Equestrienne: Alyssa Matthews, Discover the Horse
I have been horse crazy for as long as I can remember. My Mom always likes to tell the story about bringing me to a birthday party when I was three years old. I told everyone that I loved Casper (the pony) and I wanted to ride all by myself. No one else in my family was into horses, so I’m not sure they knew what they were getting into… But they let me start riding lessons when I was five and I haven’t stopped riding since!
What do you do?
Filmmaker and Adventurer
What is your business name?
Why did you begin your business or pursue your passion?
We only have one life to live, and I believe that we need to chase after our dreams. In my life I have been very lucky to work with and ride so many amazing horse breeds, but what I noticed is that even within the horse community, a lot of people didn’t know about the different breeds. I had a dream to share these breeds with the world, and finally in 2017 I went after it and officially launched my Quest and created my DiscoverTheHorse video series.
What is unique about you or your brand?
DiscoverTheHorse is an equine adventure series and breed education project that allows people to meet amazing breeds and ride along with me as I complete my Quest. When complete this will be the world’s largest equine education project of its kind. The videos are free, and I meet up with breed registries, individual horse owners, breeders and equine business owners from all around the world to showcase their horses and tell their stories.
How does your brand or business positively affect other equestrians or horse welfare?
My mission is to show the world what horses do for us and inspire others to chase their dreams! I love hearing the stories and seeing comments of people getting to meet new breeds they had never even heard of before. With the project I’ve been able to highlight rare and endangered breeds, help with fundraising and collaborate with conservation organizations.
What challenges have you faced in life or business?
So many challenges! I started this project with just an idea and a passion, but I had absolutely NO idea how I was going to pull it off, let along how I was going to pay for any of it. I didn’t even have a video camera when I started! But I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. So, I took the first step and I borrowed a GoPro from a friend. We often look at what is in our way, we look at the obstacles, and we let that define our future. ( But there are lots of different ways to get around, over and through obstacles, especially if you are riding a horse! 😉 )
What keeps you motivated or inspired?
It all comes back to horses for me. They are truly inspirational and have so much to teach us. Every ride is special and I am just so grateful for the opportunity to be around them!
Who has influenced you and why?
Do we have time for a book on this question? 🙂
So many amazing people (and animals!) have made me into who I am today. But if we head back to the early stages of my equestrian journey, there is a Cowboy named Ralph… He was out on a multi-day ride with his friends, they rode about 70 miles total and ended up at the local rodeo. That night they were camping at the community center in our town. I saw horses tied to trailers and of course, asked my parents if we could go over. We met Ralph and he became a great family friend. When I was 7, Ralph gave me my first horse, Pegasus.
How could your story benefit others?
My story is an example of how it is possible for people to accomplish their dreams, even if those dreams seem crazy and challenging! DiscoverTheHorse videos now have over 7 million views. I’ve filmed over 50 breeds in seven different countries (so far.) I have had people tell me that my Quest has inspired them to go out on their own equine adventures, I’ve had people share that they can no longer ride, but feel like they are back in the saddle again during the videos and I’ve had people join new breed registries and attend new events with their horses. This is exactly what DiscoverTheHorse is all about. I still have a ways to go with my project, but I am so excited for the future!
What advice would you give to someone starting on a new adventure or business?
What advice would you give?
We only have one life to Live. Follow your Dream. Get on the Horse. Go for that Ride. Discover the Adventure.
Make sure to follow DiscoverThe Horse on YouTube!