History of the
Just Horses Directory & Website

 

Just Horses Directory grew out of an annual horse show program (Bethany CT Horse Show) where we gathered paid ads from local businesses and horse places. Some ads were for beauty parlors, pizza places, garages, a few horse farms, etc. After a few years of this, we began asking ourselves: Why not just horse people? That is our audience after all.

With the enormous help of Pony Club mom Carol Wilkinson and her husband’s Joe’s printing business Printing Plus, we produced our first edition of Just Horses in 1987.  It was 55 pages. Our largest edition (2008) had 136 pages.


The First Cover, 1987

 Times have changed since then… a great deal as it turns out!

 In 1987, contacts and listings were first collected onto index cards.  No database, just a fat box of messy cards. Typesetting was done on an early computer, but the type had to be manually typed in for every page. Display ads and every page were photographed so the negatives could make the plates for the printing presses. When we finally had a colored cover, there were areas for each color hand cut to make the four plates that run through the presses four times to make all the colors.

Every year the print shop was updated with the rapid improvements in software and computers As Just Horses got bigger, the task got easier. Finally we got the first version of QUARK, a printer’s dream.

By 1992 I had my own home computer and FoxBase database and we threw out the card index!

The print shop could get all text and ad pages onto Quark and from there onto plates for the presses.  No more typesetting, except for the ads!

Now, all text pages flow from a File Maker database to Quark in plate-ready form. Ads and photos are mostly digital and come in via email rather than regular mail. Ad pages end up in Adobe.

We can transfer the entire text to the printers by email instead of automobile. Mailing lists are sent in Excel and printed right on the books. Only the UPS system for boxes has stayed much the same.

The website version, justhorses.com, was added in the mid nineties, when many farms did not have a computer and had not thought they needed a website. Very quickly businesses went digital, farms followed soon after and contact by email cut down on the phone calls. 

There are still many Just Horses users who prefer using the book version, with copies in their barns, houses and pick-ups.  We are not sure when if ever this will change.

We now print 20,000 books (free to public) and get around 20,000 visits per month to the web site (180,000/year?).

Just Horses is currently available in tack and feed stores in our New England and Eastern New York area, Equine Affaire in Springfield MA, by mail or email request, at justhorses.com, by cell phones, and…yes... on Facebook! 

It’s been quite a trip

 

 

Listing in the Just Horses directory implies no endorsement
by Just Horses or the Young Equestrian Fund, Inc.

Just Horses 2008 * PO Box 10, Huntington, MA 01050 * 413.667.3439 * website by Weezie