#Trending: What’s Your Horse’s Hashtag?
A hashtag is technically just a pound sign preceding a word or phrase, but, like everything else in the horse world, some exhibitors have taken the trend to the next level using personalized hashtags that you can’t help but hit the like button on.
More than simply organizing conversations around a word or phrase, though, hashtags can range from a way of branding yourself to the sentimental and fun when we apply them to our horse lives.
Maybe you snap a #trail pic during your warm-up, #circuitchamp when you post about a big win, or perhaps you use a special catchphrase to show your favorite horse some love.
However you tag it, hashtags are another creative way horse show exhibitors are expressing themselves. We talked to a few exhibitors to find out more about the stories behind their favorite horse show hashtags.
Shelby Ratliff’s AQHA gelding, Willy Has Potential, is famous for his many wins in the hunter under saddle ring, but perhaps he’s even better known as #favorite. According to Ratliff, Willy’s not infamous hashtag didn’t even start with her. She says, “People think I started this hashtag, but I didn’t. It was actually all Beth (Case), and I just went with it. She always calls Willy her favorite horse and would put #favorite on her pictures with him. One day she told me that someone got her son, Cody, a shirt that says #favorite on it, and she said she wanted to get Willy something with #favorite on it to match Cody. A halter was the only thing that Willy wouldn’t destroy, so one day I decided it would be funny to get him a halter embroidered with #favorite and Willy’s name on it. That’s really how it started and everyone kind of runs with it.”
#bestbigredhorseever #sizematters #loveshim
Two-time AQHA All-Around World Champion Amateur, Julie Cole, is clearly a fan of the hashtag. If you follow her Instagram account, you’ll be swept away by a flood of posts featuring her much-loved gelding, Size Matters. On every pic of “Elvis”, you’ll notice a theme of very specific hashtags. Cole explains, “They’re pretty self-explanatory hashtags, but if they were deep, they wouldn’t work because Elvis is a rather simple-minded horse. #Bestbigredhorseever came about four years ago because he is, indeed, the best big red horse ever. I like to use #sizematters because, with a name like that, you can’t help but hashtag it. That one tends to confuse people not in the horse show world, though. His last one, #loveshim, is because I absolutely love him, and I tell myself every day how lucky I am to have him.
Jenell Pogue is a multi-breed all-around trainer with a demanding show schedule. Luckily, her AQHA and APHA clients stand behind her no matter what the circuit with their own #teampogue rally cry. According to Pogue, “Since I do both AQHA and APHA circuits, it can be hard managing my schedule. We all work together at home and at the shows. I have an amazing team of family, clients, and friends that keep my program going. We couldn’t do it if not for #teampogue.”
Posts about Shannon Fisher’s pretty red mare, She Dresses To Win (aka Twiggy), are usually followed by two can’t miss hashtags: #twiggylove and #mybigredgirl. Fisher recalls that #twiggylove started with one of the mare’s earliest fans, Meg Depalma-Whelan, who is no stranger to hashtags that seem to stick (more on that later). As far as #mybigredgirl, well, Fisher loves her big red girl, of course. More than that, she says, “Throughout my show career, my luck in the show pen has been with big red horses. Zippos Amber Star, my old gelding that is retired here at the farm, was the start of it, (Shannon was riding the gelding when now-husband Alan proposed at the Just for Pleasure Futurity), then there was Back to Zip aka Lucy, a huge gorgeous sorrel mare, and then came Twiggy who has taken me to more wins than I could ever imagine. I think it’s a little funny because some people think red horses are boring, and everyone always wants something flashy in color, but I’m good with my big red horses.”
#whitelegsforthewin and #blackmagic
Sleepin (aka Pax) is a beautiful sorrel gelding owned by Meg DePalma-Whelan. He also happens to have four striking white socks chroming out his look in the HUS pen, which is where #whitelegsforthewin comes in. DePalma-Whelan says, “Pax’s hashtag started a few months after I bought him. He’s bright red with 4 white legs, so he stands out in the show pen. He’s a very natural, soft, slow mover which accentuates the white. We knew he was special and hoped the white legs would win over the judges too. That’s where #whitelegsforthewin came from.” DePalma-Whelan has a knack for the creative, as her all-around gelding, Hotroddin Ona Harley, is known by the catchy #blackmagic. She explains, “Harley is a dynamic trail horse. He manages to hit spots and tight spaces we don’t think are possible. So we started calling him #blackmagic. Which is perfect because he’s a black gelding.”
Kaylee Mellott dishes on the hashtag that has become a signature for Congress and Reserve World Champion gelding, Only In Showbiz. Mellott explains, “Juan was the first baby out of Show Diva, which is where the name Juan came from because he was number one of Diva’s babies. Then, at our first All-American Quarter Horse Congress together in 2012, we were fortunate enough to win the 12-14 All-Around. That’s where the phrase #numberJuan really caught on. Juan also has an amazing personality and is one of the biggest hearted horses I know, so he just easily became the “number Juan” horse to me.” “Juan” has been owned by Alexandra Chavez since 2013 so #numberJuan has really stuck, so much so that Juan is even getting a custom show headstall with a special inscription of, you guessed it, #numberJuan.
How do you use hashtags in your horse life? Let us know in the comments.