Alta Mira Horsemanship is focused on inspiring a kind connection between horse and rider, and a must read blog for equestrians of all disciplines. As part of the Equestrian Bloggers Facebook Group, I was introduced to fellow American, Lindsey Rains, and her blog Alta Mira Horsemanship this year. Lindsey is based in Auburn, Washington. Funnily enough it turns out that my childhood home in Federal Way was very near her! I have always thought the world was small but the reality is quite amazing sometimes.
The Heart of Alta Mira Horsemanship
I love the premise of this blog. Bettering our connection with horses through kind horsemanship. Recently a video from the Hampton Classic went viral of a frustrated rider attempting to kick her horse in the belly after a tumble. I won’t perpetuate it, it’s too disturbing.
Too often equestrians feel the need to overpower our horses (like we could) or give negative reinforcement. The Alta Mira Horsemanship approach is the opposite of this. Building trust and creating a kind connection. Lindsey notes,
The premise of Alta Mira Horsemanship is building a trusting connection between horse and human. Click To Tweet
“I showcase various training methods and riding practices, as well as horse health and care, and communication between rider & horse.”
Lindsey’s posts vary between factual and personal, providing a beautiful balance between “how” to inspire connection and “why” it is so important. I’m prancing with excitement at her content! I would love to see more content providing ways that we can build a connection of trust and kindness at home with our own horses. This is certainly something we should all aspire to.
A Technical Look
When logging on to Alta Mira Horsemanship for the first time, you will be immediately greeted by a beautiful watercolor logo on a rustic background. Many blogs have a tendency to fit a visual mold, especially as many are hosted on WordPress like Alta Mira Horsemanship and my own Bridle & Bone. Yet these blogs have completely different feels. Alta Mira has a distinct focus and her website mirrors it well.
The logo header is predominant on her pages, and it is one of my favorite parts of her blog. The pages are clean and simple, making them easy to read.
However, I was disappointed the “Home” page is empty except for a sidebar. I would love to see a dedicated home page showcasing Alta Mira Horsemanship’s most recent posts from her RSS feed in excerpt format or a static home page with her mission statement and top posts. Traditionally a home page is the most visited on a site, and should contain the most important information in a visually pleasing way. This is a missed opportunity and the featured images and excerpts are only visible under each of the 8 categories. I believe a completed homepage would best highlight what she has to offer her readers.
Lindsey has 8 topic categories:
- A Partnership Like Ours
- Case Studies
- Guest Post
I am not sure what the difference is between sentimental and thoughtful. I would suggest adding a description of each category on the home page, or making changes to the category list altogether using descriptive keywords that will be easily searchable by readers and search engines. That being said, I do love that Alta Mira Horsemanship stresses emotional words for her topics, which fits well with her theme of kindness.
I know I am constantly tweaking things on my site and trying to figure out what works best. As bloggers our websites and our writing are always a work in progress. Alta Mira Horsemanship was launched only in May of 2017 and is still finding her voice, but is well on her way. A few small tweaks will improve reader’s ability to navigate her website and find posts that interest them.
I really enjoy reading Linsdey’s blog posts. She is descriptive but always has a clear focus with a distinctive point of view. She doesn’t write fluff, she puts a lot of thought into each piece and provides beautiful detail.
The text is broken up into nicely readable paragraphs with the perfect amount of white space. Sometimes on other blogs there is too much text without break. As a result, I get tired and scroll to the bottom, only catching a gist of the content. Not so with Alta Mira Horsemanship.
I think Lindsey does a fantastic job with writing, but I would love to see more photos going forward, as she does with her recent post, A Partnership Like Ours. Even more, Lindsey does a great job with her graphics for social media. This is something that really impressed me when we worked together for a guest post exchange. Her Pinterest images are awesome and totally pin-worthy!
You can read Lindsey’s guest post on my blog, The Beginner’s Guide to Building Trust in an Anxious Horse, which received a lot of positive feedback from my readers. Further, Lindsey Rains also did an interview with fellow equestrian blogger Ruby Pepper Butchers of EquiPepper that you must read.
As a new blogger, Lindsey is still finding her voice and focus. But Alta Mira Horsemanship is on the right track and I know has many great things in store. I asked Lindsey want her long term and short term goals are for the blog, and she answered:
Within the next few months, I want to narrow down my niche & brand, and possibly update the site theme. I’d also like to develop a project to help riders with common miscommunication problems.In five years, I’d like to be helping people on a regular basis, either by inspiring them or helping them in a more practical fashion. I’d like to develop an online community of some sort around this as well – riders helping riders.
Alta Mira Horsemanship is a lovely new blog with a lot of potential and compelling focus from which all equestrians will benefit.
Make sure to visit Alta Mira Horsemanship and follow along.