Angel Horse for America's Horse magazine

Every so often, I get the kind of assignment that allows me to tell an incredible and emotional story. It's a weighty responsibility, but I'm always thankful. These kinds of stories are my favorite, and it's an honor to share them with readers.

This is a story about three women, and the Quarter Horse mare that bound them together due to a strikingly similar tragedy in each of their lives. "Shirley" was a healing balm for these moms in their times of grief, and she continues to be an angel in the life of her forever home.

Sherry, Becky and Tracy shared their stories with me and I in turn shared them with AQHA's member magazine America's Horse. The result was a beautiful tribute to a sweet bay mare by the women who love her. The story got an incredible response from each woman's community--more than a hundred comments across their Facebook pages. I've never seen anything like it, but each woman lived through a hard time thanks to Shirley, and their friends knew it.

For Mother's Day, Becky's daughter made a gallery of the article and Becky hung it in a place of honor in her home. It is such a good reminder that stories like this are why I do what I do. Sometimes my work can have a positive effect, both on the sources, and on the readers. It was a privilege to share these women's story. It can be found in the January-February 2017 America's Horse.

One of a Kind Feature in Chrome

I pretty much want every single item I featured in this article for Chrome magazine. I scoured the web for beautiful and unique Western-style products and decor, and these artisans did not disappoint. As a bonus, I learned what to look for when choosing leather goods and reclaimed furniture, for example. Have a look--maybe you'll find something you want for yourself!

Here are the web addresses from below:

Will Boedeker Leather

Stephanie Ferguson Boots

Brewster Barn

Treestump

T Bones Custom Creations

David Naylors Interiors

Iron Haus

Kehrberg Leather Art

Western Weddings feature for Chrome magazine

I love weddings. I really enjoyed planning my own, and for a while there I spent many weekends at the weddings of friends. They're such a fun time to get dressed up, see friends and family, eat some good food and have a good time. This article for Chrome magazine was fun to write, as I got to interview some great sources: Wedding planning guru David Tutera, Tara Wilson of Tara Wilson Agency and Julie Neubauer of Yonder Design. I'm so appreciative of the stunning photography--it really made the article. Caroline and Jacob Fusilier's horse-themed wedding was also featured. Hope you enjoy!

High Octane Feed article for the American Quarter Horse Journal

I thought I'd posted this article already, since it was published in the American Quarter Horse Journal in 2013, but I don't think I did! It's January, and many of us (myself included) are trying to eat healthier, so I'm glad to revisit this article. It's really hard to eat healthy at horse shows. The cinnamon rolls at Will Rogers Equestrian Complex are just so delicious, and I know other shows have similar offerings at concession stands. So for this article  I talked to avid Amateur competitor and nutritionist Christine McWhorter, as well as fitness champion Monica Brant--her husband is AQHA Professional Horseman Brad Jewett. Both of my experts have spent many hours at horse shows, so they know the value of healthy food at competitions. I hope you enjoy the article!


Destination Down Under article for Chrome magazine

Australia is an incredible country. Zach and I visited Oz in 2012, and it was life-changing. One thing I really loved about it was the horse culture. We spent some time at a campdraft, among other things, and we had a great time. So writing this travel piece for Chrome magazine was a lot of fun. We got to do some of these things while we were there, but after writing this article, I've added a bunch more activities for the NEXT visit Down Under. :-) Hope you enjoy!

Show Clothes TLC article for the Paint Horse Journal

Proper care goes a long way in protecting your expensive horse show clothes, so I was glad to be able to work with great sources to write this helpful article for the Paint Horse Journal. How do you care for your show clothes?

Saddles and Sweat article for the Paint Horse Journal

This article for the February 2014 Paint Horse Journal was really neat to put together. I interviewed four Paint Horse enthusiasts to learn about their fitness passions. I talked to a cross country runner, a CrossFit junkie (Amanda Ryan--you've met her in other articles, like the January 2014 issue), a p90x warrior and a bikini competitor. I loved getting to learn about why they chose these activities, and how they related to horses. Hope you enjoy!



Fit to Ride article for the Paint Horse Journal

In January and February 2014, I wrote a two-part article for the Paint Horse Journal about rider fitness. "Fit to Ride" explains the importance of being in shape for better riding, and it also shares ways to achieve your fitness goals without going to the gym.

Being healthy, fit and strong is important to me, so I loved working on this article with my sources. I also collaborated with my former Texas A&M equestrian teammate Amanda Ryan for the photos! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Contracted Heels article for the American Quarter Horse Journal

Last year, I worked on a series of articles about hooves for The American Quarter Horse Journal. It was definitely a topic that stretched my knowledge in a new direction! Thankful to my expert source! I hope y'all learn something new too. This one is about the difference between contracted and pushed-up heels.

