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Changes at The Northwest Horse Source

Changes at The Northwest Horse Source
Karen Pickering

Some Thoughts on Moving in a New Direction; My New Year’s Blog

I’ve been publishing the Northwest Horse Source Magazine for nearly 25 years. I’m grateful for the time spent in the business and the life that it has allowed me to live. For that I’m eternally grateful. The places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, the horses I’ve ridden; it’s an amazing journey. Lately I’ve been struggling. With the new opportunities using social media we’ve seen a pretty big decline in print. I know that times are changing, and we need to make a move to stay relevant and supportive of an industry I love. But changes are hard.

Linda Tellington Jones

Karen interviews Linda Tellington Jones at the 1st NW Horse Fair & Expo. 2000

Doing It All

The Northwest Horse Source offers everything that’s available digitally from social media to publishing online, so it’s figuring out which pieces of what we do are going to help our customers and readers the most. One thing that hasn’t changed is the need for content. Our website supplies past articles from the print magazine along with a digital edition that keeps the beautifully designed pages intact and available for readers to print, download and share. I especially love celebrating our local writers whom the majority of them are trainers or experts in their field. It’s about building our community. I know changes will happen and I need to grow and adapt. The decline in print has hit pretty hard personally. I am passionate about doing the magazine and honestly would love to keep it going, even if I end up finding another source of income.

Transparency is Hard

It’s very difficult for me to share these struggles with you. We all have put on the face of success and at times pretend we have it all together. We don’t want others to know we struggle. I don’t want readers and advertisers to know I struggle, but I am. Recently I’ve been taking online training courses to give myself some other options. Always wanting to learn more about self-improvement I recently enrolled in a course called “Train the Trainer” with Jack Canfield (co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books). Helping others is something I really enjoy so it was a natural transition for me. I love the principles he teaches and am motivated to share what I’m learning with others.

Keeping it all together

The last few months have been especially difficult, and I’ve found myself binging on Hallmark movies and junk food. It temporarily soothes the depression that sets in this time of year with the rain, short daylight hours and the fact business has always slowed down during the winter months. See SAD. Putting on a happy face and encouraging others is what I want to do but feel it’s not sincere unless you know the person in the story, my story. Dreaming is difficult when I allow the darkness to permeate my being and cloud my creativity. So, where do I go from here?

Helping others with similar challenges

The past couple of years I’ve read quite a few books, completed a few motivational courses and have discovered I really want to make a difference in the lives of others. Helping women who struggle with finding purpose, wanting to be healthy but are stuck in a self-destructive pattern, can find a way out. Perhaps health has kept you from riding often or fear that creeps in as we age. I long to share my life experiences with others who can learn from my challenges and overcome living a mediocre life.

Suck it up!

In one of my courses through PGI (Proctor Gallagher Institute) I was on a call with Bob Procter. I am telling him my sad story, hoping for some miraculous encounter that would bring about a complete makeover for my personal challenges. What Bob said stunned me. “Get over yourself; everyone has challenges.” Sympathy was something he was not offering up. Back to the drawing board for me. Actually, taking a practical look at the materials, working the exercises these courses offer and lots of prayer, keep me on course.

Getting back on track

Today I’m evaluating everything in my life. Here is a list of 15 things I’m doing to get back on track:

  • Be grateful. Record in my gratitude journal again. Start my day with at least 5 things I’m thankful for.
  • I’m going to make this a daily practice. It brings me closer to my spirituality and allows God to speak to me so I can hear.
  • Do daily devotions. There’s always a nugget in the Bible to learn from.
  • Yoga! 5 days a week. Beach Body has a great 3-week Yoga Retreat that works well as I need to stay flexible, build my core and work on my balance.
  • Eat right. Be aware of everything I put in my body.
  • Send a note of encouragement to someone. You never know when a friend needs a boost. Here’s a great resource for sending electronic e-cards.
  • Be positive. When I focus on what’s wrong with my life such as poor eating habits and financial troubles, I just invite more of this into my life.
  • Make a plan! I suffer from “Shiny Object Syndrome”. I need to make a plan, work the plan, focus and steer clear of distractions.
  • Listen more, talk less.
  • Keep a journal even if it’s just a few sentences each day. Live a life worth recording!
  • Work the Coffee Business. It’s part of helping others lose weight and get healthy again.
  • Read more. It makes me a better writer.
  • Ride or exercise my horses 3x week.
  • Finish my courses before starting anything else!
  • Take time to enjoy life, recharge my batteries and celebrate downtime.

What’s Next?

I am in the process of creating a program called, “Still in the Saddle: A Lifestyle Program for Horsewomen”. Diligently studying and preparing materials for this program has been revealing. Digging deep into the depths of life as a horsewoman is fun, and yet celebrating the struggles we all face to learn a way through, has given me new purpose. I’m putting my feet to the fire by sharing this, so I invite you to join me on this journey. Among the false starts and relapses, I’m ready to reset my life, find a new purpose and help others find theirs! Watch for more details about this new program. I may be putting questionnaires out there to figure out what material is most relevant to my target audience so keep watching for details! What do you want to know or to learn? It will be a wild, revealing, sometimes uncomfortable ride but I will offer tools based on my experience as an entrepreneur, writer, designer, wife, coffee lover, horse owner, dreamer and lover of all things in the equestrian way of life!

If you’re interested in learning more about this program, please email me.

Quote: “Leap, and the net will appear”.

~ John Burroughs – 1837-1921 – American Essayist

First Magazine Cover December 1995

Current Cover – January 2020

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Blog
Karen Pickering
@NWHorseSource

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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