Monday, October 27, 2008

Announcing The Best of the Barb Wire Contest: Win Free Tack!

The Barb Wire archives include over 125 posts now. I think it’s about time I added a Best of the Barb Wire section, don’t you? I suppose that I could choose my favorite posts and slap them up there…but when it comes to the best of The Barb Wire, your opinion matters far more than mine. And so, allow me to introduce The Best of The Barb Wire Contest:

What is the Best of The Barb Wire Contest?

The Best of The Barb Wire Contest is your opportunity to nominate your favorite The Barb Wire post for inclusion in a new sidebar section, Best of The Barb Wire. All participants will be entered in a drawing for a FREE, CUSTOM-MADE HALTER BOSAL COMBO from Crazy Ropes by Debbie! I’ve had great success using this Indian bosal for endurance conditioning and starting green horses. More about that here.

How do I enter the drawing?

It’s easy! There are two ways to get your name into the drawing. Each individual may enter up to TWO times, once in each of the following ways:
  1. Nominate your favorite The Barb Wire post for inclusion in the upcoming Best of The Barb Wire section of this blog. Simply select the post you wish to nominate, and include its TITLE and DATE in a comment on this post (Today’s. The one you’re reading right now.) I’d especially like to hear WHY the post is your favorite, so I can write more like it in the future!
  2. Mention this contest on your own blog or website, or on a public forum. Simply direct your readers to this post so they will know how to enter. Be sure to leave a comment on this post saying you have done so, or I might miss it!

How long do I have?

The Best of The Barb Wire Contest will be open for entries through November 10, 2008. That gives you two whole weeks to peruse The Barb Wire blog’s archives and nominate your favorite post.

Are all readers eligible?

Yes! New readers and longtime friends are all welcome to join in.

Are all posts eligible for nomination?

Yes. You may nominate any post I’ve written since The Barb Wire’s inception. You may wish to use the Read All About It section of the sidebar to help narrow your search. (Are you most interested in endurance ride stories? Check them out by clicking on “Ride Stories." Do you love to read about training techniques? Select the “Horse Training” collection. Are you a Shots in the Dark fan? Be my guest.) If you’re really ambitious, use the Blog Archive section of the sidebar to tour the entire history of The Barb Wire.

In case you’re short on time, here are links to some of my favorite posts (in no particular order). You’re welcome to nominate one of these, or any other The Barb Wire post that strikes your fancy. Remember to comment on today’s post regarding why you chose the post you did!

Do You Hear What I See?: Communicating with Horses

Upward in the Night

M'Lady, If You Please: The Respect of Horses

Shot in the Dark: Insider

Shall We Dance?

Overcoming Fear: Handling Horses with Confidence

Call Me Crazy: A Word about Natural Horsemanship

Glory in Motion: Riding at the Speed of Delight

Applied Physics

The First of Many!: 50 Miles at Old Selam

Breaking Free: Training the Herdbound Horse

A Moment of Silence: Communicating with Horses

Have fun, and thanks for playing!


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Shana said...

My favorite posts are the ones that talk about actual ride competitions so my vote is for

The First of Many!: 50 Miles at Old Selam

For a couple of reasons; it's your first 50 and I hope to be there in the next couple of years so it is nice to hear about how someone else has handled the additional milage. Second, I love ride stories. Any distance, any location, I can't get enough of them. It helps me feel like I am there, even when I can't be out riding. So thank you :)

I do also learn a lot from your other posts on training and the frustrations with Aaruba's ulcers. Keep those in high % too. off to part 2 of your contest...

Shana said...

Sorry, here's part two;

ellescee said...

My favorite is your ride story from Pink Flamingo, day one. I like it because your thoughts and our thoughts were exactly the same as far as the ribbon color debate, and I also loooove ride stories! They make me feel like, even though I'm "stuck" up here in school, I can experience all the wonderful things associated with rides!

Great blog!

Here's part two:

Anonymous said...

A Moment of Silence, April 3, 2008. Poetic. Evocative.

If I may suggest it, why don't you consider submitting the winning post to the Carnival of the Horses at Enlightened Horsemanship Through Touch on Nov. 1?

Now can I have my bosal? ;-)

Ashley said...


My favorite post would probably have to be

M'Lady, If You Please: The Respect of Horses.

This post sums up so eloquently so much of what I respect in how you handle your horses. Your insights into understanding horses, not just training them, have been of great value and inspiration to me.

Your work with Consolation, and all your others, shows how dedicated you are to respecting their base nature and working with them in a partnership.

And I've posted to my blog about your blog and contest, as well -

Anonymous said...

Oh, must I choose? There are so many good ones I have enjoyed reading. My choice will have to be Glory in Motion: Riding at the Speed of Delight that was posted April 24th. At the end of the season , I found this to be my favorite because it struck so close to home for me on so many levels. It mirrored many of my same feelings and thoughts that I had been experiencing with my own first season at attempting to do endurance with my Barb stallion, El Gato Rojo JB (aka JB). For nearly 6 months my life revolved around racing home from work to condition. It gave me purpose to riding, a goal to reach for. I have never been one to sit around but when you have a demanding career there were days that I had to dig deep to find the motivation and discipline to get myself out there. The wind blew, the rain pelted us , somedays were were both tired but we persisted on and y'know? matter what we faced, even the day JB lost his footing on the side of the road and we both hit the dirt, I always came away feeling better than when I started. I also think that all those miles in the saddle helped JB and I build a stronger relationship. Those long hours in the saddle cannot be substituted for anything when learning the ins and outs of a horse and even yourself. You also describe in this post when Aaruba was surging along , high on the energy side, and you would have your "discussions" about going further, going faster...well those really struck home for me and JB. While he is very manageable in comparison to most stallions, riding a stallion can get interesting at times. We had several times in which we had conversations about what we should be doing. Sometimes he was certain that my idea was the correct choice. While JB is taking longer to "find his stride" than Aaruba, I really hung onto the few rides that we did manage to have that were absolutely thrilling rides. Those rides where JB felt like a machine powering through mile after mile. It brought me pure joy and these times certainly motivated me for the next scheduled ride, even if my day at work was rotten. My favorite paragraph in your post began with "You know the feeling..." and I can gladly say that I now do. Last but not least, let me say this... while my season was not nearly as successful in completing rides as yours was, I can't wait to see our hours of training turn to gold next year. I can hardly wait. See you down the trail!

