Giving the Gift of Compassion
by Karen Pickering
The holidays are always a time of wonder, reflection and celebrating a giving spirit. It reminds me what Christmas is really about: the precious time spent with friends and family and the opportunity to look for the good in people and help those in need. It’s also a time to celebrate a magnificent God who gave us the most marvelous creature—the horse.
A lot of time is spent focusing on horses in need, the slaughter issues and many other unpleasant things. Instead, I’ve decided to change my focus to the people who have the needy horses and can’t quite pay the feed bill this month. It’s impossible to know what someone else is going through: the lost job, health, or family challenge. How about assisting by sharing a few bales of hay instead of offering condemnation?
This season I challenge you to help that needy person. By helping them, you may save their horse. While there is no excuse for abuse or neglect, we can choose to look at people through eyes of love rather than contempt, finding the good in folks who may be down on their luck.
I owe a great deal to my horses. Today as I was delivering magazines to Canada I was thinking about what a good mood I was in despite the border challenges and a day spent away from my office. Last night I enjoyed my horse while doing my new favorite thing, ranch sorting. While April has some physical challenges she gives her all to anything I ask of her. It inspires me to do my best despite my own challenges, giving my all instead of just enough. I can learn a great deal from her.
Enjoy your horse this month, celebrate the things you already have and help someone in need. Lastly, thanks for being a reader, client and friend. Happy Holidays!
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Published December 2012 Issue
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 14,000 copies and over 500 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.