If you've been following Juli's blog, you know that Horse & Rider has been undergoing some major changes. Actually, the home of H & R has changed (from one publishing company to another and from Texas to Colorado), but the magazine itself is not really changing.
Don't get me wrong; in some ways, H & R is always changing--the magazine is always adapting to the needs of our readers and trying to provide them with the information they need for their ever-evolving horse lives. But in many ways, H & R will always remain the same: dedicated to providing advice, how-to information, solutions, entertainment, winning tips, and enjoyment to a community of horse owners and enthusiasts dedicated to their horses, their lifestyle, and Western riding. It's something H & R has been doing for 50 years, and something it will always do.
And that's comforting, inspiring, and exciting for me personally, as a part of the H & R team. I know that there's been a legacy built of excellence and dedication to horses, horse owners, and the industry that serves them. I've been a part of that legacy, which is an honor, and that legacy will continue to carry itself into the future whether I'm a part of it or not.
And sadly, "not" is the new reality for me.
As Horse & Rider gallops across state lines into a bright future in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, I'll be hanging back here in ol' cow town (Fort Worth, Texas) watching the sun set on my amazing time with H & R. It's a sad moment, because H & R--the magazine, the readers, and my peers and coworkers--has been a family to me. It's an exciting moment, too, because I have new opportunities ahead of me to explore and new challenges to face head-on, and I like that.
It's not really possible to comprehensively cover what 2 years of working at Horse & Rider can teach you. Some of the experiences, like the bonds built and relationships grown, are really indescribable. To sum it up the best I know how, here's a little list for you. This is in the true fashion fitting the position I've held at the magazine for the last years, editorial coordinator, which equates to "chief office organizer and list-maker":
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN DURING 2 YEARS at HORSE & RIDER
1. When people are willing to invest time and effort into you, you can grow and improve as a professional (and as a person) beyond what you imagined possible.
2. Yes, Clinton Anderson really IS that cute in person.
3. It's ALWAYS worth it to stop and take the time to listen to or read someone's story about his/her experience with horses.
4. Do NOT volunteer get the horses' ears up during a photo shoot if you're photographing the incredibly broke and calm horses of the industry's top trainers...they're not easily entertained. Cart wheels might be necessary. In this case, do NOT wear low-rise pants
5. It's all about team work. You can provide more to the reader (or whoever you're serving/working for) when you pool your resources, encourage and teach each other, and work together.
6. It's a small horse world, so don't say "Goodbye." Say, "See ya later." ;)
Erin Sullivan Haynes
former Editorial Coordinator at Horse & Rider
future Associate Editor at Quarter Horse News
forever Devotee of the Western Horse Industry