For 13 years, Eclectic Horseman Communications has brought us regular, vital doses of straight talk and continuing education. Eclectic Horseman, the magazine, has some 3,000 subscribers, including several hundred in Australia, United Kingdom, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
The Horseman’s Gazette, an adjunct DVD subscription service, has 400 loyal fans.
Got some favorite clinicians in mind?
Chances are, Eclectic Horseman has featured them:
Deitz. King. Curtin. Zettl.
The list goes on. You can listen to them or read their thoughts, thanks to EH.
We spoke with president Emily Kitching about the company she founded with husband, Steve Bell, more than a decade ago and about its mission: “To be the best resource to help students develop their own horsemanship.”
NN: What’s your process for deciding who is featured in Eclectic Horseman?
EK: It’s mostly people we’ve worked with for many years or new people I come across. I rely on suggestions from my readers, suggestions from other horsemen. I also go to clinics or see them at events and verify with my own eyes that they have something that I feel will be compatible with our mission.
NN: When you started the magazine, what were you seeing out there for equestrian publications and what was missing? How did you fill that gap?
EK: I always felt like I wanted to create a magazine that I myself would be interested in reading. There was a dressage magazine, out of print now. The articles were meaty and educated. They weren’t five- or ten-minute fixes. They had substance. That was interesting to me.
I feel like what we produce is for people who are serious about improving their horsemanship. Whether in a show ring, out on the trail. These are people who have a passion for it. It’s not just on the surface.
NN: Quick fixes are more popular than ever.
EK: For us, there will always be a core group of committed people. Horsemanship and continuing education are really important to them. We’re truly serving that need. I don’t feel there are resources out there serving that need better than us.
I hope more and more people continue to be interested in learning what goes on in animals’ brains. I hope it will translate into more people becoming interested in considering their horse as a thinking, feeling entity. That’s my hope. That’s been my hope for 20 years.
NN: Sometimes the pursuits with the most integrity don’t get the most attention?
EK: Right. I feel like I’m just doing my thing. This is kind of a side bar, but I know that my life without horses would have been a complete disaster. And I know that they came into my life at a time when I could have gone down a bad path or I could have gone on a positive path. I feel all the strength and confidence that they gave me, I have a debt to horses to repay the positive things that they created in my life.
I’m doing it for the horses.
Our mission would like to take that further to really focus on helping the humans help their horses. After all, the humans are the ones paying the bills and the humans are the ones who are going to create a positive environment for their horses. So you have to focus on helping people or else the horses will suffer.
NN: Any new features?
EK: We’re working on new segment, Clinic Takeaways, reviews of something positive that riders took away from a clinic. It will be a good way to put some ideas in front of readers who might say, “Oh, this person learned…I might go check that person out. I’m interested in that, also.”
NN: Thanks for all you do!