In Greek, the name Philip means “lover of horses”—fitting for the editor of a cowboy magazine. Since hiring on with American Cowboy www.americancowboy.com in 2009, he has led the magazine and website through successful redesigns that have broadened the appeal, while staying true to loyal readers. The magazine’s paid circulation now approaches 100,000.
American Cowboy was founded in 1994 and reports on “Western lifestyle, travel, and people.” It is part of the Equine Network at Active Interest Media www.aimmedia.com, which publishes 60 percent of the horse-oriented magazines and websites in the U.S., including Horse & Rider, Practical Horseman, and Dressage Today.
“My career has followed my passions for the outdoors, the environment, and being physically active,” says Philip. He is drawn to horses, in part, because, “Horses are calming and call forth empathy and physical skill sets. A relationship with a horse is subtle and requires patience—not to depend on a quick fix.
”Getting a masters’ degree in literature led to journalism and a seven-year stint editing for Outside magazine, which he also published internationally. Philip’s freelance career has included launching a magazine for Forbes and editing custom publishing photography book for Toyota, called Working America. He also served briefly as the outdoor reporter for the Colorado Daily. Before getting into journalism, Philip was an Outward Bound instructor and ski patroller.
The Armour family is settling in to a farm north of Boulder, where his wife, Amanda, is developing an equine-facilitated psychotherapy program. She grew up riding English and is now reining on her adopted roan mare, Dixie. Their young son, Raven, rides his donkey, Donkey. Angora goats and the requisite dog and cat round out the menagerie.
While growing up Philip jumped and did some eventing, mostly on Warmbloods. His childhood was spent between California and Sweden, where his mother is from. Now he is riding Western on his 10-year-old paint gelding, Lakota. “The huge learning curve of being back on a horse is enthralling,”
Philip believes that horse people carry something helpful for human society. “There is an acute need to listen to your horse and keep your wits about you, especially because of their size,” he says. “They demand emotional sensitivity and intuition, so working with horses can be an antidote to the hyper-speed of our culture.” A lover of horses, indeed.
Note: This interview was done by Hildy Armour (no clear relation, but most American Armours trace their lineages back to Scotland). Photos by: Beth Ricciardi/boo-creative.com