Worthwhile print equestrian magazine subscriptions?

Are equestrian print magazines still worth a read? I haven’t looked at them in ages, but I’m open to subscribing again. Of course, that would get my name/address on every equestrian mailing list in the world, which is a big ugh. CotH was a fave. Practical Horseman (cough Practically A Horseman cough) was another.

Gosh, the HOURS I spent as a teenager in the tack room scouring back issues of CotH left by kind boarders. The classifieds alone read like the Sears Wish Book to a girl with enough resources for lessons and not too much else. Sigh!


The only one I still get is Equus. Even that I’m thinking of not renewing.

The only one I subscribe to is CotH. I thought print horse magazines were a thing of the past.

No. Not only do you open yourself to the marketing barrage, they don’t really want to print it up, they want you to subscribe digitally.

The print mags, including USEF and USHJA, are bulging with top 2% targeted real estate ads, high end riding apparel, drug ads, celebrity endorsed supplements and such.

What horse care is featured is stuff like how to select the right blanket wardrobe, does your halter fit and how many supplements does your horse absolutely need ( the answer in that piece was 3 to 5) Very basic information marketing for their advertising , not furthering knowledge.

Like coming here to discuss the really important issues like can you wear green in the Hunters :rofl:

But really, you will get more helpful info here on the forums and you can ask a relevant question expecting a relevant answer or experienced opinion within a few days. Plus some entertainment.


I intermittently subscribe to COTH, when they send me a really good “please come back” cheap price offer. I certainly wouldn’t pay full price for it, but they have enough interesting articles and pretty pictures to make it worth subscribing for a sufficiently reduced price.

I get 3 other print magazines, two that come with breed association memberships and one that comes with my USHJA membership. I would never subscribe and pay good money for any of them.


I subscribe to 2 magazines CotH, which I read every issue and then put in the barn lounge for others to read. Southern Living is the second.

Equus and The Horse. The latter is health, medical etc. They have free newletters with links to their articles. AAEP has some sort of relationship. I like it because they report on research into a lot of the oddball research from years past that is turning into real information.

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we have a specific breed of horses, we subscribe to the breed’s magazine to keep up with what is going on with friends

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I subscribed to PH for years, stopped for a while, then on a whim recently started a new subscription. Found out it only came out 4 times a year and for anything worthwhile, you had to look online. Canceled after the first year. I still have issues from the early 90s just for fun as a blast from the past.

A regional magazine, Flying Changes, used to be good when it was focused on local stories and some humor, and you could always find pages of horses for sale in the back. Now it’s all glossy and reads more like any other nationally distributed mag. Stopped subscribing.

The only one I get now, is the Pony Club magazine. Free with a membership!

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As someone who made a long career out of writing for various equestrian publications, I can attest to this fact. In the words of Star Trek’s esteemed Dr. McCoy, “They’re dead, Jim.”

What killed them was the Internet. There is so much free or easily accessible information on the other side of the keyboard. The first thing to die were the Q and A columns. Who’s going to ask a question about horse care or tips to correct their riding, and then wait several issues until the answer gets written up, edited, printed, and sent to your mailbox?

So then the goal was to provide content not readily found online, like interviews and human interest pieces, but many of those personalities started their own blogs and You Tube channels. Next, content became advertiser driven, whether it was all about trucks and trailers or blankets and clipping or a dream vacation at a guest ranch. Utterly mind-numbing to write, but advertising revenue is what pays for the magazines to be printed, so you do what they want. Then the major brands realized they got more for their advertising dollar by advertising online. If you were a subscriber, you might’ve noticed fewer ads. But the tradeoff was the magazine also had fewer articles and fewer professionally shot photos. (Many resorted to using stock images vs. paying a day rate for a pro photog.)

In order to survive at all, some magazines have gone to a hybrid presence. They reduce their print issues to a few times a year, and provide access to an online supplement. Costs are cut by grossly cutting or totally eliminating office space. I know a couple of editors who pretty much put together each issue working from home. But I think eventually that concept will be gone, too. Print magazines-- especially for horse folk-- just are not a profitable venture anymore. :slightly_frowning_face:


The reason I still get Equus is for Deb Bennett Ph.D.'s articles on conformation and breeds. Details about how and why different breeds were created, names of people and horses, photos, drawings, everything. I doubt they will ever put them together in one volume. It would have to be an encyclopedia.


Equus is a wonderful magazine. It is unique in the informative topics it covers, which may be why it continues (and I hope it does for many years!).

I subscribe to Practical Horseman, and enjoy it. I know it’s down to quarterly (vs monthly), but there’s good content in there. I don’t have time to read a monthly magazine anyway!

I love Jimmy Wofford’s columns (even though I’m a hunter, not an eventer). He has so much to teach and a great perspective. His writing style always makes me smile.

I also like the longer format in PH articles that you don’t get elsewhere. They get professionals to write out step-by-step exercises and have photos that go with most of the steps. Horses and training are complex, so I find the breakdown helpful.

Beezie taking over the Jumping Clinic is great, too, and sometimes I follow the QR code to see the video that goes with her commentary.

Having articles written by a variety of professionals is good for the pros who are excellent regionally, but gives them a national forum.

The drawings on the last page (one of the things they moved over from Dressage Today) always gives an interesting visual/analogy, too.

Maybe I just learn best by reading! I’m sure equestrian print magazines will continue to have to evolve to more online, but having a print magazine is still enjoyable to me.

I probably should subscribe to COTH (haven’t been a subscriber in a long time) to give it another try.


Those of us who are still readers will disappear from the landscape too soon. Kids don’t go to the library much these days. They can’t enjoy looking at the horse books and choosing one to take home to read and enjoy the pictures. You can’t browse on a phone.

It’s getting hard to maintain my analog lifestyle. If you wait for your car or your doctor be sure to bring somehing to read. There is nothing there. Use your phone, I guess? I can still stand up straight because I have never spent hours hunched over a smartphone. Everybody knows I message on my flip phone so their expectations are low. They call the land line at home or email. I don’t want a computer screen in the dashboard. I do want a CD slot.

I see kids sitting on their horse hunched over their phone in the middle of the indoor. So sad. Putting some code, a chip and a power source into everything isn’t making life better. Our horses are unlikely to be computerized. It would be nice to see every kid ignore their phone and devote 100% of themselves to their horse.


There are some good regional magazines in the south like The Aiken Horse and The Carolinas Equestrian. And if you dont read they have great pictures too! You can subscribe and get a copy mailed or read online.

Thank you for your update and recommendation. I just ordered 2 PH subs for juniors in my barn.

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The only print magazine I read cover-to-cover is the Off-Track Thoroughbred magazine (RRP). :slight_smile:

I still get CoTH, but I find I don’t really read much of it. I browse the pics, look at the subjects, and roll my eyes at the ads for things I’ll never afford or wish to buy. I feel like the magazine is not written for “me” even through I have four horses and ride h/j and dressage. And the UnTacked magazine? So out of my league.


I have a ream box of Arabian Horse Express from the early 1980s kept for Dr. Deb’s articles. The detail and the drawings and analysis based on actual photographs are really wonderful.

I should figure out how to get them imaged (odd newsprint sizing) and not keep the paper which will not last forever. Thanks for the memory.

Microfilm! Microfilm! Remember Microfilm???

@walktrot, TurboScan app for your phone will create PDFs for you.