From My Saddle

What is a Performance Horse?

What is a Performance Horse?
Karen Pickering

The Ultimate Performance Horse

by Karen Pickering


Greetings! It’s Memorial Day weekend as I write this column. Seems like July is a long way off, especially on a rainy day. I’m anxiously awaiting summertime, but my thoughts today are of the soldiers and law enforcement officers that put their lives on the line for our freedom. God bless you and thank you for your service to our country. I’ve included two covers from past issues that share the sentiments of the upcoming 4th of July weekend.

Photo credit NWHS

The first cover is from November 2001, just a couple of months after the tragedy of 9/11. We did a piece on our unsung heroes of the Seattle Police Department Mounted Unit. It was a sad time for all, but we’re a strong nation and have endured this tragedy. The second cover is from November 2012. It talks about the soldiers coming home and stories of healing through the use of horses. To me this is the ultimate “performance” horse. 

A few months ago I posted this question on Facebook: “What do you say is the definition of a performance horse?” The answers were interesting: Jackie—Can earn $$; Jack—Reining, cutting, working cow horse, When the rider is in front of an audience with a clean shirt and jeans?; Jeanine—Willfullly guided, no matter what the maneuver or when; Haidee—Horse used in competition; Shelley—A performance horse is a horse working for one skill more than once or twice, and trying to master it on a regular basis. What’s your definition of a performance horse?

Enjoy this issue. We’ve got a great team of writers providing information to help you care for and use your horses in the best way possible. Have a happy 4th of July and God Bless America!

Quote: “Sharing makes you bigger than you are. The more you pour out, the more life will be able to pour in.”
Jim Rohn


Published July 2013 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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