Throughout January I discovered some amazing blogs. I found myself caring about the lives of people I had never met. It may be because I am new to blogging but this seems like a magical discovery. Whilst I rarely write about my own horses I do love reading about how other peoples horses are getting on. Personally I don’t care if your horse just gained a gold medal or if it is a retired pony; I love all equines. It seems to me that this is one of the things which connects us with each other; a shared love of horses as creatures, regardless of why we own them and what we train them to do. The worries and pressures we all feel are similar and sharing them with a supportive network is a great thing. When I moved Dressage Perspectives over to a self hosted WordPress site I was disappointed to lose the blogroll which had been sitting on my sidebar all through January. I searched among the available widgets and realised that this feature did not exist for my new site.
What I miss about the blogroll most is the visual reminder to check in on each of my favourite blogs to see what is new. It is also a way to help promote the blogs of other people and that is really important to me. The interest, comments and feedback from other bloggers made me feel a lot more confident through the first few weeks of writing. I have noticed that this has diminished considerably since I moved over to a self hosted site. Now, it could be that I suddenly got dull of course but I don’t think so. I think it is to do with connectivity and the lack of that being built in to a self hosted site. Now the onus is on me to promote the site though different channels. Today I am going to try to create a series of links on my site’s sidebar to the blogs which I follow. It is as close as I can get to the blogroll feature apparently, although I don’t think I will be able to replicate the lovely grid of site icons.
The blogger who inspired me to start writing in the first place is the lovely Sarah Warne of warneyswhip.com I love reading about her incredible adventure in Portugal. She writes with such openness and honesty, not only about her own horses but puts forward very informed opinions about dressage training, without ever criticising other riders. For me this is an incredibly likeable quality. Her latest post “Training the Dressage Eye” is another great one. I also love reading A Horse For Elinor – Dressage on a Dime at ahorseforelinor.com . The idea of dressage on a dime is very relatable and the thoughtful posts about the progress she is making with her lovely horses’ training are really interesting.
One writer who I appreciate greatly for her valuable insights and depth of knowledge is Sara Annon at saraannon.wordpress.com. This blog has taught me even more about things I thought I knew a lot about already! The Adventures of Shady the Great at theadventuresofshadythegreat.wordpress.com is another favourite. Keeping up with Andrea’s posts on the progress of Shady’s foal Indy, who recently had OCD surgery, has become important to me. As I plan to breed from my precious mare this year it is lovely to read about the progress of somebody who has just done the same thing. As my mare is a big warmblood I find the issue of OCD scary; seeing the incredible post Andrea put up of the surgery itself helped me understand it much better and be a little less scared!
Reading about the training progress of Madison and Charley on caeventing.wordpress.com is always lovely. “Snowmageddon” was another great post from shelbyrallen.wordpress.com and reading about how she and the horses coped with a monster blizzard in Virginia made me feel quite ashamed of my weather related grumbles! One of the more challenging blogs for me to follow is effectieftrainen.wordpress.com but that is only down my very limited understanding of Dutch! I have to ask my father, who lived in the Netherlands for some time, to translate for me. There is a post about the VHL Symposium in Ermelo which looks very interesting. I will have to sit him down to read and relay that to me!
horsenomics.net is the blog of Rachel Reunis who, like me, combines a love of horses with a business background. Her way of looking at the world strikes a real chord with me and the blog is always thought provoking. Two blogs which have wonderful visual appeal are Tom von Kapp-Herr’s backhomeinbromont.com which has the loveliest equestrian photography and The Stylish Equestrian, also created by Rachel Reunis, which brings together wonderful outfits designed to take us from the stable yard to the town or city with a great deal more style and grace than I usually manage! Definitely check out thestylishequestrian.com and follow on FaceBook & Instagram.
I am constantly discovering new blogs to follow and sitting with down to read them is one of my luxuries. As I add to my list of blogs I follow I think I’m going to devote a whole afternoon to this, which is a lovely thought:)