Talking again!

Triptych

The blog is back live again, with a completely redesigned site. A lot has been happening in the world of horse color while I have been away, so I have a lot of things to share in the coming days. But for right now, I wanted to give a quick tour of the changes to the blog. 

One of the biggest changes is that the blog is now self-hosted. The URL is still the same, but it has moved from WordPress.com to its own site. The benefit most will notice first is that this means there are no longer an ads on the bottom of the page. Because the blog exists to promote a conversation about horse color and breed history, and not to generate income, it is my intent to leave Equine Tapestry advertising-free. The downside is that if you had a subscription to the blog at its old site, that will not have transferred over to the new one. You will need to resubscribe using the form to the right under “Subscribe to Blog via Email”. We are also signed up with FeedBurner, so clicking the fourth icon under the “We’re Social” section to the right will take you to a page where you can set that up.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the change has also allowed me to increase both the size of the images and the text. I also took the opportunity to more consistently assign both categories and tags to posts. You can now pull up posts by category using either the category drop-down menu on the lower right hand side of this page, or you can do a more specific search using a combination of categories and tags using the drop-down menus at the very bottom of this page. There is a global search as well. With three years of archived posts, having the information properly organized was a big priority in the redesign.

Other specific changes include:

Links to social network sites
If you look to the sidebar to the right, you’ll see a set of icons for various social networks used for the blog. I already mentioned the link to FeedBurner. Also over there is a link to the blog’s Facebook page. There are often interesting discussions there, and many readers find it to be the easiest way to share photos, so I would encourage folks to check it out. There is also a link to the Equine Tapestry Pinterest boards. I find that site to be a great way to group horses with the same pattern or color so that the variations are easily visible. I plan to continue adding boards as time permits, particularly for the testable patterns from the W-series. Right now there are boards for the three Arabian mutations (W3, W15 and W19), as well as board for Sabino1 and some of the splash mutations. The final icon, which may not be as familiar, will take you to the Blackberry Lane site where you can subscribe to a free email newsletter (via iContact). That is one of the best ways to hear about upcoming book releases.

Blackberry Lane Press
This is the one link on the main menu bar that is not fully “live” at the moment. Eventually that will be the link that will take you to an online store where you can order the books published here at Blackberry Lane. At the moment, however, the first volume of the series can be ordered through Amazon by clicking either that icon or by clicking on the image under “Currently available books”. Clicking on the Blackberry Lane Press page will take you to a placeholder, though there is a nice image of the cover of the upcoming book for those that have not seen it. (More pictures of the cover horse, Vasco Piskui, will appear on the blog in the coming weeks!)

The Splash White Project
This page moved briefly to the older website (horsecolor.info), but is now back on the blog thanks to the WordPress portfolio capability. That format is still not ideal for arranging this information, but adding horses to the page is particularly easy, so any downsides (like not being able to change the aspect ratio of the thumbnails) is offset by the fact that I will be able to keep the page up-to-date with a lot less effort. The arrangement is not entirely intuitive, however, so I will explain that more in a separate post.

Genetic Diversity Links
This is another page that has returned from the horsecolor website. The links have all be checked, and a few new ones have been added. (There is also a more extensive list of pedigree database links at the bottom of the right hand sidebar.)

Instructions for Submitting Photos
I have added a page with information on the ways that readers can submit photos, as well as instructions about the size and copyright limitations. Photos from readers are part of what makes this blog more interactive, and far more interesting, so please do not hesitate to send things you think might be interesting!

Hopefully these changes will make the blog a more useful resource for those interested in horse color, while making it a little easier for me to keep the site updated with current information.

I’ll close with a final picture of the Walkaloosa mare in the “talking” pictures above. I took those photos of her at a recent demonstration of natural horsemanship. Here she is standing on a raised platform, where you can get a better idea of her full coloring. She was a very neat horse!

Walkaloosa

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