Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Does Warmblood Stallions of North America Reach Breeders? Resoundingly YES!

I can't believe it's the end of October, but we're deep into creation of our 2015 issue, so it must be true! There is still time to advertise, if you are interested. Here is the link to advertising info.

An interesting piece of information has come out of talking to stallion owners in the last few months. A couple of them mentioned that their impression was that Warmblood Stallions of North America only reached stallion owners, not other breeders. !?!?! That is seriously bizarre, since reaching all breeders is exactly what we are dedicated to doing. We probably mail to over 90% of all the warmblood, sport horse, and sport pony breeders in the US and Canada.

We did a short survey of our readership recently, to find out how many of our readers have a breeding program. How about 88.77%? Yup. And that's pretty exciting, because it's an even higher percentage than I would have guessed.

It makes me wonder where that idea originally started. I have to wonder if it was started by a competing magazine. I would really hate to believe that. I know and like most of the other horse magazine publishers, and have always admired the integrity of the business - but I guess it would be naive to assume it applies to everyone.

The goal of Warmblood Stallions of North America has always been to reach all breeders, and I'd say we do a pretty darn good job at it. No other magazine in North America has that dedicated purpose, and no other magazine in North America reaches anywhere near as many breeders as WSNA.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"NEW" Website Launches!

Our newly redesigned website launched this past weekend, and it's quite exciting! I know other people are never as excited about an improved website as the site owners - but I do hope visitors to our site will enjoy the improved navigation, the more attractive look, and the new features. It's not really "new." The site looks similar to the old site, but I believe it is prettier overall. Many little details have been improved, and there are certainly some new features that I hope folks will enjoy.

Please stop by!

WarmbloodStallionsNA.com

Browse over 100 individual Stallion Profiles ...

... or visit the new Stallion Gallery

Check out the new World Breeding News

Read some results from our 2014 Survey of Breeders

and so much more.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Redesigned Website to Launch This Month

Coming Soon! A fresh new look and several new features on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com.

I have been working furiously on improving WarmbloodStallionsNA.com since June, and am getting more excited as we get ready for the relaunch. The "new" site will be live later this month if all goes according to plan.

I have concentrated on improvements to two things: the look of the site and making it easier to use.

The website will be recognizable, but the look of the site has been updated, and I think overall it will be prettier. Some areas will be quite different - and I hope everyone will consider them much improved.

For example, the heart of the site - the online Stallion Profiles - are significantly improved, I think. They look nicer, and they are arranged differently, with all the information easy to find and read. Here's a sneak preview of the redesigned Stallion Profile pages.

http://www.warmbloodstallionsna.com/images/screenshot-stallion-profile.png

One of my goals with the redesign was to make it even easier to browse through all the Stallion Profiles we have on the site. I've added new ways to feature the stallions, and encourage site visitors to click through to the individual stallion listings.

I have also added several new features that I'm excited about.

  • Stallion Stories will tell the behind-the-glossy-ads stories of our stallions.
  • In Stallion Promo Tips we'll share some of the promotion ideas we have for stallion owners.
  • The Stallion Gallery is a new way to present all the stallions on our site.
  • World Breeding News brings news of interest to breeders from all over.


The My Account area will also be much improved, making it easier for site users to navigate and also submit online listings like Breeder and Trainer Directory listings and Stallion Profiles.

It's all coming soon!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Warmblood, Sport Horse, Sport Pony Stallions of All Ages

We have met our goal of listing 100 stallions on WarmbloodStallionsNA.com!

One of the things I have really enjoyed about the 2014 issue of Warmblood Stallions of North America is the wide variety of stallions we have listed, and these are all on the website plus more. We have warmblood stallions, sport horse stallions, sport pony stallions.

There are established world-class competitors in show jumping, dressage, eventing, hunters. There are promising young stallions that are just starting their careers. The stallion who was featured on our cover, Cartier R, is an up-and-coming stallion who is excelling as he starts competing in hunters and jumpers. He doesn't have many offspring yet - but that will change with all the exposure he got as the cover stallion.

I'm proud of the fact that Warmblood Stallions of North America brings visibility to this exceptional range of stallions available in the US and Canada.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Innovative NYOP Pricing

For the month of March I have rolled out an incentive that I think is unique in the horse world: NYOP pricing. It means Name Your Own Price, and it is exactly that. I have invited stallion owners to place an online ad - a Stallion Profile on www.WarmbloodStallionsNA.com - and they can name their own price.

