5 Things You Should Know About Planning for Your Horse’s Future

Five Things You Should Know Post

Back in February of this year, I lost a dear friend and mentor. As the anniversary of her death approaches I am reminded of an unintentional yet valuable lesson that she taught me. Continue reading

My Horse has a Love Interest and Other Important Truths that can Totally Wreck a Horse Show Performance


I’ve had some less than optimal horse show performances before but this one takes the prize.

We had been schooling since last show season. I had spent the better part of the week getting ready. By day I had worked my full-time job. By night, after a long day’s work and a training session with my horse, I cleaned tack. I packed. I clipped my horse and on the day before our departure I bathed her. The hotel reservations made, I journeyed off with my friend and horse show partner the evening before the show to get settled and to prepare for the early start ahead. Continue reading

Dealing with loss


Two friends recently lost treasured horses. I don’t envy what they are going through right now. It’s never easy. I love all horses and have wept for the loss of even those that I have not had quite the connection with that I have shared with others. But then there are those who somehow touch your heart. Those horses are the ones who become a part of your family. It’s easy to recognize that they changed your life for the better. Continue reading

The Importance of Mentors

Mentors Blog Post

Following a great training session, I bent down to remove the splint boots from my horse’s legs. As I loosened the fasteners I thought to myself, “I need to call Joanne. She would really love to hear about this.” Thirty years of doing something becomes a habit. I had forgotten for a brief moment, as I sometimes do, that back in May I had lost my longtime friend and mentor. I stopped when the realization hit me. Oh. Grief is sneaky like that. Even if you are well past the initial shock and feel as if you have made peace with it, it can come upon you at the most unexpected of moments.

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Jump Rehab 101

Although I’m late to the party, I recently added a tagline to my blog. After a year of contemplation it finally hit me what my blog was really and truly about. I’m a DIY, budget conscious equestrian and many of my blog posts strongly follow this theme. That’s why this week’s blog post is especially fitting. Continue reading

How to Change a Trailer Tire

Trailer Tire Change Post

I first learned tire changing skills from my father. I learned even more about this necessary skill later on while pursuing my undergraduate degree at MTSU. It was there, while studying toward my teaching certification in agriculture education, that I further honed this skill in my shop classes. In spite of my background, for this post I sat down with a real expert in the matter, Rick Barnes of Barnes Tire and Service Center Pros in Jasper, TN. For reference, Barnes is the co-owner and manager of the twenty year old family owned and operated business. Even if you’re experienced at this sort of thing, everyone needs a refresher and if you’ve never done it before, here’s what you need to know: Continue reading

Saddle Up for Scottsdale 2017: American Horse Publications Equine Media Seminar

The 2017 American Horse Publications Equine Media Seminar with its theme, Saddle Up for Scottsdale, lived up to all of my expectations and more. I attended sessions moderated and led by industry professionals on re-charging and re-inventing my freelance business, think tanks on topics ranging from re-purposing content to technology innovations, and even one on improving the business side of my blog. The sponsors were generous. I shipped home from Scottsdale a 33 lb box full of AHP swag. The silent auction was amazing.

But perhaps most importantly, I established a network with authors, recognized and beginners alike, along with editors, photographers, and other equine industry professionals. These individuals not only welcomed me with open arms but have been willing to share me their tips for success as they have firmly established themselves in this one of a kind industry. In this week’s blog post I thought to share with you all about my amazing journey. Continue reading

Rootin’ Tootin’ Cowboy Mounted Shooting for Greenhorns and Rank Beginners

Earlier this year, as I waffled back and forth trying to decide whether or not to attend the American Horse Publication’s Equine Media Seminar in Scottsdale, AZ, I received an email about a surprise pre-conference activity. Not long afterward, I learned just how special this surprise really was as an opportunity had presented itself to participate in an actual Cowboy Mounted Shooting Clinic. Right then and there I waffled no more. The decision was made. I. was. going. Continue reading

Tennessee Master Horse Program


As a young Extension Agent working for The Cooperative Extension Service at The University of Tennessee I was given the opportunity, at least in part, to choose a focus area for my programming efforts. One of my selections was an easy one, to find a way to give back even more to the equine community that had been so generous to me. As a middle school student I had taken advantage, alongside an adult 4-H Horse Project Volunteer Leader, of a six week horse owner education program designed to improve the knowledge and skills base of its participants. Believing that it could be of benefit to both the youth and adults that I served, I liked the idea of re-visiting this or a similar program during my own career in Extension.

As a student, anxious to immerse myself in all things horse, my first equine “short course” was an exciting opportunity to add to my mostly home grown knowledge about horses. As I had grown older and increased my level of education I had served as a volunteer leader in the 4-H Horse Project but now, as an adult charged with the responsibility of working with 4-H youth, I knew that I wanted to provide similar opportunities to those living in the county where I now worked. Though I had not attended a similar seminar in many years, I quickly made organizing one a top priority. To my delight, the course I had organized met the level of success with both the youth and adult participants that I had experienced while attending the program many years ago.

Over the years, as needs of the equine industry have changed and evolved, so has the statewide educational programming offered by UT Extension. Today, the newest equine program is called the “Tennessee Master Horse Program.”   Jennie Ivey, PhD, PAS, Assistant Professor, Extension Equine Specialist, The University of Tennessee Department of Animal Science oversees the program at the state level.  According to Dr. Ivey, “The TMHP was launched for public participation in October 2016. UT Extension has a strong presence in every county and does an excellent job of providing information to the public. The TMHP is a statewide program developed specifically for equine owners, business operators, and enthusiasts alike, and supplements the efforts from each of the counties individually.” Continue reading