Since you read Horse Journal, we know you’re a serious horseperson. You may or may not compete, but your interest in horses is well beyond the word “hobby.” Horses encompass nearly every aspect of your life, and you’re determined to care for them properly but sensibly and economically. You’re also pressed for time, working to keep the other parts of your life — work, family, friends — together as well.
When Tim Cole, our publisher, approached me in early 1994 to ask if I’d help with a new magazine he was starting in affiliation with eight-time Olympian Mike Plumb, called Michael Plumb’s Horse Journal, I immediately knew it would break new ground in equine publishing.
It had a realistic slant, built on acknowledging that not all products are created equally and that some are downright wastes of money. It would answer to no one but its readers. No advertising, no sponsors, no organizations to OK what we print. No one to pressure us into anything. As our readership grew, we enlarged our focus to include Western products and disciplines and changed our name to Horse Journal.
Horse Journal’s consumer concept was far from a new one for Belvoir Publications, a progressive company that made its mark on the publishing industry by telling readers how to best spend their money for special interests, whether they ride horses, fly planes or sail boats. The company now includes over 30 magazines, most of which do the same thing we do but for different sports and interests. In fact, Horse Journal led the way in the animal division, and now Belvoir also publishes John Lyons’ Perfect Horse and several cat and dog magazines (www.belvoir.com).
Like most of Belvoir’s magazines, Horse Journal isn’t full of glossy color photos. But it is chock full of information you can take into the barn and use. We put products in real barns with real people using the equipment under real conditions. We ignore big-name paid endorsements. We deal in real-life situations. With real-life riders. We don’t bother with those “isn’t this great'” new-product displays. Instead, we look at a group of similar products and compare them, spending time using the equipment to determine which will work best for you.
As Horse Journal has grown, we’ve listened to our readers. We write for experienced horse people, and we presume a basic core of knowledge. Since we’re busy ourselves, we recognize that you don’t have time to read a 5,000-word article on supplements for your horse. You want to know what to use and how to do it, without any fluff, and that’s exactly what we do best. We’re here for the riders who’ve been at it for years and intend to stay, just like us.