I Miss Riding April

I Miss Riding April
Karen Pickering

Paying the Price for Poor Choices


I have a confession. I have been amiss in my rehab plans for April. What I’ve learned in dealing with a Navicular horse is that exercise is key. Skoshie Davis has done an amazing job of getting my mare back on track but I need to do my part. I can come up with a hundred excuses but it comes down to how bad do I want to ride? I have been avoiding horse events because I want to be out there with all my friends riding and enjoying the trails, sorting cattle and other fun stuff I use to do with April.


April and me competing at Butler Hill Equestrian Center June 2014

We do okay with the occasional trail ride (short and no rocks) using hoof boots. But I want to do more! I want to be able to climb hills, sort cattle, compete in obstacle and trail competitions. April has also developed a cough when under exertion. Again, I need to be watering her hay possibly treating with cough medication and more. What happened to the days of just going out, hopping on your horse and going for a ride? It has become complicated and frustrating. I’m not sure what the prognosis is for an 18-year-old horse but she’s that once in a lifetime horse.

The other issue is ME. What is holding me back from getting out there and getting it done? Honestly, I need to lose weight, get fit and start paying attention to my health. I’m not 20 anymore, things hurt that never use to. Life is speeding up and I feel my horse time slipping away. Perhaps I need a riding buddy who has the same goals as I do. I need to just make a decision to ride, get healthy and Just Do It!

My creative time usually comes from the back of my horse. I can come up with many ideas just cruising through the woods. Having good conversations, horse camping, campfires…. it’s all part of the healing process for both April and me. I feel better when I move so I have to believe that my horse feels better after she gets going as well.

When this point in a horse’s life comes along, do you work through it, move on to a new mount or perhaps care lease another horse? My fear with getting another horse is even less time with April. What have you done to stay active and fit? What have you done with your aging mount? I’d love to hear your stories. Would you reply to this post and give me your thoughts?

Thank you!


“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure… it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.”
~ Robert Schuller

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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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