Meet HN’s Newest Bloggers!

Last month we launched a contest to find Horse Nation’s Next Top Blogger. Which quickly turned into Blogger(s), plural.

We received so many quality entries it proved impossible to select just one new writer. So we narrowed it down… to nine.

Hey, it was the best we could do! These talented writers represent a diverse range of equestrian experiences–eventing, racing, mounted games, western, the list goes on–and hail from all around the world, literally, from the U.S. and Canada to Australia. We here at Horse Nation know that our reader demographic is a vast and varied one so we’re excited to bring on new writers who will give the HN voice a greater range and depth. We look forward to getting to know these writers better in the coming weeks and months and we hope you do, too.

Allow us to introduce you:

Holly Mooney is 30-year-old aspiring eventer who lacks the bravery necessary for her sport. Her quarter horse Emmy is an absolute professional who has competed through Beginner Novice with her previous owner. Emmy is still trying to convince Holly of the proper speed, tempo and distances for cross country. While her lifelong dream was to own a horse and compete, Holly often finds herself thinking, “Oh my god, what have I done?” (See Holly’s first column here.) Luckily, her chestnut mare is a much better eventer than she is.


Holly and Emma, all smiles after a show-jumping round.

Joyleen Seymour: I’m a horse person and a writer. I’ve been riding for 42 years and teaching lessons for 31 years. I was a working student at Fulmer International and hold a British Horse Society Assistant Instructor’s Certification. I consider myself a recovering event rider. I’m leasing a 14-hand 12-year-old Connemara mare, who I ride in Mounted Games, in the fossil division. In my spare time I write crime fiction as J.E. Seymour. I’ve had roughly 25 short stories published, and one novel, Lead Poisoning, published by Mainly Murder Press in November of 2010. My second novel, Stress Fractures, is under contract with Barking Rain Press, with a release date in May of 2014.


Joy and Chloe playing Bottle at Mid Atlantic Two, June 2013. Photo credit to Equistar Photography.

Heather Benson is a former racetrack executive, professional handicapping analyst and owner of a Triple Crown winner (well, at least a horse that played one in a movie). But far more importantly, she is a is still that girl who gets giddy when the starting gate opens and cries every time she watches a replay of Secretariat’s Belmont Stakes. Join her each month as she takes you on a journey through the world of horse racing, from top to bottom, with a little bit of everything in between!


Heather: “Me and my ‘Triple Crown winner,’ a.k.a. Cyclone Larry, taken at the North Dakota Horse Park in 2009. He was a racing prospect I owned that failed utterly as a racehorse but was cast in the role of ‘Secretariat’ in the 2010 Disney movie by the same name.”

Lauren Morris is a 28-year-old Project Manager for a historic restoration company. She lives on a small farm in Virginia, along with her husband, their 20-month-old daughter, and a veritable cornucopia of pets and livestock. She is a Type-A overachiever who thrives on deadlines and limited amounts of sleep. With experience showing hunters, her current riding goals include re-establishing fitness following pregnancy and enjoying the more casual-side of riding outside of the show ring.


Lauren and Toy (Misplaced My Hailo)

Karlie Mitchell: I am from Alberta, Canada and live on a farm with my equine crew (a Paint, QHx Arab, and two OTTBs). I mainly do English and jumping, but also enjoy western and trail riding. I love riding, training, learning about Equine Science related topics, and having a great time with my horses.


Lindsay Rausch learned to ride at a young age from her mom who had been a trainer and horsemanship instructor in a previous life. Lindsay has always been a western trail rider, and even though she has not owned a horse of her own she has always looked for any chance to get a leg in the saddle. She is currently setting up a 10-acre farm for cattle and horses. Lindsay would love to hear questions that readers have about the western world that she could research for the Horse Nation.


Lindsay with a 6-month-old orphaned foal

Kat O’Riley: I’ve heard that fortunate people have one great passion in life; aside from dark chocolate and my husband–not necessarily in that order!–mine has been “everything equine.” Beginning with lessons as a kid, I’ve been lucky enough to break a variety of bones riding a wide selection of breeds, in a number of disciplines–from TB racehorse (clavicle) to eventing Appaloosa (tibia) to endurance Arabian (ribs). It’s also been my privilege to play Ponybutler to my own hooved beasties on a succession of scarily rustic farms, over the past 20 [very] odd years. The dream continues!

Val's Pictures

Kat and her ex-hunter pony partner of 14 years (Provincial Velvet a/k/a the Amazing Velveeta a/k/a “Velvet, NO!!”).

Carrot Top is a photo shy Australian who likes horses, riding of all disciplines, and colourful mis-matched socks. She and her mother each own 1 ½ horses (one cheeky young gelding, one wise older mare and another mare who frequently disproves the “crazy chestnut mare” stereotype). When Carrot Top’s family, friends, colleagues, strangers she meets on buses etc. have all tired of hearing about her horses, she turns to her blog Little Bay Horse. She was a horse-less horse-mad girl all through childhood, got her first horse at age 21 and has been making up for lost time ever since.

home before dark

Jenni Nguyen is a full-time mom, wife and horse freak. Though she does yet not have an equine companion of her own, she enjoys spending her time in the company of some very patient horses who are subjected to her frequent follies. She hopes to become an eventer, as soon as she can stop being such a spaz. Please don’t ask why her car smells like a barn; she gets enough of that from her mother.


Go Riding.


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