One True Thing

The Gifts of Middle Age By Catherine Madera     I got my first horse, an Arabian named Sunny, when I was 11. A bright bay, he was flashy as a copper penny. I’d never seen anything so beautiful. My first ride on him is seared into memory: After strapping …

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A Hero’s Work

One horse’s will to live became an inspiration to many by Catherine Madera Photos by Emily Greene The working horses of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch outside Bend, Oregon don’t have performance pedigrees. They don’t round up cattle or help hold wily calves. For their job of equine counselor, this motley …

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“I Bought a Racehorse”


Syndication and the Sport of Kings by Catherine Madera   The recent film Dark Horse provided a behind-the-scenes look into the practice of race horse syndication. A real life fairy tale, this documentary tells the story of Welsh race horse champion Dream Alliance. While wildly improbable, the story is delightful …

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Changing Seasons

Catherine Madera

Let Go to Embrace by Catherine Madera   A fond childhood memory includes my parents’ old record player. Dad loved musicians like Anne Murray and Pete Seeger and had a modest collection of records. I vividly remember pulling out the large vinyl discs, setting them on the turntable and lying …

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Late to the Party


Celebrating the Late Bloomer by Catherine Madera   In this culture there is nothing so exciting as fast success; we idolize the child wonder, the overnight sensation. We like things quick and outstanding. This is not a friendly environment for the “late bloomer.” Wikipedia defines this condition as: a person …

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Film Review: Dark Horse

Dark Horse

The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance   Dark Horse is the real life fairytale about how a Welsh barmaid from a poor coal mining town decided to breed a racehorse and take on the sport of kings. Jan Vokes knew nothing whatsoever about horse racing, but had bred birds …

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A Risky Business


Risk Management and Confronting Fear by Catherine Madera   Our cover article this month touches on a critical topic in the life of every horse person: fear. Cindi Plendl of Butler Hill Equestrian Center says that “fear is your killer” and I have to agree. The worst accidents I have …

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April 2016 Cover Story: Butler Hill Equestrian Center

Butlerhill Equestrian Center

Creating Fear-free Leaders that Walk through Fire by Catherine Madera   Cindi Plendl, owner of Butler Hill Equestrian Center, isn’t impressed by current trends in horse training and handling. This includes DVD training series that cannot teach things like timing or feel and grandiose exhibitions by professionals eager to make …

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