Karen Pickering

You never know what’s just around the corner

by Karen Pickering


Karen & Feather pushing cows at Butlerhill Equestrian.

Life continues to take unexpected turns. I have been so excited about my new project horse, Feather, but it wasn’t meant to be. You know those little warning twinges you get that prompt you to think carefully before making these big decisions? I should have paid attention.

Young horses need consistent work. It’s not something I can do right now with Mark’s health issues and our finances. I was so hopeful that I could pull it off. I really enjoyed Feather and she seemed to be a good fit. Like any young horse she needed a confident, fit rider. I thought I was there and was hoping for a distraction from all the work pressures.

I had quite a few good rides on her but the last ride I had didn’t go so well. I had a great day at our show (Took 4th out of 10+) horses on obstacles. She did amazing considering I hadn’t been riding.  She stood quietly all day as the other horses did the course. After it was all over I decided to hop on again and practice a little more.

I should have left well enough alone. She got a little squirrely on me. She zigged and I zagged. It didn’t take much to unseat me and off I came. I haven’t come off a horse in a very long time. It hurts! I kept telling myself I knew better than to take this on right now.

So….off she went back to her owner. So sad. Last week was rough. Feather left and my old mare, Dawn had to be put down. April isn’t ride able right now so it just wasn’t in the cards right now. I have felt a wide range of feelings from being a failure (I use to break colts) to feeling my age. I really don’t feel that old but I think I just have too much on my plate. Getting dumped just made the decision easier.

Feather really is a nice horse, just needs consistent riding. I am going to miss her. Not sure what the next chapter of my life will look like. I’m just glad I enjoyed her for a few good rides. So…trying a barefoot method on April, figure I got nothing to lose. My friend Allison has offered a nice broke horse any time I want to go for a ride. It just makes financial sense right now.

I’m sitting in the hospital with my husband right now. It’s the most important thing. One day at a time, being grateful for what I have and learning to count my blessings….daily.


Quote: Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. ~ Melodie Beattie

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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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