MORE THAN ENTERTAINMENT
The Road to the Horse is co-creator Tootie Bland’s baby, one that has grown and improved
with each year. Along with her husband, Steven, Tootie has a vision for producing an event
that emphasizes the importance of establishing a relationship with a horse based on a
foundation of trust.
“Each year is like raising a brilliant, unruly
child, but in the end they are your shining
star that never ceases to amaze you and far
exceeds anything you could dream of,” says
Tootie of running Road to the Horse.
A rancher, businesswoman, and producer,
Tootie is a lifelong equestrian who has learned
a lot from horses. In particular, the importance
of establishing a strong bond between human
and horse became abundantly clear when one
of her American Quarter Horses went blind in his
right eye following an accident. After learning to
completely trust each other, they were able to
continue competing successfully.
Tootie took what she learned from horses
and her experience in the rodeo and film
production industries to create an educational and entertain-
ing event in 2003. It was called El Camino del Caballo, now
known as Road to the Horse. Documentaries
produced from this event have earned Silver
Telly and AEGIS awards, and Tootie has been
nominated for the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Each year seems bigger and better than the
last, and 2017 will not be one to disappoint.
“This year in the Celebration of the Cowgirl,
we will have the first all-women’s event and
the first English competitor,” says Tootie. “For
years, I have harped to deaf ears that horses
only know one language: the language of
trust, communication and understanding. It
doesn’t matter whether you are English or
western. We will build the bridges, kick in
glass ceilings and light whatever fires are
needed to unite our equine industry for the bet-
terment of horses and the people that love them.”
Learn more at www.roadtothehorse.com.
The Road to the Horse takes
place at Lexington’s Kentucky