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Sometimes it seems that the biggest lessons horses teach us have nothing to do...

BY PONYMOMAMMY It’s easy to overlook how much we learn from horses every day. I’ve been riding my whole life, and still have a new takeaway from every lesson. While the mechanics and nuances are...

Toxic Trainer Relationships: What to Watch Out For When Finding the Best For You...

BY JESS CLAWSON A toxic trainer can kill someone’s love of riding faster than just about anything. From verbal to sexual abuse to simply playing favorites, trainers who are negative influences in our lives do...

The Breyer Model Horse That Sold for $22,000

BY LAUREN MAULDIN Every summer before the hunter/jumper crowd flocks to the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Summer series, a group of folks comes to show with a very different kind of string—model horses! BreyerFest, a...

30 Tack Rooms That May Be Nicer Than Your House

Tack rooms. It's where we throw our piles of tack and stacked up saddle pads that need washing. There's usually a barn cat or a corgi curled up by the window, and at least...

Where Have All the Barn Rats Gone?

BY PONYMOMAMMY Lately, I’ve heard a lot of talk about how young riders have changed since when I grew up.  What happened to the good ol’ days where barn rats ran amuck for hours on...

I Would Like to Introduce Myself

BY LAUREN KARDEL It has been impossible to ignore the responses of the horse community to George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement. From my home in Eastern Holland, I am broadsided with...

16 Things Your 16 Year Old Should Be Able to do by Themselves

BY PIPER KLEMM Sixteen is an important age for any teenager. Beyond “Sweet Sixteen,” the milestone means driving for most of America’s youth… the first real step into independence and adulthood.  But in the equestrian industry,...

Ask The Judge: What’s the First Thing You Notice When a Rider Enters the...

BY ELLEN SHEVELLA When asked what’s the first thing I notice when a horse and rider walk into the ring, the obvious answer is turn out. I probably care less about what color the rider’s coat...

Real Ribbon Displays to Get Inspiration for Showcasing Ribbons in Your Home

Special ribbon boxes make colorful accent furniture for your home. Plus, they give plenty of room to stack piles of glorious satin. But you don't have to get expensive furniture for this look. Check...

How I Got Lured Into Terrible Behavior By My Toxic Trainer

BY CORRINE MARTIN Here's the thing about gut instincts—they tend to be accurate.  Jen (names have been changed) was the big time trainer. We met before my first big show, and she came off as… quiet....

There May Be No Future Horse Trainers: An Inside Look at a Young Professional’s...

BY AN ANONYMOUS YOUNG TRAINER I frequently hear horse trainers complain about their young assistants. Their criticisms include things like, they don’t work hard enough, they get burnt out too quickly, they’re too slow, they...

The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself is a Trainer Who Believes in You

BY LAUREN MAULDIN Here are some things you can commonly hear come out of my trainer's mouth (often during my own lesson): Don't rock your hips like that. That's so ugly! Stop that! You're ruining my horse! Of...

25 Horse Tattoos Like You’ve Never Seen Before

BY LAUREN MAULDIN While I spend a lot of time in pretty, traditional equestrian clothing, I still love tattoos. I've got a small collection of animal and literary inspired ink, but recently added a new...

There Will Be No Future Horse Trainers If All You Want to Do is...

BY SARAH MECHLIN DUHON I feel strongly that everyone should be treated fairly and with kindness. The article “There May Be No Future Trainers: A Look at a Young Professional’s Burnout” by an anonymous young...

Riders, Body Image and “The Look”

BY RENNIE DYBALL A couple weeks ago, I went to my local tack shop for spur straps and somehow found myself in the dressing room, mentally debating whether to buy a new show coat that...

Exercises to Build Your Horse’s Topline

BY EMILY MILLER When I purchased my 2011 Warmblood cross mare, Dixie, in 2017 she was very green under saddle and unbalanced in her gaits. She was particularly weak in her back and didn’t know how to...

Tips for Teaching 3 Common Canter Transition Mistakes Beginners Make

BY JENN ZALA Personally, it drives me nuts to see beginners struggling with canter transitions.  The kiss of death is when the horse winds up in a fast trot around the ring. It can be...

The Dark Underground of Horse Show Costs in the USA

BY A FED UP HORSE OWNER The letter to the editor was sent anonymously to The Plaid Horse. We’ve all heard it. Many of us have said it. The rising costs of rated shows in...

Horse Shows Will Resume With New “Lead Changeless” Hunter Division

April 1st, 2020 - Equestrians eagerly awaiting the return of horse show season will have something extra to look forward to—a new hunter division to debut when shows resume. During the extra downtime with...

Karl Cook on How to Fix Our Horse Shows

TRANSCRIBED BY ELYSE SCHENK “Horse shows are absurdly expensive.” “It’s almost impossible to win enough prize money to pay off a week of horse showing.” “We have an embarrassing lack of Grand Prix spectators.” Who else is tired...

Inside the Numbers: How Much Does Pony Finals Cost?

BY 2019 PONY FINALIST Attending Pony Finals is a dream shared by many young equestrians. A trip in the Walnut Ring, the chance for a coveted top 20 ribbon, friends and ponies everywhere—it makes sense...

What They Don’t Tell You About Horseback Riding

BY TAYLOR SANTOSUOSSO  “Try horseback riding lessons,” they said. “Horses keep you out of trouble,” they said. Well, what they don’t tell you about horseback riding is that being a “horse girl” can be hard. Anyone who claims...