2011 is fast approaching, and we're already working on our March issue! That hasn't left too much time for me to think about 2010 and everything that's happened in the last 365 days.
This time last year, I was nestled in front of my parents' fireplace, dying to head back to Athens, Ohio, to spend the last half of my senior year working at the Athens NEWS, spending time with my friends, and running barrel horses. Little did I know I'd be bouncing out of college a few weeks early to head to Boulder, Colorado, to start a life working at Horse&Rider.
In the last six months, I've learned a whole lot about myself and the magazine business, and here are a few of the highlights:
1. Always expect the unexpected. If your truck can break down, it will. If the layout of the magazine can change at the last minute to fit one more ad in or to switch the ad's position around, it will. If your horse can get a runny nose right before you're scheduled to go out of town, she will. The list goes on. In college, I could plan for everything. I knew my class schedule, I had someone to take care of my horses at all times, I even knew how much expendable income I'd have to go out on the town. Now, the only thing I know about expendable income is that it doesn't really exist, with three horses I'm responsible for.
2. Facebooking is important, and I can get paid to do it. Leaving college, I knew Facebook as the tool I used to spread the word on The Barrel Racing Blog and an important tool to talk to my friends. At Casady and I in a "Style" shoot.
? 6. Some of my horses are much more broke than others. Our H&R photo shoots bring out the broke and unbroke in my horses. You might notice Casady appearing in all of the photos that are still shots, like the September 2010's "Blanket Bingo," October 2010's Style page, and December 2010's "When a Ride Goes South." The original plan was for Naughty to help me model the Ariat clothing in October, but her opposition to standing still long enough for a shot forced us to replace her at the last minute with Casady. These days, Naughty will turn up in "Problem Solvers" for riding-related questions, as she is a much better model for moving-related shoots. We really need to work on our standing still!
7. Juli really is the source for horse-industry history. I have not met anyone as up-to-date on the happenings of the breed associations, nor anyone with a memory of big wins, trends, magazine articles, styles, inside scoop on trainers, or the who's-who of the horse world like our editor, Juli Thorson. On staff, she's our go-to lady for info on all that is and all that was in the horse world.
8. Our readers loved Drummer. I can't begin to tell you how many emails, cards, letters, and Facebook posts we received from readers expressing sympathy and heartbreak for the loss of Sue Copeland's equine partner, Drummer. The outpouring from readers on Drummer's untimely passing will forever stick in my mind as a truly great moment reader-editor relations.
9. The Congress is still my favorite place in the world. Whether I'm there for work or play, driving through those gates and seeing thousands of horse trailers is a site that will never get old. While I've been going since I was 13 to compete, flying into Columbus this year to work at the Congress felt like the final piece of the puzzle. It was a different feeling, that's for sure, to meet all of the competitors I've read about on the pages of magazines my whole life, and what's more, to interview them and to put those same folks on the pages of this magazine.
10. Work isn't all work. We have a lot of fun on staff, as I'm sure you read on this very blog. In and out of the office, we keep ourselves pretty entertained. Check out the photo to the right to see one of the more entertaining parts of our company Christmas party, Jen's cute little cowboy, Leo, visiting Santa. Of course, you've seen other priceless moments, with Adam sporting some of my clothing and even modeling for our friends at American Cowboy.
Stick around for 2011 and see what else we come up with on staff. I'm sure you won't be disappointed!