10 More Lessons I’ve Learned From Horse Blogging

staying positive when training is not going well

Carrying on with the next 10 tips today.

As promised yesterday, here’s the rest from the original list.


10 more horse blogging tips for a reader friendly blog!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Before we get in to it – remember to have fun with your blog! There’s really no true rules. As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say at the end! Share your own tips and pet peeves!

11. Consider the content in any picture before posting.

Readers will have a hard time seeing a quick image as something fleeting or temporary, or as something unusual.

If you choose to post pictures of your horse, let’s say lathered and with a rope halter rubbing off its outside eye on the lunge line, then yes, viewers will see this as a true representation of how your horses are normally handled.

Even if it was just one time. For 5 minutes.

Just that it was published on your blog draws a parallel, and sets a precedence.

Getting off track here… As you can tell below, I check every picture before posting to make sure everything is correct and in place. Right…

candid picture gone wrong

12. Ignore the statistics for now.

Hits of 2000 per month is insignificant, and won’t pull in any money. Just write anyway, have fun with it, and think of the reasons the blog started in the first place!

A way to document? An adventure? A chance to create a network of like-minded that could never happen in real life… Because we’re always too busy waiting for the farrier. Or run out of time cleaning tack, or fixing the broken hay net, again.

13. Spell check.

‘Nuff said. No grammar police, but a spell check is nice. I butcher sentences in my own special way and reverse the words to where the syntax is broken. More or less on purpose perhaps.

But a spell check is easy, and readers really do like it.

The easy part is pushing the square with ABC and a check mark, every time. Yes?

Benefits of hand Walking Young horses on trails

14. Imaging is king. (That’s not even a sentence, I’m lost.)

See 11 above – pictures mean a lot. Include a photo in every post.

We know content is king, but the eye is a cheat and an easy sell and will stay longer on a page with a picture.

Posts with no images get very little views. It’s simply how it works. You can read all sorts of marketing studies on this. Or just go with it – and break up those chunks of text.

Honorable mention:

Try really hard to use only your own images for at least 90% of all pictures on the blog. It makes a difference – the material should always feel as if it comes from you.

Hand walking green horse on trail

15. Page Backgrounds. Just. Don’t. Do it.

It should be illegal for themes with purple and pink paisley to even exist as an option.

No one does this any more. Right?!

16. Once-weekly posting may be enough.

Supposedly webcrawlers look for fresh content and it will help in search ratings if the website has been updated. If your site has new content, it will pop up higher/earlier in search engines. That’s all.

Excessive posting doesn’t really do anything. This blog is published more often, just because I like it… More posts doesn’t always equal more reader-worthy posts.

Cantering green horse

17. Answer comments on the blog. At some point.

I’m always incredibly grateful for reader comments. It’s fun, I love to interact, hear what others are doing and find out what they think about the post!

But there’s not law that says a writer has to be a slave to commenting right away. Many of us have an incredible long list of things that has to happen every day. (We’re horse people!) Taking time to write is huge.

Every one will understand if comments are unanswered for a couple of days. The less stress around anything with your writing, the more fun!

18. Quit it with the pop ups.

Unless it’s a cheesy self-help site. Or a scam. Or a virus. It feels a bit like click-bait…

Most of us are snake-fast with the “Back” button!

19. Focus on “Ease Of Use” for your readers.

The blog should be easy to read, access, and navigate! There are blogs where readers have to “click for more” to be able to read the entire post. Really? Come on! Many won’t click…

Don’t sacrifice ease of use just to get more page clicks and increased statistics on a page that doesn’t bring in any money in the first place. More “views” don’t make a difference in the larger scheme of things.

Readers will stay longer instead if the full post can be read upfront, and why not allow several, earlier, posts below it?

Maybe infinite scrolling of 5-10 posts? Sure, statistics will show more views if readers are forced to “click-through” to see each individual post.

