Aword from edi­tors past and present

Your Horse (UK) - - Looking Back At Horsey History -

The first lead­ing lady

Liz Ben­well, ed­i­tor of Your Horse from the first edi­tion un­til 1989, re­flects on how dif­fer­ent the equine world and the mag­a­zine was then. “In 1983 there was no email, no in­ter­net, no mo­bile phones or satel­lite TV. Most mag­a­zines were printed in black and white. Amaz­ing really, as it doesn’t seem that long ago. “The eques­trian world was very dif­fer­ent too. No such thing as cooler rugs, the can­vas New Zealand was the rug of choice; bare­foot horses were just horses with no shoes; tree­less sad­dles hadn’t been in­vented and nat­u­ral horse­man­ship ex­isted, we just didn’t call it that. Feed rooms con­tained oats, bran, cubes, boiled bar­ley and lin­seed. And all rid­ing gear was beige — it wasn’t a very colour­ful time. “But it was also the dawn of the yup­pie era and so­cial as­pi­ra­tions were on the up. Own­ing a horse was no longer the pre­serve of the wealthy. Liv­ery yards were spring­ing up and ev­ery­one was buy­ing horses, but un­less they came from a horsey back­ground, many didn’t know how to care for them prop­erly. There were lots of rid­ing schools around, so learn­ing to ride was easy, but there was no way to learn good horse­man­ship. Your Horse was con­ceived as the so­lu­tion. “De­spite the fact that the cover of the first edi­tion fea­tured a lady in a head­scarf wash­ing her horse’s legs (see p22), it sold 36,000 copies. “The mag­a­zine was de­voted to pro­vid­ing prac­ti­cal ad­vice for horse own­ers and this hasn’t really changed over the years. “It be­came ob­vi­ous over time that one sub­ject struck a chord with our read­ers — and that was be­ing a ner­vous rider. Giv­ing space to the is­sue of con­fi­dence al­lowed rid­ers to share their con­cerns and re­alise they were not alone. “My favourite part of the job was vis­it­ing read­ers at their yard for the You and Your Horse fea­ture. I loved nat­ter­ing with them about their horses. “I’m still an avid reader of Your Horse and am de­lighted that it’s in the hands of such a com­mit­ted team to­day.”

“I loved vis­it­ing read­ers at their yard and nat­ter­ing with them about their horses”

Liz’s mag­a­zine from 1983

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