Monday, February 12, 2018

let's talk: good reads

And by "good reads," I mean: this wonderful wild equestrian blogging community.

A little background, first:

first ride ever, at a local rent-a-pony trail joint!
A couple years ago, let's say around 2012ish, I was already well-ensconced into my post-college, career-track office job. And had finally started riding again after a ~4yr hiatus (broke college grad problems).

I already had a well-developed and curated set of bookmark folders for all my favorite various internet readings (favorite op-ed columnists, photo galleries, lifestyle blogs, internet comics, etc etc) but was just starting to scratch the surface of horse-focused sites.

Toby was one of the first horses i rode in a "show" (it was more like just a demonstration ride, and our group of lesson mates performed a drill to military tunes)
I'm pretty sure the first horse blog I found was Behind the Bit. Soon after followed by Wyvern Oaks, and The Reeling. I found myself eagerly devouring the full archives, suddenly rapacious for this new-to-me genre of online reading. Horse people, just like me, who were writing about and sharing all their adventures and experiences big and small.

And I wanted more. Was impatient for new posts. And started searching for others; reading through comments, googling various keywords, searching RSS feeds. Slowly, I started finding them. Cob Jockey, She Moved to Texas, SprinklerBandits, PONY'TUDE, Guinness on Tap.

Poor Woman Showing. House on a Hill. Viva Carlos. Hand Gallop. Fly on Over.

CJ lived at a trail barn that would let me do chores in exchange for free rides during the summers
The list was growing. And growing. And growing. With each new blog I found (each of which I voraciously read through all of the archives), more would bubble up to the surface - through linked profiles in the comments sections (pro tip: one of the easiest ways for people to find your blog is by commenting on others!), or links on each blog's "Reading List."

It's hard, really, to explain the impact these blogs had on me. I'd loved horses longer than I could remember. Had always worked hard to have horses in my life. To learn, and be better.

But.... I'd always somehow felt this separation between my own riding life and the glossy pictures in magazines like Equus or Practical Horseman. Those riders and their experiences were just.... so different from mine. Those horses looked nothing like the humble, fuzzy lesson ponies I knew. To the point where I didn't even really believe that type of reality was an option for me.

Snowy was a sensitive, humble appy pony. such a good girl tho, and a horse who taught me so much during my very formative high school years
When I found all these blogs tho? What struck me was.... so many of these authors are just like me. Sure, we all have somewhat different backgrounds, resources, hopes and dreams. But materially speaking, the JenJ who keeps her horses at home but trailers out to lessons... The Carly who had almost single-handedly brought her horse along to cruisin' N like nbd (complete with helmet cam footage sure to include epic commentary)...

The only difference I could see between me and these riders was that they were actively pursuing those goals. That they could make a choice to do a thing, and then do it.

It had never even occurred to me that I could have my own truck or trailer. That I could choose trainers at different barns and ride with them on my own terms. I had just gotten it stuck in my head that, you take lessons with a barn head trainer. And since there was no trainer at Isabel's barn... Whelp. Isabel just wasn't a horse I trained with, she was simply my exercise between lessons at my "real" barn.

at college, my barn would take 4-6 horses, each ridden by multiple students, to all the local schooling shows. my first season on Harry was very successful for us and got my name on a perpetual trophy!
But with the advent of all these great blogs, of all these riders sharing their stories, following their dreams, and writing about every step of the way... I realized that I could do that too. And that, actually, Isabel was looking more and more like a pretty cool horse when viewed through this new mindset. And that, maybe if I invested in her the way these bloggers were investing in their own horses, she could become something really special for me too.

And so I went all in. Got my truck and trailer. Found new trainers. Decided to event. And, in mid-2014, I started my own blog too.

One of the most important aspects, therefore, in the construction and layout of this blog, is my "Blog List" in the sidebar.

I had been so unexpectedly hungry to find new blogs as soon as I scratched the surface. And yet... they were so hard to find! Each newfound blog felt like a brand new portal into the horse world for me, full of new discoveries and ideas.

Ellie Mae was very fun for making the rounds at the local schooling shows too
So I wanted to collect all of those blogs in one easy to find place, easy to use and peruse for anyone else likewise interested and eager for more.

