If you know me, you know I don’t follow sports.  I’ll go to a game/match for the excitement of seeing it live, and honestly, the people-watching is usually more entertaining, but you rarely will see me sitting and watching any sport on tv.  There is one athlete though, that I’ve really taken a liking too, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I’ve got a little crush, on Terry Bradshaw.


I couldn’t tell you anything about his lengthy and impressive career in the NFL.  I believe he used to, and still does occasionally, work as a commentator on sports channels.  That’s all well and good.  Terry first came onto my radar in the movie, “Failure to Launch.”  Who can forget his “nekid room?”  Not even if you’ve tried!  More recently, I’ve loved watching him in his new series where he stars alongside friends, William Shatner, Henry Winkler, George Foreman and their sidekick Jeff Dye, “Better Late than Never.”  If you haven’t seen an episode yet, you need to, it’s a breath of fresh air compared to everything else on television right now.



What draws me even more to him though, is his love of the Quarter Horse breed.  Maybe you weren’t aware, but ole TB went from Quarterback to Quarter Horses over 25 years ago (nice word play for a non-sports person, eh?).  Terry Bradshaw Quarter Horses has made a name for itself on the show circuits for producing and showing some of the top Halter horses in the industry.  Alongside his daughter, Erin, Terry not only breeds his own stock, but he also shows.



Their current band of broodmares is over 40 strong, and the four sires the outfit boasts, Influential, Telasecret, Initials Only, and Paint stallion, John Simon, are responsible for producing some amazing and talented offspring.


The sprawling ranch in Thackerville, OK is home to more than just horses.  You’ll find the usual assortment of farm life there too.  The state of the art facility and surrounding property is nothing short of stunning, and clearly caters to the highest standards of quality.



So here it is…


Dear Mr. Bradshaw,

I’m a huge fan of your (ahem, later) work.  If you come into town for the Quarter Horse Congress, I’ll meet you in the round bar and buy you a drink for the pleasure of your company, which I’m sure would give me stores to tell for years.  Thanks for all you do to promote and produce our beloved Quarter Horses.






I don’t do resolutions.  The moment I declare something out loud like, “I’m going to get in shape,” is the moment I turn to a package of Oreos and a bottle of wine, so I just don’t put myself through it.  I don’t know if I believe in such a grand gesture.  If you really want to change, or make a big difference, why wait until a significant date?  Why not start today, now?  Why does it have to be a big thing?  Why not little things, whenever you can, as often as you’re able?


I do however, believe in Gandhi’s quote, “be the change you want to see in the world.”  So, in my own way, on my own schedule, I do make an effort to improve myself and the world I live in.  Volunteering on projects supporting our Veterans will always top my list, but things like, picking up trash, or reaching out to a friend can be just as meaningful and valuable.  Do something good, without posting about it on social media.  Do it quietly, just for you.  I think sometimes we can forget how nice it feels doing the right thing, and celebrating privately.


So that’s my New Year message.  Don’t feel obligated to make a big production of “resolving” anything, just try to do and be a little bit better than you did last year.  See how it makes you feel, you might be surprised.


Have a safe and happy celebration, until 2018…





In the fall of this year it was announced that the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina, would host the FEI World Equestrian Games, September 11-23 of 2018.  The Carolinas are lovely in late summer/early fall, why not book your travel now for a little horsing on the east coast?



Over the years, the FEI has expanded their competitive base to welcome additional events to their roster.  Expect to see the usual suspects, Jumping, Dressage and Endurance…




… as well as some newer kids on the block, like Para-Equestrian Dressage (the discipline practiced by athletes with physical disabilities), Driving Four-in-Hand, Reining and Vaulting.




The FEI World Equestrian Games serves as a qualifying event during Olympic years, so you’re guaranteed to see the absolute best in the individual disciplines and the world.  Tickets are on sale now.  Individual day passes are already sold out, but you can still purchase ticket packages for specific disciplines, week one or two, or an entire show pass, here:  https://tryon2018.com/directory/List/type/351  In addition to spectacular displays of horsemanship and athleticism, there will be vendors and special events throughout the games.


