We all have “go to” sources where we read about horses.  It could be a book, website or periodical and each type of riding has it’s own selection.


I love research, and when I write lesson plans or blog posts about theory or riding basics, I pull out multiple books and read the instructions from top trainers before I start an article. My research books range from before Caprilli to current publications. You have to be a little quirky to love research as much as I do, but through it I’ve learned the basics of good horsemanship don’t change nearly as much as do the ways people explain or apply them.

Keeping Up With Issues

If I want to write about a current topic or the direction our industry is heading, I usually prefer magazines over websites. Magazine editors have tighter control over authors than do web sites and blogs, and I can get an overview without a lot of emotion.  A good editorial can bring your attention to a current trend quickly, and letters to the editor tell me how some people feel about issues.

Magazines I Read

I read The Chronicle of the Horse the most mainly because it comes out weekly. The Chronicle does a terrific job of addressing industry issues. Sometimes they are issues we wish didn’t exist and many people would like to ignore. I appreciate when the Chronicle allows people to express their views in letters to the editor and in Between Rounds. The Chronicle also has special focus issues, such as the eventing, pony, or dressage issues.

I love Practical Horseman for the features on training, and for regulars like Jim Wofford and George Morris.

USPC News keeps me up to date on my favorite youth organization.

And I’m drawn to lots of other magazines by a good headline or interesting article.


Once I have an idea of a current issue I do my online research.

When I’m looking for direction or opinion on a piece of training equipment, or I want to learn about a current topic I usually start my online search with the Chronicle Forums because that’s where I find the people who are “in the trenches” using and doing, and they share their experience

Stable Management is a great site for exactly what it’s titled, plus for trends in the horse business and business advice such as sponsorships. Check out their article on the results of the 2018 American Horse Publications horse industry survey.

The American Quarter Horse Association has a terrific web site along with print and online magazines.

Beyond Horse Sites

My internet research goes beyond horse related sites. When I plan to write on teaching, I start by searching for public school teachers who share teaching methods, or sites that discuss learning types, or those that discuss sports psychology. I’ve even been known to visit the sites of football coaches.

And you should know when football season begins at my house I know I’ll get a lot of writing done because I’ll be holed up in my office with the door shut. But I’m willing to admit that football coaches know how to motivate and get the most out of their players.

It’s Your Turn

So, I’ve told you some of the things I read and how I keep abreast of issues. What about you? What do you read? I’d love to know about some of your favorite web sites or magazines. I’m always interested in a new site to follow. Will you share?

Here’s to great equestrian education, ours and our students’,

Barbara Ellin Fox

P.S. If you’d like to know more about the things I write and do, please visit me my author’s blog at BarbaraEllinFox.com.

And here’s a handy form for joining The RI News.

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Barbara Ellin Fox TheRidingInstructor
  • I read McTaggart partly for his views on riding but mainly with great pleasure for his attitude towards the horse and the treatment of the horse in training. I read Santini for his recording of the work of Caprilli and his views on riding but with reservations. I read Chamberlin for instruction on riding cross country and over jumps without any reservation. I read that encyclopaedic volume Horsemanship by Waldemar Seunig.. I read Horace Hayes for information on Horse and Stable management. I learned from Everard Calthrop always to have a source of rewards in my left hand pocket and never to fail to reward for behaviour that I wished to encourage – even e.g. standing calmly when the head collar is removed – and never to reward for doing nothing. I read Colin Vogel for veterinary diagnoses. And always in the background is an early edition of the BHS Manual of Horsemanship. I have also read Xenephon and Alois Podhajski. Enough reading for one day 🙂

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