Writing From the Right Side of the Stall

Mucking stalls. Freelance writing. How do they differ? I discuss.

About Karen Briggs

I’m a freelance writer, editor, copywriter, proofreader, public relations professional and sometime photographer based in the Greater Toronto Area. I focus on equestrian sports and veterinary-related subjects, but don’t let that give you the impression I’m not versatile! I’m also well-versed in travel writing, science, agricultural and medical writing/editing, promotional and ad copy, public relations, blogging, and press release writing.

I currently scribble for over 40 publications in Canada, the United States, and Europe, and I have authored six books: Understanding Equine Nutrition (revised ed. 2007) and Understanding the Pony, for Eclipse Press, and four children’s books for Scholastic Canada, in collaboration with photographer Shawn Hamilton (Crazy For Horses, Still Crazy For Horses, Crazy For Ponies, and Totally Crazy For Horses).

I share my meagre income with four Thoroughbreds and two congenial cats who I bottle-fed after I discovered them as week-old orphans.  (Thanks to this upbringing they are a smidge short on street smarts, but are highly qualified lap-warmers.)  I’ve been an Equine Canada certified coach since 1987.  My competitive focus is three-day eventing, and I try to give back to the sport by volunteering in various capacities at competitions.  I do occasional speaking gigs in my guise as an equine nutritionist, even less occasionally serve as an un-carded schooling show judge, and spent six thankless years on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Horse Trials Association, including editing and designing its newsletter-run-amok, The Eventer.

Turn-ons:  reality, gardening, travel, cooking, the arts (visual, theatrical, dance, you name it), impractical shoes, Empire Avenue, downhill skiing, small-town fall fairs with tacky midways, equine nutrition, debunking pseudoscience in all its many, insidious forms, Monty Python, dark chocolate, wine, harness racing, science fiction, CanLit, critical thinking, getting paid to write, and yes, snark, as long as it’s integral to the plot.

Turn-offs:  the afore-mentioned pseudoscience and its assorted gurus and snake-oil peddlars, all forms of deity worship, multi-level marketing (don’t even get me started on that), bullshit in all guises, neglect and abuse, and writers and photographers not getting paid.



“This blogger has spleen to spare.” 


“I applaud every single line.  You are truly a god.”

“If you visit Karen’s blog and all you take from it is that there is a bunch of stuff about horses on it, you’re missing out. There is so much more to explore – and the horse stuff is good too! Karen does great book reviews, has some on the spot posts about journalism and her selections on freelancing are must read for anyone in the trade. She is witty and sharp, bites from time to time, but you’ll like it! I do, and that is why she is must read material!”


“Devastating snark and guaranteed lolz.”

“Reading that left me feeling a bit turned on. What a woman!”

“Read now.”

“AWESOME RANT.  And not just because she managed to use the words “Loathsome” and “Shat” on the first page (though, extra kudos for that). “

“Strange to see a Canadian making such acid remarks.”

“Karen, you broke my heart in 20 different ways! Curse you, evil woman! 😉 “

(The preceding comments were taken directly from various social media, were actually directed at me or this blog, and were absolutely, positively not repeated here out of context.  At all.)  


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