From My Saddle

Out of the Darkness

Out of the Darkness
Karen Pickering

Learning to Celebrate the Rain

by Karen Pickering


Spring showers do eventually turn into warm, green summers. Photo credit NWHS

It’s a typical northwest winter morning. It’s still dark at 5:30, the wind is blowing and rain is coming down sideways as I step out the back door to do my chores. Welcome to the special challenges of winter/spring horse management in the Pacific Northwest. At best we manage to get the outside chores done and head back indoors to warm up. Ride? Are you kidding me? Battling the elements is bad enough let alone hooking up a horse trailer, cleaning up a soggy horse and driving somewhere to ride. That’s what I tell myself as I head out to Wednesday evening sorting, the next clinic or expo.

I think the messages we tell ourselves have great influence on our outlook. Let’s flip things around and look at the good that comes out of winter rains. First of all, we value the sunshine so much more and our northwest summers are second to none: cool breezes, moderate temperatures and a beautifully green environment. We rarely have bad storms like our Midwest and East Coast friends have. And, we have the best coffee shops and indoor arenas.

Winter is a time for reflection and preparation. It gives us a chance to catch up on cleaning our gear, reading good books and articles, socializing with friends and developing a deeper relationship with our horses. I enjoy caring for my horses almost as much as riding. We’ve developed a special bond weathering the northwest challenges together.

As we welcome spring I encourage you to get moving: go for a short ride, even in inclement weather, and just do some activity with your horse. I think they enjoy the interaction just as much as we do. Get a jump-start on your riding this year with several tips from our April issue—Equine Events—and be inspired by a young woman’s passion for mobile teaching (page six). Drop us a note and let us know what your favorite springtime activity is, we’ll share it with our readers. Email and title your email “My favorite spring activity.”

Quote: “Happiness is not a when or a where; it can be a here and a now. But until you are happy with who you are you will never be happy because of what you have.” ~ ZigZiglar


Published April 2013 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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