From My Saddle

Gratitude, Attitude and Aptitude

Gratitude, Attitude and Aptitude
Karen Pickering

Three Keys that Open the Door to a Joyful Lifestyle

by Karen Pickering


December 2014

Photo courtesy NWHS

Lately, I’ve been feeling down about “stuff”: The small home I live in, my barn, the older vehicles I drive and two horses that are either old or have health challenges. Business could be better and I’ve been overwhelmed with additional work that doesn’t appear to be generating any more income. Wow, is that depressing or what? Shame on me!

Why? My lifestyle is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a child.

Just having a horse, any horse, was a dream come true. With that in mind, there are three things that affect my enjoyment of lifestyle:  gratitude, attitude and aptitude. I have a great deal to be thankful for, including that small home (which is nearly paid for), and a barn my dad built for me.  Despite their challenges, my horses are also a gift. They are extremely well behaved and have brought me a great deal of joy. And though small businesses have more than their share of challenges, I enjoy doing what I love.

Considering gratitude significantly affects my attitude, something I can always control that is enhanced by a realization of how much I have. My horses also have a positive effect on my attitude and offer perspective. Lastly is an honest assessment of aptitude: I need to embrace the things I’m good at and accept my shortcomings. This is why it’s important to have other people in my life, to help fill the gaps.

Regardless of how we spend time with our horses, what kind of horses we have, or how fancy our stuff is, it’s still “stuff.”  How do you feel about your lifestyle? Drop me an email and let me know if you’re living the life you dreamed of and why. Also, there’s a lot of fun things this month to enjoy including the Washington State Horse Expo, February 14-16, and Cavalia/Odysseo coming to Redmond, WA on the 26th. Have a great month and enjoy the ride!

Today’s Quote: “Life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself.”
~ Author Unknown


Published February 2014 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 16,500 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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