About Us

Western Horseman: Yesterday and Today

By Randy Witte

Western Horseman magazine began in 1936, which makes it one of the oldest horse magazines in the world. To glance back at the magazine's history is to survey much of the history of the horse industry in North America, because Western Horseman was there to champion the formation of breed associations and registries, research and record horse history, and publish accounts of the care, breeding, and use of horses through the decades.

When the first issue was printed and distributed in January 1936, interest in horses was waning in the United States. Founding Editor and Publisher Paul Albert knew it all too well as he watched horses being displaced by automobiles and tractors, and promptly dispatched to the slaughterhouses.

Paul later wrote of that era: "Horses were worth practically nothing and thousands were being slaughtered each year for dog food, the dog having replaced the horse in public affection and the machine having discarded the horse in transportation and power." He created The Western Horseman as a voice for the horse, to show people that horses were still useful in a variety of ways on farms and ranches, and that they could have a bright future as recreational animals. The magazine's motto was, "For the Admirer of the Western Stock Horse."

Paul, his wife, Worth, and a secretary and friend named Dorothy Smith made up the magazine staff. They worked "within the lighted circle of the kerosene lamp," Worth later wrote, in the Albert's' ranch house. Their ranch was located in the rolling hills near Lafayette, Calif., about 20 miles from San Francisco. There Paul and Worth ran a small herd of cattle, bred Arabian horses and did their best to keep western riding alive. They operated a "one-day dude ranch" on weekends, hosting visitors who paid 75 cents for an hour's horseback ride.

By the time that first issue of The Western Horseman appeared, Paul had quit his job as a traveling salesman for heavy equipment to devote full time to the ranch and to publishing the magazine. Worth recalled that "finances were nil. But with the idea and a stubborn determination, scraping here and pinching there, we finally managed $200 to edit and print our first issue."

That first issue of the magazine sold for 30 cents per copy, with subscriptions listed at $1 per year. Included was news on horse shows and rodeos, technical advice, and the first in a series of well-researched articles written by Paul and titled "The Romance of the American Stock Horse."

Bob Denhardt was an early contributor to the magazine, and served years later as its editor, after he had been instrumental in the formation of the American Quarter Horse Association. He was a student at the University of California at Berkeley when The Western Horseman was launched, and came to the Albert's' ranch looking for a place to ride.

In the January 1937 issue, author F.D. Haines wrote about the remnants of a breed of horse called the Palouse, a name which some had corrupted into Appaloosa, he explained. There weren't many Appaloosas left, he wrote, and urged those who had them to "register and establish the type before it is too late." The Appaloosa Horse Club was organized in 1938.

Paul wrote an editorial in that same 1937 issue urging preservation of the Western horse. Remember, this was prior to the formation of the American Quarter Horse Association (in 1940), and even the name Quarter Horse was not affixed to a particular type of horse.

"A West without cow horses would be a disappointment to everyone," he wrote. "It would pay us to well consider this thought. Some (people) stand calmly by, never lifting a hand to save our gallant friend and greatest attraction, the Western horse. The pages of The Western Horseman are dedicated to this work. It is a good work and an unselfish one."

In the fifth anniversary issue, Paul noted that with the aid of publicity from The Western Horseman, four new horse organizations had formed: the Palomino Horse Association, the Appaloosa Horse Club, the Albino Horse Club and the American Quarter Horse Association.

Paul was only 40 when he died of cancer, and his magazine was only seven, but he lived long enough to see his efforts on behalf of the Western horse begin to pay off. W.K. Albert replaced P.T. Albert on the masthead of the January-February 1943 issue, and Worth remained editor for the next four issues of the magazine.

The Western Horseman was sold to John Ben Snow in the summer of 1943, and moved to the Speidel headquarters in Reno, Nevada. This came about because John Ben was an avid horseman throughout his life, and a top executive at Speidel, a chain of newspapers spanning the country. The Speidel staff put the magazine out until John Ben decided to move it to Colorado Springs in 1948. He lived in town, had a horse and cattle ranch north of the Springs, and felt he could best take the magazine under his wing and help it grow if it was close by. He arranged for construction of the magazine's office on the north side of town in 1949. The two-story structure is patterned after the well-known Palace of the Governors in the old town square in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is a familiar Colorado Springs edifice in its own right.

The magazine has continued to grow and evolve through the years. The Western Horseman became simply Western Horseman in later years. Logo type, layout and design also have changed whenever the staff felt there was a reason for it, and circulation has expanded to nearly 200,000 subscribers and newsstand buyers. What hasn't changed through the years, however, is the magazine's philosophy. Through 12 editors and four changes in ownership, Western Horseman has remained dedicated to horses and the people who use them, primarily in the West.

