Maryland is for Horses


The Maryland state slogan should be “Maryland is for Horses;” it makes much more sense than “Virginia is for Lovers.” It’s not just the history, the legacy, and the facilities, but our fellow citizens’ support. Although I’ve been involved with horses since my first riding lessons at Kettering Stables in the 1960’s and grew up watching horses run at Bowie Race Track, I did not understand the far reaching impact horses had on communities, businesses, individuals, and industries until recently. I’m not an economist, but I can use my own personal example to illustrate how one person’s horse habit can affect the local economy.

As a child, I took horseback riding lessons, which of course also required the purchase of boots and riding clothes. My parents took our family to Bowie Race Track where they spent money to get in, buy programs, bet on races, and buy food and drinks at concession stands. I worked at barns feeding horses and mucking stalls in exchange for more lessons and riding opportunities, an arrangement which still works well to this day for many stables to help them run their businesses. My parents eventually leased a horse for me, which required us to purchase tack, grooming equipment, and more. I even learned a bit about business as a teenager when I would ride my horse over to Allen Pond and collect a small fee for “pony rides” from park patrons.

I didn’t grow out of the horse phase in my adult years, and today my husband and I own three horses we board at Loftmar Stables in Bowie. In fact, the sole reason we bought the house was because it was adjacent to a stable. We pay for monthly board, riding lessons, vet bills, dentist bills, and farrier bills. We purchased a horse trailer at Cox Trailers in Clinton and buy gas to trailer our horses to local trail rides and to horse shows. We pay entry fees at shows and while there support local vendors. We regularly shop at Southern States in Upper Marlboro, Dover Saddlery and Maryland Saddlery in Crofton, and Bowen Farm Supply in Annapolis for equipment and supplies. We frequent Outback Leather in Laurel to have our horse blankets cleaned and repaired.

I continued the family tradition of attending horse races, and we entertain ourselves at Laurel Park, Pimlico, and Rosecroft Raceway and support their concessions. I am Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council and spend money travelling across the state to attend meetings and events. My husband and I are strong supporters of horse rescues and contribute money to help three Maryland horse rescues. I’ve authored two horse books and pay Maryland Sales and Use Tax on sales. I travel to schools and to book signings, and again, support those local economies while there.

The list goes on, but the point is the horse industry touches many segments and individuals in the economy that some might not ordinarily consider. My example is one, and there are an estimated 65,500 horse owners, employees, and volunteers in the state. Think about it the next time you see a horse trailer on the road…Maryland businesses are likely benefitting economically from that cargo. Horses are not just good for people with the horse habit, but for the many people supporting that habit through their local goods and services. Yes, Maryland is for Horses.     

This article was shared with state lawmakers as part of Maryland Horse Industry Day, Feb. 23, 2016, in Annapolis, Md.

Author Pays It Forward for Other Authors

I hope you will stop by and check out my guest author interview on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog – she asks great questions! Besides offering writing tips based on her career as a writer, Cheryl hosts authors from around the world to help them gain exposure. In her words: “On this blog, I ‘Pay it Forward’ to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too ‘Pay It Forward’ to any other author.”

Cheryl Holloway's Blog

Thank you, Cheryl…and I look forward to “Paying It Forward,” too!

Inspirational Young Horse Saver

I reconnected with a childhood friend recently whose daughter, Nicole, volunteers with Freedom Hill Horse Rescue. My friend mentioned Nicole was preparing her end-of-year book report and diorama on my book, “Believing In Horses.” When I saw her diorama and read her report, I found it so touching that I wanted to share them with others. In times when children are often criticized for being self-centered and lazy, I’m happy to highlight one who is not.

So, from my youngest contributor to this blog, I bring you 10-year-old Nicole Cavanaugh, an inspirational young horse saver.

Nicole Cavanaugh's diorama for Believing In Horses

In this scene from “Believing in Horses” Sadie is going to Freedom Hill Horse Rescue for the first time. Sadie is visiting Freedom Hill to sign up as a volunteer and to show them her presentation about the horses that need to be saved. She is hoping they will help her save the horses that are going to be auctioned. This is an important moment for Sadie because this is the first time she asks for help to achieve her goal. (Nicole Cavanaugh)


The Navarros are moving to Bowie, Maryland, because Sadie’s Dad is in the military and is being reassigned for a few years. One of those years he will be in Afghanistan, which makes Sadie sad. Her reward for being so good about the situation is a horse. Sadie’s grandmother sends Sadie a horse. His name is Color Me Lucky but they call him Lucky. One day Sadie learned about 10 horses that needed to be saved because they were going to auction. Many horses that go to auction are killed for meat. Sadie decided she [Read more…]

Riding Invisible – Book Review

Riding Invisible
It’s been awhile since a book review, and since I found this particular book so interesting, I wanted to share “Riding Invisible” by Sandra Alonzo with you.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved “Riding Invisible” and had a hard time putting it down. The story begins with young Yancy running away from home on his horse, Shy, and the journal of his adventure. [Read more…]

Making A Difference, One Horse, Or Human, at a Time

Hello readers, I was a finalist in Angelea Walkup’s HorseGirlTV Guest Bloggers competition!  Please see the guest post at  Thanks, Angelea, and Team HorseGirlTV for inviting me to stop by.

A Real Good Story









I last posted about “Keeping It Real” in writing and mentioned how some people responded to my book, Believing In Horses, turning fiction into reality. Last week, some local children made a significant donation to local rescues in their “Kids Can Do BIG Things, Too!” campaign. Please welcome my guest blogger, Kristy Alvarez, founder of Desire Ministries and the leader of this campaign, who tells the story in her words. 

As many of you know, or may not know, through Desire Ministries, we have been running an after-school Horse Club program since 2006.  We meet with the students of Cornerstone Christian Academy on a weekly basis so that the students who participate can learn the basics of horseback riding and horsemanship at Loftmar Stables in Bowie, Md.

[Read more…]