Tredstep Best Staff Column of 2017

Which one is YOUR favorite?

Welcome to the 2017 Horse Nation Readers’ Choice Awards! For 2017, we’re giving readers the opportunity to look back at some of your favorite posts and articles from the past year and decide which of them deserves to win the ultimate year-end title.

For the Tredstep Best Staff Column of 2017, we’re taking another look at five columns authored by our Horse Nation staff writers. Check them out one more time and then vote in the poll below! Our Readers’ Choice Award winners will be announced on Friday, December 29.

The nominees are…

Fantasy Farm Thursday

Screenshot via YouTube

“Located just outside San Diego proper in Poway, CA, this 47-acre estate is everything you love about California architecture mixed with everything you’d ever want in a horse property, and then, you know, also a baseball field. Aside from some concerns about fly balls while leaping tall things on hot, skittish animals, this seems like the greatest thing ever.”

Lorraine Jackson took us on a magical fantasy ride in 2017, browsing the horsey internet for the greatest, most luxurious properties on the market. From multi-million-dollar estates in California to quaint fairy tale properties in New England and everything in between, Lorraine reminded us to never let go of our fantasies. Click here to browse the column.

The Idea of Order

“At Championships this last weekend, The Beastlet walked out of the trailer, into a stall, stood to be tacked up, then lunged like he was auditioning for a western pleasure class. Now some would say that clearly this shows that he doesn’t need to be lunged. That’s a rookie mistake! While it’s a relatively rational thought, horses are anything but rational. In fact, The Beastlet has pulled these shenanigans before, looking very rideable, only to nearly launch us both to the moon upon mounting. Given those experiences, I’ve grown very skeptical of his AQHA lunging routine.”

Morgane Schmidt Gabriel has been bringing the laughs in comic form essentially since Horse Nation first roared into the warm-up pen in 2012. Her illustrations bring to life scenarios that every equestrian instantly recognizes, reminding us all that this thing we call horse life means that we’re never alone. Click here to browse the column.

Letter From the Editor

How I spent my Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Kristen Kovatch.

“What I’m slowly starting to learn is that being the “best equestrian” doesn’t have to mean making sure I ride my horse every day because he’s there in the pasture, or have the best-broke horse I can have even if all we’re doing is pushing cows around the farm and trail riding. Being the best equestrian means accepting my horse life in whatever shape it’s going to take and accepting that I don’t have to constantly be in the saddle to call myself a rider.”

Managing editor Kristen Kovatch took a monthly soapbox to discuss the issues and concerns that all horse people share, regardless of discipline, location or lifestyle. From comparing ourselves to the internet to making sure we’re doing right by our horses, Kristen took stories from her own horse life to try to find common ground. Click here to browse the column.

Saving Theo

The author and Theo. Photo by Ilona Gerou.

“Theo is a horse in process. He has finally learned to relax while out in an open pasture. His feet have become sturdy enough to risk being barefoot. Ed, his rescue/rehabber, is still concerned about Theo’s coffin bone dropping through the thin soles, but he chooses to take calculated risks. The soles seem to have toughened. Ed believes that the sidewalls have grown enough to keep the soles from having close contact with the ground. The question in all equine rehab: do you keep them under glass or take a deep breath and release them to be horses?”

Candace Wade has been chronicling the rescue and slow rehabilitation of Theo, a former “big lick” performance Tennessee Walking Horse, for nearly two years. 2017 brought some ups and downs for Theo, but ultimately a happy ending for the horse, his rescuer and eagerly-following readers. Click here to browse the column.

Wylie vs. the Mongol Derby

Photo courtesy of The Adventurists/Mongol Derby

“Go find your Mongol Derby. Find a challenge that has magical potential but is likely to test you to your core. Do something that makes you feel vulnerable. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Give yourself both the opportunity to succeed and permission to fail. I went to Mongolia in search of a good story, and I got what I came for. What’s the story you want to tell? How far, physically or emotionally, are you willing to go to get it? What’s the worst that could happen? What if?”

Leslie Wylie’s Mongol Derby adventure, without question, brought all of us along for the wildest ride imaginable this year. From the preparation and conversations with past Mongol Derby riders and staff to her hair-raising accounts of the race itself, Wylie vs. the Mongol Derby was truly an adventure, even for those of us following along from the comfort of our computers at home. Click here to browse the column.

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