Celebrating 20 Years in Publishing
by Karen Pickering
Looking through the December 2005 issue (our 10 year anniversary) brings back so many memories! It has been quite a journey, but one to celebrate, even amidst the many ongoing challenges. Why? I still love what I do and continue to learn new things every day as I grow the business. This keeps me on my toes and fully engaged in life. It’s been very difficult since Mark’s stroke last December, but I continue to be grateful for something every single day.
Last year—2014—was the best year I’ve ever had for events and activities with my horse. April has been such a blessing in my life and we share an incredible bond. I can’t imagine my life without her. It was a year filled with trail obstacle shows, riding through Yellowstone and winning my first buckle! I suppose all the fun I had in 2014 helped make the overwhelming challenges that have characterized 2015 a little easier to bear. I’ve been truly blessed over the last 20 years and I know the current troubles will pass. There has been so much good that’s come out of this personal tragedy and I’m convinced that there are more good people in my world than bad. I’ve met the most amazing people and without the magazine that wouldn’t have been possible.
Part of this incredible journey includes my membership in American Horse Publications (AHP). When I joined in 1997 I knew very little about the publishing industry. The contacts I’ve made through this organization have resulted in lifelong friends and clients. One of the first people who stepped up to help me was Doug Hayes from the Quarter Horse Journal. He has always been available when I had questions and is a wonderful man in so many ways. It’s kind of cool when famous people offer you their help!
I’m also super proud of my editor Catherine Madera. In 2010 she won the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award given by AHP for the story A Hero’s Work. While neither one of us could attend the awards ceremony that year we celebrated at Wood’s Coffee in Lynden. The award was quite an honor considering we were up against all the major magazines. It was just one of many milestones for this magazine (find the story on our website).
I have so much to be grateful for and have been blessed in many, many ways. Even through all the challenges this last year I’ve felt more connected to my community, both locally and throughout the Northwest, than ever before. People have been genuinely kind and helpful: stepping up to help financially, helping out on our farm and just being kind when I needed a friend. It’s true that sometimes you don’t appreciate your life until you lose a part of it.
With this 20 year anniversary, I’ve enjoyed looking back through past issues and I’m reminded of all the clients who have been with me continuously for years. People like Maria Danieli, Allison Trimble, Kulshan Veterinary Hospital, Raye Lochert, Farnam, Bony Pony, Bickford Trailers, Miner Pole Buildings, Richard Vetter and many more. Thank you all so much for sharing this special journey with me and enriching my life in so many ways.
Lastly, I’m delighted to have Kim McElroy’s art featured on my cover. Kim has been a wonderful colleague the past few years and I’ve always admired her artistic gifting—just another one of our Northwest talents. I feel super honored to feature her artwork on the cover for this special occasion (visit her website at spiritofhorse.com). My hope with this issue, and always, is to inspire and move you to dream and do the things that you’re passionate about. There just isn’t any other way to live life. Thanks for being part of this incredible 20 year ride!
Quote: Powerful dreams inspire powerful action. ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie
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.