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TheHorse.com Freelance Information

The Horse is a monthly magazine devoted to equine health care. The publication focuses on educational topics and news and is geared towards the professional, hands-on horse owner.

The Horse does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. For assigned articles The Horse pays on acceptance and approval. Writers should submit a resume and samples of their writing to Alexandra Beckstett, managing editor, before submitting article queries.

The Horse prefers “how-tos,” technical topics, and topical interviews intended to inform horse owners. It accepts no first-person experiences except from veterinary professionals or unless assigned as such.

Ideally, clips (writing samples) should show an ability to organize technical information to maximize the understanding and education of the reader, as well as a smooth, correct writing style.

If you have a specific article topic in mind for a query, save yourself some trouble by first searching the site to make sure we have not done an article on the topic recently.

Articles range from short news items at 250 words to 1,800 word cover stories; payments vary depending on article length.

If you are submitting photos with a manuscript, please do not send original prints. The Horse is not responsible for unsolicited, lost, or damaged images. Please see the complete Photography Guidelines in the next tab.

Professional Relationship

  • Please hit your assigned word counts as closely as possible. Plus or minus 50 words is no big deal, but 800-1,000 words over or under either presents us with some major challenges in fitting articles, photos, and ads together cleanly. If you need more or less room, please let us know ahead of time and we’ll see if we can accommodate the space request.
  • Please get your articles in on time.
  • If you are having trouble with a technical study source or some other piece of technical information, ask for help! Don’t wing it. If the author of the study can’t help you, contact us and we will try to suggest a good person to clarify the information. If you aren’t clear on the implications of a piece of research, chances are good that the reader won’t be either.
  • Make sure that the sources you use see the article before you send it to us. This is a very important step to make sure that all of your information is correct before sending it to us for publication.

Content Suggestions

  • We tend to drop a reasonable amount of subheads into most articles that don’t have them, in order to break the material into cohesive sections and give the reader a road map of the article’s content. You are the best judge of when and where to put them in your story, but please keep them in mind as they really do help the reader.
  • Make sure your article flows and is a clean read that is targeted to an owner that cares for his/her own horses.
  • When working with research information, please don’t extrapolate the results of a study on a few horses to the entire horse population. Also, allow researchers to give you their take-home for horse owners in their own words.
  • The lead is what draws the reader into the story, so make sure your lead tells every reader why they should be interested in this article. For example, explain to the reader who has never seen a rabies case why he/she should read this article on rabies. Perhaps rabies cases are increasing. Perhaps it can lie dormant in an area for a long time and then break out again. Use whatever works and is accurate.
  • Along those lines, please conclude your articles with the take-home message.
  • We try very hard to educate the readers and give them references for further information if they’re interested. If you used any written or online sources that were particularly helpful in understanding your topic, let us know so that we can list them as further reading. Previously published articles in The Horse are often useful in this capacity as well.

Number Styles

  • Write out numbers one through nine and use numerals for 10 and up unless it’s a measured quantity, percentage, or decimal. These are always numerals.
  • Write out any number at the beginning of a sentence. If it’s a really long one like five thousand three hundred eighty-seven and sixteen one-hundredths, rearrange the sentence. Fractions as measurements are always numerals. Fractions in text that aren’t precise measurements (ex. “xyz compound makes up about one-third of the blood volume”) should be written out.
  • In a range of numbers, use a dash in between and the units only after the last one (ex. 5-7%, 10-12 inches).
  • Units of measurement: write them out unless they’re less commonly used ones (such as microliters), when we write it out the first time with the abbreviation following parenthetically. After the first reference, use the abbreviation.
  • Write out cubic and square measurements.
  • Numbers as measurements are always numerals.
  • Numbers in series (ex. one to 12 horses) should follow the style rules above; don’t change the written out one above just because it’s in series.
  • Use comma separator for numbers 4 digits and larger (1,000).
  • Phone numbers: 111/222-3333.
  • Temperatures: use numerals for the amount, the degree sign (option-shift-8 on a Mac) and use a one-letter scale reference with no space in between (ex. 58°F).
  • Ages: use numerals (2-year-old)

