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30 Years of Horsetrading 1979-2009

On our 30th Anniversary, readers share their own
Horsetrader stories

By Horsetrader readers - October 15th, 2009 - Feature Article

This issue marks three decades of California Horsetrader in the hands and hearts of thousands of equestrians. After 720 issues, more than 100,000 pages and a million ads, success is best measured not by numbers, but by the role our publication has played–and still plays–in the wonderful world of horses. We received scores of “Horsetrader memories,” and here are some of our favorites.

If you have a story, please send it to us! We will be sharing them throughout our 30th Anniversary Year. E-mail: memories@horsetrader.com

FOUNDING MOTHERS--The original 1979 California Horsetrader team: (from left) Marie Luce, Lillian Read, Barbara Donelson Hieronymous, founder Carolyn Read, and Mary Lou Henry.

FOUNDING MOTHERS--The original 1979 California Horsetrader team: (from left) Marie Luce, Lillian Read, Barbara Donelson Hieronymous, founder Carolyn Read, and Mary Lou Henry.

Thirty years ago, Horsetrader founder Carolyn Read, herself, came by rather than a salesman to see if we wanted to advertise in her brand new publication, which was little back then. Now it’s grown into the largest in the area. I’m glad to see you’re still doing well. It’s always our favorite. Congratulations on a job very well done!
Lou Gene Cuddeback, Cuddeback Trailers

Jennifer Hughes-Borow

Jennifer Hughes-Borow

I got my first pony 25 years ago. My mom and I went down to Rockpoint, the local feed and tack store in Chatsworth, and picked up our first (of many) California Horsetraders. I looked and looked over many issues, circling each one I thought could end up being mine, until one was.

Kaya was the name of my first POA who would teach me so much. Sadly, I outgrew her and it was onto another issue to look for my first horse. I always went right to the back for the photo ads first. We ended up finding me a horse, thanks to the Horsetrader and 25 years later, I am still into horses.

In fact, I now own a boarding facility here in Chatsworth and I advertise my barn in the very same magazine that started it all for me as a kid. I love seeing my young clients circling the ads and looking at the photos, it brings me right back to my own childhood dreams of one day owning my own horse.

The Horsetrader is a wonderful tool and I swear, there isn’t a horseperson that doesn’t read it. Here’s to another 30 years with you … thanks for all of the resources you give us horsepeople. You guys are great!
Jennifer Hughes-Borow

I remember getting my first issue of the California Horsetrader back in 1987 when I got back into horses after raising three children. Through the California Horsetrader, I bought my first western saddle which later led to buying more saddles–finding and purchasing–as well as successfully selling horses through the Horsetrader.

My husband and I found our first gentleman’s horse ranch through the California Horsetrader. You name it, we found it in the California Horsetrader. We also bought horse trailers, pipe corrals, covers and found a fine barn manufacturer through your magazine too!

When visiting our local feed store, we always make sure we pick up a recent issue. If not looking to buy anything, reading the articles, finding a farrier, looking at the ads to see what is new, etc., is a good way to pass time when not with the horses.

Thank you California Horsetrader for many years of wonderful service to the horse community. You are a great asset to anyone who owns horses. May you have another 30 years!
Linda Jones

I was reading through the classifieds for ranch property and there it was! Seven acres in Chino Hills on one of my favorite streets, English Road! A real “fixer-upper” with no horse facilities, but I just had to have it. I sold the house in Yorba Linda in one weekend and then took on the project of my life–all to create Hillcrest Equestrian Center, home of many World Champion Quarter Horses and top level trainers over the years!
Geni Addicott, Hillcrest Equestrian Center

I met Horsetrader founder Carolyn Read at the 1987 AQHA convention in San Diego. Lucky for me, I was hired as the General Manager and worked there until I moved 3-1/2 years later. I remember the lovely Horsetrader office, which at that time was located at Carolyn’s ranch in San Marcos. I lived about five miles away and rode to the Horsetrader office on Saturdays to work–and ride! Lots of horse people rode or stopped by to visit in those days … the magic is still there for me at the Horsetrader, I returned to the Horsetrader in 2002 after moving to Paso Robles. It’s the magazine everyone reads–to find the right horse, trailer, new product or service. It’s wonderful how the Web site and print magazine help all of us to communicate, buy and sell. Congratulations, California Horsetrader on our 30th anniversary!
Cece Campbell, Close By Ranch

Pam Moss

Pam Moss

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992–they actually told me I probably wouldn’t make it. Well, here I am 17 years later and I know that I am here because of my horse and horses.

The horse that saw me through the rough times was Marcos. He was, at that time, a frisky and a bit opinionated Trakehner who was not easy. But you know, he took care of me. When I was going through Chemo and had a port hanging out of my chest, he walked on eggshells–he never made a misstep or did anything to scare me.

