Things I Learned from Reading Horse Blogs

Things I Learned from Reading Horse Blogs

I started “She Moved to Texas 2.0” in late 2012. It was then that I decided to focus solely on equestrian topics, and pitch myself as a purposeful “horse blogger.” Now almost four years later, I’d say we’re on version 3.0 of the blog. Version 3.0 is a lot less organized. I write about what I want when I want, and I care a lot less about comment numbers or views these days.

In the height of my 5-day-a-week-horse-blogging, I read a lot of equestrian blogs. My blogroll had about 250 total, and I religiously read and commented every day (sidenote: don’t tell my boss this). Of course I still read a lot of these blogs and leave comments when I have something to say/congratulate/commiserate in, but the daily chores of blogging have gone way down for me.

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Spending all that time perusing horse blogs gave me a greater perspective of the horse world that I don’t think I would have received just in my own barn or group of horse friends.  Maybe it’s because I’ve stepped back a bit or maybe it’s a side effect of my overall ruminating about life these days, but lately I’ve been thinking about what I learned reading all your blogs.

Before you accuse me of pointing fingers, I think that every one of the below statements reflects me as a blogger and/or person at one point or another. No glass houses here, I promise.

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What I’ve Learned From Reading Horse Blogs

Horse people are smart, driven individuals who know how to get what they want. We make friends easily with each other because the idea of coming home after work to do nothing but watch TV every night makes life seem empty and meaningless, but not a lot of people seem to get that.

No matter how far you feel from your goals, someone out there wishes they had your horse / your skills / your resources at this exact moment.

“It” girls, cliques and name brands… not just for high school.

Good writers appear in real life exactly how they seem on their blogs. Exceptionally good writers can mask their personality – for better or worse!

Horse blogs open up the world to your relationship with your horse. Sometimes the world is going to think your horse is that bad boyfriend you need to dump already, but sometimes it feels like we have an open window to witness something special.

It truly does not matter how much your riding clothes or tack cost. Show reports are my FAVORITE. I never not read someone’s show report. I also have never looked at an outfit and thought, “Man she would be a lot better turned out if that coat was an Animo instead of Equine Couture.” If your tack & clothes fit and are clean – you are FINE. Never worry otherwise.

You never know how much support you have until you let yourself be vulnerable.

Fixer personalities (me me me!) have a really hard time reading someone who’s struggling with their horse. It’s almost always impossible to help from across the country, and attempts to “help” often come off well… not helpful.

Just because a horse might be awkward and a little gangly, doesn’t mean he can’t be absolutely fantastic.

I learned some rules of memoir writing when I took a class earlier this year. One is that writing drenched with anger and/or self-pity will drive people away. In my experience, the same is true for blogs.

Finally I will say that the knowledge, compassion and empathy of the horse blogging community knows no bounds.

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Have you picked up any pearls of wisdom from your time in the horse blogging trenches?

39 thoughts on “Things I Learned from Reading Horse Blogs

  1. I’ve learned that bloggers that tend to try and be optimistic about every little thing turn me off. I actually like reading pessimistic posts. It makes me feel like the person behind the blog is real and has real struggles. I prefer them to fake-sounding optimistic posts where is it obvious everything is going horribly and the writer doesn’t want to acknowledge that something needs to -change-.

    And through blogging, I’ve learned that my personality is just as abrasive and annoying on the internet as it is in real life, and I honestly don’t care. I don’t write my blog for anyone but me, which is why I don’t advertise it.

    1. I view boundless optimism in blogs a few different ways:

      1- Maybe that person has a capability for “glass half full” that I will never have.
      2- Maybe that person hasn’t come to terms with things not working out or can’t see it.
      3- Maybe it’s none of my business.

      But yeah, I hear you. I have a hard time with that too sometimes (see “fixer” personality).