After John Ben Snow's death in 1973 at age 89, the magazine became employee-owned, and stayed that way until 2001, when the Western Horseman board of directors and employees voted unanimously to sell to Morris Communications.

Morris owns several newspapers throughout the country, as did Speidel (which later was acquired by Gannett). But Morris also has a variety of magazines, including a handful of horse publications. The Western Horseman staff felt that Morris Communications, headed by W.S. "Billy" Morris III, a dedicated horseman himself, was an ideal company to carry on the philosophy and tradition of Western Horseman in the 21st century.

Western Horseman has been the leader in its category through the years partly because the people who have worked for the magazine also have been involved in the horse industry, with interests ranging from horse shows and rodeo, ranching, trail riding, polo and cutting. No other horse publication carries such a wide variety of topics, which include equine health care, training, breeding, competition, packing and trail riding, ranching, horse and human personality features and historical articles.

Western Horseman has stayed true to its roots, and readers of the publication in 1936 - those who are still with us, typically feel "at home" with the magazine today. Contemporary readers who run across those early issues find them fascinating.

Contest Rules

Official Rules 2015 Contest

1. ELIGIBILITY. This contest (the "Contest") is offered by Morris Magazines, LLC, D.B.A. Western Horseman magazine. ("Sponsor") only to residents of the United States, its territories, Canada, and its territories, who are at least 21 years old. Canadian residents may be required to comply with additional eligibility requirements. Employees and directors of Sponsor and all of its subsidiary and related companies and the immediate family (spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son, regardless of where they live) or members of their same households (whether related or not) of such employees and directors are not eligible. By entering this Contest, you agree to these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. No purchase is necessary to win, and purchasing any product will not improve your chances to win. Contest void in states where contest is not valid or allowed. Winner must accept all terms and conditions of prize to qualify. Contest open to general public.
2. PROMOTIONAL PERIOD. The promotional period for this Contest begins on 1/09/2015 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET), and ends on 12/20/2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET ("Promotional Period"). Beginning with the month of January, 2015, throughout the Promotional Period there will be one drawing per month (beginning 7:00 a.m. ET on the first day of the month and ending 4:59:59 a.m. ET on the first day of the following month, except ending on 12/20/15 at 11:59:59 p.m. for the last month of the Promotional Period) consisting of one drawing per month. The first promotional period will start on 1/09/2015 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET), and end on 02/01/2015 at  4:59:59 a.m. ET.
3. ENTRY. There is no cost to enter the Contest, which must be entered via the Internet at WesternHorseman.com. A minimum of 1,000 individual entries per month must be received for contest to be valid for that month. In the event less than 1,000 individual entries are received in any month, those entries will be carried over to the next month. To enter by Internet, your must already have access to the Internet, as it is not required that you obtain Internet access solely to participate in this Contest. The computer used to enter the Contest must accept cookies, or any successor or similar technology (now known or hereafter devised or discovered), which may be used by WesternHorseman.com for the purposes of entry tracking. Access the Western Horseman Web site at WesternHorseman.com. Complete the registration form for Web site membership by filling out your full name, complete home address, including zip code, home telephone number (including area code), date of birth, gender, email address, how you heard about WesternHorseman.com, any other requested fields and follow the instructions at the Web site. False or fictitious information is not allowed and may void the entry. All entries must be made manually. One entry per person, per e-mail address, per month. Entries submitted through the use of scripts, programs or other electro-mechanical processes (other than manual entry) are prohibited. No responsibility is assumed for any computer, telephone, cable, network, satellite, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunctions, failures, connections, availability or garbled or jumbled transmissions, or service provider/Internet/Web site/use net accessibility or availability, traffic congestion, or unauthorized human intervention.
4. DRAWING. All winners for any drawing will be selected by random drawing from all eligible entries received for that month by Sponsor's legal counsel or designated representative. All non-winning entries will become the property of Sponsor and may be used as Sponsor sees fit for marketing, publicity or sale.
5. PRIZE/ODDS. No warranties or representations of any kind are made about the prizes. Sponsor reserves the right to exchange any prize for any reason with another prize. No assignment or transfer of a prize is permitted prior to delivery of the prize to the winner. Winner is responsible for all federal, state and local taxes and shipping and handling charges. MONTHLY PRIZES:  The total value of monthly prizes to be awarded each month is approximately $400. Prizes will range in value from approximately $200.00 to $1000.00. Some prizes may be awarded in the form of gift certificates redeemable at selected online retailers. Gift certificates may be redeemed for the prize indicated or used towards the purchase of any item offered by the selected retailer. Neither gift certificates, nor any balance remaining after redemption or purchase, are redeemable for cash. Any balance after purchase, however, may be used towards additional or future purchases with said retailer. Prizes will be mailed to the winners within 60 days of notification and verification of winning status.