Thus. We finally get to my point today. "Good Reads."

I'm extremely fond of my blog list, updating and adding to it often. I try not to let it become too "curated" tho. I don't really want to be a "gate keeper" or "taste maker," handing down judgement on which blogs make the cut and which don't. Rather, I try to collect them as I find them, to share with anyone else looking for more to read.

My only real criteria is that I, personally, am less interested in commercial type blogs. Sponsored posts, paid content or teams of professional writers.... Those are all well and fine, but trend more in the direction of the Equus or Practical Horseman examples I wrote about above. They're less relatable and compelling to me as an individual rider on my own horse journey.

lad was one of my all time faves from rochester, and my days with him were what made me gravitate to a horse like charlie
There are SO MANY great bloggers now too. Even just this month I've found and added like.... 7 or 8 more. And I'm always surprised when I find one that has apparently already been well known to other readers for some time now.

SO. My question and request to all of you who also love reading and following along with equestrian blogs: Can you help me out? What are some of your favorite blogs? What am I missing from the sidebar? Care to share any new (or not so new!) links with me?? Do you have a blog that isn't already listed??

Or, if you don't necessarily have any links to share, maybe you can tell me about how you go about discovering new blogs? Or, more generally, what is it that draws you to reading equestrian blogs? How did you find this community, and what does it mean to you?

72 comments:

  1. A bit difficult query.
    I follow the Blue chip winners of Horse & Country TV, on FaceBook. There is a competition/reality show of average riders like me, like you, with real life, who compete with their horses at a show organised by UK Horse &country TV. Part of their contract is that they have to keep vlogging, usually on facebook.
    It will be culturally different than your blog, because it is British, but it is quite interesting. Yes they have a sponsor, but it is more about everyday riding and struggles: lesson taken with eventer or dressage, struggling with kissing spines, juggling familiy and horse, the mud, more mud, short day etc..
    (sorry, english is not my native language).
    I highly recommend to watch the show, too.
    On Facebook, I follow : 50 Shades of Ginger: Ceri and Chim (she is local, so I know her), she had couple of good lessons with an eventer rider, you might be intereted in. Ella Knight - The real life of an Equine, Flint the Dutch Warmcob.
    They post lots of video.
    It is not exactly what you ask for, but I thought you might be interested, as they all do cross-country.

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    1. oooh that sounds very interesting about the competition and resulting vloggers! and the culture difference isn't a big deal, i doubt, as there are actually quite a few international blogs i follow (in the UK, Europe, Australia, South Africa, etc) and it's always really cool to see what's different and what's the same in horse keeping and riding across different countries.

      i personally am not on facebook and i don't believe those feeds can be tracked by the blogger blog list widget, but other readers might definitely be interested in following along on facebook!

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    2. For the competition, many riders had OTTb, one fresh of the track. Last year winner, had the best trained horse and a bit flashy. Many thought it was a bit unfair. The contestants have lessons with some of best trainers in the UK in dressage and SJ, they were also tested on biting, on saddle fitting, grooming. The stables had unplanned inspection, and the riders were marked down, if the stalls were dirty or messy etc... It is a fun watch. I bet you will love the accent!
      here is the link:
      https://horseandcountry.tv/blue-chip-all-star-academy/

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  2. EVERY time we have this conversation my heart swells a little bit. I just love this community so, so much! I don't think that I have any new blogs to add to your list, but the comment section of blogs I follow (and comments on my own blog) have been the major way that I found new bloggers. Engaging with others in the comments and then seeking out their blogs to find out more about them has been the primary way that I've grown my reading list and friendships.

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    1. agreed 1000% <3 i love reading all these bloggers and esp have loved getting to watch certain partnerships grow and evolve. and that community aspect has been so meaningful!

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  3. Your blog list was how I found the majority of the blogs I follow :) This is probably my favorite post to date that you have written because it says everything I feel about blogging in a much better way than I could. When I first started riding as an adult it seemed like everyone else out there was on $20,000 horses, riding in $6,000 custom saddles and with five different olympic level trainers. There was me on my $800 mare, in a $600 wintec saddle with no trainer at all. After finding some blogs out there with people more like me, it felt more doable all the time.