    2. I am in the same boat. I struggle a lot. I am often not optimistic. Sometimes I don’t post because I feel like it would be too negative and people would think I suck. But I can certainly identify with others that struggle and are not afraid to be honest about it.

      FWIW – I don’t think you come off as abrasive or annoying at all.

  2. It took a long time for me to get comfortable with the idea of writing about my riding. I had thought about it for probably over a year before jumping in. I read a lot of other blogs, and still follow those blogs on a regular basis. My journey into blogging has been one of the best things I have ever done for my riding. It forces me to be honest with myself and the internet about my progress, my work ethic, and my goals, and compare all that to others in similar situations! As a result, all of those have improved since I started blogging.

    It means the world to me to get that same view into other barns, riders, and horses. Thank you to all you other bloggers and to those who bother to read our occasional ramblings!

  3. I <3 this. And totally agree.

    I've blogged for a long time and switched to focus my blog on it at a time that I really didn't have local horse friends (yay Army moves). I missed it! And reading and writing about riding and my horse give a bit of that back, which made me appreciate even more how much riding has brought into my life. Not just the horses, but horse people too!

  4. The horse blogging trenches are quite fancy, and we are all lucky to have the problems we have. I didn’t think when I started a blog that I’d keep it up, but it’s lovely to have a record of what I’m going through.

  5. A lot of this resonates with me and my blog. It was once upon a time a food and healthy living blog, then a food and travel blog, and now its a “Devon Things” blog which is mostly horses with some food and travel thrown in.

    I’ve made a lot of amazing friends through blogging, and for that I am eternally grateful.

  6. Such truth! In my time in the blogosphere, I’ve loved getting to share in everyone’s journeys. We are all so different, and that is SO WONDERFUL. Horse blogs have opened up my world and taught me that there are a thousand ways to do it ‘right’, and that there is always a helping hand stretched out if you’re brave enough to reach for it.

  7. Agree with all, but your last point the absolute most! I never realized being part of the blogging community could be so fulfilling.

  8. I am relatively new to the formal blogosphere. I didn’t mean to start a horse blog, I started the blog as a platform for all types of my writing, the goal to have a following by the time I publish my book (good willing!) but people responded so much to what I wrote about with my horse pieces that I ended up having more fun with those posts. I’ll still write about other less-horsey topics, but my horse ones are the most popular. It’s amazing there is such a spectrum for horse blogs and I really see very little overlap, truth that there is enough material for everyone!

  9. These are are so incredibly true. I’ve learned so much from the equestrian blogging community not only about horses, but about myself and about life. While my inspiration and dedication to my own blog waxes and wanes, I’m never sorry to be part of this crazy little circle, and I never want to leave <3

  10. Having only been blogging for just over a year now, I was most surprised by how supportive and kind the horse blogging community can be. Certainly off of comment threads I’m sure there is cattiness to be found, but over all I’ve been so glad for the community. Most of what I’ve learned have been different training and horse care approaches, which was an unexpected benefit to blogging.

  11. I’m a terrible, inconsistent blogger, but I absolutely adore reading everyone else’s blogs. There is such variety and such rich horsey perspective coming from so many sources that I find myself constantly engaged by the community. 🙂

  12. Oooh, when I saw today’s blog post title pop up in my Blogger Dashboard, I couldn’t wait to read it! I wasn’t sure what direction your post would take. (New things you learned about horse care? Riding? New Disciplines? Product reviews?) But it was much more existential than that.

    Oh man – am I ever a fixer personality! I too, want to fix ALL THE THINGS – horse related and otherwise. Mostly because I just want people to be happy. But yeah – unsolicited internet advice = not always well received.