But why??! I’d love to hear your feedback on this. Hit me!

cantering green horse and half halt

20. Reviews, and how they may, or may not generate more followers.

Write reviews because they’re fun and because you enjoy writing them. My posts with the largest statistics and the longest shelf life are all reviews. (Aside from a post with a tag Mount A Horse which keeps getting high hits, Germany every time. So wrong.)

The same goes for some shared posts and certain content found through Online Searches – they generate hits, but not necessarily new Followers.

Many come for the content, read, and move on. A view from Pinterest means just that – a view.

Just what everyone does when getting information, right? We don’t always take time to click-through past the article to find out who wrote it, what else is going on this site, and decide to Follow, Share, Like, Pin, or Forward it.

This doesn’t really change anything in the actual writing of the blog. Just more something to keep in mind – a blog can sit with lower followers and still have a huge reach.

Enjoyed the tips? Help your friends out, share your thoughts!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Your Horse – The Subtle Art Of Not Under-Appreciating

how to find a horse you like

Quick, tell me your horse’s best quality!

Maybe not that easy.  But you know it’s there.  If not, think fast!  It’s an art in it self, not under-appreciating your horse.  What’s the one thing you keep hanging on to?

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For ElinorNot literally; forget the Clinging Dishrag hanging-on we do on windy days when special mares sport rocket-speed-with-a-groin-pimple moves!  But the thing that keeps you hanging on to the idea that your horse is worth it all.

Something there that makes things click just enough.

The greatest benefit with Valiosa took me a while to figure out.

This isn’t really it…

how to find a horse you like

I’ll share that after the weekend.  In the meantime, feel free to chime in on how you’ve mastered the art of not under-appreciating your horse!

Tip For Best Fly Protection All Around!

introducing horses to a herd

Dressage On A Dime Tip, right in time for late season Christmas shopping!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

The testing has all been done for you – no need to waste time and money on useless fly masks that rip, tear, fall off, sit “heavy” on the horse’s head, rub, break at the velcro part, wear out the forelock or worst of all – poke in to the eyes!

This one, Shires Fine Mesh, after countless other trials with other fly masks of various shapes and brands is a winner!  (Yeees, I know about Cashels, they’ve got nothing on this see through, fleecy-soft beauty.)

introducing horses to a herd

The scoop on Shires Fine Mesh Mask:

  • Lightweight and really flexible, even with full ears
  • Fleece at the seams to protect the coat.
  • Fine mesh; see through at the eyes which is great especially for horses living in herds for ease of communication.
  • Anatomical design, with the eye area sitting steadily away from the eye.
  • Lasting closures – no flimsy thin velcro that won’t close after a summer’s use, and not so tight you have to work with the fingertips to be able to pull it apart.
  • Fabulous thick white fleece on the inside crown piece; the mask wears “cooler” and doesn’t rub as much as other masks
  • First fly mask so far where the ears lasted a full 6 months of 24/7 wear in a pasture with lots of trees, brush, and other horses.  In fact, the ears are still intact!

two horses kissing

Find it here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06X99PYD5/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Disclaimer:  Hey, they don’t pay me to tell you any of this stuff.  (Hello?!  That would be nice!)  You can find the Shires mask in several online stores, I just stuck a link to Amazon in there to not play favorites.  Or, even better, support your local tack store and pay them a visit!

How To Get Your Horse To Eat Just About Any Supplement

how to make your horse eat anything

Got a picky eater who just won’t finish that expensive bucket of supplements?

Here’s a Dressage On A Dime Tip:

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Bake it into cookies, dividing the total amount of cookies by the amount of scooped servings of the supplement included in the batter batch!

Introducing Little Ellie’s Horse Cookies™.

Little Ellie's Horse Cookies

Turd-shaped, because that’s so sensible.

Got at least one friend who’ll smile at finally seeing these things.  He named them, the recipe is mine.

50 cookies made with 10 servings of refuse-to-eat-stomach-supplement = 5 lip-smacking cookies per serving.

