The talented contingent of COTH bloggers kept readers glued to their screens this year with everything from humorous guides for dating, to reflections on what it means to grow up alongside these wonderful, enigmatic creatures we call partners. Here are our top 10 countdown for the best blogs of 2018:
The question “What horse would you want to ride in the event of a zombie apocalypse?” led Lindsey Long to reflect on what working at a breeding farm has taught her about the nature of mares.
“We collectively imagined a band of fierce mares taking down all enemies and establishing themselves as earth’s new leaders, while the geldings milled about their paddocks wondering why breakfast was late.”
Karen Hopper Usher was a newcomer to COTH blogs this year. In her inaugural post, she offered a candid account of her experience looking for her next horse as a plus-sized amateur coming off an extended break from riding.
“I felt overwhelmed by the task of finding a local trainer to help me. Finding a trainer whose horsemanship values match mine is one thing. But I was also looking for somebody who doesn’t fat-shame and doesn’t have subconscious fat-phobia.
“I didn’t want to accidentally hire somebody who saw only fat; who didn’t know how to look at my position in the saddle and see where my hip bones are.”
In a four-part series four-star eventer Matt Brown wrote openly about his struggles with depression after falling short of his goals and shared his strategies for pulling himself back to his feet.
“We can become consumed by the heartache and question ourselves: ‘What should I have done differently?’ ‘Where did I go wrong?’ After disappointment it can be hard to find the motivation to keep pushing forward.”
Chad Oldfather is known for his introspective pieces chronicling his experiences raising two horse-crazy daughters. He offered advice for other parents entering the horse world.
“You won’t always make the right decision. And, of course, even good decisions can have bad results. You’ll find yourself wishing you could go back and take a mulligan. Seems to me that it’s appropriate to dwell some on your mistakes, in the hopes that you can avoid making them in the future. But also that you shouldn’t dwell on them too much.”
Isabela de Sousa joined the COTH blogging crew to document her journey to the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project Makeover with famous race mare Zenyatta’s first colt, Cozmic One.
“I’ve been mainly working on him slowing down—mentally and physically—and having fun. In order for him to do that, we have to keep him occupied! Coz likes to think that everything comes easy for him (he went over his first jump without hesitation), so we have to keep changing up our routine, so he doesn’t get too bored.”
COTH reporter Ann Glavan made the countdown again, this time with her humorous take on how best to show on the winter Wellington circuit without breaking the bank.
“You tell people your job sends you to south Florida for the winter, and they picture this lavish lifestyle of fancy parties and yachts, weeks spent petting pretty show ponies and weekends at the beach sipping Mai Tais, snacking on the giraffe filets and dolphin chops.
Allow me, a Terribly Unfancy Person, to set the record straight.”
Alice Peirce pretty much says it all in her first lines of this humor blog.
“Dearest beloved horse,
“They say there is no such thing as love at first sight, but when I gazed upon your feces-encrusted, conformationally-challenged physique, I knew you were the one for me.”
The first of our top three also goes to Alice Peirce for her humorous guide to anybody thinking about courting an infamous “horse girl.”
“It takes a strong man to forge the long haul with an equestrian—probably a man who is punishing himself for something he did as a child. If you think that just maybe you have what it takes to be one of these men, it would be only fair to give you a quick rundown of what you might expect on an average first date with a professional horse minion.”
Liz Arbittier bought a senior horse sight unseen. When he arrived at her farm, she realized he had a much more complex history than the seller had indicated. The rest of the story is a cautionary tale, but luckily, it has a happy ending.
Lauren Sprieser won this category by a tremendous margin. Her poetic plea, “Parents, let your daughters grow up to be horse girls” reminds us all that horses reward us with far more than ribbons and prize money.
Check out all of our Best of 2018 posts, and make sure you follow @chronofhorse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with everything happening in the horse world in the new year.