Equestrienne: Chris Cassenti
What is your experience with horses?
I was born with a love of horses. I had horses as a kid and grew into a successful & highly respected business established in 1978 to present time. I have a 42-horse facility, HUGE Lesson Program, and employ professional trainers & Instructors. Over the last several years, I have a wonderful clientele of women aged 50-84 who are getting back into riding or have been taking lessons and now want to own their own horse. More, I have been on BOD of many professional equine associations, including MFBF Equine Advisory Committee, respected USEF “R” Judge & NEHC Judge, and recipient of many prestigious awards. Finally, I am a mentor to UPHA-14 Young Trainers Group who are making their way & profession.
What do you do?
Trainer or Instructor, Media Publishing Professional, Rider, Other.
What is your business name?
When did you begin your business?
1978 (Free-lanced prior to 1978).
Why did you begin your business or pursue your passion?
As a kid was always passionate that THIS is what I wanted to do!
What is unique about you or your brand?
Although we provide professional training, breeding, show string, boarding and more, we also provide riding instruction to many beginners and recreational riders! Many want to be doing the hunter/jumper but are beginners. H/J facilities don’t want beginners and will send them to us to get them started.
I really enjoy the ladies 50-84 years old and returning to riding or even just getting started. Often they are more timid when riders are older.
How does your brand or business positively affect other equestrians or horse welfare?
My business provides mentorship to young professionals coming along or to those aspiring to continue our equine industry. The goal is creating a SAFE place for clients/students to learn even more than how to ride. We also support all areas of our industry: tack shops, feed stores, veterinarians, farriers, horse shows & more.
What challenges have you faced in life or business?
Financial challenges for sure! It’s challenging to start a business with no financial “backing” from having a family with money, for example. Dedication, hard work, business sense, loyalty, morals, and more!
What keeps you motivated or inspired?
Clients who approach me and say what our farm has provided to them & their families! Calling us an “extended FAMILY” and their children learn to care, responsibility, loyalty, work ethic, good sportsmanship, and more. So many children have grown up to become wonderful adults that add positivity and passion in whatever they do in their life.
Who has influenced you and why?
Those that gave ME an opportunity to experience so many equine-related learning experiences in my life growing up and continue to do so. I want to pay it forward to those who enjoy horses, riding, showing, and more regardless of what discipline they enjoy, regardless of age & level of ability.
How could your story benefit others?
The ability to work hard and achieve your goals (and beyond what you dreamed of) if it is your passion. As an older professional, I certainly want to share knowledge & experience with those coming after me!
What advice would you give to someone starting on a new adventure or business?
- Have a plan, have a business plan.
- Be sure to carry proper INSURANCE.
- Follow the rules/regulations (be sure you know them) of your state & town.
- Be active in Equine Associations in your area.
- Be sure you know your financial numbers and be organized!
- Written, detailed contracts/agreements for everything in compliance with your State.
- Learn “how to” brand & market your services.
- Learn from those that have gone before you…mentorship is a plus!
Are you working on anything currently?
Currently managing/operating a successful facility that continues to offer unique opportunities to everyone interested in horses!
About Chrislar Farm: Chrislar Horse Farm and Equestrian Center is a facility that is comfortable for both horses and people. One that gives the riders room to ride, the non-riders room to watch, and horses access to comfort and good health. Enclose it with a cedar wood finished structure that’s both functional, safe, and pleasing to the eye, surround it with miles of state forest trails, staff it with dedicated professionals, and soon enough you’ll see how owners Chris and Larry’s philosophy of comfort, health, knowledge, and convenience have created the Stable of Stars® Chrislar is known for today. Since 1978, Chrislar is truly an equestrian heaven.