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    1. yea i definitely appreciate that feeling of "accessibility" that comes from watching other mere mortals working with what they got, and finding success anyway. as opposed to... say, the folks who have had every advantage in terms of expensive horses, expensive equipment, expensive coaching, and seemingly no other responsibilities in life. it's easy to believe that all those other advantages are what makes the difference in being successful or not.... but seeing normal ppl share their experiences has shown me that's not actually true!

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  4. I love this post!! And totally agree with you- blogging combines two of my favorite things in the world: talking about my horses and getting to know and follow other *real* horses and riders (aka not celebrities and pros). I am the worst at finding anything new- blogs, music, in style clothes, etc- but if you find a couple really great new blogs be sure to share!

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    1. anything new i find will definitely make it onto the blog list in the sidebar! and yea i love getting to be able to talk about my horses as much as i want lol!!!

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  5. My intro to blogging was through a friend who wrote a blog about cooking (which is no longer active) It seemed like an interesting thing to do so I joined Blogger and wrote a few posts. I dont even remember how I found those early blogs I started to follow bc I didn't actively search for them bc I didn't know that was even a thing. But after talking with House on a Hill Britt in 2014/15 (?) and she told me about this huge horse blog community I joined back and started finding and reading more blogs pretty much through blog sidebars and comments of blogs I follow. I don't think I've hit my stride with consistent blogging but I've really enjoyed reading following along and reading everyone's stories! It's nice to see other people having the same struggles and triumphs And is so much more personal and relatable as you said :) I've found I've been reading less books but more blogs as I've gotten more into this crazy fun world! And your blog is definitely one of my mainstays and how I find most of the other blogs I follow now bc you seem to read them all! Thanks for that :)

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    1. ha that's awesome!! i think it's really cool to find bloggers who just started blogging into the vacuum despite not knowing about others out there. there are a LOT like that too! tho they can be the hardest to find haha. i had already been following a lot of blogs (like Britt's!) for years before i started my own, so i def had an idea for pulling together the network a little bit.

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  6. I love your giant blog list. It's how I have found a lot of blogs! Since I'm still fairly new to this whole blogging thing, I rely on the few blogs that I do follow to help get me following more. I only follow 20 blogs or so right now, but I'm always adding to that number! The community of bloggers is incredible. I love the down to earth, real life topics of conversation that are made by real people. I've gotten so many awesome ideas about new things to try for my horse just by reading about what everyone else does. And I love that.

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    1. i love all the ideas i've gotten from blogs too. it's been esp useful bc there's just so so so much to learn about horses, more than any of us could ever learn in our own lifetimes. but with everyone sharing their experiences, it's been possible to learn right along with other folks about stuff that i haven't actually had the opportunity to personally experience.

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  7. I've gotten so much of my blog inspiration from your blog list. I always try to find new blogs via Wordpress's search function... but it is woefully unhelpful. Although, I will admit that Riding with Scissors was my originally "gateway blog" :-)

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    1. yea it's a surprisingly difficult genre to search for -- there's no real naming conventions or universal tags or whatever. i had a hell of a time searching any RSS feeds! these days there are a couple aggregators that try to collate blogs into one big list, but i find they're often incomplete, out of date, or just superficial glosses over the community.

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  8. Your list is how I found most of the ones I read today! I decided to start one of my own because I've always loved writing and this was my way to keep a sort of journal of frustrations, successes, and the intricacies of training an OTTB. Plus I really had nowhere to keep all the adorable (and not so adorable) pictures and videos of P. I didn't even make mine public for a few months, but I'm so glad I did!

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    1. omgosh i'm right there with ya on using the blog as a writing outlet, as well a digital photo album. like you, i also like to document my lessons in detail with the idea of gleaning as much possible value from each lesson as possible lol. getting to share with everyone tho makes it that much more fun!

