Writing From the Right Side of the Stall

Carefully curated musings about the writing life, horses, bitterness and crushing career disappointment. Fun, right?

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 six 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.



4 thoughts on “About Karen Briggs

  1. Hi Karen, can you call Carmen at Bakers…9058879441… Thanks


    • Kathy Irvine on said:

      There must be three of you! You are very busy. I am endurnace rider. I read your 1998 article on Communicating With Your Farrier. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place with my ex and my latest. I was in a dysfunctional relationship with the ex farrier for 20 years. I decided to change farriers because I couldn’t stand feeling exhausted and bummed every time he left. The quality of his work was exceptional but he was no fun to be around. Under high recommendation I moved to a new farrier who is charming and communicative, but quality of work is lacking. (impending soundness issues) In your experience how do I talk to the new farrier about details, when she is supposedly the pro? Farriers are hard to come by in this neck of the woods.


      • Hi Kathy! It’s tricky, isn’t it. If there are soundness issues, can you get your veterinarian involved? The majority of farriers in my experience are not fabulously keen on owners telling them how to do their jobs, and I do get why, though I don’t get the automatic assumption that we’re all idiots. The same farriers who get their backs up when an owner raises an issue, however, will collaborate with veterinarians. So maybe let it come from your vet’s mouth?


      • Kathy Irvine on said:

        You’ve given me a new tool. Right now, I’m ready to pull the shoes! I won’t do that just yet, but I’m ready to take video and photos. 😊

        I didn’t realize until I had sent you the email that you are the Karen Briggs on FB . My kind of woman.


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