From My Saddle

Learning is Fun!

Learning is Fun!
Karen Pickering

Weekend show provides learning, friendship and fun

by Karen Pickering


The best part of my job is being around horse people, especially when I’m with my horse April. I’m grateful for having The NW Horse Source Magazine to share adventures, celebrate wins, and encourage others to make learning a fun experience. There’s no better way to do that than showing with friends.

Karen Pickering and Chloe with Marianne Kingsolver and Kona

I believe we need education throughout our lives. Training never stops and learning keeps us alive. This past weekend really made me realize how much I’ve missed local trail shows and events. Fire Mountain Trail Course is one of my favorite places to visit. The obstacles are great, there are trails right off the property and it’s always a learning experience. The judges share their comments and riders always encourage each other during the event.

I’m learning a lot rehabilitating April. She requires exercise daily (we accomplish that most of the time) and careful hoof care as we rebuild her feet. I never thought I would resort to barefoot and boots, but I’m becoming a believer. It’s difficult to change our ways, especially as we get older. My job as the NW Horse Source Publisher requires me to keep an open mind in order to bring new information to readers, and for that I’m grateful.

Four friends: (Left to right) Kathy Adams, Karen Pickering, Laurie Smartwood, and Juli Schott

We have a very caring horse community. An email from a reader told me about a local woman who rehabs navicular horses. This woman, Skoshie, has really helped April and we’re making progress. I never thought after just four months I’d be riding her on the trails!

Education comes from a variety of sources and no one person has all the answers or solutions. Having an open mind and great resources can help all of us find the path to solving sometimes insurmountable odds.

On another note, miniature horses can be fun! I recently adopted a cute little pinto that is teaching me about groundwork. I need to refresh my training in this department. I also took her to the Fire Mountain show where she went to all the obstacles without fear. The finesse isn’t there but it will come. Certainly my issue, not hers!

Quote: “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

Published September 2016 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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