Editor's Postcard

Finding Happy

Finding Happy
Catherine Madera

The Exhilaration of Challenge and Novelty

by Catherine Madera

Several months ago I read an intriguing book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In it Rubin recounts the year-long study she conducted into her personal happiness and what she discovered along the way. Despite the fact that human beings love to inhabit a comfort zone, it is not a great source of well being according to Rubin. Rather, challenge and novelty, the unfamiliar and unexpected, turn out to be key elements to happiness.


Me and my young friend Caley Cavan in the Cotswolds region of England

In May I traveled to England and, naturally, wanted to ride a good English pony while there so I visited a local stable with friends. When they brought out my mount—an Irish Sport Horse at least a hand taller than what I’m used to riding—I was a bit challenged. Not just with the horse’s size, but with the fact I had to ride in a hunt saddle (novelty these days) and the guide announced we would be galloping some of the time (unexpected). I like a good gallop, don’t get me wrong, but as I’ve gotten older those gallops are restricted to my personal horses and enjoyed in a comfort zone. Say, an enclosed arena…My horse “Cracker” seemed okay, though, and that gallop through an open field in the Cotswolds is something I’ll never forget. In a word? Exhilarating.

This issue is our Performance Horse Issue and I encourage you to try something new this season: a new discipline, style of horse or event that pushes your comfort zone even a little. You might be surprised how great you feel. And don’t miss the story of the Havasu Horse Project on page 6. Shea Carpenter had her comfort zone pushed a lot on a trip to the Grand Canyon in 2014. As a result her life changed, and so did the lives of horses in need.


Ride on, into happiness!


Published in July 2015 Issue

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Editor's Postcard
Catherine Madera

Catherine Madera attended Walla Walla University in Eastern Washington where she majored in communications/journalism. After winning a national competition for Guideposts Magazine in 2004, Catherine concentrated on non-fiction inspirational stories. Since then, she has published numerous personal and ghosted stories for Guideposts and their affiliate publications. Catherine has published in many regional and national magazines/newspapers and her work is included in several anthologies. She specializes in equine-related topics and profiles and serves as editor of The Northwest Horse Source. In 2010 Catherine’s non-fiction story, A Hero’s Work, received the Merial Human-Animal Bond award given by American Horse Publications. She has also authored three works of fiction and provides editing/writing assistance through Word Horse Writing Services.

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