How Self-Conscious Riders Can Feel More Confident Riding in a Crowded Ring

BY DIANA BEZDEDEANU  I don’t like to ride in the arena with others (hence why I could never sign up for group lessons). I am self-conscious of my own abilities, constantly comparing my riding to...

The Equestrians of Color Photography Project: Bay Collyns, Christopher Cervantes & Tahira Carrol

The Plaid Horse is proud to introduce some of the photo project’s featured equestrians to our readers in each issue. In 2020, a group of photographers came together to create the Equestrians of Color Photography...

New Year’s Horse Resolution: I Resolve to Resolve

BY LI ROBBINS It’s been ages since I made New Year’s resolutions. I fell out of the habit for the obvious reason—I probably won’t keep them. Still, I always like to feel I’m making progress...

How an Ordinary Day Saved My Life from Depression

BY BELLA NYE The harsh alarm on my phone lights up the room and reminds me that it’s 4:30am. Time to get out of bed. But it's pitch black and dead silent outside, and I...

Always a Team: The Leone Brothers – The Beginning

BY ANN JAMIESON Starting Out Horses were in their blood. One of their grandfathers was in the cavalry. Their mother, Rita, loved horses and exploring the trails winding through Central Park. It all began long before...

Age is Just a Number

BY DIANA BEZDEDANU There is a saying that "the eyes are the windows to the soul." For my OTTB mare, her teeth are a window to her true age.  When we first inquired about her in...

When Santa Brings a Pony: Stories Past and Present from Adult Amateurs

You are never too young (or too old) to ask for a pony for Christmas. Many of us still have that on our holiday wish lists, year after year. Though a horse is a...

How Taking Antidepressants Improved My Riding

BY LAUREN MAULDIN In a circle of people I'm comfortable around, I've always been fairly vocally opposed to psychiatric medication. I declared they're over-prescribed and rarely taken alongside proper counseling/talk therapy. The majority seek happiness...

OTTB A Grand Offer Finds a New Normal with Amateur Owner

BY ELIZABETH JANOSKI A Grand Offer Two things have preoccupied me most of my life: writing and animals, particularly dogs and horses. Finding myself advancing in years with a doting husband, loving son, three border collies, eleven...

How the Equestrian Community Can be More Size-Inclusive

One plus-sized rider’s perspective from 25+ years of being in and out of the equestrian world BY KAREN HOPPER USHER I’ve been riding for 25 years. First as a chubby, then fat, then obese equestrian. Along...

The Show Should Not Go On: Why Horse Showing in Inclement Weather Isn’t a...

BY MEREDITH ANN SIMMONS Crack. Pop. Whoosh. The wind was knocked out of me as I hit the ground. I didn’t need a doctor to tell me—I already knew I had broken my ankle. When a...

Keeping the Barn Trauma-Free

BY ANONYMOUS Safety should be everyone’s priority in their barn. I used to feel safe in my barn. I used my barn as an escape, a blissful place where I felt peace and decompressed from my...

Dreams to Reality: a Life Learning the Love of Horses

BY NIECA LINK As a child, I dreamt of horses. Dreams of riding in large open fields. Their mane flowing in the wind, seeming so free. On the school bus as a child, I would...

How an Average, Working Amateur on a Budget Ended Up Importing

BY LAUREN MAULDIN I've been a little hesitant to tell this story. After all, I've been writing for years about my deep love of OTTBs, what it's like to come up in this sport from...

Hip #572: How an Auction Pony Saved My Life

BY CHELSIE BROOKS In early December of 2018, I stood in the bathroom, half-dressed, hot curling iron in one hand shouting out instructions to my husband. We were running behind, partly because our 11-month-old took...

How Professionals Wish Clients Acted When They Leave a Trainer

BY PENELOPE GREEN An article went around on Facebook a while back about owning a small business and how that can lead to depression and anxiety.  Some of the worries include the costs of operating,...

Taking Care of Your Tack (and Yourself): The Importance of Self-Care for Equestrians

BY LINDSEY ANUZIS GAGE Like a Barbie collection, horses have all kinds of accessories—blankets, boots, bits and brushes. But the most important accessory is the one that allows us the ability to ride them, and...

How and Why Are Horses Used in Therapy

BY LINDSEY ANUZIS GAGE The therapeutic benefits of horses have long been recognized. Horses have been utilized in Hippotherapy for physical, occupational, and speech related treatment goals. Hippotherapy uses horses as a therapeutic agent for...

The Equestrians of Color Photography Project: Kamerra Brown-Allen

The Plaid Horse is proud to introduce some of the photo project’s featured equestrians to our readers in each issue. In 2020, a group of photographers came together to create the Equestrians of Color Photography...

Mindfulness Meditation While Mounted to Reduce Riding and Show Stress

BY LINDSEY ANUZIS GAGE Stress can be defined as physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension. It has also been defined as a condition or feeling experienced when a person believes that demands exceed the...

Haunted (and Helped) by a “Heart Horse”

BY LI ROBBINS When I was a teenager, which was… well, a while ago,  I competed in horse shows in and around Winnipeg, Manitoba. Boon, my ultra-calm Thoroughbred-Quarter Horse cross, often carried me to victory—notably...

Pro-Turned Ammy: Burned Out and Wondering What’s Next

BY SOPHIA JURGENS  And then it was over. The dream I had since childhood, since I was that little horse girl running around in muddy paddock boots and a glittery “I LOVE PONIES” t-shirt, was...