I recently subscribed to The Morgan Horse magazine.
It's been several years since I've subscribed to a horse "breed" magazine. When I first got My Boy, I got the Appaloosa Journal for a year.
I learned to ride on a Morgan mare and her owner had issues of The Morgan Horse magazine, which I borrowed and read. I poured over each issue from cover to cover and back again. This was in the early 1980's, but I think she had issues from the late 70's as well.
The "stallion issue" was always my favorite. It was as thick as a phone book, nearly 200-300 pages- filled with colorful advertisements and pictures of beautiful Morgans. I can remember particular farm and stallion ads, and the way each issue smelled. Yes they had a smell, strange but true. I would love to get my hands on some of those old issues.
I was excited that my first issue of TMH, the January stallion issue, would be distributed on February 5th. When it arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday, I was rather surprised.
The issue was not thick. In fact, I have a random (non-stallion) issue from 1988 that was still 232 pages, double that of this issue.
This 2010 issue was 112 pages. There are a fair amount of stallion ads, but not nearly as much as I expected.
I wonder what is going on here? Is it the economy, preventing breeders from the high costs of advertising? Is this a reflection of a cut-back breeding program? Or is the Morgan breed struggling in general with registrations and membership?
I've noticed other magazine markets changing, too. The home decor magazines "Country Home", "Cottage Living", and "Metropolitan Home" went under last year. So did "National Geographic's Adventure", "Hallmark Magazine", "Gourmet", and "Golf For Woman." And those are just a few of the many that ceased existence.
Even the all-breed/discipline publications such as "Equus" and "Horse Illustrated" seem to be less bulky. Maybe they are cutting costs by using thinner, less expensive paper. Or maybe they have less advertisers. Or possibly, they are featuring less editorial content, to try to keep issue size to a minimum as a cost-effective measure.
Or maybe, digital media is keeping us more focused. Instead paying for subscriptions or buying magazines from newsstands, we are reading them online. Perhaps all the wonderful blogs out there are even taking the place of magazines. Who wants to wait for a magazine once a month when you can get new stories, photos, information, and updates every day?
Me? I know I still love the excitement of getting a magazine in the mail. I'm a tactile person. I like a real publication in my hands. It seems more real and permanent. Besides, it has a smell.
I know. I'm weird.
Do you think the age of magazines are about to become nothing but vintage collections in museums and antique stores? Do you subscribe to any horse breed-specific magazines? If not, which one would you like to?