There are no shortage of horse blogs floating around the internet, and all of them are well done. It was honestly tough to pick one to write about because they are all about my favorite topic. I decided on “A Gift Horse.” It is written by a girl named Genny, who is in her 20s and lives in the mid-west. Her blog is basically all about her adventures with horses and how they affect her life. She shows some videos of her riding and she also has plenty of photos on there. I really liked the way that she worded her tabs on the blog. She called her ‘about me’ section ‘in the irons’ and she called the section where she talks about the horses she rides ‘under the saddle.’
The layout of the blog looks super professional to me. The header is a basic purple color, but she added in a photo of what I can only assume is her riding right behind the lettering. It is muted so that the purple really pops, which works well. The title of the blog is “A Gift Horse” with the subtitle “An Equestrian’s Blog.” I like that she clarified what exactly they blog was about, because “A Gift Horse” can mean a few things.
The ‘about the author’ section was also very engaging. She used some humor to grab the audience, which is something I really respect. She talks about her one special horse in a very endearing way, and she also has some photos up of her with her horse. The menu of the blog, however, is very simple. Under the home tab, you can see all of her posts in chronological order. Right next to this is a tab called ‘goals.’ Under this tab, the author lists all of her riding and blogging goals for readers. I love that she did this because it helps the reader follow along with her progress and it also keeps her accountable. The only widgets that she has on the page are some archive links, a certification that it is among the top 50 horse blogs, and tags for her posts. I like this because it keeps the page un-cluttered and easy to read.
There are not that many social media links on this blog. There is a link for a Facebook page for her blog (not personal), as well as an email link. She may want to consider linking up some more forms of social media, as this will help spread her blog around more. There is no footer either, just a WordPress link to start blogging.
The about me page, ‘In the Irons,’ was very amusing and interesting. She begins by talking about her interests aside from horses so that the audience can get to know her as a complete person. She then goes into some detail about her first horse and when she got started with ownership and training. She concludes with telling the audience that even though she doesn’t own the horse anymore, she is still chasing her dream.
One of her most popular posts is titled “A Chapter Closed.” It describes her sadness due to the fact that her lease with a specific horse was coming to an end. Most of the comments were sympathetic and everyone was trying to make her feel better. That is one thing I love about some parts of the horse industry. Everyone is so caring and sweet because they all know what it is like to love these thousand pound animals.
Her regular blog posts are only photos and words. She has a completely separate section for videos of her riding so that you can see them all at once without scrolling though a ton of posts, which makes the blog very user friendly. They are mostly her original photos, because they blog is mainly about herself and her adventures with horses. It wouldn’t make much sense, in my opinion, to use other photos because the blog is very personal. I found the titles of the posts to be pretty compelling. They pulled me in because they made it clear what the topic was, but did not give everything away. However, I think that the author relies too much on photos in her entries. It seems to me that she tells most of the story with the pictures, but it would be nice for her to try to paint a picture with words.
Out of all of the posts that I looked at, the most comments I saw on one was 33. This shows me that her blog, although known, is not super popular. It has been recognized as one of the top horse blogs, but she still has not reached 300 followers. The audience seems pretty active on this blog, however. I think that the lack of more comments is mostly because she doesn’t have a ton of followers. Her latest post has only been shared on Facebook, and only three times. Like I said before, this is pretty good because her blog is not hugely popular. She does have social media sharing links on each post, where you can share to Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress. I know that she absolutely does encourage readers to subscribe, because in the goals section she lists that getting to 300 followers is a goal of hers.
Overall, I think that this is a quality blog. The author does very well with grabbing attention with nice post titles and interesting photos. I really like that she included a separate page with all of her riding videos. I love to watch other people ride and it helps to know how good of a rider she is. Like I said before, I think she could improve the blog by making her posts less full of pictures and more wordy. It takes a really good blogger to paint a picture with words rather than actual pictures. I would also add some more social media links and a footer to the blog, but other than that I think the author did a very good job with the blog.