Bits with Dick Pieper for Horse & Rider

I love learning from legends about their favorite pieces of tack. Each one has their own tried-and-true arsenal, and the reasons why those pieces work. I worked with the great horseman Dick Pieper a little while ago for Horse & Rider magazine and we chatted about his favorite bits. Hope you enjoy the feature!

Bedding article for the American Quarter Horse Journal

I love writing articles that can help save readers money. This was an interesting article for me to write for the American Quarter Horse Journal because I spent many years working at a boarding stable cleaning stalls, but I still learned some helpful techniques to make bedding stretch further. I also liked learning about innovative products--it's not all shavings these days! Hope you enjoy!

Trail article for Modern Arabian

I wrote an article for Modern Arabian about the benefits of introducing your show horse to trail class with Michael Damianos. It was really fun to write about a new breed for me (Arabians) for a new publication for me! Loved learning more about this breed and how these horses do trail. Hope you enjoy!


2015 American Horse Publications wrap-up

 Thank you Darrell Dodds for the photo!

Thank you Darrell Dodds for the photo!

The American Horse Publications Seminar is one of my favorite events of the year. It's a time where writers, photographers, editors, publishers and other folks connected to the horse magazine industry gather. We gather to network, gain education, recognize hard work and most of all, have a good time. Each year hundreds of articles and photographs are entered in the AHP Seminar contest, where a panel of judges from the industry critique and place the pieces. I've won an award once before, when I was on staff at the Paint Horse Journal, and I've gotten 2nd place and honorable mentions a few times. This year, three of my stories were finalists. My story about white line disease for the American Quarter Horse Journal placed second in its category, and I got two first place awards. One for my profile on Aaron Watson for America's Horse and the other for a mane and tail care article with Colleen McQuay for Horse & Rider. So much effort is put into each article submitted to the contest. It's an honor to be recognized amongst my peers. 

The weekend was so much fun, and it was a wonderful time connecting with other industry professionals. It was even more special because the seminar was held in my hometown of San Antonio!


White Line Disease article for the American Quarter Horse Journal

White line disease is a tough condition to treat. It eats away at horse's hooves, and can be both painful and chronic. This article for the American Quarter Horse Journal explores diagnosis and treatment options with the help of several veterinarian experts.

This article places second in the Service to the Reader category at the 2015 American Horse Publications seminar this past weekend. Read the article below:


Horse & Rider article with Colleen McQuay

Lyle Lovett has a palomino stallion that is a real-life Barbie horse. His mane is LEGENDARY, and he is so talented. Smart And Shiney stands at McQuay Stables in Tioga, Texas. Last year I pitched a mane and tail care story to Horse & Rider with Smart And Shiney as the model! The experience was so much fun. Colleen McQuay was a wonderful source and I'm really happy with how the photos turned out.


The story ended up winning first place as an instructional article at the 2015 American Horse Publications Seminar last weekend! Here's the article below:


Aaron Watson profile for America's Horse

Aaron Watson has long been one of my favorite country artists. I spent most of my college years attending several of his concerts each semester at the Texas Hall of Fame (RIP) and two-stepping the nights away. As he's matured, he's grown his reputation as a family man and an unashamed Christian. In 2013, I attended Carol Rose's dispersal sale and noticed two things: 1. Aaron posted a  photo with his new QH the same day and 2. he was the surprise music the preview night. I did some follow up research and in 2014, pitched a story about Aaron as a QH member to America's Horse, AQHA's member magazine. Lucky for me, editor gave me the green light.

Aaron's manager was gracious and set me up with an interview right away. Aaron chatted with me for a long time, and I felt like the story I wrote for the magazine was one of my best. And after the story was published, Aaron's latest album The Underdog went on to break records for an indie album on the country music charts!


It was my honor to win an American Horse Publications first place award for this profile last weekend! Here's the profile:


Ponying feature for Paint Horse Journal

Training articles are always fun, and ponying is a topic I haven't covered before. After interviewing these experts, I feel better prepared to take on this challenge in the future. Check out this article for the Paint Horse Journal.

Gunner profile for Quarter Horse News

Last year, the horse world lost a legend. Gunner, aka Colonels Smoking Gun, had an immeasurable impact on the equine industry, particularly for reining and the Paint Horse breed. I was honored to write an obituary profile looking at his legendary life for Quarter Horse News.