Anonymous said...

I agree, too many good posts to choose from. Forced to pick, I will have to say Shot in the Dark: Insider... Though I like all the Shot in the Dark posts, that mane is just too captivating, along with his incredibly intriguing color and movement.

See my News page for your mention.
(soon to be a proper blog...)

Unknown said...

I like the october 22nd post.. anything on how to train and condition is good. I like to hear other peoples training and conditioning techniques, I have 2 appys Im training and plan on doing lots of trail ridding on them ( after a 8 year hiatus of no horses! !!) and Id love someday to do competitive rides! , also I like posts on what's new in equine health... we have a problem here with morgans and laminitis.. ( yes we have morgans to! 2 of them gaited!!) so I dont always have time to read up on everything but I do read blogs.. so.. if you hear about it post it! lol keep up the good work.. .. love the blog too!
Rebecca Turner

Anonymous said...

Part One:

Monday, August 25, 2008
Twenty Minutes in Photos: Trust-Based Training at Work

I'm afraid I am bit by the training bug. Tamara you train very similarly to myself and your gentling process with Sandstorm shows perfect communication and a wonderful kind manner in reassuring her of your desire to be her partner. This may not be the most eloguent post you have written, but it is the most telling post of who resides inside of you. You are an old soul my girl... an old horse soul for usre!



Jonna said...

Part two for me...I now have my own blog site about our little dot on the map..
Now off to to post about this contest.

Kessira said...

Choosing one favorite is nearly impossible for me. However, this one "Monday, August 25, 2008
Twenty Minutes in Photos: Trust-Based Training at Work" was wonderful to me. I've been fascinated with your training, and have listened to many hours worth of sharing on how you have trained your wonderful horses, but the pictures provided a perfect opportunity, not to see what you were doing, but to see, and judge for myself the language the horses were speaking. Seeing that, and combining it with all that you had shared, made me appreciate that much more what an amazing horse woman you are.

east end jenn said...

I have been back and forth on this since the contest got started, and I've finally decided to vote for Timing Isn't Everything, posted Tuesday October 28, 2008. You know The First of Many! 50 Miles at Old Selam is also especially dear to me (I was there! I was there!), but Timing Isn't Everything was just so moving for me. It belongs in a Best Of, for sure.

Carol said...

Hi Tamara,

What a neat contest!! I would love to have an Indian bosal to play around with Griffin. I do occasionally ride him bitless and usually use either his rope halter or a jumping hackamore. It gives him a break from the routine and helps me work on getting him "lighter." I just want to say I have enjoyed all of your posts a cannot name just one! I posted a link to your blog on mine though. Here is my blog if you want to check it out

Anonymous said...

ONE of my favorite posts is "Timing Isn't Everything" on10/28/08. The post evoked emotions in me which made it unique and special.

Anonymous said...

Oops, you can see your blog referenced on our website at

Anonymous said...

The First of Many!: 50 Miles at Old Selam- September 3, 2008

Well, I just found your blog (and a link to your blog on every other endurance horse blog) and it is really awsome! I havent done endurance riding, (because i dont have a horse- yet) and i loved this article because it put me in your seat (so to speak), taking me through the entire trail, as if i was there. I can only hope that some day it WILL be me, but until then, i can live vicariously through your stories on the trail! i read it while the tv was on, election coverage, and i was reading it when obama was announced has having won, and i missed his entire speech because i was so enthralled by your story!
I also loved hearing your opinions on the various bitless bridles and am now sure that when i do get my endurance arabian (in hopefully two years) i will definently try to get one just like yours! keep writing, and we will keep reading!

Linda Wyatt said...

It's nearly impossible to choose, but I'll give it a try.

I was going to say that my favorite was the one about your first 50, (Wednesday, Sept 3rd, 2008: The First of Many!:50 Miles at Old Selam. It was my favorite at the time, when I first read it. A good mix of storytelling and photos, and it had the spirit of success- but real success, that of a wonderful shared experience, not just "winning some race."

I enjoy most of what you write, the ride stories, the technical information, training suggestions, and all.

But tonight, I wanted to go back and read through some things I hadn't had a chance to see, remind myself of things I had read, and be sure that I really was nominating my favorite.

I came across October 28, 2008: Timing Isn't Everything, and it won my heart. It is about love, about feeling, about being, and is beautifully and lyrically written.

I envy you your teenage years.
May you always be able to keep that spirit alive.

(Loved your post about Many Ponies, too. Although I think it was delightful of you to write it, "Timing Isn't Everything" still wins.)(ps. I know what you mean about wishing "A Cowboy For You" was written about you. Yeah. Me, too.)