From My Saddle

Breeding or Buying?

Breeding or Buying?
Karen Pickering

What’s the Right Thing to Do?

by Karen Pickering


January 2017

Photo courtesy Karen Pickering

When it comes to finding the right horse there are so many options it can be overwhelming. My experience buying horses is that they usually find me. It’s been 16 years since I bought a horse and I realize how we find one has changed dramatically in the last decade.

We have access to an immense number of horses due to the explosive growth of the Internet. This can make the selection process daunting. Horse magazines used to be the best medium for finding your next riding partner. Now the vast sea of horse-for-sale websites has pulled breeders and sellers away from magazines with the illusion of free online advertising to a large group of potential buyers.

Admittedly, it’s nice to have such a large selection at my fingertips, but I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned. My next horse purchase will be from someone I know or a reputable breeder (most likely a client). Businesses that advertise in print generally have a good reputation and realize the value of advertising in a reputable marketplace. If they’re willing to invest in their marketing it usually means they are successful breeders with quality stock. Print ads stick and are available for quite a while, not a flash on your screen.

I have taken great pride in our print magazine, The Northwest Horse Source, and enjoy having that personal, one-on-one relationship with my clients. I am here to help you grow your business and want to see you succeed. If you’re successful, I’m successful. I enjoy putting together a program that will work for you. Most of all, I like to see people partnered with the right horse.

If you’re interested in breeding your mare or have a stallion to promote, defining your specific needs is of the utmost priority. Are you breeding for the next futurity champion or a quality trail horse? Careful consideration when selecting a mate for your mare or stallion will up your chance of success. Also, be cautious when you purchase a young horse. Quality breeding operations will care about repeat business and a satisfied customer. They will help you find the right stallion for your mare or will help you purchase a young horse to bring up as your next riding partner.

I am excited to announce the launch of our new equestrian lifestyle section of the magazine. I plan on featuring more products and articles related to living the equine lifestyle such as home and ranch design, horseware, jewelry, country cooking and more. Please enjoy our new section and give us your feedback. We love getting input from our readers.

Happy New Year, and thank you for being our loyal readers and advertisers.

Quote: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt


Originally Published January 2017 Issue

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From My Saddle
Karen Pickering

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. Since then, it has grown into beautiful, all-gloss magazine with the largest coverage of any free equine publication in the Northwest – a distribution of over 16,000 copies and over 600 locations monthly. 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. Somewhere in the wee hours of the early mornings and late evenings, she still finds time to care for April, her gorgeous and sweet-tempered Quarter Horse.

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