When Heather of Bridle and Bone (psst: all my links open in a new tab – so click away!) posted about this blog hop, I instantly knew that I wanted to be a part of it. Not only is it a great way to network and meet other bloggers, I knew it would be a great chance to get OTTBs and Oxers’s name out there. I can’t wait to read and comment on the other blogs and read other blogger’s opinions of mine.
I am probably one of the newest blogs participating in this blog hop.
I started posting on OTTBs and Oxers on March 18th of this year with 18 Motivational Quotes. That was just over 6 months ago!
Before that, I had an even smaller Blogger site called U:Equestrian. I decided to switch to OTTBs and Oxers for a couple of reasons:
- The name came to me out of the blue and how could I not use it??
- I’m more comfortable with WordPress, as I’ve been using it for years to create websites for other people.
- Part of U:Equestrian was based around University. As I’m already a sophomore in college, I wanted my blog to be able to grow with me after I graduate.
Why did I decide to start blogging in the first place?
I think it all stems from my love of writing. Since I was a little girl in grade school, I’ve always had my nose tucked in a book. I could only read so much before the need to write my own stories won me over.
In sixth grade, I started writing my very first book, a shapeshifter romance centered on an adventure. I finished it in eighth grade, and for those two years, I constantly had my flower print composition notebook and a pen in my hands.
In high school, I started writing a spin-off of that same novel – this time more a historical romance. It was also during this time that I learned how to write technically. I was blessed to be able to take Honors and AP classes that taught me proper writing techniques. Now, I’m working on my third novella, a fictional story based on the Manchester bombing.
It made sense to me to combine my love of writing with my love of my horse. A blog was the logical answer – plus, I knew it could be fun!
Blogging allows me to keep a journal of how far Beau and I have come – which is important to me as an amateur with a difficult horse. It also lets me get my opinions to other equestrians on products (Review: Annie’s Equestrienne Breeches) and current events (The Rolex Red Carpet!). I can even reflect on the important events in my life and how they affect my life as an equestrian, even if they are not equestrian in nature (Coming Home).
A big part of my blog experience is my presence on Twitter’s equestrian hub, fondly dubbed “The Island.” Through it, I received the inspiration for my last post and huge project, Rider Drug Use: Is It a Problem?. I also find it is a great platform to connect with your audience. I’ve even found a great support group for my non-blog writing in The Island Writers (Shout-out to you, girls!). My Twitter is @OTTBsandOxers.
What have I learned?
So far, I’ve learned that the equestrian blogging community is comprised of many incredible people who love to support each other. I have never felt alone in my quest to discover what blogging holds for my future. There is always someone to go to with questions or somewhere to look for inspiration.
Something I still struggle with is how to make my blog stand out in a sea of fantastic equestrian bloggers. I have an awesome, amazing horse, and I love chronicling our adventures, but so do plenty of other people. I am currently trying to start an IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) team at my school, which I planned to write about, but I am running into speed bump after speed bump. I’m a competitive person, but I don’t have a trailer, so we don’t show many times a year.
So, what do I have that’s unique?
This silly, adorable, tries-his-heart-out horse.
A university perspective: I’m a sophomore dealing with horses, a job, school, and volunteering all at the same time.
A competitive mindset – even if I’m not competing all the time, I still have goals for my rides that are fun to read.
Dedication to this blog – I’m currently posting between one and two times a week.
Be sure to check out my other posts if you enjoyed this one – thanks for reading!