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  9. I am so new to the blogging world (as in March 14 is when I started last year so almost a year yay!!) I find most of my blogs from your list to the right and also from other blogs I read. I literally cannot start my day without checking some of my faves out (I know what time the900facebookpony usually posts her blog in the am, so have my coffee ready, I know to check Fraidycat along with HunkyHanoverarian and CenteredinSaddle, and PatentlyBay, also SprinklerBandit and Amateuratlarge and Marescara. I check Ponyitude and Threechestnuts several times a week, I want to make PilgrimChronicles write more since she is a hoot, I love Guinessontap, Gingersnap and Roaming Rider and Clover Ledge, I stalk Purplemeg, Everythingpony, In Omnia Paratus, and House on a Hill, I just recently found Cob Jockey and many more that are escaping me right now. I love each and every blog that I have found and I try to add one or two new ones every week. I also may now be stalking many of you instagram too! I never thought I would write so much and have so much fun doing it. I am so indebted to you Emma for the bingo that started it all! Thanks :) Love all the old photos too :

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    1. yay i'm so glad you started blogging too!!! there's so many good ones out there and i love when folks feel inspired to get out there and add their own voice!!

      also, if you're looking for ways to keep stalking your favorites more easily -- you might consider a feed reader like Feedly or Bloglovin. i use feedly, and it's super easy to use: you can set up your account such that it captures all your favorite blogs and keeps posts organized so you never have to miss a thing. highly recommend!

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  10. I've heard so many stories like this from people, it really is great motivation to keep blogging (cuz lets be honest sometimes its hard and sucks). Not sure if you have these two yet: https://notallunicornsarewhite.wordpress.com and https://eventingamoose.wordpress.com

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    1. thanks for the links - those are both new to me and will get added to the feeds! and yea, remembering just how inspired i was, just how eye opening finding these blogs was to me... it definitely helps me stay motivated to keep it up too.

      i know a lot of bloggers often feel like "why should i bother writing the boring, mundane, nitty gritty stuff - who could possibly care?" as if there's some concern about feeling like we're somehow so important, our egos are so big, that we think the world should know about trotting our green horse over his first pole and not dying. but... i don't see it that way at all. i see it as the opposite: it's been so empowering for me to read about all the small intermediary steps everyone goes through on their path to hopeful greatness. that you can't just wake up one day and jump 3'6. and that anyone who takes the time for the small steps (and is willing to share that with anyone else interested) is still on the path to doing something really special with their horses. and that there's enjoyment to be found in the "boring" stuff too.

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    2. I'm also dealing with motivational issues with the blog right now as life gets crazy. Emma, you're inspiring me to get back to it!

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  11. You said that you don't do Facebook, so you won't be part of the Equestrian Bloggers group on there. It seems that a large chunk of the members are from the UK or Scandinavia, so that is a whole bunch of new blogs to investigate. You can find a bunch of them here - http://hay-net.co.uk/blog-directory/

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    1. Oooh - a really funny one is Dalarna Farm - mostly on Facebook, but some tales posted to her website http://www.dalarnafarm.com/hilarity/. Not horse related specifically, those she does have some, but more about a menagerie of other farm animals that many horse people could relate to. What horse person doesn't understand the misery of boob hay?

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    2. oh nice!! the facebook feeds are tough bc they don't operate technically in the same way as the blogger widget, so they can't be added to the list in my sidebar. good to know about the blog tho!

      and yea i'm actually familiar with Hay Net (my blog is featured there as well). aggregators can be tough sometimes bc they can end up feeling impersonal or end up capturing a lot of out of date or incomplete details about blogs, but Hay Net definitely is one of the good ones!

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  12. I've definitely found a majority of new blogs from comments on other blogs or new to me bloggers participating in more established bloggers exchanges or blog hops!

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    1. ditto! i love finding new blogs through hops!

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  13. I started blogging just as an easy way to keep track of my lesson notes and goals. The first time someone commented, I was actually sad/scared, because I didn't like the feeling that someone was actually reading! What if it was some crazy internet stalker?!Or the not so nice crowd like on Facebook, CoTH, or the fugly blog? Of course, once I clicked on their blog I was excited...so many other normal people out there like me :) I use your reading list nearly every morning for blog links, thank you for that :)

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    1. yea i know what you mean about the nerves of operating on a platform that can be plagued by nastiness and judgement like what often happens on fb or coth. that's.... not at all what i ever hope to see in this blogging community! so far tho there's been very little of that that i know of!

