Horseback riding, whether for practical purposes, or for sport, is an activity that dates back thousands of years. These powerful, yet docile creatures captivate the human imagination, as evidenced in centuries of songs, poems, stories, and art. The bond between a person and a horse can be life changing: plenty of books and movies can attest to that. Today horses still play a major role in farming and ranching. Horse racing, jumping, stunt riding, are only a few equestrian sports with fierce followings, and competitive horse shows remain popular as well. One thing can be said about the equestrian lifestyle: it is all or nothing. You’d be hard pressed to find any rider or avid equestrian sports fan who would nonchalantly say, “it’s okay.” If you think this is stable thinking, then giddy up and go to the following sites for horse lovers and horse enthusiasts alike.
Equestrian Mag is an online magazine for horse enthusiasts, and each month covers a broad range of topics with in-depth articles. Whether you are looking for ratings on different equipment and accessories, you want to change your horse’s diet, or you want to read the latest news in equestrian sports, you will find it here. There are also book and film reviews, and plenty of gift suggestions for the horse lover in your life. Want to plan a family ranch vacation or ship the kids off to riding camp for a few weeks? You’ll find links and reviews on places to do that, too. This site is Spartan, and therefore easy-to-navigate. One odd feature here is the “Auctions” button, where you might assume you can browse classifieds by region. No, it’s a list of equestrian paraphernalia from eBay: typically prints and clothing. Like polo shirts, not jodhpurs. Stick to the articles here.
Horse Journals is a pretty site that covers all the bases. The information here is diverse, albeit heavy on the merchandising. What that means is, you will find well-written articles on topics like the safety of the newest round of vaccinations, critical reception of the latest horsey films, and biographical articles on jockeys. You will also find all manner of new and improved feeding systems, vitamins, saddles, leads, bridles, and show accessories. There are also scads of books and DVDs. If you’re looking for a pony club in your area, or you are a rider looking for sponsors, this will be a terrific resource for you.
Horsetalk, a New Zealand-based site that is organized like some of the better online news sources, certainly seems to be geared to the intellectual horse lover. The breadth of scope here is impressive: you can read about developments in stem-cell treatments for horses; check the status of racing horses (and their riders and handlers) at nearly every level; broaden your understanding of human/horse relations with a cache of historical articles; or read light, human-interest stories (see: “Officer Nabs Zebra on Kansas Highway”). You can sign out for the e-newsletter for automatic, monthly updates. You may also want to visit the advice column, where you can send you questions to Horsetalk’s panel of experts, which includes a parasitologist, a farrier, a trainer, and a nutritionist.
Horse Back Magazine
Horse Back Magazine is a print and online publication that is heavy on the equine news. Articles here cover current events in veterinary care, sporting, and biological and ecological concerns. You can search the site to find shows, auctions, and other events in your area. If you like, you may also subscribe to the print magazine. The archives are available back through 2007, and are searchable by month. Clicking will take you to the e-magazine. Flip through this, and you’ll be rewarded with lovely photographs, and plenty of articles and features. The realistic page turning sound effect is worth stopping by.
Honest Horses is a girl-powered print and online magazine out of Northern California that puts the spotlight on all breeds of horses, and a few breeds of dogs, as well. The magazine emphasizes natural methods of training and riding that are practical and enjoyable for regular folks who just love horses. Contributors to the magazine include trainers, vets, and other experts, but they accept reader submissions, too. Full access to the digital version of the magazine is free, and print copies are available at tack shops, feed stores, and the like.
Equestrian Network Magazine
Equestrian Network Magazine is another online horse magazine that features reader submissions, both articles and photographs. Articles here are practical and clever, with titles like “Equinomics 101: Owning a Horse and Stretching Your Dollars.” This magazine is not just filled with information, but plenty of art, comics, videos, poetry, and prose. This magazine is passionate about horses and the communities of individuals that generate around them.