6. GENERAL CONDITIONS. Void where prohibited. Each winner agrees to release and hold harmless Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies and their respective directors, officers, employees, representatives and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss or damage of any kind to person, including death, and property, arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, use or misuse of a prize, participation in any contest related activity, or participation in this contest. To accomplish this, winners must execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Publicity Release and Release from Liability within 10 days of notification. Failure to timely return this affidavit, or if prize notification or prize is returned as non-deliverable, may result in disqualification with an alternate winner selected. Where permitted by law, winners (and in those instances when interim drawings have taken place, potential winners who have been selected in the interim drawings) agrees to grant to Sponsor, and its licensees, affiliates and assigns, the right to print, publish, broadcast and use, worldwide in any media now known or hereafter developed, including but not limited to the world wide web, at any time or times, the winner's name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness and biographical information as news or information and for advertising and promotional purposes without additional consideration; and further without such additional compensation, appear for, or provide biographical information for use in, any presentation or other activity which may include filming/audio/video/electronic or other recordings and/or interviews, as may be determined from time to time by Sponsor. Failure to make such appearances or grant such rights may result in disqualification with an alternate winner or potential winner selected; and while not obligated to do so, Sponsor may in its sole discretion, bear such reasonable costs and expenses which Sponsor, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate for winners or potential winners to appear for a presentation or other activity. Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds, in its sole discretion, to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or Web site; to be in violation of the Terms of Service of the Web site, to be acting in violation of these Contest Rules; or to be acting in a non-sportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. Any use of robotic, automatic, macro, programmed or like entry methods will void all such entries by such methods. In the event of a dispute as to entries submitted by multiple users having the same email account, the authorized subscriber of the email account used to enter the Contest at the actual time of entry will be deemed to be the participant and must comply with these rules. Authorized account subscriber is deemed to be the natural person who is assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization, which is responsible for assigning email addresses or the domain associated with the submitted email address. Sponsor will prosecute any fraudulent activities to the full extent of the law.
7. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY. Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Web site users, or tampering or hacking, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest and assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to the Web site. Sponsor is not responsible for injury or damage to participants' or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading materials from or use of the Web site. If, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of running as planned by reason of infection by computer virus, worms, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Internet portion of this Contest for any drawing(s) and select the winner from regular mail-in entries and Internet entries received for that drawing prior to the action taken. IN NO EVENT WILL SPONSOR, ITS LICENSEES, AND OR AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES AND RELATED COMPANIES, THEIR ADVERTISING, LEGAL OR PROMOTION AGENCIES OR THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES AND AGENTS, BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR LOSSES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF INTERNET SITE www.WesternHorseman.com OR THE DOWNLOADING FROM AND/OR PRINTING MATERIAL DOWNLOADED FROM SAID SITE. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, EVERYTHING ON THIS SITE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES SO SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS FOR ANY RESTRICTIONS OR LIMITATIONS REGARDING THESE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS.
8. DISPUTES. As a condition of participating in this Contest, participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively, before a court located in Richmond County, Georgia having competent jurisdiction, which Court shall apply the laws of the State of Georgia without regard for doctrines of Conflict of Law. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys' fees, other than participant's actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with entering this Promotion), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
9. WINNERS LIST. Winners list will be displayed online within 96 hours of prize announcement. Winners list can also be obtained by writing and sending a SASE to: Western Horseman Contest Winners List Please, 2112 Montgomery St., Fort Worth, TX. 76107.
10. COPPA Policy In accordance with the Children's Online Protection Policy, we cannot accept registration from anyone under the age of eighteen. COPPA provides protection for children while online and prohibits Web sites from accepting any identifiable data or information from anyone thirteen and under.

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Iris married Homer Wall in 1948, and they raised three girls and built a successful lumberyard business. They nearly always owned cattle and horses, and when Homer died in 1994, Iris began running the family cattle operation, the High Horse Ranch.

Today, Iris serves on the boards of both the Florida Cracker Cattle Association and the Florida Cracker Horse Association. She was named Florida’s Woman of the Year in Agriculture in 2006.


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Contact Western Horseman


Western Horseman
2112 Montgomery St
Fort Worth, TX 76107

817-737-6397 Phone
817-737-9266 Fax

For general magazine questions and information:

Subscription Services (Orders, Address Changes, Questions)

Western Horseman
P.O. Box 433237
Palm Coast, FL 32143-3237

1-800-877-5278 (International Subscribers please call 1-386-246-0102)

Submission Guidelines

Click the image below to download a printable PDF of our Submission Guidelines.


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