All of a sudden, it’s been a year since a group of people started Tweeting weekly and sharing our horsey experiences. We’ve discussed everything from bridle bling to how to choose a riding instructor, and I’m sure that most of us can’t remember what we used to do at 8pm on Mondays.
Participating in #HorseHour has allowed me to get in touch with horsey people I possibly otherwise wouldn’t have met. The horse world can be very insular and technophobic, but the next generation are breaking down those barriers on Twitter: there’s a friendly atmosphere or people sharing opinions and advice, with the opportunity to get to know other equestrians around the world. #HorseHour has introduced me to other bloggers, those working in the industry who are a source of inspiration, and people who have become friendly faces. I can’t remember who exactly joined in at which point, but to name just a few, I’ve met Wiola, Ceri, Susan, Susy and many more.
There are times when I haven’t participated in #HorseHour as much as I’d have liked to – mostly when I was in the US over the summer: although I spent the majority of my summer on the east coast, meaning 8pm in the UK was 3pm for me, I was almost always working at the relevant moment. It was nice to duck in whenever I could – if #HorseHour happened on my day off and I was near wifi – in order to say hello to the virtual friends I missed catching up with. Although I wasn’t always directly present, I tried to be part of #HorseHour in spirit – the beauty of being able to use a service for pre-setting your Tweets!
Many equestrians also use #HorseHour as a promotional tool. For me, as a blogger, this has meant that I’ve used the time (and hashtag) to raise awareness of my writing. Sometimes, as with this post, I’ve written pieces to coincide with #HorseHour, but I mainly promote posts from my archive or my most recent horsey offering.
The geek in me loves looking at my blog’s statistics, but I’m guilty of remaining fairly short term in my horizons. As #HorseHour celebrates it’s first birthday today, it felt like a good time to take a longer look back, and celebrate what’s been big on my blog this year. When I looked at the stats for the year from today’s date, I discovered that most of the very popular posts were ones from the “non-horse” category on my blog (with several of them being my recent photo posts covering the summer of 2014). Below is a rundown of my most popular horsey posts.
I’m very pleased to say that my post on International Helmet Awareness Day made the top five – thank you to everyone for recognising the importance of this topic. Did anyone make the most of any of the retailer discounts? I still need a new helmet, but sadly wasn’t in a position to spend that kind of money (even with discount) on the day
Fourth place – a three-way tie!
As these posts all have the same number of hits, I decided it was only fair to mention all of them. You all enjoyed “Help me, I’m poor” (on the struggle with the expense of equestrianism), “I’d like you to push him” (a tale of woe about a riding lesson – how things have changed!) and “My kind of baby” (photos of a nearby Shetland pony foal) in equal measure
Third place – yellow rosette, please!
A post I wrote after a #HorseHour discussion on how to choose a riding instructor! There were lots of opinions during the Twitter chat, and I came back with “Weights and measures”
Second place – taking home the blue rosette (just to confuse the Americans)
“Quit and cross” – timely, given that #NoStirrupNovember is fast approaching. Anyone taking on the challenge this year? If I can get the saddle time (and enough exercises), I might be tempted…
And the winner is…
Thank you to everyone who has supported my blog, especially if you’ve been here since the beginning and have stuck around! #HorseHour continues to be a pleasure – I’m glad I’ve met everyone, and look forward to finding out about the people I haven’t yet introduced myself to.