Interview: Horse Chat with Carson Kressley!
Carson Kressley is well known for cutting-edge fashion design and his unforgettable star turns on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, RuPaul’s Drag Race and other hit television shows. But many people don’t know that Kressley is an avid horse enthusiast and equestrian! We caught up with Kressley just in time for Adopt a Horse Month to talk about how horses have enriched his life.
Q. How did your love of horses begin?
Kressley: I was lucky enough to be raised in a “horsey” family as my grandparents had a hobby farm—which became quite large—raising, showing and selling Shetland Ponies since the 1950s. I grew up thinking it was normal to have a couple hundred ponies in the backyard.
Q. How has showing and competing with horses helped prepare you for your role as judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Kressley: I was lucky to show horses all over the country, and I met so many interesting people doing so. I think it had a huge impact on me as a young person. It gave me confidence and the ability to connect with all kinds of people. That has helped immensely in my showbiz career.
Q. Have you ever considered using a horse in any of your challenges for the contestants on Drag Race?
Kressley: No, not yet! But I like this idea. We recently had an episode which included a HOUSE OF KRESSLEY fashion design challenge. Not surprisingly, their runway collections were very equestrian inspired!
Q. You are a lifelong fan of Saddlebred horses. [There are 20 Saddlebreds available for adoption right now on myrighthorse.org!] What can you tell potential adopters about Saddlebreds, and what makes the breed so special?
Kressley: I could go on and on. They are energetic and high spirited—and that sometimes gives them a bad rap. But really this intelligence, responsiveness and energy is what makes them so great. I’ve been around many, many breeds and each has their strong suit, but Saddlebreds have the most incredible personalities. They really are very people-oriented! Sometimes it makes sense to compare them to a dog breed, and in that case I would liken them to a Standard Poodle—very smart and very energetic and engaging.
Q. What is your favorite thing about having horses?
Kressley: I love horses so much, really any nice horse of any breed is a thrill for me. And then of course the people! Horse people are a worldwide fraternity and are like family to me!
Q. What does #RightHorse mean to you?
Kressley: Horse ownership is a big commitment but so very rewarding. I think there is a “right horse” out there for everyone. But you don’t have to own or adopt a horse—you can be involved with horses in so very many ways. You can volunteer at a local rescue, take riding or driving lessons, support a local horse show—just being around horses is good for the soul.
Q. For the many horse enthusiasts around the country who are looking to get more involved with these amazing animals, how do you recommend getting started with horses?
Kressley: I would find a local stable. The best way is a recommendation from a friend, and if that’s not an option, do some research online (check out UPHAonline.com and ASHA.net to find a barn in your area) and just spend some time around horses.
To learn more about horse adoption and to view adoptable horses across the country, visit myrighthorse.org today!
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