a focus on the theme of how much work is (happily) involved with horses.

The rescue horse girl (Emily Benton) will also be featured in stories I'm doing for upcoming issues of Horse Illustrated and Young Rider magazines. It has been fun to highlight the story of Chino's rescue and his connection with his girl. Here's the awesome video that compelled me to share their story with as many people as I could. It was also really great to highlight the super work of Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, MD.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Behind the Scenes with Cavalia in DC

By Kitson

This morning I had the chance to step into the world of Cavalia before the show opens on October 9. I interviewed a young rider (more on that later) and got to watch the horses' first workout since arriving in DC after two weeks of vacation after their Boston show. Check it out:
The tents have a special suspension system and stand 125 feet tall (the size of a 10-story building).

Coming off a two-week vacation can be tough.

The first day back to work involved 100 percent ground work.

The show has 64 horses representing 11 different breeds including paints, quarter horses, Arabians, Appaloosas, and Pura Raza Espanol.
Cute buckskin wanted to stop and chat.

Change of direction... adorable horse on the left who caught my eye every time he came around (that's him below, also).

The 60+ horses of the show are all geldings and stallions from come from Spain, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, Germany, the U.S. and Canada.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Any other horse people looking forward to Winter's Tale?

Horses and fantasy--including the Victorian/industrial/steampunky American type--just go together.  Here Russell Crowe and Colin Farrell are, riding as they film the movie Winter's Tale.  Do either of these fly?  We will have to wait for the movie. . .unless you've already read the book, and then you know the answer.

The Jockey: Russell Baze

Great--it's not really an article, more of a long-form experience--on winningest jockey Russell Baze in the New York Times.  Not everyone likes the way that you start reading the article, then watch a video, then back to reading, look at pictures, read an ancillary piece about his agent, another about Golden Gate Fields--that piece I linked to describes how the writer didn't end up "reading" The Jockey because the delivery was too distratcing--but I think it suits a story about horse racing.  (It is a little bit like Pottermore, if you happen to have Harry Potter fans in your family.)  Worth the time spent, even for those of us who know exactly whom Russell Baze is already.

Great Washington Post piece about an ex-con and Secretariat's grandson

This Washington Post story about Tamio Holmes and a horse named Covert Action is the right blend of touching but non-saccharine, even though what I am about to write sounds like a movie preview.  It's about a man who learned to be a farrier in prison, and the bond he has with a special thoroughbred.  Click here to read.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Behind the Scenes with Arabian Nights

By Kitson

Arabian Nights was founded in February 1988, has put on more than 10,000 shows and features 60 horses of14 different breeds. Next time you're in Orlando, put this dinner theater on your itinerary for sure!
I’m on vacation with my family this week in central Florida, and what a treat to have the opportunity to attend a show called “The Royal Celebration” at Arabian Nights in Orlando. We had a great time! Thinking back on the evening, there were many great moments… I’ll share a few:

  • Before the show, Arabian Nights founder Mark Miller toured us through the barn which is just off-stage (a huge curtain separates the barn and staging area from a huge indoor arena surrounding by seating). Mark introduced us to some of his Arabian horses (there are about 50 horses on the property). Of course each horse has his or her own scratchy spot. Mark knew each one. It was also amazing to hear Mark's stories about growing up with Walter Farley and having Margeurite Henry as a close friend.
  • I loved the close encounters with a black Arabian stallion and four unicorns! The whole show was great, but I still get chills from seeing a gorgeous black stallion dancing around the arena. The unicorns were unexpected and wonderful, so was the little goat who plays a unicorn spell gone wrong!
  • I learned a lot about the famous Al-Marah Arabians bred by Mark’s mother, the late Bazy Tankersley, at her farm in Tucson, Arizona.
  • Another favorite moment for me occurred after the show. We lingered with some of the cast and admired their horses for just a few more minutes. Walking out, we encountered a massive carrot-stick spill in the hallway. They had been appetizers, served with ranch dressing. Mark asked his staff to deliver the fallen carrots to the barn instead of depositing them in the trash. It was a small gesture. But that moment sort of summed up what, for me, made the evening such a delight: the horses of Arabian Nights are treated beautifully, cared for immaculately and very happy at their work -- it shows.

