It’s almost 2014 (if you work on a magazine)

Snowy Pasture
If it looks like this outside, you can bet we’re sitting inside the Horse Illustrated offices compiling a list of tips to beat the heat at the barn. Photo: Leslie Potter

The year 2013 is still in its early days, but here at Horse Illustrated HQ, we’re already planning our editorial calendar for 2014. You’re right, it is crazy, but that’s the way the magazine biz goes. You’ve probably noticed that the date on the front of your magazine rarely matches the date on the calendar. If you’re a subscriber, you might have received your April issue in February. If you shop on the newsstand, you’ll find the April issue there now, even though we’re not quite halfway through March.

And that’s just the timeframe in which the shiny finished product reaches readers’ hands. We have to write and edit all of the articles, select photos, and get the whole thing put together well before that, which means working way ahead of reality. There was snow on the ground when I took my dog for her morning constitutional today, but here in the office we’re working on the June issue. This time of year that disconnect is kind of nice. I like looking forward to horse show season and summer trail riding. However, those blanketing and winter health care articles that we put together in August and September cast a shadow over the end of summer, reminding us that the warm days won’t last.

We’re a little less constrained here on the website. We do plan out some of our major features and come up with an editorial calendar for the year in advance, but not so far in advance. Plus, we have the freedom to change or add things at the last minute or report on breaking stories that would be old news by the time they reached readers in the magazine. We can even feature hot-weather riding articles when it is actually summer or holiday season articles in December rather than having to do everything months in advance of reality.

But back to the original topic, which was editorial planning for 2014. This is the time of year when we solicit reader feedback before mapping out our topics for next year. If you’ve ever had a great idea for an article, or you wonder why we haven’t covered a certain topic, now is the time to tell us about it. And if you have ideas for the website, such as videos or interactive features that just don’t work on paper, share those, too. Click “Submit a Comment” below, visit us on Facebook, tell us on Twitter, or use our contact form and tell us what you want to see in Horse Illustrated and on You can even send us your ideas using old-fashioned pen, paper and postal stamps, if that’s your thing.

Obviously, we can’t guarantee we’ll use every idea we receive, but your feedback is the only way we know what our readers love—and hate—to see in the magazine. Send us your thoughts and we’ll do our best to keep you informed and entertained in 2014. And by 2014, I mean the year that begins in November of 2013.

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  1. The latest information and updates on equine metabolic issues such as insulin resistance and laminitis. How to detect it early and what needs to be done to keep the horse sound and ridable.

  2. More contests, more natural horsemanship articles (especially Parelli), alternative health care such as massage, acupressure, essential oils, and herbs.

  3. I love the Down Under Solutions, being a Clinton Anderson fan.
    I love the “from the HI staff”. It makes me feel like I know the people who put the magazine together, and it makes me feel good inside knowing that they love and ride horses just as much as I do. Makes me trust what I read.
    Being a trail rider, I can’t wait to see what the “Trail Guide” will cover. Horseman’s Yankee Pedlar used to have great trail riding tips but then changed the section to “rave rides” where all it tells you is where to go on your next ride and info about the place. Which might work for some people, but for me, I don’t trailer for trails unless its an all day ride w/ a group. So only do a little of “spectacular places to ride”. 🙂
    LOVE the rider insider, except, I never get chosen for my answer to be in the magazine….well, maybe next time!!
    Breed Profiles are good.
    Horse care is interesting.
    I love Western training. I’m a Western fan!!
    English training is helpful as well, but mostly above my head 🙂
    Horse Health is great.
    Am enjoying the new “ex-racehorse diaries” as I think it would be fun to buy an OTT.
    What’s New is awesome!!
    Blue Ribbon deals I don’t really use.
    Keep the Horse Tales in!!! I always come to the last page in a bittersweet way. One part of me is sad that the magazine is already over, but excited to read the always interesting Horse Tales 🙂
    You’re doing a good job. Keep it up!!

  4. oh! just thought of a great new thing you could add.
    A column following a foal as he is trained to be a western reining horse!!! Or jumper, or endurance horse, or barrel racer, or dressage, etc.
    That would give great advice for trainers like me, who are just starting out with their first foal.
    Like you could follow the foal from birth, all throughout his first, second, third year to his first competition.
    OR……what would be REALLY REALLY ineresting is a column that follows a Thoroghbred from his birth to his first race!!!
    some colt starting tips/ foal training tips would be appreciated!!
    hope that gives you something to think about 🙂

  5. I would suggest something for those of us who love your magazine and learning about horses, but are unlucky in that we don’t have any access to a horse. Can you consider adding maybe groundwork, more natural horsemanship, maybe something on equine therapy, the good horses do in our lives. Also I loved the posters, I always put them up on my wall, please bring them back. Thanks sooo much, I have loved every article, and it brings my dreams to life as I live through other people’s lives. Also focusing on one specific sport each article would be neat, like Eventing in one and Barrel Racing in another, and then Dressage, etc. Thanks again.

  6. Wish we could redeem points for a subscription! If HI won’t even sponsor its own site why do they expect others to?


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