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Weird Issue of "unTACKED" Magazine

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  • Weird Issue of "unTACKED" Magazine

    This September/October issue of "unTACKED" was very odd and I can't figure out whether an editor is making a statement which is not obvious to me, or if someone there is blind.

    The first thing was a large full-page photo of Rodolpho Riskalla on Warenne. The photo is at odds with the story, a sympathetic chronicle of Riskalla's bout with meningitis, his recovery, and then his remarkable re-training to become a very successful equestrian competitor. The problem is that the giant photo is the first thing you see and Warenne's expression is disturbing. He looks like he's in pain. Why would the editor choose that photo?

    Then there is an article on the evolution of bits which displays two large photos of beautifully-wrought instruments of torture as the prominent images accompanying the long article. There are other photos, but they are small and are action photos of horses jumping so the bit is not what catches your eye, and you can't see it anyway because it is in the horse's mouth.

    Finally, there is an article on bucking stock which features very healthy looking horses -- but -- they look pitiful standing in an absolute slog of mud. The article was positive.

    I was left feeling sad and slightly disturbed. Was it just me or is there a fight going on among the editing staff?
    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

  • #2
    I generally really like COTH the magazine, always find something interesting and much good to read, neat pictures, etc.
    Untacked has been ok, some times very good, until this time?
    I too was wondering, that was such a hard to follow issue and, well, seemed irrelevant to most anything horse but ads?

    Went in the trash right off, just nothing much in it of interest.
    First time ever for any such, really odd magazine, as you say.
    I pass my magazines to a friend, but I didn't figure there was anything of interest there.

    I was thinking, let's see what the next one brings, maybe it will explain this one?


    • #3
      I'd rather have weekly issues of COTH than that pretentious "lifestyle" rag. I flip thru and toss it. Waste of time and money. Bellisimo.😕 That's his style, not the average horseowner.


      • #4
        I don't "get" the purpose of Untacked. Like anyone else, I enjoy reading the random article about a famous, successful (and rich) equestrian, but the magazine often leaves the reader feeling left out and left behind. Maybe that is the point.


        • #5
          What OneTwoMany ^^^ said.


          • #6
            I think the magazine would be better if it focused on the horse. History, types of horses, what horses do in other countries. In depth articles about cool aspects of horses. Like what causes dapples. Interesting hair coats, genetics. Things you don't read much.

            If you want to keep it high end then try royal horses or something.


            • #7
              I think the purpose of UnTacked is to sell stuff. Expensive stuff. However, most of the stuff is out of my league--either the cost or the style.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Belowthesalt View Post
                I'd rather have weekly issues of COTH than that pretentious "lifestyle" rag. I flip thru and toss it. Waste of time and money. Bellisimo.😕 That's his style, not the average horseowner.
                Couldn't have said it better myself!
                "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive


                • #9
                  Generally, if it has horses, I am ok with practically anything.

                  When even I don't really care for something with horses in it, it is really not very good.


                  • #10
                    I thought it was interesting that there is so much thought and breeding that went into the Bucking horses. I also thought the pictures of the old bits was interesting. While they are not what we would use to do its still history. I skipped over the article about the guy.

                    and I do like to see the latest new items.


                    • #11
                      Untacked is at least part of the reason I dropped my COTH subscription - just did not feel I was part of the target demographic.


                      • #12

                        You cannot talk about the history of bitting without talking about the medieval stuff. They're beautiful pieces of art and interesting pictures. That doesn't mean you've got to use them now.

                        And the stock horse pictures look to have been taken at a rainy rodeo. The arena is muddy, the stock pens are muddy.

                        I dunno. They're filler articles for what's basically a glossy ad flier. 🤷


                        • #13
                          Oops! I enjoyed the articles, but then I already knew about the thought and care that went into the breeding of bucking stock. And they are part of the horse world. And they know and enjoy their job which is more than I can say about many privately owned horses.

                          The bits are history. And, worth knowing about. And every thread I read from people looking for bit help was brought to mind by the article.

                          No I can't afford the trinkets in the ads, nor can I see their worth in the scheme of things, but obviously some people do, along with $25,000 dresses.

                          Rodolpho Riskalla, is not a rich man, from rich background, his mother taught dressage. He was lucky enough and had talent enough to secure an excellent position with a supportive company, and obviously talented enough to have caught the eye, of a GP rider who in sympathy lent him a horse.

                          In his case the stars collided for his benefit.
                          Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                          Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                          • #14
                            I would like a "Tacked" magazine about tack! Articles about how its made, how to fit, etc. showcasing the latest and greatest even if I can't afford or need it, I welcome lots of tack advertisements with pictures. Also, would love a magazine with just equestrian real estate in case I win the power ball, otherwise I love looking at that even if I can't afford it.


                            • #15
                              In that last issue, it seemed that you could not find articles for the many pages of strange ads.

                              As someone already explained above, the magazine is for the ads, so that makes sense then.


                              • #16
                                Vanity Fair for the horsey set. Georgina Bloomberg and I do NOT share the same lifestyle.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Belowthesalt View Post
                                  Vanity Fair for the horsey set. Georgina Bloomberg and I do NOT share the same lifestyle.
                                  Heck, I even told Dover they could keep their catalog when it morphed into 200 pages of women's "fashion," shot all "artsy" to resemble Vogue. That, and helmets encrusted in crystals to look like a geode!

                                  The word in the ad industry for fluff like UnTacked is "aspirational." As in, aspire to max your credit cards for silly stuff you don't need and can't afford. They forgot, most of us gotta pay the hay man . . .


                                  • #18
                                    Vanity Fair is actually a pretty good magazine once you get past the ads. Has some serious articles. But Untacked is ALL fluff (though the article on the Brazilian rider was nice. Some years back, there was a PBR competitor from Brazil who, when asked what hobbies he had, rather than, say, calf roping or hunting or fishing, said, "show jumping.") Brazilian cowboys are not like American ones, apparently, thought I do believe Will Simpson (?) rodeoed before he got into jumping.

                                    As for bling - I've got a 16.2 Appaloosa dressage horse - he "carries" his own bling without any additions necessary LOL


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                      Generally, if it has horses, I am ok with practically anything.

                                      When even I don't really care for something with horses in it, it is really not very good.
                                      I have the last two issues of unTacked sitting on a table, thinking someday I'll look at them. I sincerely doubt it though. I'm with those who would love to see a weekly issue of COTH and let this rag go. It is pretentious and generally not very interesting, and I'm another who is okay with practically anything that has horses in it.
                                      Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Belowthesalt View Post
                                        Vanity Fair is actually a pretty good magazine once you get past the ads. Has some serious articles.
                                        I agree. Some of the ads might be over the top for most of us, but many of the articles are well written and very informative. Personally, I wouldn't insult VF by comparing them with Untacked.