To rescue an industry: where we go from here

MoneyOn January 17, at the United Professional Horsemen’s Association Convention in Chicago, Jim and Jenny Taylor and Todd Graham gave a presentation about the future of the professional horse trainer, and their findings were grim. In the following days, the American Saddlebred Horse Association sent out a press release summarizing the presentation’s disheartening facts, with the hopes of stirring people into action. It worked.

Rotten Apple

This is about the time when I began to bargain with her. (She looks a little too pleased, don't you think?)

This is about the time when I began to bargain with her. (She looks a little too pleased, don’t you think?)

Happy almost Halloween! Sorry I’ve been gone for a bit, I’ve been doing this weird thing called school. I promise I will be getting back into the swing of things soon, and back into posting my adventures with everyone’s favorite bay mare. The roomie came home last night and was telling me how Apple got her show shoes off for the season and was promptly lunged after. This made me remember one of my worst experiences with Apple, back when I was pretty new to the whole lunging thing. I even wrote about it back then, and I guess enough time has gone by that I’m finally willing to share. Feel free to laugh, but don’t think less of me!

I don’t like Apple very much right now. I don’t even have anything witty to say about that. Remember how I said that I would do anything for that horse? Well apparently the feeling is not mutual. I may love her, but I really don’t like her at this particular juncture in time. “Why, Ashlea? Oh, why are you so dismayed?” you ask. Don’t worry I’ll tell you, and how.

Horse girl memories of a special riding instructor

Grenadier pictures
I read the Cash Lovell Stables newsletter the other day. It was very long, packed full of information on the happenings in the barn, but the article that really caught my eye was the very first. It was a personal letter from Parker Lovell, announcing the loss of her childhood riding instructor — the woman who had taught her how to love horses all those years ago. It touched me very deeply because, as she talked about her childhood experiences, I remembered mine.

Bobbing For Apple

Apple and I before our long-lining adventure. This is my smile when I'm nervous but I'm playing it off like it's no big deal.

I guess you could say this day was bound to come sooner or later. People always say that in hindsight, don’t they? I go to the barn almost daily with my roomie and everything just seemed hunky-dorey. I should have known better…

Apple Didn’t Keep The Doctor Away

Apple had quite the collection of medication, and she hated every bit of it.

It’s the middle of the night and I’m holding a dosing syringe the size of a small country and twisting a horse’s ear. When I was dreaming about ponies at the tender age of five, this really wasn’t a part of the deal. How did this happen? *cue fade-away music*

Apple Sauce and a few other ingredients

Last Friday I found myself off work and making horse treats. Let me just back up a pinch and tell you all how I never really thought I’d ever make horse treats. I rarely make Elphi (my little Boston Terrier) homemade treats. But that is where I was … in my kitchen on a Friday morning making equine nibblets. My roommate was off on an adventure to some show in Louisville; I hear it’s a big deal.

An Apple A Day (Sort Of)

Myself and Apple -- the first Saddlebred I've ever worked with.

I wouldn’t say I don’t know anything about horses. I know they have been the object of my fascination since the beginning. I used to have a big book of all the breeds and had even circled the ones I wanted to own at some point; the ones adorned with a star were the select few I would beg Santa for every year. I pleaded with my dad to bring Tornado, Zorro’s fiery steed, home for me to play with (how I thought he knew the guy was beyond me). When I was old enough, I was finally allowed to ride.

Five tips for taking good horse photos

If there’s one thing horse people love almost as much as their horses, it’s photos of them. We at Saddle & Bridle love photos too. Here are a few tips to get the best shots of your favorite equine.

In the beginning there was Van

Arthur Van Ronzelen on Hells Bells.

Ever since I began writing for Saddle & Bridle at 9 years old I had heard that it was a third-generation family business, but really that fact was just a vague idea in my head. I knew little about its history – had no idea it had begun as more of a society-type magazine, or how many different homes the office has had through the years. And, perhaps most surprisingly, I had never heard the name Arthur Van Ronzelen.

23 Years of American Royal

Brendan Heintz, Brenda Pulis and myself at the Royal in 1995.


Next week will by my 23rd consecutive American Royal; I remember going as a kid too.

Random thoughts…

Constants – no matter the official temperature, it will feel cold … great young horses … barbeque … a social show where everyone enjoys the camaraderie … the very real threat of catching a cold … equitation, lots of equitation … fur coats and overcoats … The Savoy Grill.

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