The Equestrian Vagabond, Merri Melde, is a horse photographer, writer, artist, cartoonist, endurance horse conditioner, spotted owl hooter, wildlife technician, trail builder, carriage driver, sound engineer, theatre techie, clawhammer banjo player, world traveler, racetrack groom, and a rabid, obsessed endurance rider and Tevis Cup finisher! (not all at the same time). . . in short, a Professional Vagabond.
She hails from the Pacific Northwest and calls herself a Native Seattleite, though she sometimes wanders California and the great West in general, and she mostly lives in Idaho. She just happens to own the Most Beautiful Horse on the Planet, Stormy, who just happens to approve of these photographs, many of which he is the subject.
Merri has been behind the lens shooting horses since 1986, in the United States and around the planet. Her photos and stories have appeared in newspapers, websites, books, and magazines around the world.
As an author, Merri's published works include
• Tales From The West: Four Seasons in the Owyhee Country
• Tevis Cup Magic: Taking on the World's Toughest 100 Mile Endurance Ride
•• the book "Searching for the Perfect Horse" by Carolyn Kazmierczak
•• the Danish book "Distanceridning en Grundbog" by Anne Phaff Ussing
(those underlined include covers)
Merri's writing has appeared in
• The Texas Thoroughbred
• Washington Thoroughbred
• The Blood-Horse
• Endurance News
• Trail Blazer
• The Chronicle of the Horse
• Modern Arabian Horse (now Arabian Horse Life)
• Arabian Horse World
• New Zealand Bulletin (New Zealand, obviously)
• New Zealand Horse Trader (ditto)
• Endurance Magazine (South Africa)
• Idaho Magazine
• Just Horses
• Mules and More
•• the book "Straight From the Heart II"
•• the book "Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul II"
•• the book "The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges" by Richard Hoad and Paul Moore
• American Horse Publications - 1st place for the e-book "Tevis Cup Magic: Taking on the World's Toughest 100 Mile Endurance Ride"
- "I was completely unsure what to expect from this book, but you had me hooked from the first paragraph. You have a fabulous, engaging writing style that grabbed [my] attention and kept me engaged throughout the book..."
• American Horse Publications - 1st place Personal Column in Texas Thoroughbred for "Labor of Love"
• American Horse Publications Merial Human-Animal Bond Award for "Labor of Love"
- "A wonderful fluid writing style is on display here"
• American Horse Publications - 3rd place Editorial Series in Washington Thoroughbred for "Wild Terror on Horseback"
- "Throughout the series there is great human interest and good interspersing of quotes and narrative. The reader feels as if he/she is in the race."
• American Horse Publications - Honorable Mention for Editorial Action Photograph in The Horse
- "The things that set this photo apart from a class that had many good photos is the considerable effort this photographer made to capture the photo. The terrain is hilly and rough; it must have been quite a hike to get there. Good illustration for story about endurance riding."
• American Horse Publications - Honorable Mention for Editorial Event Coverage in Modern Arabian Horse for "2013 AHA Distance Nationals"
- "This article is a great overall view of an event, from what it takes behind the behind the scenes to what attendees are saying. Good work summarizing a long three days."