    I am also guilty of thinking of bloggers as close personal friends, even though we have never met. It can’t be helped when you have followed the intimacies of someone’s journey on a day-to-day basis. You’d be surprised how often random thoughts of people’s blogs will pop into my head as I am driving or at work – ‘I wonder how so-and-so is? I can’t wait to read about X update, event’ and so on. I probably sound like a total creeper 🙂

  13. I love all of this. I didn’t really have many expectations when I got into blogging and it’s so much more of a community feel than I ever imagined. I’ve gotten to meet up with a whole bunch of bloggers in real life and it’s like we’ve been friends for years! The support and encouragement everyone offers each other is seriously wonderful.

  14. I enjoyed this post. I never realized what a great community it was until I lost my horse and then the support was amazing.
    I enjoy reading of the struggles because it helps me to feel not alone and the triumphs feel so much sweeter.

    I also know that I’ve become a bit obsessed when I’m chasing a rat through the house and visualizing the blog post at the same time. 🙂

  15. I didn’t realize I could make horse friends online that would become friends in real life! In everyday life (outside of my barn) it’s hard to meet similarly passionate horse lovers. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I’ve been able to become friends with two great ladies also blogging about horses in SoCal. Online aquaintanceships have morphed into real-life friendships. (Looking at you, Carey and Raquel!) I probably would never have met them otherwise.

  16. I definitely think I just started learning everything about blogging. Most importantly blogging has taught me that it is my life and my choices. It also allows me to reflect and keep goals, sort of like a little yearbook!

  17. Personally, blogging has taught me to be more accountable. For example: If I am blogging about goals, I damn well better be working on them.

    More intangible things: I’ve picked up the nuances of what makes a person seem approachable; a better understanding of how to phrase advice; and that a post that I’m thinking about too much should probably not be posted.

    Best of all, I’ve made some outstanding friends.

  18. All true!
    I think I’ve learned that honesty is the best policy for a blog. I read a friend’s blog that skips over the not so good, and only talks about all the happy and great. It can make you feel bad about your own life, until you step back and realize what you’re reading is only a half truth. I try to be honest with my readers, good or bad. And I feel like most of the horse bloggers follow that guideline too.
    Also, I think it’s ok to mix things up. A blog doesn’t really have to be just about one topic all the time. I love reading about what else people are up to besides just horses all of the time.
    Agree on the clothes statement! I’m as cheap as they come, but I love fancy things. No better place to follow all of that than horse blogs!

  19. In addition to the community I enjoy and the friends I’ve made through blogging, I’ve also found that having a blog inspires me to do more with my riding. I’m incredibly lazy so there were times where I’d think, man it would be nice to just sleep in and not do anything today, but I need to go to that lesson or that trail ride because otherwise I’ll have nothing to blog about. And that pushed me enough to get something done. And now I’ve found that I’m more ambitious with my riding regardless of the blog. At this point, I don’t do rides because of the blog, but because I have become more interested in improving my riding for me. The improvements I’ve made have made me want to keep improving. I also get inspired by other bloggers’ adventures. If someone does something really cool (a good clinic or an interesting show or a new activity) I’ll look for a way to try that out myself because it looks fun. Blogging has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me a better rider for it.

  20. Love your observations! I have been bowled over by the friendships and support that I have found through blogging. We truly have an amazing community.

  21. Love this! I’ve learned a few things, first and foremost that if you want views/comments, have a broken horse and swing wildly from self pity to extreme excitement about his return 🙂 but mostly that the community is just wonderful! I went from just reading a few blogs because I wanted to kill time in grad school to having a few amazing friends who I met through blogging and talk with on a daily basis. It’s lead to opportunities to teach and ride horses, to meet new people with different view points, and make lasting friendships, which I think is so cool!

  22. I used to pay attention to the number of views I was getting and tried to be more interesting/funny but recently I’ve gone back to essentially just writing the blog for myself and not caring how boring it is. But I do learn a lot from other people’s blogs!

  23. I loved this post. I’ve recently decided to stop trying to appeal to a specific audience and just write from the heart. I’ve also let go of all the marketing/sales funnel/monetisation hype that was getting in the way of my blogging. Does that bother you too?

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