Saturday, Sep. 23, 2023




The monster-sized garbage truck was headed straight for the horse I was riding down busy Columbus Avenue, at the height of evening rush hour on New York City’s Upper West Side. Gears grinding loudly, the vehicle kept chugging toward us as I maneuvered my horse as close as possible to the parked cars along the curb in an attempt to avoid a truck-horse-human collision.

The perpetually rearing wooden horse still stares out the enormous picture window oblivious to the constant bustle of New York City, just as he’s done since 1912. All around him, the world has changed. The once plentiful shops offering equestrian accouterments to clients with names like Rockefeller and Kennedy have disappeared, leaving Manhattan Saddlery as the sole surviving tack shop in the borough.

It was 8:45 p.m. on a Thursday evening. It was dark, wet and cold outside. I had 24 hours until the chili cook-off fundraiser I’d been planning for the Area II Young Riders, and the anxiety was setting in, as it always does before any function I plan.

I was doing my best to balance my time between my full-time job at Sinead Halpin Eventing, my part-time job at Prestige Saddles, my commitment to Young Riders, my part-time job teaching at River Edge Farm, and my personal commitment to fitness.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?


Sometimes you just need to stop thinking and start doing, says our columnist. 

After lying about her fitness level much of her adult life, our columnist weighs in with wit and wisdom on the hypocrisy of unhealthy equestrians.

The Board of Directors of the National Sporting Library and Museum has appointed Melanie Leigh Mathewes as its new executive director.

Mathewes served as the executive director of the Hermitage Museum & Gardens in Norfolk, Va., for the last eight years. During her tenure, she oversaw the first strategic plan for the Hermitage, which resulted in numerous improvements in the physical plant and a dramatic increase in membership and visitation.

Across the nation, equestrian programs built around everything from rodeos to rehoming Thoroughbreds to training wild mustangs are helping rehabilitate the incarcerated.

When Tamio Holmes was sentenced to prison on drug dealing charges in 2003, he hit rock bottom. He’d already spent more than two years behind bars starting in 1998, and now he was facing another eight.

“I felt like, ‘Screw you,’ ” Holmes says of the day the judge sentenced him.

From the moment the War Horse trailer first appeared online, the equestrian community spread the news like wildfire. By November, hype had reached an anticipatory crescendo: “War Horse—is it going to make us cry?”

I’d already received several emails promising tissue-stocked concessions at my local screening, and when at last I found myself in the darkening theater, a couple clad in paddock boots to my right, I resolved that—in case of tears—at least I was amongst compatriots.



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