I bought him from an ad in the Horsetrader in “miscellaneous horses.” I wasn’t smart enough to know that he was on the backside of the barn all by himself for a reason. I just believed he was OK for me. My trainer, Kim Monk, told me I needed to trust and believe that I could do it. They both instilled in me the belief that I could! So, here I am today … enjoying another schoolmaster and a trainer who said “you can do it!” Thank you!
Pam Moss

I still have the full-page Horsetrader ad. May 20, 1993. Page 95. It said “horse ranch auction to settle estate.” The real estate was to be offered for sale at public auction on June 5, 1993, and I went. It was a Saturday–a rainy day–and I went to buy this ranch that I had always loved, but thought I would never be able to afford. I said “someday,” and that day came, and the Horsetrader was part of it.
Ray Ariss, Starbrite Riding Academy

Refinado with Sarah

Refinado with Sarah

I had just put down the Paso Fino mare that I had rescued from one of the “killer pens.” In one our quiet moments before the vet came, I had asked Cia to help me find a special horse–not to replace her (as no one could), but to help fill the void. I had seen an ad in the Horsetrader for a Paso Fino gelding; he sounded wonderful, but I just wasn’t ready yet.

After Cia passed, I decided to see if the gelding was still available. If the ad wasn’t there, I’d take it as a sign that I needed some time before getting another horse. But if the ad was still in the paper, I’d go see him. Sure enough, the ad was still there!

I remember coming around the corner to the property and seeing him through the trees. He was about as perfect as I could imagine–he was my dream horse. The year was 1996 when I bought my wonderful Refinado.

Not only is he still with me, but at 30 years old, he still does trails and parades and looks half his age. And if that weren’t enough, the ranch where he was stabled when I bought him is now my ranch and home! So many dreams came together when I found my boy in the Horsetrader! Thank you!
Tanii Carr, Melody Oaks Ranch

When I was 8 years old, we were looking for the perfect horse for me. We looked for six months, and then we looked in the Horsetrader and found a sorrel gelding Quarter Horse that was also 8 years old.

At the time, I weighed 70 pounds, and him being 15.2 hands, he was probably too big for me … but we fell in love with him anyway. We went on trail rides together, lessons together, and now gymkhanas.

Nine years later, he’s still my best friend. Maybe next year, you’ll see us at the local rodeo. Thank you, Horsetrader, and thank you Susan and Ken–for the best horse ever!
Brittany Miller

My favorite memory of the Horsetrader was seeing The GRAND OPENING AD for my store Bright Star Saddlery. Six years ago we opened and the Horsetrader helped with every aspect of our first real large ad. Everyone was so helpful and supportive. I still look at that ad and smile.
Karen Curtis, Brightstar Saddlery

My favorite memory is finding my horse in your ads! I thought I was horse-hunting for a special client, and I found an ad for a Tennessee Walking Horse … and when she decided that she wasn’t ready, I couldn’t get this horse “out of my head.”

I went to see him and decided right then, that he was the horse for me. That was four years ago, and I thank the Horsetrader for all my business, and my wonderful horse, Traveler! All the best!
Lydia Hiby

In 2008, Rock “N” Easy Ranch sold 38 Ranch Breed Mules and Mammoth/Mini-Donkeys. This is THREE times the normal yearly sales numbers. The major credit for this large yearly sales increase is due to Display and FotoTrader Ads in the Horsetrader!
Richard Bruckman, Rock “N” Easy Ranch

We want to thank the Horsetrader on behalf of all of our Blue Ribbon Manufacturing customers who have purchased a barn from Blue Ribbon because of Horsetrader’s beautiful ads. Many phone calls we receive are from customers who see our barn ads and call us for a quote. Thank you, Horsetrader!
Charlene Thayer

California Horsetrader is more than just a magazine–it is a companion that goes with us on our journey at the horse show and gives us a glimpse into the equestrian soul.
Suzanne Ansari, Blenheim EquiSports

October marks 30 full years of California Horsetrader, with a chance for everyone to share their “Horsetrader story.” So many times, we hear “I found my first horse through the Horsetrader” or “my first ranch” or “I still have the Horsetrader article of me when I was interviewed and pictured”… well, the list of memories is a long one, and we hope you add to it!

Let us know your favorite Horsetrader story, and we’ll share the memories throughout our 30th Anniversary! Please e-mail them, with a photo if available, to: memories@horsetrader.com

One comment has been made on “30 Years of Horsetrading 1979-2009”

  1. Suzanne Ansari Says:

    Wow! 720 issues, over 100,000 pages and a million ads that is truly impressive. You have built a solid and “fun to read” publication for all equestrians to appreciate!

    I really enjoyed reading all the stories and seeing the wonderful photos from your article on “Horsetrader Memories”. I would love to get a few extra copies for the horse show!!

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