Przewalski’s Baby

According to the Smithsonian National zoo, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are celebrating the birth of a female Przewalski’s (Cha-VAL-skee) horse—the first to be born via artificial insemination. The foal’s birth on July 27  is a big deal for the species -- both the filly and the mama, Anne are in good condition. Read more about it and see some great pictures here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ponies to the Carnival Grounds

By Kitson

This (very amateur) video that I shot yesterday pretty much sums up the fun and excitement of pony penning. The little one on three legs was all fixed up by this morning's auction.
One of the foals auctioned off this morning at the Chincoteague Pony Penning.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pony Penning Day

By Kitson

A few pictures from the pony swim Chincoteague today. It stormed like crazy as the ponies were set to swim at slack tide (the moments between high and low tide), but a little business from Mother Nature did not hold back the Salt Water Cowboys from driving the ponies on...
Before the storm, a Saltwater Cowboy rides his horse, a mare named Lady, through the marsh for a cold drink.

The cowboy's horses from the other side arrive on Chincoteague via party boat.

This was right before I put my camera away -- we got drenched - ponies and people.

An hour later, parading down Main Street to the carnival grounds. Now the sun decides to come back out!

Tight quarters for two stallions leads to ... disagreements.

Where are we Mama??

The kick zone...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pony Time

By Kitson

It’s always pony time at the Island Theater in Chincoteague, Virginia.
Chincoteague never hustles or bustles quite as much as it does on the eve of the annual pony swim. Yesterday at day break, the saltwater cowboys moved the ponies from the northern corral out to the beachfront and south along the Atlantic to join the ponies in the southern corral. Today, the line at the Island Creamery for marsh-mud flavored ice cream snakes all the way to Maddox Boulevard and carnival-goers rush to buy their raffle tickets for a chance at winning King or Queen Neptune -- the first foal to come ashore

Come 7:15 tomorrow morning, I’ll be sitting on a pier waiting to watch the ponies swim the channel --something I've looked forward to pretty much my whole life.

Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time: Book Review

Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time
Missy Tait-Zeller

Do you miss reading horse books like the ones you read as a kid?  You know, ones with plenty of horse in them, not just where the stable is a setting for all kinds of human problems?  While her book is not really for horse-besotted children--too much danger, excitement, family discord, a little bit of cross-dressing and some commentary on handsome men--Missy Tait-Zeller has written a book for true horse-lovers called Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time.

While the protagonist, Serena, is an accomplished rider and Westerner who "mourned the loss of the buffalo," she is also a mother, wife, and the owner of Rim-Fyre, an uncommonly well-behaved stallion.  He is just as much a character as she is.  Here's a passage that illustrates their closeness:  "Feeling like she needed to move around and go talk to Rim for a few minutes, she stood up and tossed a few more branches on the fire. . .It took a few seconds before Serena could discern Rim-Fyre grazing nearby.  He lifted his head when she began walking toward him so he met her half way, placing his muzzle in her hands.  Serena ran her right hand under the long heavy mand on the left side of his neck and felt the warmth of him in the cooling evening air."

This is an exciting story--time travel, the West, and well-chosen epigraphs from authors like Neil Gaiman--but the true understanding of horses, and how those of us who love them feel connected to them in ways not bound by time or space, is what truly carries Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time.

Chincoteague Pony Penning or Bust

By Kitson

Today, all that stands between me and the annual pony swim in Chincoteague, VA is that darned scary bridge. Just last Friday, THIS happened, which has been keeping me up at night. I'll be heading out from DC midday, and hoping traffic heading toward the Eastern Shore will be light. Once I get there, I'll head over to the carnival grounds where I"ll find out what time the press bus is leaving to watch the pony swim on Wednesday a.m. Can't wait! Here are some of the ponies I'll be scouting with my camera... marshy updates coming via the SweetFeed by the boatload.

Sergeant Reckless Honored at Quantico

Sergeant Reckless, the equine Marine, now has a statue honoring her at Quantico.  And, as often happens, the kids' section of my hometown paper explains the story best.  Click here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cedric Hearts Polo Mints

By Kitson

Did you know that showjumper Cedric's favorite way to pass the time on all of his many international flights is nibbling little white polo mints? This is one of a few little-known facts about this international super-star that I learned  while interviewing some of Cedric's entourage last week for a children's book I'm working on. Yum! I'm guessing Cedric's a cruncher, not a sucker.

