From My Saddle

Keeping Healthy

Keeping Healthy
Karen Pickering

The Journey to Wellness for Human and Horse

by Karen Pickering, NWHS Publisher


October 2017

Photo courtesy Karen Pickering

Over the past three years I’ve been exposed to more opinions than I can absorb. With my husband Mark’s medical issue, I’ve learned there are many ways to approach a health challenge. My biggest lesson has been in persistence. When the doctors in Bellingham pretty much gave up on what to do with his ongoing pain, we were referred to the University of Washington. This was after multiple tests, procedures, medications, and numerous visits to the emergency room. The long process ended with him having surgery at the University of Washington with a procedure called an ostomy. While it was not the ideal solution for us, it ended his long battle with pain, and made it a lifestyle change rather than a loss of hope.

Sometimes getting healthy can be a long, painstaking process. I’ve been through several years of trial and error with my mare, April, who was diagnosed with navicular disease in 2009. I’ve tried many options, from different shoeing methods to barefoot trimming and boots. No specific thing has been the answer, and much has depended on my participation. I have failed to keep up the much-needed exercise to improve circulation and I need to closely watch her diet. Laminitis has also been a contributing factor to her problems. I continue to search for answers.

I’m grateful to many people for offering help and assistance with April. Most recently, Skoshie Davis, who focuses on helping navicular horses. She has done much toward getting April’s feet back on track. Her relentless research and work with her own horses has really benefited April. While April is still not sound, she is well on her way to being able to participate in low-impact sports, trail riding and more.

Is it cruel to ride a lame horse? I am not sure, but I know when I’m stiff and sore, moving helps. I’ve used natural pain medications when riding her, which seems to help and I know that the added circulation will help her heal. My task now is to commit to keeping her on a regular exercise program.

I am encouraged to continue the search for answers and to never give up on my horse. While I miss racing down the fence after a cow, I enjoy just spending time with my horse.

Enjoy our cover story about a great event at the end of this month in Chilliwack, BC! See the story about The Mane Event on page 6.

Quote: “Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” ~ William Arthur Ward, 1921-1994, Writer.


Originally Published October 2017 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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