NickerNews was created in 2008 by Maddy Butcher Gray. Watch 90-second video introduction
NickerNews is an opinion & news site developed to showcase
the many ways of caring responsibly and compassionately for our
NickerNews strives to provide an inclusive environment for
exchanging of information and point-of-view to make us all better, more
informed, and more compassionate horse owners.
The site's creation is a two-bit story.
For many years, I ran a horse care business. I mucked stalls, fed, groomed, exercised, rode, medicated, trailered, and bathed horses. Dirty, hard on the back, and not real profitable – it was pretty close to my dream job.
One Maine winter morning, I was driving from one barn to the next. It was zero degrees and windy.
At the first barn, I turned out three quarter horses to their pasture. I filled the heated tub with water and gave them hay.
At the second barn, I removed the horses’ heavy blankets, replaced them with even heavier ones and confined them to big stalls for the day.
-- Who was the better owner?
-- Who was right?
The answer, I realized, was both.
At each barn, the horses were content and well-cared for. The quarter horses tolerated the weather alright and sought trees for cover. They had thick coats, never shivered, and had plenty of food and water.
The pampered horses might have been removed from their natural inclinations, but it wasn’t exactly neglectful treatment.
(My own horse care fell somewhere in the middle. My aging mare got a blanket and all the horses had access to a run-in shed to get out of the wind.)
What do these anecdotes have to do with the founding of NickerNews?
Pull back to look at our big, diverse equine world. You'll see horse care is a matter of perspective. Sometimes, it’s a matter of money. It’s certainly a matter of opinion, culture, and upbringing.
NickerNews was developed to showcase the many ways of caring responsibly and compassionately for our beloved horses. NickerNews strives to provide an inclusive environment for exchanging of information and opinion to make us all better, more informed, and more compassionate horse owners.
The Second Bit:
As a longtime writer and reporter, I value written work and cherish the craft of writing. NickerNews was created to log and share those horse moments we find funny, endearing, life-altering, and enlightening. Many, like me, are lucky to see:
-- The escape artist who patiently moves her lips around a paddock lock.
-- The uncanny knack of a playful horse to dump her rider just when his attention lapses
-- The uncanny knack of a seasoned, generous horse to get under the unbalanced rider
-- The slight turn of a mare’s head and tiny curl of her lip that tells her bigger, stronger pasture mates,
“Don’t even think about it...”
-- The progress of a puddle-paranoid horse to that of one striding confidently through three foot waves at the beach.
-- On that first sunny spring day, horses all stretched out flat on the ground like corpses, recharging after the energy-draining winter months, and abandoning the usual “one stands guard” protocol.
Our work can be exhausting, wallet-draining, dangerous, thankless, frustrating, emotionally trying, tragic, and occasionally gross. But it can also be exhilarating, inspiring, educational, therapeutic, rewarding, goal-oriented, and can provide you with stable, lifelong relationships.
Let’s share the moments, lest they fade like a bale of hay left in the sun
Watch 90-second video.
NickerNews Mission Statement