Soledad O'Brien and Her Daughter Love their OTTBs

By Kitson

Check out this nice article about news reporter Soledad O'Brien and her affection for her horses.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Horses 700,000 Years Ago

Here's an interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor about horses that lived a looooong time ago.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Thank you, Muffy Aldrich

I was just looking for an oxford shirt.  (Where have the women's oxford shirts WITH button down collars gone?  I need twelve white ones, because that's all I want to wear.)  Anyway, in this quest, I happened upon Muffy Aldrich's blog, which is about all things preppy, apparently.  On her blog is the most gorgeous photo series of the 1966 Ox Ridge Horse Show in Darien, Connecticut.  Check this out.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Wolves and Horses; Horses and Wolves

Doug Smith and Joker survey the Hayden Valley, one of the best places to see wildlife, like wolves, elk, grizzly bears and bison, in Yellowstone.
Photo courtesy of Doug Smith.
By Kitson

Yellowstone wolf biologist Doug Smith had to pinch himself his first day on the job in 1994. Yes – in fact he was getting to ride a horse for a good part of the work day, scouting a wolf den. Every year he gets assigned a horse (Yellowstone owns 120 horses plus mules). For most of the recent past, he’s been assigned a horse named Joker, a Quarter Horse/Percheron gelding that he trained from a colt. His best days at work, Smith says, have been on a horse. Sometimes he’s out trekking on horseback for a week in the wilderness with four pack horses.

His equine partners, he says, have better instincts than ATVs. Horses get to know the scent of a dead wolf, which is often what Smith is looking for. He’s in charge of the Yellowstone Wolf Project. If a wolf has died inside the national park, he figures out who, where and how the death occurred like a monumental-scale game of Clue (Wolf #305 / on the Blacktail Plateau / with the candlestick).

“At first they get freaked out,” he told me in an interview last week, about when a horse coming across the remains of a wolf. “But after that, they help me find it. I’m sure of it.”

Friday, May 31, 2013

I love days that include paging through the DRF archives

which I got to do for this blog post up at the Rail.  Map of Belmont, 100 years ago.  And a story of the 1913 Belmont Stakes.  It's Triple Crown season--be in the mood.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MIley Cyrus Against New York City Carriage Horses

Miley Cyrus has joined the fight to ban carriage horses in New York City, following the lead of her mom.  The actress and singer grew up with horses, and is an animal-lover in general.

Not horses, but corgis

I'm allowed.  Check out this SmartPark blog post about how to keep corgis healthy.

New post about horse books up at The Rail

You SweetFeed readers have already read about some of my favorite horse books, but here are some more, in a post up at the New York Times' Rail blog.  Josh Pons, Avalyn Hunter. . .they are all here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Plow Horses Get a Plug in the NYT

By Kitson

Here's a great photo essay in the New York Times about Cedar Mountain Farm in Vermont still using horses to plow. Check it out -- beautiful, happy animals and what a nice, clean barn! I want to go there.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rewilding Europe

By Kitson
Photo: Mark Hamblin / Wild Wonders of Europe

No matter what I'm doing, the path I'm on inevitably leads to horses. The particular path I've been on lately has been all about wolves, as I've been researching and drafting a non-fiction children's books for National Geographic. I recently learned about Rewilding Europe, a cool program through which government agencies and conservation groups are "rewilding" huge swaths of land starting in eastern Europe. Here's an interesting article about two wild foals born in Iberia. I can't wait to share more about another horse angle I've sniffed out on the wolf trail: wolf riders on horseback in the Western U.S. helping cattle ranchers and wolves to coexist. More on that later. Meanwhile, as work limits my time at the barn, I'm grateful for the beautiful horses (and the wolves) I come across long-distance.

Photo: Grzegorz Lesniewski / Wild Wonders of Europe

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Horses and History at The Rail

I got to interview a very cool turf historian a while back--how much do you know about the pre-Civil War racing culture of New Orleans--and that interview is up on the New York Times' racing blog, The Rail, today.  Take a look.

Monday, May 6, 2013

How are there two painting horses in the world?

Here locally, the Maryland painting horse is making news.  But there is another one.  How many are there?  And at what point do you realize that your horse likes to paint?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi's Horse Farm

Absolutely beautiful sequence of pictures of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi's horse farm in Elle Decor.  Check out the eighth slide with a horse stabled in one stall and another stall serving as a sitting room.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Just a moment of praise for a nice barn website

I don't even ride at Woodland Horse Center, but would like to praise its website.  One of my daughter's friends takes lessons here, and I looked it up.  So often, barn websites are tough to understand, or leave off the tough questions--how much does it cost to board a horse here?  Where are you?  This is a good-looking (not slick/produced) website with lots of information.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Preakness TV ad

This is not going to help anyone who insists that the Preakness is all about the horses, not the party.  But here it is. . .it's close enough to Triple Crown season that we are seeing Preakness ads, like this one.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Buzz Feed hipster horses

I just cannot offer one single defense as to why I was on buzzfeed.  I swear it started as research for something I was working on about old time racing, and from that I got to hipsters and horses, and. . .well, see for yourself.  Hipster horses, by Buzzfeed.
I think my favorite is the one who says:  “I'm tired of the horse whisperer cliche. Good horsemanship was good horsemanship long before we started getting all evangelical about it.”

