From My Saddle

It’s Out of My Control!

It’s Out of My Control!
Karen Pickering

50 is Frustrating and (with a bit of fun) Fabulous

by Karen Pickering


I’m doing too much. Since I just turned 50 I feel kind of like a senior—my brain wants me to do all these things, but my body just can’t keep up! Frustrating. Life has been a struggle lately, even discouraging. Technology can also be frustrating and it’s been a rough couple of years in that department. Time for some fun this weekend at the Cascade Horse Fair experiencing the hydra bull clinic and getting a chance to ride with Ken McNabb.

A September Ride at the Washington State Horse Park, Cle Elum, WA. Photo credit

I think our horses need a break once in a while, too. It’s intense when they are learning new things. I’m guessing horses are a lot like we are and enjoy a leisurely trail ride or something fun instead of “training” all the time. April and I have had the pleasure of doing many different things this last year which has helped manage the frustrations and made life more enjoyable for both of us. There’s nothing like a quiet ride in the woods to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. We will most likely never win that national championship, but we sure have fun going places and meeting people. I really think it’s about enjoying your horse so as the days—and years—fly by they are filled with fun memories.

December is a special month and this issue is packed with great content, including a feature about Cavalia. I was first introduced to this show in 2004, when they came to Renton, WA. It’s a magical experience that embraces liberty training methods and explores the horse/human bond. Read the story on page 6. Cavalia is something everyone should experience at least once. They are currently performing in Portland and will be coming to Seattle soon—don’t miss the show!

Our senior horse essay contest winners are also included this month. I really appreciate the participation and we have some heart-warming stories to share with you. We also have a special feature about the life of Hollywood horse trainer Bobby Lovgren and his work on the new Steven Spielberg movie War Horse. I hope you enjoy the stories this month; we think it’s a great issue!

As we embrace this holiday season I want to thank you for making December a special occasion. We are celebrating our 16th year bringing you this magazine. We appreciate your loyal support and contributions. I’m truly blessed to have been given this gift to share with you. Thanks for being a part of making my dream come true. Have a Merry Christmas!

Quote: “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” ~ Benjamin Franklin


Published December 2011 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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