DeAnn Long Sloan is a former English teacher who has been searching for a way to channel her love and judgement of most things literary into her passion for horses. DeAnn rode casually throughout her childhood and adolescence, but did not ride with any regularity or own her own horse until well into adulthood. Since jumping into horse ownership, she has tried to immerse herself in the equestrian world as much as possible by becoming a certified equine sports massage therapist and contributing to Horse Nation. Her main past times include trying to be slightly less bad at riding and avoiding as many vet bills as possible. [Email DeAnn]


Aubrey Graham is an Anthropologist and eventing/hunter-jumper trainer located just south of Atlanta, in McDonough, Georgia. Based out of a farm built for the 1996 Olympics, she runs APGraham Eventing and Kivu Sporthorses & Training. She parlays her 30+ years of riding experience into training students and working with young, green, and challenging rides, but her passion lies in the retraining of the off track thoroughbred (OTTB). Aubrey has competed through preliminary level eventing and keeps her eyes on the upper levels while enjoying the small successes that come from getting the green horses ready for lower-level competition.

Marcella Gruchalak started riding in her teenage years. When she turned 16, her father told her she could have a car or a horse. She picked the old hand-me-down family car, but turned around the next day and bought a horse with her savings. From then on she’s had her fair share of fall offs and bolting experiences, which have helped her balance and seat. She’s up to try any discipline with her horses but you’ll most likely see her making her best effort in impersonating Annie Oakley in the mounted shooting ring.

Noelle Maxwell is Horse Nation’s resident long-time horseless team member. She officially joined the HN team as a contributor in 2017 but had written reader-submitted content dating back to 2014. Over the years, Noelle has covered a variety of topics, but these days she primarily writes book reviews. She received an Equus Film & Arts Festival award for her feature story, “Tougher Than A Box of Concrete and Good Enough to Win,” highlighting that year’s Mongol Derby winner, in 2019. When she’s not writing about horses, she works as a small-town journalist. When she’s not working, she volunteers at her local animal shelter, enjoys photography, taekwondo, playing guitar, reading and video gaming. She gets her horse fix, schedule permitting, by volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility and hopes to get back to horses someday but finds plenty to keep her occupied in the meantime.

Gwyneth McPherson is an FEI rider with over 35 years experience competing, training, and teaching dressage. Her education began in the 1970s and was developed largely by Lendon Gray, Carol Lavell, and Michael Poulin. Gwyneth’s teaching and training business, Forward Thinking Dressage, is based in Williston, FL. In addition to teaching riders and training, Gwyneth also loves sharing her knowledge of the sport and the art of dressage, as well as discussing relevant topics pertaining to the training itself and the current competitive landscape.

Katelin Parsons is a full-time Agronomist and part-time barrel racer. She is from Northern Wisconsin and began competing in gaming events at a young age. She has competed in Western Pleasure, Dressage, Endurance and several other equine disciplines, but has always been drawn back to Barrel Racing. Katelin is also huge Thoroughbred racing fan. She has adopted several off-track Thoroughbreds and has found that they do well running barrels when they have the proper training. Inspired by the talent and athleticism of the Thoroughbred breed, Katelin created The Western Thoroughbred, a social media network dedicated to promoting the use of Thoroughbreds in western disciplines. She is continually adding educational and engaging content to the site. As former Miss Rodeo Wisconsin, Katelin hopes to return to the rodeo arena one day as a competitor – maybe even aboard a Thoroughbred!

Amanda Uechi Ronan is a jack-of-all-trades equestrian, wannabe racecar driver, and author. Find her novels on Amazon. Amanda’s horse life and autocross shenanigans are available on Instagram @uechironan.

Morgane Schmidt is, among many things, an equestrian who still hasn’t quite decided what she wants to be when she grows up. Author of Life with Horses Is Never Orderly, she knows all about the madness that comes with the equine territory, having owned and competed horses in eventing and dressage for years. A lifelong fan of the classic equestrian cartoons penned by internationally renowned artist Norman Thelwell, she began her own comic series in 2011, sharing deftly funny reflections on life with horses on Horse Nation as well as her personal website. A native Floridian, she spent a decade in Reno, NV, where she was able to confirm her suspicion that snow is utterly worthless (she has since regained her sense and moved back to the Florida swamp). Though she has run the gamut of equestrian disciplines, her favorite is dressage. She has completed her USDF bronze and silver medals and is currently working on her gold. Generally speaking, her life is largely ruled by Woody, a 14.2 hand beastly quarter horse, Willie, a now beastly 11-year-old Dutch gelding, and Milona DG, a 5 year old KWPN chestnut mare (you can make your own inferences there…). Visit her website at

Candace Wade wrote the book Horse Sluts – The Saga of Two Women on the Trail of Their Yeehaw. She has contributed to Horse Nation, Mature Lifestyles, Riding and Writing, The Tennessean and is a member of American Horse Publications. Candace writes political diatribe, wrote “Hillary’s View” pet column and four unpublished film scripts. She learned to ride at age 46. Still rides at 59+. [Email Candace] [Horse Sluts on Facebook]

C. Wade reduced

Kayla Zielke has been fully devoted to anything horse related her entire life. She is a horse trainer who specializes in colt starting as well as an equine massage therapist, barefoot trimmer and barrel racer. Kayla is a self-proclaimed horse nerd who takes great interest in bloodlines and horse racing. Her racing interests led to her passion of retraining off-track Thoroughbreds for second careers in western disciplines and becoming an ambassador for The Western Thoroughbred. Kayla has shown in everything from showmanship, reining, and barrel racing to colt starting challenges. She takes pride in developing all-around horses no matter the breed or bloodlines. Kayla is based in Southern Alberta where she runs her business Eclipse Equine and enjoys her small personal herd of Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses.

Go Team. Go Riding!

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