Happy New Year! Reflecting on new beginnings and the past year. . . I had no idea on January 1, 2017 that I would write my two most important blog posts, possibly of all-time in 2017–one on safety and one on my experience in the California wildfires–as both a fire victim and donor to fire victims. Here’s a recap of my top seven blog posts of 2017, with a little commentary on each.
Also, my big goal for 2018 is to publish my equestrian dating memoir! If you want to help me select the title, here’s a link where you can cast your vote for the best title and back cover! (Thanks in advance for your input!)
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1. Avoid This Dangerous Donut in the Saddle (this one went viral!)
If you are a newer reader of Saddle Seeks Horse, you might not know that I had a pretty terrifying riding accident in May of 2017 which actually happened AFTER my ride, as I was walking a cool-down lap around the barn property. I had never heard of this type of fall of horse and rider before, but after writing my blog post it went viral on Facebook.
I read comment after comment from other equestrians who had seen or experienced a similar accident. In several cases the outcome was much more devastating than Knight’s and my sore backs. A close friend even shared a story of how her friend’s horse died from this avoidable accident.
Lesson learned: I am now a huge proponent of not letting your horse turn its head toward your foot and not allowing your horse to rub its face on its front legs. Here’s to a safer 2018!
So this was a big educational moment for me and it turns out we now don’t even think Knight has EOTRH. Basically, this is a disease usually found in senior horses which affects their teeth at the root and gums. It’s a relatively newer equine malady and it’s not life threatening or anything, but if your horse has it you might have to get their teeth pulled so they’re more comfortable.
Knight is a cribber, but there was a period last spring where he was like a teething puppy. This actually relates to the donut fall because he would try to chew on anything and everything in sight. I gave him the meds for this and he seemed better. About a month or two ago we had an equine dentist (a specialist–not my typical vet) to float teeth. He said there is nothing about Knight’s mouth that would lead him to believe he has EOTRH.
Lesson learned: Second opinions are a beautiful thing.
From dream barns featured on @StableStyle to hip equestrian paper products of @huntseatpaperco to the gorgeous modern equine art of @Kasia_Bukowska_Art, this post showcases the Instagram accounts I adored (and still adore in 2018).
Lesson learned: As I go back and look at this post, I only count six accounts–proofread better! LOL!
I really wish Knight was not the poster boy for ulcers, but I did have an incredible opportunity to interview a vet who specializes on this matter. The questions I asked were ones generated from horse folks on Facebook. I am not a science-y person at all, so it was a challenge to take on about an hour and a half phone interview with Dr. Hoyt Cheramie from Boehringer-Ingelheim (the makers of Ulcergard).
This was also the blog post affiliated with the Ulcergard giveaway sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim. This collaboration opened doors for me to reach out to the company after our devastating barn fire in October. Boehringer-Ingelheim generously donated two cases of Ulcergard to our barn family.
Lesson learned: Even though science isn’t my favorite, this post is helpful to other equestrians and opened an opportunity later on for Knight and his buddies to be helped post-fire.
5. Five Fitness Trackers for Horseback Riding and Beyond. (This is a post from 2016, but it performed strong throughout 2017 as have my other Fitbit-themed blog posts).
The age-old question non-equestrians ask about whether or not horseback riding is exercise can be addressed easily with data from all the wearable technology available to us riders! Hip hip hooray! I personally find it interesting I can get my heart rate up to a higher level by cantering than I can on a bike at spin class.
I currently wear this Fitbit Blaze and really like it for life in and out of the saddle. Read my post explaining why I like this device Fitbit Blaze for Equestrians: Here’s Why I’m Glad I upgraded my Fitness Tracker.
Lesson learned: Equestrians have embraced fitness tracking and continue to look for ways to combine technology with horse life.
I was thrilled to work with SmartPak and review their newly-released Hadley Breeches! Doing product reviews is fun, but sometimes it’s tricky when you want to love something more than you really do. I hate trying on jeans, buying pants, and I will never online shop for pants–there’s too much risk involved. The moment I tried on the Hadley breeches and realized they didn’t have any weird gaps in the waistline and I didn’t feel like I was wearing a baggy diaper–that they fit me like they were meant for me, I was ecstatic!
And for this post I got to have the exquisite photography of Lady Photographic to showcase the navy breeches, so that made my breeches victory even sweeter! One other thing, after the fire, the folks at SmartPak were so generous. We spoke on the phone and they asked me what it was like in California and they were quick to send my barn family supplements since we lost everything in our feed room on October 9 during Canyon Fire 2.
Lesson Learned: I love Hadley Breeches!
Another product review made it into the highest trafficked posts this year. I had fun checking out all the various goodies for this one as well as doing a giveaway in which one lucky contestant won a SaddleBox. It really impresses me how equestrians are able to dream up tangible products or services to fill a need and merge their interest in horses with making money. I love equestrian small businesses like this one founded by a family
Lesson Learned: It’s much harder to photograph objects than you would think it is! I am still learning how to master flat lay photography!
Honorable Mentions: Blog Posts That Didn’t Quite Make the Top 7
These blog posts were also highly viewed in 2017 and if you haven’t read them, you might enjoy reading them or find them helpful.
Thank you for hanging in and reading this “Greatest Hits” of 2017! I’m honored that you’d take your time to trot along with Knight and me!
Remember, if you want to help me choose the best title for my upcoming horse book, please vote when you click here!
Your Turn: What did you learn in 2017 or what were your favorite blog posts to read or write? Do you have any horse goals for 2018?
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