Horse Sense and Cents

Looking for a place you can find successful horse professionals willing to give back? Have you struggled to find a resource that culls through the clutter and gives you access to information, people and links that have forged the trail ahead of you and discovered caring and effective solutions? Are you struggling with horse training challenges or dreaming of starting a horse business that is different from the norm? Horse Sense and Cents™ can help.

This an exciting initiative that draws from the knowledge, generosity and resources collected from equine professionals around the globe. From horse trainers, behaviorists and breeders to journalists, academicians and horse product developers with a whole lot in between, successful equine career practitioners have assembled looking to make a difference by giving back. Through books, a CD series (Inventing Your Horse Career) and a community, this collaborative is designed to help you learn from the capabilities and mistakes of others to improve your experience in whatever you choose to do with horses in the mix. Check out our blog  or subscribe to our free newsletter for a mix of quick tips, tutorials, news and other information you can use.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Lisa Derby Oden ( in our latest initiative into the CD series front. Of course there are nine other people who have been incredibly generous with their time, expertise, humor and success secrets to make this so (those featured in the first set of the series) that deserve major kudos and thanks. Collaboration makes the outcome so much bigger than the sum of the parts and I’m grateful to have met so many wonderful and altruistic souls as we’ve embarked on this journey. I hope you decide to benefit from their wisdom too.

Nanette Levin

I think I caught the horse bug before I could talk. My parents finally found a riding stable that would take me at the tender age of five (insurance dictated rider’s must be at least six) figuring an eight week lesson program would quell my horse desire and shut me up. I still remember my disappointment over a second place ribbon in a stable show the instructor talked me into participating in after only two lessons with the assurance Sam would be my mount. This former circus performer was assigned instead to a fellow who had no use of his legs. I threw a fit about a broken promise and the last-minute switch and knew I ‘lost’ only because I wasn’t on Sam (kids will be kids). Still, the owner of the stable developed a fondness for me and let me ride bareback as he led horses to barns beyond the arena so while most others quaked when he appeared with his booming bluster, I smiled when he came around.

At the age of ten, I bought my first pony, in part, with paper route money (he was a nightmare for everyone but me). Ultimately he was banned from all Pony Club games but it took the boarding barn owner’s refusal to let me ride him on her property before I considered letting him go.

With more suitable (but less loved) mounts, I showed (pinning at A shows on cheap mutts), evented (to the Preliminary Level), fox-hunted and did dumb things with a crew of two- and four-legged friends that would have parents’ hearts racing if they only knew.

Today Halcyon Acres® – a 117-acres facility in the New York Finger Lakes area that starts young horses under saddle, provides conditioning training for TB racers, eventers and competitive trail horses and breeds Irish Draught Sport Horses – is my home. The thousands of client horses I’ve encountered over the years have taught me so much about honing equine observation and communications skills – moreso as maturity and wisdom has replaced arrogance. Wish I had my twenty-something body and courage (or idiocy) to place my 40-something mind atop. Writing’s an equal passion and I’m proud to be a published book author and paid contributor to a number of equine trade publications. Horse Sense and Cents™ is my visionary initiative, but credit must go to many others who have helped forge new paths and opportunities along the journey.