From My Saddle

Transitions Sliding from Winter into Spring

Transitions Sliding from Winter into Spring
Karen Pickering

by Karen Pickering


As I’m looking out my office window the snow is falling quietly on rain soaked ground. I’m cozy and warm, snuggled up with a hot cup of ginger tea. I love snow, maybe because we get so little of it. It’s usually here for a day or so than silently melts away, transitioning into rain. 

It’s challenging for riders in the Pacific Northwest, without covered arenas, to consistently work our horses.  Sometimes I think we’re half crazy to put up with this wet weather. Still, there’s something about this beautiful region; we will have stunning trail systems and green meadows when spring transitions into summer. It really is a special place.

Transitions are good as they help us navigate a coming season. Growth—which goes hand-in-hand with change—is necessary if we want to mature in life. Even if you’ve ridden horses forever, there is always something more to learn from these beautiful creatures. In important ways, horses can assist us in the changing seasons of life.

After watching Odysseo (by Cavalia) perform this past week, I’ve come to wonder how horses can have such faith and trust in us. When they don’t it’s only our uncertainty to blame. Spending time watching and studying horses is important to understand how their minds work as is actual time working with them. You cannot expect results with little time in the saddle; there are no shortcuts to success with horses, just lots of transitions into greater ability and knowledge.

Please enjoy our cover story this month on page 6. Barb Apple has created a program that helps riders overcome fear and get the most out of the equine experience. Her story is one of rescued dreams—both hers and those of her students—and the joy she’s found in the journey.

Enjoy the newness of the spring season; it’s a beautiful time of flowers and new foals. Make time to enjoy your horse—perhaps we’ll see you at an upcoming event!

Quote: “Life is just a chance to grow a soul.”
A.Powell Davies


Published April 2014 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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