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  14. I love scrolling through people's blog lists on their sidebars. I always keep an eye on them when I'm reading posts in case I see something new pop up.

    This post makes me miss the old helmet cam footage days of swearing and general malarkey. I wonder if they're allowed in dressage so they can catch all the shit I mutter under my breath as my horse goes frolicking sideways when he's not supposed to. OR I COULD JUST MOVE BACK TO AREA II WHERE I DON'T HATE EVERYONE IN EVENTING YAY I VOTE YES!

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    1. i think you definitely need to make helmet cam dressage a thing. seriously tho. i think my favorite one-liner from one of your videos was like... actually years ago, you and Bobby were racing around some novice or another, and there was a skinny built in between two trees. and on approach all i hear is you yelling "SUCK IT IN FATTY!!!" to bobby.... lolz..... #memories

      but also yea, come back to area II!!!!!!

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    2. That was actually up here in Geneseo the first year we moved up here. #epic Maybe if all the horrible eventing people up here just vacated the area I'd give it the old college try. I'm sure the Opie commentary would be colorful though probably more along the lines of, "You're going to kill us if you don't remember wtf feet are, bro."

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  15. I can't remember how or why I found some equestrian blogs- I remember that Viva Carlos and Poor Woman Showing and She Moved to Texas were some of the first I read. I creeped on tons of blogs before I started my own, and I continued to creep for months before I started to comment on them!

    I really enjoy Allie of Rocking E Cowgirl's blog- she's another Oklahoma equestrian who runs a boarding barn in a college town and rides western! I met up with her for trail ride last year and she was delightful.

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    1. oh nice!!! i've got her added to the list now too!! and yea i used to creep for years too, but then started commenting regularly once i had my own blog up.

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  16. YES!! These are all the reasons I love blogging, too. The community is something that I try to explain to friends and it's just...difficult to put into words.

    I love reading the mundane, everyday posts. They are so much better and more personal - I love feeling as though I can get to know these people that I've never met. (And then I do get to meet some of them in real life and it feels like meeting a celebrity)

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    1. agreed completely in loving the personal aspect of it, and getting to know each blogger better. having gotten to meet a few in person i know exactly what you mean - and it's always been as if we're already old friends lol.

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  17. I don't have anything new for you, but I really loved reading this post. The community I stumbled into here has been LITERALLY life changing. The horse I ride, the saddle I ride in, the trainer I ride with, the friends I have... NONE of these things would have come if it weren't for blogging. Very serendipitous!

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    1. that's so cool, and i'm right there with ya! i'd more than likely still be taking weekly lessons at an h/j barn if it weren't for this blog. not that there's anything wrong with that, but i've really found my niche in being so much more independent in the eventing world. i also maybe wouldn't have had the opportunity to become such great friends with my barn family.

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  18. I don't even ride anymore - I just stalk and live vicariously through you and all the other fun horse bloggers out there. I specifically come to your site all the time because you link to so many good ones!! One stop shopping for me! ;)

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    1. aw yay, i'm glad to hear that! it's definitely a good way to get a fix when horses aren't otherwise fitting into our lives!

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  19. This is going to date me severely, but I got into following equestrian blogs back in the Livejournal days in the mid 2000s. There was a thriving equestrian community group and I started friending them and following their personal journals. Then, as LJ dwindled in use, I followed them to either facebook or to Blogger and Wordpress. I'm only just now really finding the community here and it's great!

    My first big blog that I was devotee of was Fugly Horse of the Day and it was amusing watching all the drama that spun off of it. The one blog I've been following from the beginnging is A collection of Madcap Escapades and Dom. I learned about the endurance community through her and found more endurance bloggers as a result.

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    1. there are a lot of really good endurance blogs out there! and it was a sport i basically knew nothing about before starting to read them! also i hear ya on the amusing drama from sites like fugly horse of the day, tho i gotta admit that i'm pretty grateful that's not much of a feature within this horse community. i love posting my fail pictures too much to worry about someone turning it into a laughing stock!!

