Introducing the American Horsewoman’s Challenge

For centuries, horsewomen have worked in the shadows. Even when their talents equal or surpass their male counterparts, it can be a struggle to receive the attention they so rightly deserve. But one event is looking to let them shine.

hwc-logo-sponsorThe inaugural American’s Horsewoman’s Challenge celebrates women trainers from the United States and Canada by giving them six months to work with a green horse and then showcase their partnership and accomplishments at a fall finale in Oklahoma City.

Competitors include Marian Weisskopff, Mary Miller-Jordan, and many more.

There will be liberty, cowboy dressage, and extreme trail competitions. And shopping, of course!

NickerNews and BestHorsePractices have signed on as Media Sponsors.

Stay tuned for more news, including updates on how the competitors are faring with their horses.


Braids by Britt makes it personal

-1When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That’s how we stay positive and motivated through adversity.

Brittany Fantarella has that winning attitude.

A barrel racing accident recently landed her in the hospital with a frightening array of injuries, including broken ribs. Thankfully, she avoided surgery, but Fantarella needs to lay low as her body heals.

What better time to work harder at Braids by Britt, her fledgling business?

It was a hobby she began nurturing months ago as she juggled work and academics as a biology major at Southern Connecticut State University. The 23-year old has quickly acquired fans as she crafts custom horse hair bracelets and accessories.

10310671_742418695810383_962648886187615770_nThe Creative Process:

The process begins when customers mail their beloved horses’ mane or tail hair. Often, they send hair from more than one horse, which makes for colorful combinations.

She washes it two to three times with horse shampoo, laying out the hairs to dry between washes.

Fantarella then glues five to ten strands together before clasping the neat bunches with sterling silver attachments.

The result?

Beautiful, well-made and personalized jewelry. An enduring memento of cherished times. Each piece is delivered with specific care instructions with horse lover specific notations like: Better off not wearing your bracelet while scrubbing buckets in the barn!

My favorite selection  is the four-strand braid with simple polka dot clasp and end pieces.

Check out her facebook page here or reach Brittany at (203) 868-4561.


Welcome Elm City Trailer!

We welcome Bobby Fantarella and his company, Elm City Trailer to the NickerNews and BestHorsePractices family!

elm city trailerFor years, Bobby was that friendly, knowledgeable guy I’d visit with at the Equine Affaire. I still have my awesome trailer (a four-horse, gooseneck by Featherlite) purchased from Bobby a few years back. It’s a trailer that has safely hauled my horses from Maine to Utah and many points in between with next-to-no fuss. Plus, the horses love it.

In addition, Bobby has contributed to the NickerNews library with valuable tips on how to maintain your trailer year after year. Read essential tips here.

I asked Bobby how we can get to know him and Elm City Trailer a bit better:

What’s your connection with horses? 

As a kid I worked on a farm and used horses to pick corn, so I’ve been around them for a LONG time! My daughter has been a barrel racer for about 15 years, so between the two of us, we have always had two to three horses on our property.

28386_10150192723010650_4740621_nHow does what you know help your customers?

Well, being around trailers my entire life, as well as horses, I’ve seen a lot of different customer needs. I like to speak with customers about exactly what they ‘do’. (Local hauling, long distance, horse size, tow vehicle, budget, etc.) Then I can match them with a trailer that fits their particular needs.

Thanks, Bobby.

Check out Elm City Trailer’s website or just give him a call (203) 535-0075.

July Storm: poet gives us telling image

July Storm


Like a tall woman walking across the hayfield

the rain came slowly, dressed in crystal and the sun.

Rustling along the ground, she stopped at our apple tree

only for a whispering minute, then swept darkening

skirts over the lake,

and so serenely climbed the wooden hills.

Was the rainbow a ribbon that she wore?

We saw it when she was gone. It seemed a part of her brightness

and the way she moved lightly, but with assurance

over the earth.

Elizabeth Coatsworth
Gary Lawless, owner of Gulf of Maine Books, was kind enough to send me this poem.
Coatsworth and her husband, Henry Beston (who helps open the pages of A Rider’s Reader) lived in Maine for more than 50 years.
Lawless writes:

“They bought the farm in the early 1930s. She died in 1986 and we came here to caretake right after her death. I read her poems at her funeral…She left six horses and a pony. Someone had to be here…Elizabeth published over 125 books in her lifetime, a full and beautiful life.”


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