From the Editor
WE HERE AT H&R love our horse lives. So when it came time to produce our annual “Best Of” feature, the opportunity to count the many aspects of our lifestyle that we cherish had us—and a few other insightful contributors—inspired and excited.
We began work on this feature when the news reported one hurricane after another, along with wildfires, all in locations with large horse populations. I watched our community unite to sup- port those in need in nearly every way possible. It served as a great reminder of what we can do when we come together and certainly merited recognition on our list. If there’s trouble, we’re there for each other. That’s something to be proud of, for sure.
This fall, I had the opportunity to participate in two events involving our tightly knit tapestry of horse folks, further demonstrating the far-reaching influence of our horse lives.
IN OUR HOMETOWN
Thanks to our sister cause Hope in the Saddle ( HopeInTheSaddle.com), Assistant Editor Nichole Chirico and I attended a gala benefitting local therapeutic riding center Hearts & Horses. Live and silent auctions and ticket sales benefit- ted the group’s mission to promote the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being of people with special needs through equine-assisted therapy. Barrel racer, breakaway roper, and motivational speaker Amberley Snyder wowed attendees with her story of working within the confines of her paralysis from a rollover car accident to ride and rope again.
Here’s what surprised me: Many who attended aren’t involved with horses. Yet even they recognize the immeasurable value and importance of horse life and our community, thanks to how horses help people at Hearts & Horses.
ON THE BIG SCREEN
We touted documentary-in-the-making “Down the Fence” as one of the best things to come out of 2015 in our
inaugural “Best Of” feature (available at
HorseandRider.com). The film details riders’ experiences at a few of the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s marquee events, as well as chronicling the history of the reined cow horse. You can now rent or buy the film from the iTunes store.
“Down the Fence” highlights the Western community in two ways: on the screen and behind the camera. The cow horse community thrives as an extended family, with trainers helping each other, their spouses cheering at the back gate, and kids playing together. The film highlights the value of this community in a variety of ways. Behind the scenes, the horse community came together to support the film’s production. A Kickstarter fundraiser, with donations large and small from all facets of the horse industry, assisted in making the movie possible, because capturing the footage is only a small part of presenting a film.
THE COMMON CORE
Our Western horse community is made up of many different facets, from performance competitors to trail travelers to therapeutic riders and everything in between. However, this vast and varied group shares a love for the horse. That commonality—the four-legged fur balls that graze our bank accounts bare— brings out the best in us.
So what are the best things about your Western Horse Life? Email your thoughts to me at the address at right. We’ll share them in an upcoming issue.
You can reach Jennifer Paulson at email@example.com.