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  20. I love this a lot! I started blogging in 2009, believe it or not, but I was in the fashion/lifestyle genre and had no idea this community existed. I gradually moved away from that area and all their commercialization/full time blogging as a career into this area in grad school, but wasn't really riding much (hello grad school budget).
    The really fun thing about it all is that blogging and reading everyone's blogs (Amanda, yours, Allie, Hillary, Stephanie, Britt...) is what made me decide that eventing sounded fun and like what I wanted to try once I had the budget to ride again. And here we are, eight months later and I love it. Reading everyone's blogs who was eventing made it seem attainable, affordable (as affordable as horses can be...), welcoming - like I didn't have to have an $80,000 horse to compete, but it was a sport where hard work really did matter and the average amateur could be successful.

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    1. definitely feel ya on eventing seeming more attainable than other horse sports. that's basically how i felt when i had this super cool, super game arab on my hands. like, what on earth am i supposed to do with this random horse that definitely isn't gonna be a hunter??? but that could be successful??? turns out, eventing was a great fit!

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  21. Your list is a great one. I totally click on sidebars all the time when I'm looking for a new read. And I agree. The horse blogging community is SO GREAT. Like, so positive and interesting and supportive. I love learning from everyone. :)

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    1. this community.... it's just so freakin wonderful!

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  22. Your list is how I found a bunch of bloggers as well, and I love it! I want to keep up with them all but I find sometimes I don't have the time. Which does work out because not everyone posts all the time! But I do love your blog sidebar. It does exactly as you want - allows others to delve into new stories and new experiences that can help your own :).

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    1. yea it can be hard to keep up. do you use a feed reader like feedly or bloglovin? it can keep track of all the new posts from your favorite blogs so that you can go back and read them when you have time -- and therefore never have to miss anything! that's basically how i do all my reading, honestly.

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  23. Nowadays I tend to find new blogs when others link to them or through my gift exchange (because, lazy).

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  24. Yes to this whole post! I love reading these blogs because they are so relatable and sometimes inspirational. I see CobJockey owning 1st level and I want to as well (shit - they're half brothers after all!). I see you incorporating multiple trainers into your education and I see possibilities for myself. Bloggers write about the loss of a loved person or animal and I feel deeply for them. It's such a great community.

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    1. yesssssss that's exactly how i felt. seeing other bloggers going out and doing cool shit suddenly made me feel like maybe i could do that cool shit too! stuff i'd never even really considered for myself. all bc these folks are out there writing about themselves and their horses in real, down to earth terms that helps me relate.

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  25. I quite enjoy your good reads list as well, mostly because there are people from all types of backgrounds and different disciplines. It makes me think twice (and three times) about what I take for granted and also what I'm missing out on, in the equine world. This also goes without saying but no one can commiserate with your horsey woes like equine bloggers can

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    1. tis very true! getting to see how other people experience horses in totally different geographic regions / sports / lifestyles can be very eye opening!

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  26. I have found so many of the blogs I read through your list! I find reading blogs super interesting and inspiring. It's also nice to know that so many other people have similar experiences and issues to what I have too, even if they are half way across the world! Thank you for writing what you do :)

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    1. yay that's great! and it's definitely heartening to see that.... none of us are really in a vacuum with our horses. and that everyone has some similar problems, but also some good ideas for solutions etc too!

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  27. Oh boy there are so many! I tend to add to many that I don’t have time to reply to comment. Bad me! I have five favourites though! ;)

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    1. that's great! i like making time to comment on other blogs bc i love getting comments too

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  28. I'm an avid blog reader but not blog writer! The first blog I started reading was Tucker the Wunderkind (where are you Marissa and Tucker I miss reading about you!)and thats how I found your blog which I love. I use your list as a "jumping" point to a lot of other reads now,your list is great!

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    1. aw i miss Marissa too. tho she's come back after a lengthy hiatus before, so i'm keeping her in my sidebar just in case!!!! it could happen!!!

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  29. I read this on my blog reader earlier today and had some links prepared to post for you but looking at your sidebar I think you already read them all! I am newer to actually blogging regularly but have been a lot like you; slowly discovering new reads and going back through them when I have time. I'm a barn mate of Tracy at Printable Pony and I think after learning about that I searched around and found more to read! It's so fun to learn about people's history with riding. Most all of the blogs I read I discovered through other people's sidebars and also through Wordpress's suggestions, as well as Instagram.

