2020 Readers’ Choice Awards: SmartPak Photo Challenge Gallery of the Year

Enjoy a little eye candy as we reflect on the best Photo Challenge Galleries of 2020 — and vote for your favorite!

At the end of each December, we at Horse Nation like to look back on the year that was and highlight the articles, essays and videos that most inspired readers, triggered important conversations or had everyone rolling on the floor with laughter — and then let readers decide which one is deserving of the title of the Best of the Year.

The weekly Photo Challenge is a favorite of ours, because it lets YOU take the spotlight, readers! These were our five most popular galleries of 2020: which one deserves to be Gallery of the Year? Take a walk down memory lane and then vote for your favorite.

5 Horses in a Winter Wonderland

Originally published on January 23, 2020

“The holidays may be over, but for many of us, life is still a winter wonderland (even if the “wonderland” part is debatable at times). Or, it is if you’re not me here in the Midwest where the weather is vacillating between mild with temperatures in the 40s and 50s to cold with temperatures in the 20s and teens-to-single-digit lows, often in the same week. But I digress (seriously, Mother Nature, make up your mind!). Here are 11 photos of your horses in a winter wonderland — and you all certainly submitted some stunningly gorgeous photos this time!”

Photo by Jessica Farren

8 Very Muddy Horses

Originally published on February 6, 2020

“For those who haven’t experienced snow this winter, odds are you’ve experienced mud. We wanted to see our readers’ horses after a good roll in the mud and you delivered! Strangely, I’ve owned two horses in the past (currently not a horse owner), one  chestnut and one palomino, and maybe I’m freakishly lucky, but neither was big on getting mud on every inch of themselves. Anyway, here are eight very muddy horses (well, the one lying down taking a nap is perhaps ‘about to be very muddy’).”

Joey, AKA Joe Dirt. He’s gray under the mud. Photo by Becky J. Cocklin.

5 Readers Eating & Riding

Originally published on February 20, 2020

“So, we’ve had horses with their favorite beverages, we’ve had readers getting their riding fix (minus the horse) — this week, we bring you photos of our readers eating and riding! Or eating while holding a horse for the farrier or enjoying a cup of coffee on horseback. Also for some reason pizza is surprisingly common — so props to you dear readers, because there is no way I could eat pizza (or carry an entire box of it) on horseback without ending up either wearing it or dropping it on the ground!”

Coffee on horseback. Photo by Melanie Berdusco.

18 Horses Who Are Just Done With 2020

Originally published on July 9, 2020

“From bucking and kicking to sticking their tongues out or giving the world ‘The Butt,’ as one reader put it, these 18 horses and one reader getting through life on their unicorn pool float are straight-up D-O-N-E, done, done, done with 2020 and its curveballs.”

Photo by Stacey Knapp.

5 Freshly Clipped Horses

Originally published on November 5, 2020

“With fall and winter, comes clipping season… and with clipping season comes creative clip jobs! Here are five that you, dear readers, decided to share!”

Photo by Arwyn Anthony.