From the horse’s mouth |

From the horse’s mouth

The Union StaffSamantha Cramer, 15, of Grass Valley catches up on the latest news from the horse world while quarter horse "Sweet Talkin' Tucker" looks on. Cramer is a student at Bear River High School.
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Ater the recent

expansion of living space in our home, it became possible to gather together all the horse magazines I’ve been saving.

My husband insists there are over 1,000, and says if I were to retire and do nothing else but read the new ones that arrive in the mail, it would be a full-time job.

That’s a stretch, but I’m sure there are hundreds in my collection, filled with valuable reference material. (And some day, I promise him, I’ll go through them all and clip out articles I want to save.)

The fact is, there’s a wealth of directories, magazines and newsletters on every imaginable equine subject, whether of interest to a horse lover or a professional within this huge industry.

My collection includes publications from Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. And then there are my late father’s Thoroughbred sales catalogues and copies of “The Blood Horse” and “Thoroughbred of California” from the 1940s on. Yes, horse publications are numerous.

The American Horse Council, Inc. ( is a source for a $25 “Horse Industry Directory” with information covering breeds, organizations, libraries and museums, and much more. Including an international listing, there are more than 30 pages that list horse publications.

Our supermarkets and book stores may have up to half a dozen horse magazines on their shelves, including the popular “Horse and Rider,” “Western Horseman,” and “Equus.” The enthusiast has to look beyond that, however, for most publications.

Excellent magazines exist for all disciplines, whether English, western, driving or reining. In addition, there are others featuring horses for sale, how to train and ride, specific breed publications, rodeo, barrel racing, and team penning. Horse racing and breeding probably leads the list with the number of publications, including the heartbeat of the industry, “The Daily Racing Form.”

Many of the best publications address a relatively small audience, and are harder to find. I particularly enjoy “Equine Vision,” which spotlights equine artists.

With memberships in horse organizations, one receives some excellent newsletters. Those I find very helpful are from the American Riding Instructors Association and Certified Horsemanship Association.

In addition, I can keep tabs on dressage activities through the California Dressage Federation’s “Dressage Letters,” and on eventing through membership with Eventing USA. “The USET News” keeps us up-to-date on our American team representation in International equestrian competition.

Of major importance to both professionals and amateurs is “USA Equestrian,” the official magazine of American equestrian sports since 1937. It covers rule changes, major news and competition results, the official calendar of shows, clinics, judges’ forums, and other information for all breeds and disciplines.

Another excellent magazine is “Practical Horseman,” specializing in English riding disciplines and offering extremely helpful “how to” advice for trainers and riders.

The “Horse Journal” takes a “Consumer Reports” approach as a product and service guide, while “Equus” was the first of many excellent magazines to cover horse health issues, and has helped immeasurably in improving understanding of horse care.

“The International Arabian Horse,” “The American Quarter Horse Journal,” “The Morgan Horse” and “Endurance News” are just a sample of publications available to horse owners and breeders. Most have Web sites with subscription information available.

For the western horse enthusiast, we can’t overlook the wonderful “Western Horseman” which contains articles on everything from how to braid rawhide to roping a calf. I still refer to issues dating back to the 1950s!

Last, but not least, a family favorite, “The Chronicle of the Horse,” is a weekly publication that covers racing, breeding, steeplechasing, endurance, vaulting, dressage, show jumping, eventing, hunting, Pony Club activities, polo and more.

Competition results of our local hunter/jumper and endurance riders can often be found in this national magazine.

It’s no wonder my husband sometimes feels overwhelmed at this constantly growing collection.

But he broadly approves of the fact that I’m sharing them with my students, many of whom are likely to become horse magazine pack rats themselves one day.

Felicia Schaps Tracy is a Certified Horsemanship Association advanced-level certified instructor, an American Riding Association certified instructor, was a founding instructor for the Northern Mines Pony Club, and leads the horsemanship program at Ojai Valley School. Write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945.

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