Stephanie R. Corum has been devoted to horses ever since she first read Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion when she was a child. Stephanie has competed in hunter, jumper, equitation, and eventing, but now concentrates mainly on dressage. Her current partner is an Arabian/Dutch Warmblood mare named Nadia’s Jewels. Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky where her focus was on equine genetics. She has spent many years working on horse farms as well as for The Jockey Club Information Systems, the Arabian Jockey Club and the Arabian Racing Cup.
As a freelance writer, Stephanie has written hundreds of articles on all facets of the horse industry and in 2014 she took over the publishing of Arabian Finish Line magazine. In 2008 Stephanie tried a different venue by publishing her first children’s story, Goats With Coats and followed that up with Antics in the Attic. She's had a fun time reading and speaking to groups from pre-schoolers to elementary kids, teens and adults. She currently lives in Frederick, Maryland USA with her husband, dog and three cats, and her horse is boarded nearby.
What is it like to be Editor of Arabian Finish Line?
To be honest, I’m publisher, editor, accountant, subscription manager, gopher, etc. So I wear many hats and do many jobs, but I really enjoy it. I have the opportunity to carry on the established legacy of this magazine, which has been published since 1987. It is a niche publication but one with a very loyal and passionate audience. I love being able to write about, read about and promote these beautiful horses. I love being an entrepreneur and working for myself, but it can get stressful at times when there is so much to do and only a limited time and budget with which to do it.
Who is the top Arabian racehorse in the world?
I’m going to answer this with the top Arabian racehorse in the United States. I would say it is Paddy’s Day, a bay 4-year-old colt. He’s won 3 of 4 starts so far this year (and finished second in the other start) and has faced tough competition. He’s already won in Texas and Colorado this year and is heading to California next. The reining Horse of the Year, Valiant Boy SBFAR, has raced once this year and that was a good second place in Dubai at the Kahayla Classic (G1) on Dubai World Cup Day. He could certainly be right up there whenever he runs again.
Do you have a favorite Arabian racehorse?
This is a tough question to answer. I’ve enjoyed watching so many of them. But I will have to say, strictly from an emotional standpoint, that a filly named I’m Awesome Tu captured my heart. She was a beautiful black filly – certainly talented but not a champion. She struck me because of her beauty and presence. It was something special.
What sets Arabians apart from other breeds?
I think they are magical in part because the breed is so old. They are one of the first horse breeds and the foundation of so many others. And over these hundreds and hundreds of years, Arabians were bred to be personable horses. You hear stories of how they lived in the tents with their owners in the desert. The way an Arabian wants to connect with their human is beyond anything I have encountered with any other horse. And they are smart – incredibly smart. I often say that Arabians are smarter than the people that work with them and that in part gives them a bad reputation. They are sensitive, intelligent creatures that require you to work with them – not make demands of them. They want to be your partners and will hold you to a higher standard. To me personally, I love that.
What are you currently writing?
I have just been asked to write the preface to a book about the Arabian racehorse Orzel. I’m also working on my third children’s book and of course the magazine is always requiring me to write a variety of items.
Who is your favorite equine author?
I’ll have to go with Walter Farley. Like any number of horse racing fans, I fell in love with The Black Stallion as a child. I guess I never grew out of that.
Congratulations on your success as a children's literature author!
Is Goats with Coats based on your personal experience?
As a matter of fact it is. When I had my own farm I had 2 goats as natural weed-eaters. The first winter I had them when it got really cold I saw them shivering. I told my friend about it and said they needed coats. Then I thought “Goats with Coats”, that sounds like the title of a children’s story. So I went with the title and then came up with a story to go around it.
When was your first encounter with a horse?
The first encounter I remember was when I was eight years old and I went for my first riding lesson. I was shown how to put on a halter and went into the stall to halter a Shetland pony named Jasper. He promptly stepped on my foot and stood there. I had no idea what to do, but luckily my instructor came to my rescue and got the pony off my foot. I learned from an early age to always wear appropriate footwear around horses!
Do you have advice for novice riders or someone seeking to purchase their first horse?
Find good quality people from which to learn. People who know about lots of different breeds, different styles of riding, people who know horses – not just how to ride. Don’t rush into anything. Take your time, trust your instincts and get the advice from someone you trust who knows more about it than you do. I could write an entire book on this, but these are the most important things to remember.
What does horsemanship mean to you?
It means knowing and caring for every aspect of that horse. Putting your hands on the horse and knowing when something is different. Knowing your horse so well that you can visually tell when something is wrong even if no one else can. Knowing about anatomy and physiology, training, groundwork, riding, nutrition, fitness. Being a fair and equal partner to the horse and always keeping the health and welfare of the horse in mind. Being firm but fair. Understanding that you will never know all there is to know about horses and being open to learn more from other people and other horses. Never ever letting your ego or your emotions run your relationship with your horse.
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