About Horse Rookie
Long-time horse lover, first-time horse owner.
Welcome to Horse Rookie, a site dedicated to helping equestrians of all levels (especially rookies) answer common questions, make informed decisions, and have more fun with their horses. It’s the kind of resource I wish I’d had when I finally purchased my first horse.
Though I hoped for a horse under the Christmas tree every year, like many little girls, my parents stuck to their party line: there are plenty of horses to ride — for cheap. Now, as a horse owner who sees the dollars evaporate from her bank account at lightening speed, I get it.
So I spent the next 25+ years in the saddle riding other people’s horses for lessons, trail rides, horse camps, and horsey yoga retreats. (Yep, it’s a thing.) Once I graduated business school and dove into my career with a fast-paced startup, horses went on the back burner.
For almost a decade.
I hadn’t lost my love for horses. My passion simply went dormant while other aspects of life grew in importance.
But, as with all true equestrians, I couldn’t stay away. After going on a handful of horseback riding vacations, I came home infected by the horse bug once again.
Fast forward to my early thirties when I stuffed my belongings (and a very vocal hound dog) into my car and headed west. I landed in Montana, a breathtaking and magical place teeming with horses. #somebodypinchme
Finally, at the age of 33, I bought a horse of my own. I was nervous, worried about making mistakes, and more than a little rusty. Even though I’d been riding since I was six, I entered the wide world of horse ownership feeling like a total rookie.
Everyone knows what it’s like to feel like a horse rookie, and knowledge is the best remedy.
The learning curve has been steep, but buying a horse was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Whether you’re new to horses, grew up with them on your property, actually found a horse under your Christmas tree (#envious), or have owned horses for decades, there’s always more to learn. The team of equestrian experts at Horse Rookie is here to help.
I spend most of my time out at the barn with my herd “Monkey” (15 yo AQHA gelding), Jax (7 yo Azteca), and Bug (1 yo Mini Appy) practicing dressage, eventing, stadium jumping, cutting, reining, trail riding, or cow work. When I’m not out riding, I work as a freelance marketer, writer, and riding clinic coordinator.
Good ground manners are critical. No one wants to be around a horse that bites, kicks, puts its ears back, or otherwise causes havoc. The same goes for Horse Rookie readers. We exist for equestrians who love to learn, don’t have all the answers, and actively work to better themselves and the broader horse community.
- Open Gate: Horse Rookie is a home for ALL equestrians — all races, ages, disciplines, genders, sexual orientations, skill levels, and breeches sizes. This is a safe space, and bullying, negativity, and “ears back” behavior is not tolerated.
- Open Mind: We believe every equestrian can learn more, and this site is for those with open minds who are hungry for knowledge. (Know-it-alls can keep on trotting!)
- Open Mic: This is a community, and we celebrate and welcome different voices. If you’d like to write for us, we’d love to hear from you.
- Open Book: Everyone makes mistakes, and that doesn’t make us bad or unworthy equestrians. We are open about mistakes, lessons learned, and stories about how to move forward.
- Open Road: We’re always working on new ideas to serve our readers and help them have better experiences with their horses. Wherever the road takes us, we’re honored to have you along for the ride!
You know that feeling when you get paired with the perfect lesson partner, and everything about riding gets more fun? That’s how I feel about the small-yet-mighty team at Horse Rookie.
Hunts for typos, formatting errors, and broken links. Works for pastries.
John is a retired professor living his best life in the mountains of Montana. He traded in his academic writing quill to serve as editor for Horse Rookie. Thanks to 30+ years as an equestrian in his own right (dressage), he loves the subject matter and helping our readers boost their equine know-how. (He also happens to be my dad!)
Passionate about writing, systems, donkeys, and horses (of course!).
Horses are Susanna’s first love, but travel is a close second. She grew up riding in 4-H and went on to ride on her college equestrian team. As an adult, she’s ridden and shown Quarter Horses for 20+ years, including several wins at Quarter Horse Congress. She also worked for 7 years at a leading horse feed company, so she’s passionate about equine health and nutrition. Susanna is also the proud (and periodically perplexed) mama to two adopted BLM donkeys.
We also love and appreciate our wonderful equestrian freelance writers, along with our bad@ss support team Natalie, Kelsey, and Michelle!
I still have plenty to learn. Join me.
Chief Horse Rookie