It's a good deal. The ad is the full stallion profile: facts and description of your stallion, four photos of the stallion and four of his offspring, a pedigree chart, and a link to a YouTube video if you have one. The ad runs for a full 12 months - through the end of this breeding season and most of the next.

I read about a taxi driver in DC who starting letting his customers pay what they felt they should. In his experience, on average he made about the same or a little more. A cabbie's business model doesn't necessarily translate into publishing, but I always wanted to try it. I decided the online option was the place to try it - simply because the overhead is so much less than print. In our current economy some stallion owners are facing a money crunch - and online I can say I'd rather have them at a lower price than not at all.

We'll see how it goes! I think in some ways I have made it harder on my advertisers - putting a burden on them they're not used to. Everyone in DC probably knows how much is reasonable cab fare for a given trip - but stallion owners don't necessarily know what is reasonable to pay for an online stallion ad.

But I've had a few takers, and I'm nearing my goal of celebrating 100 stallions with Stallion Profiles on the site. I have 99 as of today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Twenty-One Years of Publishing Horse Magazines

I started my publishing business in 1993, and I think I’m getting the hang of it. :-) I am down to only one publication per year, the annual stallion magazine, Warmblood Stallions of North America

It’s funny. There was a time when I published a bimonthly magazine plus a bimonthly sales flyer, so I had a deadline every month. I had some part-time help, but I did at least some of everything myself. I wrote articles, did layout, ad sales, marketing, bookkeeping, maintained a website starting in 1995 - and for the first few years I sorted the magazines for mailing and dragged them to the Post Office in my little Escort wagon. I called myself a micro-miniature business.

Things have changed, but in many ways they’ve also stayed the same. Both magazines grew and evolved, but were not noticeably profitable. I stopped Midwest SportHorse Journal in 2002, after eight years. I was incredibly proud of what I accomplished with it, and I still get people who tell me they miss it. I do too. It was wonderful to interview people who were doing worthwhile and interesting work with horses. Even then I did a lot with breeders; in my area there wasn’t a lot of recognition for breeders, and it has never been an easy business. After 2002 I concentrated on the National Sport Horse Sales List, which grew and eventually became Sport Horse Marketplace. In 2010 I moved it all online and in 2011 I sold it.

Now I’m down to one magazine, and you’d think that would be manageable for a single person. I wish! I am still doing articles, and layout, ad sales, marketing, bookkeeping, as well as supervising production and mailing to 15,000 people. But now I also maintain a Facebook page, run online ad campaigns, write email newsletters, and constantly try to improve my website. I still have some part-time help, especially in the fall when we’re actually building the print magazine, but it’s still mostly me wearing all the hats. I’m still a micro-miniature business.

It’s great, though; it suits me. It’s overwhelming sometimes, but I do still enjoy learning new things.


The job has changed, and grown. No one is simply a publisher - or simply a breeder or stallion owner, for that matter. We are all denizens of the world wide web, with everything that encompasses. I still believe that there is a place for a good print magazine, especially one like mine that is an annual showcase, compendium, and record. But my job is not just publishing, it is connecting stallion owners and breeders - and these days print is just one part of that.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Musings on the Challenges of Breeding

If there's one thing I've learned in decades of involvement with breeding sport horses - it's that breeding is difficult. Really difficult. We admire the Europeans' skill at it, but the reality is that European breeders have made some spectacular mistakes over the years too, and they still disagree vehemently about the right way to go about breeding. French breeders have sold stallions out of the country that they later regretted selling, for example, and German breeders are just as apt to be seduced by a foal's flashy trot as American ones. There are disagreements about whether to breed primarily for talent or temperament, whether "dressage bloodlines" and "jumping bloodlines" should be separate goals - or whether they are even different.

Each breeding decision - each cross between an individual stallion and a mare - is a gamble. Conscientious breeders improve their odds by researching pedigrees and past crosses, learning from their own and others' experiences, and analyzing a mare's strengths and weaknesses (individual and genetic).

As the world economy continues to struggle, I wish the best to all the North American breeders in their plans for 2014.