Most of us agree that 2020 is a year we don’t want to relive. A pandemic, business closures, school closures, few (if any) gatherings or activities, and grief were the past year’s reality. Recently, I’ve seen a small ray of hope. I have the privilege to work a few Wednesday nights a month flagging for our local ranch sorting event at the Lynden Fairgrounds. It’s been good to see everyone again and see how much fun people are having. It’s a bright spot in our seasonal dark nights and rainy weather and a great way to engage!
These activities remind me of all the good times I’ve had in the past 25 years while publishing the magazine. It’s an inspiring story of how a dream turned into a career embodies much of what we want out of life, like purpose.
Now business has slowed down and I face the imminent closure of a business I love. I’m looking for ways to reach and serve horse people. What’s next? Perhaps a website that focuses on Northwest horse people? Will the magazine stay alive in a digital format?
By the time this issue comes out I will have made a decision whether or not to keep the print magazine going for another year. The business is not sustainable as is, so I have to pick myself up by the bootstraps and keep moving forward. Thinking back to when this magazine was conceived, I had no idea what I was doing. I saw a need, and my love of writing and designing was fulfilled.
I’m passionate about inspiring people. I was upheld by people who cared about helping me build the vision, so now I look forward to doing the same for the horsemen and women out there who have a passion for working with horses.
I have so many good people in my life. I’ve been touched by the recent comments from so many of you as I trudge through this time of indecision and grieving. You have lifted me up and given me the belief and courage to keep trying to create something that serves and celebrates our Northwest horse industry.
Two really cool things are coming up and one has already started online. First is the birth of the Old Bits column. Thank you to all the people who helped us come up with this title. Going back through the archives has been fun and rewarding as I remember visiting local ranches, stables, and businesses that I had the privilege of interviewing and sharing with our readers. Second, we have a really interesting cover story this month on page 6. You’ll want to read about this breeder who has a passion to match people and horses. I hope you enjoy this issue. Chin up! Heels down!
Quote: What you want exists. Don’t settle until you get it. ~ Unknown
Owner/Publisher Karen’s lifelong love of horses began at a very early age when she wore out a couple of rocking horses before convincing her parents to get her the real thing. That ill-tempered bay gelding, Brandy, was a challenge for the young horsewoman, but it drove her ambition to become a horse trainer. After attending Canyonview Equestrian College’s Horsemanship Program, Karen realized she needed work that was a little more lucrative than training, so she took a job with Customs Brokerage to pay the bills. There, she discovered an affinity for computers and a talent for creating informative, entertaining newsletters. The Northwest Horse Source began as such a letter in December 1995, with a distribution of 1000 copies for its 12 black and white pages. Now 27 years later, it’s a print and online magazine and website with a reach of over 10,000 per month and growing! Not bad for the results of one woman’s dream to work with horses!
Today, Karen remains involved with every aspect of the magazine and treasures the community of thousands who share a common passion.