Other Style Notes

  • Horses are “thats” or “whiches” unless they’re named, at which point they become “whos.” When referred to with pronouns, they should be “hes” unless female gender has been specified. They should not be “its.”
  • Don’t use “may”; use might, could, or can.
  • Italicize publications, Latin critter names, in vitro and in vivo.
  • Decks–Make sure you have one that’s fairly short.
  • Tenses: In news items, quote sources in the past tense. “John Doe, DVM, said,…” In articles, quote them in the present tense. “John Doe, DVM, says,…” This conveys a timelessness to the information.
  • Time of day: 8:30 a.m. (with periods).
  • When citing a reference in text, follow this style:
    • “…For more information on EPM, see “EPM Update” in the December 2010 issue of The Horse, TheHorse.com/xxxx.”
    • Or: “…bla bla bla has been proven about EPM (see “EPM Update” in the December 2010 issue of The Horse, TheHorse.com/xxxx).
  • Websites should start with www, not http://, unless there is no www. TheHorse.com does not need “www.”
  • Degrees: Do not refer to sources as Dr. So-and-so; follow names with correct degrees and current title (John Doe, DVM, PhD, a professor of xxxx at xxxx University).


References: don’t use any “p”s to refer to page numbers, just leave the numbers standing alone. Use body copy style. To cite The Horse articles:

Hall, T. Fitting For Public Auction. The Horse, May 1998, 37-42. TheHorse.com/2953.

A magazine article example:

Adebowale, A.; Cox, D.; Liang, Z.; Eddington, N.D. Analysis of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate content in marketed products and the Caco-2 permeability of chondroitin sulfate raw materials. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, Vol. 3, No. 1, 37-44, 2000.

Book example:

Toby, Milton C. The Complete Equine Legal & Business Handbook. Lexington: Blood-Horse Publications, Inc.

Edited books:

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square-Pocket, 1992.

Tannen, Deborah, ed. Gender and Conversational Interaction. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.

Alphabetical Style Guide


  • abortigenic
  • African horse sickness
  • aftercare
  • airflow
  • airtime
  • aisleway
  • anhidrosis
  • antifungal
  • antioxidant
  • antiparasitic
  • antitoxin
  • Appaloosa

A Few Veterinary Degrees (Alphavet Soup)

List courtesy Roberta Dwyer, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVPM

  • BVSc or MVB–Bachelor of Veterinary Science
  • DVM–Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
  • FRCVS–Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • MRCVS–Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • MS or MSc–Masters of Science
  • PhD–Doctor of Philosophy
  • VMD–Veterinary Medical Doctor (University of Pennsylvania)


  • ACVA–American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists
  • ACVB–American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
  • ACVCP–American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology
  • AVDC–American Veterinary Dental College
  • ACVD–American College of Veterinary Dermatology
  • ACVECC–American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
  • ACVIM–American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
  • ACLAM–American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • ACVM–American College of Veterinary Microbiologists
  • ACVN–American College of Veterinary Nutrition
  • ACVO–American College of Veterinary Opthalmologists
  • ACVP–American College of Veterinary Pathologists
  • ACPV–American College of Poultry Veterinarians
  • ABVP–American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
  • ACVPM–American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
  • ACVR–American College of Veterinary Radiology
  • ACVS–American College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • ACT–American College of Theriogenologists (reproduction)
  • ABVT–American Board of Veterinary Toxicology
  • ACZM–American College of Zoological Medicine

Magazine Needs

About 40 photos/issue; 20-30 supplied by freelancers. Contracts required. Captions/cutlines preferred. Published work OK. Buys one-time rights. Payment based on photo size and use (refer to table below for payment amounts). Please do not send originals. The Horse is not responsible for unsolicited, lost or damaged images.

If you are published in The Horse, we will send you a PDF file of the page of the magazine with your image on it upon your request.