Baked with wholesome oats, molasses, ripe pears from my backyard, and secret sauce.

how to make your horse eat anything

Next batch Coat Care Cookies with Refuse-to-eat-even-more-expensive-omega-supplement.  Followed by Thirsty Tarts with No-way-will-I-eat-that-electrolytes.

No waste!  How fun is that?!


Closing with a view of barn owner and friend – I got the barn decked out for fall.  Obviously I’m very excited about temps staying solidly below 85° F.  Soon.

fall decorations at barn

Prestige Anatomic Girth

dressage blog prestige girth

The Prestige – a nice, extremely well made and plush anatomical girth.

Loving it, and it’s everything it’s made out to be in product descriptions and other reviews!

Just as soft and pliable as the Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief Girth, and actually plusher.

Prestige Anatomic Girth Review

Slightly shallower than the County Logic, which was good since it avoids that open “gap” at the front that can occur on some horses depending on their girth grove.

My horse doesn’t need the “super deep” curve and the Prestige (from Prestige Italy) fits great!Prestige anatomical girth review

This girth replaced my Delfina Anatomical girth.  Sadly.  While the Delfina started out great, the underside (touching the skin about 1/3 in from the ends of both sides of the girth) cracked in much shorter time than expected.

With just regular use and good conditioning and cleaning it should have held up longer.  Just a heads up, since I published a review on it when it was new and liked it so much then…

Side-Tip for the Prestige:  Some buyers mentioned a too long distance from the billet buckles to the single billet keeper.  The billet keeper sits a full inch lower on the Prestige than on some other girths I’ve seen.  A problem if you ride on the 3rd or 4th hole on the billets, like me, as the billets won’t reach down to be tucked in to the keeper.

It’s really not an issue at all, since the keepers can be tucked into the space right below the buckles instead.  Tidy and no flapping around.  Just thought it was worth mentioning, if you’ve got your eyes on the luscious Prestige girth!

dressage blog prestige girth

 

Ending today with a shot of the newest arrival in the barn – Cabella.  She likes to wear her food.

horse with hay on the head

Verbindend Bit Tip!

neue sheule bit love

A  shout out to this golden wonder.

My mare really likes the Salox material in this bit.  She needs a very slim bit for her tiny, tiny jaw space.  At 12mm and in this design, she seemed happier than in any other snaffle we’ve tried.  Of course it comes in thicker versions too.

salox material in bits

Soft, very lightweight double jointed loose ring snaffle with less tongue pressure than most.

Dressage On A Dime Tip:  Get it on Ebay! 🙂   Ordered from the UK, arrived impeccable, and a day early!  At a steal.

#loveNSbits
12 mm, 5 1/4′, Bridoon sized rings.

A little Verbindend love.

neue sheule bit love

Tack Room Tip

ikea planter for tack room use

Quick tip for a quick and easy tack room organizer!

I’m a sucker for a very neat and well supplied tack room.  I know many of you are tucked into dark, musty little corners without much opportunity to actually hang something on the walls.

Read on for a look at something new.

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Today, a plug for IKEA cleverness.

Already so yesterday’s news – the IKEA potties for cavaletti.  But in case you’ve missed this brilliant idea for lightweight, sturdy, super easy to handle, and low-priced little holders – here we go again:

ikea potties for jump poles

Picture from Gift Horse Eventing  

She gets extra credit for color coordinating with her poles, instead of the original, lime green, color!

Here’s my Dressage On A Dime tip of the day!

Meet the all new Veberöd.

This is the tip you don’t want to miss! Only need to watch 19 seconds of this to get the idea.  Music “off” to come out of the experience still feeling normal.

Super easy to fit in any tack room where you can’t install anything permanent.  And it’s on wheels so could even serve as a mobile grooming station.  And there’s seating!

Endless possibilities, on a dime.

ikea planter for tack room use

Or how about this, Bittergurka, super easy to hang planter?  But for the tack room!  Also in gray or pink.

Thinking tack cleaning sponges, or gloves, or braiding supplies…

Or a safe place for cookies donated to your trainer so the dogs won’t eat them.  Yes.  This happens.