Editor's Postcard

The Things that Define Us

The Things that Define Us
Catherine Madera

Identity and the Equestrian

by Catherine Madera


Who am I? This is a basic question human beings struggle with at their core. Though it is perhaps acted out most obviously in adolescence, uncertainty about identity can follow a person into old age. As a spiritual person, I believe this is deeply spiritual question, with spiritual origins. However, even on the surface the things that define us—our activities, our passions, our “labels”—are essential to how successfully we navigate life. This issue is all about the equine lifestyle, including the ways equestrians might vacation. Though horse related holidays are awesome, for me just going to the barn is a mini getaway.


No matter where life takes me, I love meeting other equestrians. Northwest residents Bill and Patsy Taylor also enjoyed the trail ride in Kauai, along with trail guide Pete.

As a youth, horses were my One True Thing. Though I had a solid family and received love from my parents, I was a sensitive and awkward child who never felt like I fit in with my peers. Most comfortable with animals or a good book, my horse was a primary source of identity and accomplishment during a vulnerable time. To this day, when I need a relief from challenges, distractions and disappointments I retreat to the horses for grounding and perspective. Horses are part of what makes me me; they help me connect, and reconnect, to life in basic ways.

Even when my travels are not centered on horses, I find myself looking for them. Most recently this was in Kauai where my friend Kelly and I had a terrific trail ride courtesy of CJM Country Stables located in Koloa. Not much can top riding a good horse, with good friends, in a gorgeous place.

Are your horses a big part of who you are? If so, how have they shaped you as a person? I’d love to know; email me at editor@nwhorsesource.com. Lastly, enjoy this issue. If you’re shopping for a mate for your mare this spring, consider our beautiful cover model Command Bux, owned by Mark and Karen Plumlee.

Ride on in 2016!


Published in February 2016 Issue

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Editor's Postcard
Catherine Madera

Catherine Madera attended Walla Walla University in Eastern Washington where she majored in communications/journalism. After winning a national competition for Guideposts Magazine in 2004, Catherine concentrated on non-fiction inspirational stories. Since then, she has published numerous personal and ghosted stories for Guideposts and their affiliate publications. Catherine has published in many regional and national magazines/newspapers and her work is included in several anthologies. She specializes in equine-related topics and profiles and serves as editor of The Northwest Horse Source. In 2010 Catherine’s non-fiction story, A Hero’s Work, received the Merial Human-Animal Bond award given by American Horse Publications. She has also authored three works of fiction and provides editing/writing assistance through Word Horse Writing Services.

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