Usage Payment
Online $40
1/4 page or less $40
1/4 page to less than a full page $70
full page $90
spread $120
cover $350


For digital images:
  • Please do not submit low-resolution files. All pictures submitted to The Horse must be at least 300 dpi at a 4 x 6 inches.
  • Take the time to fill in properties (metadata) on your photos. (Even when they are emailed, because it is very hard to sort the images and file them for appropriate use.) This is mandatory for all digital photos submitted. Even though this is time-consuming, please at least put your name and a few (1-3) general keywords (ie. eating grass, flies, water, farrier, etc.). All basic photo software has this capability. This will help ensure that you receive proper photo credit and payment.
  • Please do not send CDs with locked images. For our purposes, we do change the name of the photos when they are filed into our system. However, properties on photos do not change even when photos are renamed. So, please put your name in the properties for all submitted photos.
  • If you are having trouble emailing images, it is most likely because your files are simply too large. If you are sending very large files, you can send them via Dropbox or WeTransfer. 

Photo Needs:

If you would like to be alerted of specific upcoming photo needs, please send an email to Alexandra Beckstett, managing editor. Here are some examples of photos we’re always looking for, however:

  • Quarantine/Biosecurity photos
    • Veterinarians in biohazard suits
    • Quarantined barns
    • Horses in quarantine pens
  • Veterinary exams: Well horses / ill horses
    • Veterinary consultation with owners
    • Euthanasia
    • IVs, casts, braces, bandages
    • Specific ailments or diseases
    • Administering vaccines
    • Oral administration of medication
    • Drawing blood
    • Foal enema
    • Healthy foal exam
    • Giving shots
    • Giving plasma (to foals)
    • Specific diseases, conditions, injuries, and illnesses
      • Laminitis / founder
      • Strangles / S. equi
      • Tying-Up
      • West Nile Virus
      • Colic
      • Swamp Fever / Equine Infectious Anemia
      • Hives and rashes
      • Cuts and abrasions
  • Horses in everyday activities
    • Stalled
    • In pasture, alone or with herdmates
    • In roundpen
    • Arena work
    • Being led or ponied
    • In restraint
  • General farm and barn
    • Hay and feed storage
    • Tractors, mowers, landscape equipment used near horses
    • Mowing the lawn, weed eating around water sources, etc.
    • Feed tubs and bins
    • Water buckets and automatic waterers
    • Bedding and stalls
  • Trailering
    • Horses being loaded in bumper-pull or stock trailers
    • Unloading
    • Trailers being towed
    • Detail shots of trailers and equipment, traveling tack room, tow hitches
  • Horse Breeds
    • Tennessee Walking Horses
    • Arabians
    • Paso Finos
    • Saddlebreds
    • Warmbloods
    • Etc.
  • Insulin-resistant horses
  • Cushings horses
  • Fat horses: fat pads on horses’ shoulders, tailheads, cresty necks

Final Tips:

  • Only high-quality, professional images will be accepted. No blurry shots, please, unless they are blurred to show motion of the horse. Make sure photos are not too dark for reproduction. Check that dark horses do not blend into dark backgrounds and white horses do not fade into light backgrounds. Backgrounds are always important. Ask yourself if the focus of the photo is on a cluttered background or on the subject of the photo. Also, colorful images will grab attention more than those lacking color. Keep this in mind while shooting.
  • It is recommended that you send in samples of your work if you have not worked with us before. If the photos are deemed acceptable based on the criteria above, a photo needs list will be provided.
  • Interaction shots are always needed: horses with people, horses with horses, owners and veterinarians, owners and farriers.
  • Also needed are photos of horses with actual illnesses or injuries (i.e. equine herpesvirus, colic, narcolepsy, etc.)
  • We tend to use seasonal shots to correspond with the issue (i.e., winter shots for winter issues), so images for the winter issues might need to be shot far in advance. Plan ahead.
  • Please keep us updated as to your contact information (including a mailing address, phone, email, and a website if applicable). This is so we can make sure payment, magazines, and photos go to the right place and also allow us to get in contact with you if any unexpected photo needs arise.
  • Please observe all deadlines listed if sending in for a specific issue.
  • Please email Alexandra Beckstett if you have any questions.
  • View the Photo Needs list periodically for updates.


The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care
Stephanie L. Church
PO Box 919003
Lexington, KY 40591-9003