Monday, April 1, 2013

Boys Camp

By Kitson

It's an amazing moment when a fictional character -- especially a horse -- springs to life in an illustration. My horse hero Herschel, pictured here on the cover, was actually inspired last year by chit chat with my co-SweetFeed author Eliza, about an old but wonderful school horse she used to lease in Tennessee. Fictional Herschel might look like a sneezing old bag of bones, but -- like many old horses -- he is a true friend, teacher and hero. The book will be out in November.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Means Baby Budweiser Clydesdales

By Kitson

This spring 17 baby Clydes have been born at Warm Springs Ranch in mid-Missouri, home to the Budweiser Clydesdales. Jeff Knapper, general manager for Clydesdale operations for Anheuser-Busch is expecting that number to double before foaling season is over. If you're in Missouri, it's great time of year to tour the 300-acre farm and meet Hope, the star of Budweiser’s award-winning and top-ranked Super Bowl commercial, and Stan, the first-born foal of 2013, named after all-time MLB great Stan Musial.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Early Spring Bliss

By Kitson

I can’t understate the restorative power of time spent at the farm with my horses. This week, after juggling six deadlines, two kids and probably the worst cold I’ve ever had,  I decided to shut down my computer midday and head to the barn. Maybe it was spring fever, but I hiked around the farm a bit (on my own two feet) and experimented with my newly-discovered ability to take panoramic pictures with my iPhone. Check it out. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Horseware Love

By Kitson

I do have a soft spot when it comes to Horseware products for my horse and myself. Check out this sweet commercial.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Horsepacking camp

It's time to start thinking about summer camps and trips for lucky kids, and this one looks just right.  Horsepacking from NOLS.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The HSUS's Take on Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

Here's an article from the Humane Society of the U.S. on the implications of the USDA's decision to process an application for inspecting horse slaughter at a New Mexico facility, which would mean resuming the practice for the first time in six years in this country. And here is an interesting post which suggests that horse meat is probably already being served in the US. One more reason to not eat meat!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Days' End Rescues More

Our largest local rescue here in the D.C. Baltimore area is Days' End.  Recently, the volunteers there took on six horses in bad shape.  Read the heartening Baltimore Sun story here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

By Kitson

I toured my cousin and her family around DC on President's Day this week. My step quickened a bit when I noticed the Park Police horse trailer on the side of the street. Alas, no horses in the vicinity. But as we crossed West Basin Drive and headed toward the MLK and FDR Memorials, I noticed the apple tucked into the back of the trailer. And I smiled.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Best Buds -- The Clydesdale Kind

By Kitson

Tommie and three of his young Clydesdale buds.
All photos courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

Trick rider and horse trainer Tommie Turvey was in Las Vegas the day he got the call from Anheuser-Busch about training Clydesdales for an upcoming commercial. Within a few days he was on his way to Budweiser Clydesdale central: Warm Springs Ranch near Boonville, Missouri. When he got there, he started working eight horses training toward the director’s wish list. That was less than two months ago in mid-December.

HOPE and an Interview With Clydesdale Trainer Tommie Turvey

By Kitson
Nobody loves the Budweiser Clydes more than I do. So many people have texted and tweeted and posted about their tears on Facebook or emailed me about how they cried over the “Brotherhood” Superbowl commercial (including my esteemed Sweetfeed co-author Eliza McGraw, see said sobbing below). As much as I love these commercials and those horses, somehow I stayed dry-eyed (Click here to see which celebrities are boo hoo-ing via twitter.) Strange for me -- I cry at cat food commercials and I get misty eyed whenever I think about my once-in-a-lifetime horse who died three years ago.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Very effective tearjerker Budweiser commercial

Short, a beer commercial, and an incredibly effective tearjerker.  They had me at "Landslide" and it just went downhill from there  NSFW if you have ever loved or lost a horse and do not wish to be seen crying at your desk.  Click here.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Representative Grijalva Stands Up for Wild Horses

Great interview from the Atlantic (always a good day when publications like the Atlantic cover equine issues) with "the man who could save America's wild horses," Representative Raul Grijalva.  Expect to be seeing his name more.  

