I am ever so pleased that my blogger friend Jessica, over at Hopeful Jumpers, was kind enough to pass this along to me. THANK YOU, JESS! Please check her blog out; she most often writes about Prince, her darling horse, but also covers her other animals. I love reading this blog for several reasons, not the least of which are her terrific pictures. Would you believe that Jess is a veterinary student (and writes about that, too) but somehow finds the time to ride/take care of Prince, her dog, her cats and her guinea pigs (something else we have in common - I'm also a "pig person"). I have no idea how she does it!
Apparently "liebster" means "dearest" in German, and this award is strictly for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. I will take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my 27 - you are appreciated!
Here are the rules:
1. Copy and paste the award logo onto your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
3. Pick your five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs!
So without further ado, here are my five choices (but of course I still recommend all the blogs on my sidebar):
From Racehorse to Showhorse: Wendy's blog is one of the very first I started reading. This is the place for you if you enjoy absolutely splendid horse photography, because that is now Wendy's job - taking pictures of the finest of (mostly TB) horseflesh in Lexington, KY! Wait 'til you see the stunning head shot she recently published of new mom, Rachel Alexandra. She herself owns two OTTBs, Ollie and Toby, and her blog of course gives plenty of details about their latest activities. If you recall I was lucky enough to meet them and Wendy when I was down there. Also of interest is Wendy's cool connection to "War Horse," featuring her beautiful, much-missed guy Jaguar Hope (he's shown in her header).
Brays of Our Lives: If the cute title alone doesn't get your attention, the amusing ramblings of Fenway Bartholomule certainly will. He and his mom FarmWife live on a small farm in Washington state, along with a large cast of other animal and human characters. I enjoy hearing about the bunnies, dogs, goats and chickens because they always seem to be doing something interesting. Marnie is a professional writer and editor so you can expect an entertaining and well-written post every time. I knew next to nothing about mules prior to reading this blog, so it's fun to hear about the likes/dislikes and rides on a different kind of equine. Marnie currently takes FenBar out on trails, has worked on training him to drive, and hopes that one day he will decide he can stand to do a little dressage.
Princess Witchface: I recently found this blog about a mare and her girl who live in FL, and it's really entertaining, if only because we're all waiting to find out her horse's true lineage. It's like a mini-episode of "As The Barn Turns:" Who are this horse's parents? Did her father really jump a fence and knock up an unsuspecting TB mare? Why is someone hiding her identity? Stay tuned for the next episode! In the meantime, this pair do fun things like charity trail rides and costume contests. They are not show-oriented and spend a lot of time just enjoying each other's company, which is cool.
The Vault: Horseracing Past and Present: This blog is a little more esoteric, in that in order to truly enjoy it you should be a fan of Thoroughbred racing. Abigail doesn't post too often, but when she does - watch out, because you're in for a treat! All of her articles are impeccably researched and beautifully written, and contain amazing archival photos. My all-time favorite is the one about Eddie Sweat and Secretariat. Dear Eddie was Red's devoted groom, and no one deserves more credit for keeping that horse happy and healthy during his racing days. I am glad that posthumously he has been recognized so much (e.g., the life-size bronze statue of Secretariat with Eddie and Ron Turcotte riding that's in the KHP). Read this blog to steep yourself in knowledge!
Riding Aside: Julie has to be one of the most positive and enthusiastic people I've run across on the Internet. When she likes something, she really plunges right in. She always loved the idea of riding sidesaddle... so she bought one, and she persevered in learning how to ride in it, and she trained her gorgeous Saddlebred to accept it, and she had beautiful costumes made, and by golly she goes out and shows that way! I am fascinated by all this because riding sidesaddle is definitely on my horsey bucket list. The whole deal with the flowing skirt, fitted jacket and smart hat with a veil just add to the appeal (though where I'd find all that I have no idea). I still remember seeing a gal riding aside at a H/J show when I was about 10 years old, and just being blown away at the elegance. Julie also collects sidesaddle-themed art and other items and publishes lots of photos of those as well.
Honorable Mention to (I had to put this here, as she has slightly over 200 followers so doesn't truly qualify):
Braymere Custom Saddlery: Raise your hand if you had Breyer horses as a kid. Now raise it again if you have a clue as to how many adults currently exhibit their Breyers (and other small horses) in model horse shows? And exactly how amazing model horse tack can get? I, for one, had no idea until I found Jenn's blog and was plunged into the fascinating world of model horses all over again. Jenn is also a rider and currently leasing the world's most adorable palomino pony, and we hear about their adventures, but her vocation is as master tackmaker for model horses. Every time she posts a photo of a new creation I am astonished anew. You simply won't believe the level of realism! She attends quite a few shows and other equestrian events, so it's fun to read about them, too.