From My Saddle

Weekend Retreats

Weekend Retreats
Karen Pickering

Time to Get Away and Recharge

by Karen Pickering, NWHS Publisher


August 2017

Photo courtesy Mark Pickering

It was a hustle to get ready to go on our first camping trip of the year. Spending time at Stonewater Camp with our church horsemen’s group is an outing I look forward to every year. Nestled in the mountains near Lake Wenatchee in Plain, Washington, the camp hosts several events each year for young people to get away and learn about Jesus. They use horses and other outdoor activities such as white water rafting, rock climbing, and more. The horse camp manager, Ken Solem, invites our group every summer. It’s a weekend of camping with our horses, awesome trail rides through scenic country, and wagon rides with their beautiful hitch.

It’s a time to rest, relax, and recharge for a weekend. Cell phone reception is poor so no phones interrupt the afternoon snooze or evening festivities. It feels good to unplug for a weekend and just get in tune with horses and nature. At times like these I really feel blessed to be in the horse business. My dear friend Wendy (who recently moved) traveled all the way from Colorado Springs to join the event and be near familiar faces once again. It was a beautiful, relaxing weekend. Please visit our online photo gallery for pictures of this event (

Times like these make me think of all the great horse facilities we have in the Northwest. It truly is the land of opportunity—you can find horse camping, guest ranches, and a huge variety of horse activities happening every weekend. While I love horse camping, many of you enjoy getting away for a weekend competing with friends. Good food, good friends, and good horses. It just doesn’t get any better.

I hope you enjoy this month’s feature story about Windhaven Therapeutic Riding in La Center, Washington. See their story on page 6. It’s a worthy cause using horses to help veterans and demonstrates how a facility can use their equine friends to do good things for people in need. While many commercial horse facilities exist in our great Northwest, there seems to be an uptick of charitable organizations as well. We are truly blessed to have so many caring people in our community.

Enjoy our beautiful Northwest weather and a great summer enjoying friends, family and horses. I hope to see you on the trail again someday!


Quote: “Today, give yourself permission to be outrageously kind, irrationally warm, improbably generous. I promise it will be a blast.” ~ Sasha Dichter, Acumen’s Chief Innovation Officer


Originally Published August 2017 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 16,500 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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