For more information, go to the official website:  http://inside.fei.org/fei/fei-weg/2018






It’s no secret that HRH Queen Elizabeth II loves a pleasant hack around the grounds of Windsor Castle on her favorite Fell Pony.  She was spotted recently, at the age of 91, accompanied by head groom Terry Pendry.  Being an equestrian is as natural to her as being a royal, and it runs in the family.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5144375/The-Queen-91-horse-riding-near-Windsor-Castle.html



Horses and riding is a family tradition, as well as a bit of an unwritten rules for those of royal blood.  Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip have been known for their love and riding and horses for as long as history has shown, and they clearly came by their passion from their families.  The tradition carried on through Prince Charles and Sister Anne, the Princess Royal.



Riding was an familiar activity for both Princess Diana, and Prince Charles’ current wife, The Duchess of Cornwall.  The don’t call it the sport of Kings for nothing.  Every well-bred young woman and man was taught at least the basics of horsemanship from an early age.



As generations were established, the accepted practice has been passed on in Prince Charles’ boys, William and Harry, as well as their cousin, Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara (Phillips) Tindall.  Both Anne and Zara are champion riders in eventing sports, where William and Harry have adopted a love of polo from their father.



The collective eye then turns to Duchess Kate, and Prince Harry’s new fiancee, Meghan Markle.  Two women who are well-bred, though not of royal birth, and weren’t raised in the saddle.  Is this where the buck stops?  Fortunately no.  George and Charlotte are already receiving riding lessons, Charlotte showing a passion for it, not unlike her Grandmother, whom she appears to be a miniature version of.  While Kate chooses not to ride, she supports her families desire.  Meghan has been quoted as having an interest in learning the sport of polo, and is often a spectator at Harry’s matches.




Perhaps in spite of their lack of horsey experience growing up, the two of them will take on the new skill together.  It’s always more fun to learn something new, with someone else who’s learning at the same level.







I remember reading once, from famed photographer and lover of his famous Weimaraner dogs, William Wegman, about how as his dogs aged, he became  more intent on capturing their images.  I don’t recall his exact words, but he went on to describe how he tried to capture their expressions so that when they were gone, he would still be able to remember every sweet detail.  While I have many photos of my Buddy, I often wish I’d adopted the same attitude and taken more photos as he grew older, that I could cherish now.



If you have a horse person in your life, and you’re stuck for a Christmas gift idea, please consider a photo shoot with someone who specializes in equine photography.  There are countless professionals all over the world who can create amazing images of your loved ones with their loved one, and it’s a beautiful way to immortalize them.  Give them the gift of stopping time, so whenever they want to look back, they can in full color (or black & white!).


In a brief search, I was able to locate one where I live, http://www.certifiedimages.com photography by Kristin Martin.  Kristin was, and likely is still, a familiar face on the Ohio Quarter Horse Circuits, who took her love of horses and branched out into photography.



Another well-known Ohio equestiran and photographer, Sally Shaffer, of http://www.sallyshaffer.com and Autumn Lane Farm in Thornville, OH, creates stunning images of horses and people.  She’s largely known for her work on race tracks and in the Standardbred world, but she has all the talent needed to give you lifelong memories.



I got to meet Barbara Jenkins last year at Quarter Horse Congress, another life-long show gal.  She began http://www.barbwireproductions.com to help people capture their favorite equines and moments.  You’ve likely seen her work in publications like the Equine Chronicle or the Congress program.



If you or whoever you gift a session to isn’t sure where to start, I found a great article here offering a timeline of what to do and how to prepare, so you make the absolute best out of the opportunity, https://www.carlykadecreative.com/blog/equine-photo-prep-tips-for-you-your-horse


As much as we’d love them to stay with us forever, at least we can invest in photos that will stand the test of time.  Our memories will get fuzzy over time, but pictures always last.