Feature YouTube video of the day. . .My Life Horse Riding

I came across this video on YouTube, and feel compelled to share it.  I am a sucker for
1.  Montages in movies
2.  Slide shows (set to music, preferably at summer camp or after a team's season)
and this homemade video seems to me to capture the best of both worlds.  It is spliced together footage of a little girl learning to ride (walking races, etc.) all the way to competition film of her as a seasoned eventer.  Click here for 3:26 well spent.

Pacing, gaiting in horses are genetic

I remember the first time I saw a Tennessee Walking Horse really step out--how can he do that?  I thought.  I could not imagine my own Quarter Horse's legs could even move like that.  It turns out that some Swedish researchers have discovered the specific genes that are responsible for the Icelandic tolt and other gaits.  Click here for more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A horse that looks like Justin Bieber

Where do they get these things, you may be wondering.  And I really don't even have an answer for you there.  But if you go to this site, you will find a slideshow of animals that look like Justin Bieber.  The horse is #6 of 9, and it is an uncanny resemblance.

I have a good friend who has a cat that looks just like George Jones, so I am used to this kind of twinning, but prepare to be amazed. . .

Red Star beginnings

I hope you'll read this post I wrote over at my Outrider column at Raceday 360 about the beginnings of the Red Star, which is the Humane Association's emergency wing.  Teaser:  It had to do with World War I. . .

Friday, January 25, 2013

Johnny Depp Hearts Horses

By Kitson

I watched the 1999 movie "Sleepy Hollow" recently and -- as usual -- the horse scenes caught my attention. I love reading this cool blog post about Depp and his horse (thanks to the blog  Goldeneye, the horse, was a member of the cast. the one-eyed horse ridden by Depp's character in the movie. Depp apparently saved the horse from being cast away to euthanasia after the filming of the movie. Love that. And I love how last summer, he credited his stunt horse with saving his life on the set of the "Lone Ranger." Check it out here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Filly left in gate recovers to win

and in her first race, too!  Came from thirteen lengths behind to win.  Thanks to the LA Times for this great story.  We've all had days like that. . .they just don't always end so well.

Having Joe Talamo as her jockey probably helped, but it's still impressive.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Horse Show Moms

I am a hockey mom--my kids don't ride competitively (unless you count vying for time with Sugar a competition.)  But I came across this cool site that's for horse show moms.  Check out their Winter Circuit show diary here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Country Music Star Saves A Horse's Life

By Kitson

Check out this amazing story of a horse named Misty rescued from a Tennessee river, thanks to help from neighbor and country music star Luke Bryan. He was in a boat and spotted the horse, who had taken a terrifying 15-foot fall into a riverbed. Misty is expected to make a full recovery. If Luke hadn't spotted her and called for help, she may not have been saved in time.

Ode to a Boot Rack

By Kitson

Check out this awesome metal boot rack made by my artisan uncle, Bryan Buck. He lives on a beautiful piney acreage in Wiscasset, Maine. Upside-down boot racks like these are all the rage in the UK and Australia -- you can leave your mucky Wellies to be washed in the rain, while the inside of the boots dry out. For more information email Bryan. He's selling them for $75 plus the cost of shipping.

Monday, January 14, 2013


By Kitson

Taff, my Welsh Cob gelding, comes to find me in the fog.
The weatherman said the fog would burn off by noon yesterday, but the pea soup stuck around all day. It made for a rather misty ride along the Potomac River. It also gave me some good fodder for fiddling around with images using Instagram.

Horses Gonna Horse

Kitson and I have spent some time amusing ourselves with the whole Haters Gonna Hate meme.  (Yes, I know we are not exactly au courant.)  So I had to add this purely goofy one--although I had a moment during which I thought it might be some kind of statement, given that some gaited horse breeds have undergone their share of haters.

I think it is just for sillyness, though. Enjoy in that spirit.  From this site.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Count on Fran Jurga to scoop two great articles

Fran Jurga, of the Jurga Report, has posted two very interesting articles today here.  One is a sad, well-written story about a closed-down racetrack from a Canadian newspaper.  The next is from the Tennessean--from my old hometown of Nashville, Tennessee--and talks about how people who abuse animals often move on to human victims.  One of those common sense things that is all too often ignored.

The FDA has news for horse owners

I can't quite remember how or when I placed myself on this FDA newsletter/bulletin, but I appreciate it.  It sort of keeps you one step ahead of those alerts from your vet, or from local horse organizations.  This is a link to a page of "Dear  Doctor" letters--letters drug companies send to vets--that will let you see what I mean.