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    1. that's great! and i'll definitely get yours added to the list too! that's so cool that you're barn mates with Tracy, seems like you guys have such a great group up there!

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  30. Oh I love this. None to add right now - but I think I got started with FHOTD and then Mugwump Chronicles (I'm so excited she's writing again). I also remember a blog with a connemara called Mckenna that was basically my #ponygoals, and then another with this big dapple grey TB (or Irish something?) that the author was eventing and I just thought they seemed so legit. I didn't have a list back then, and who knows how I found what I read, but I fell off the wagon until I graduated college, moved home and had a lot of time on my hands. Eventually found She Moved To Texas and didn't read anything else for a long time, but in the past year or so I've been slowly rebuilding a list of regular reads (and also gotten back to riding semi-regularly!). I love that you acknowledge others in this little sphere who've influenced you - it makes the community seem that much more alive beyond it's separate pieces/blogs :)

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    1. i'm excited mugwump is writing again too - i had just gone through my list to drop off a couple that hadn't updated in forever and was wondering if it was time for that one too... but i held off. and then like, the next day she updated! go figure lol....

      and i love the community feel too - honestly it's definitely alive and well. so many of the individual authors have since had opportunities to meet others. i've personally met like... maybe even a dozen other bloggers by now? and it's been SO COOL

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  31. I am a very long time lurker of yours.. Like you I think I started with Behind the Bit and Team Flying Solo (I don't think she blogs at all anymore but I loved hers) which then quickly turned into many many more. I started my blog when I bought my 2nd OTTB because I really wanted to have something to look back on to track our progress. This way when I was just about to murder him I could look back on all the other awful things he used to do and feel better. I unfortunately don't update it often so it turns into a bit of word vomit. I'm hoping this year to be a bit better about this. Thanks for your sidebar! Your's is the first blog I open in the morning to catch up on everyone's entries!

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    1. yea it's been a while for team flying solo.... tho i'm keeping them on my list too just in case! glad you're blogging about your ottb's progress - i love having my old posts to look back on and reference as a gauge for progress. the more often you update, the easier it is to see the positive steps!!!! :D

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  32. I will totally cop to trolling your list for more blogs to read. :) But I've been reading horse blogs for ages - if I had to guess, Dom is probably the one I've read longest, since I kinda followed her over here from Livejournal. I pick up new blogs periodically and discard old ones when they haven't posted in hugely ridiculous long times. (I think once a year I go, "Huh, haven't heard from that blog in a long-ass time..." and might go delete it if I'm bored? Maybe? lol)

    I actually don't keep a blogroll right now because I use Netvibes as my Google Reader replacement. I'm using the free version, which means a couple of hour delay between when bloggers I read post and when I actually see it, but it does mean I don't have to go hunt anyone down unless I want to comment. (Or realize they haven't posted in forever.) It does mean that I'm a little picky about what blogs I follow, since some of them just... cannot make with the feed in a format that Netvibes can read, but that's OK.

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  33. Sometimes I feel very "alone" in my horse obsessive tendencies, and it is a relief to know that I"m not the only one going through these experiences. :)

    This is a really interesting point, as I don't show my blog roll on my own page...probably need to fix that!

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  34. I love this. You are so right, and while I started blogging originally as a way to document by journey with my Standardbred mare, it morphed into something so much more. I look forward to reading everyone's blogs and love having an online community of horsey "friends" that lift me up and make me smile. As an adult ammy with my horses at home, it can be very isolating and reading blogs from people *just like me* with the same struggles and hopes and dreams feels really inclusive and lovely. :-)

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  35. When I'm having a long day at work, I actually check out the sidebars of people's blogs to find new ones :)

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  36. First, I'm thrilled that my own little piece of blogosphere was on this list. And second, I love the list on the right side of Fraidy Cat Eventing! It's been my go-to whenever I am looking for a new read. So thanks for spending the time putting all this together!!! Very helpful :D :D

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  37. Totally agree! I love following along with people like me - with jobs and other responsibilities outside of horses. It's such a fun little community! I enjoy reading other people's blogs almost as much as writing my own!

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