Christina is the founder of Fit Equine, a website dedicated to education for horse owners. Learn how a young woman in Southern California saw a need and is on a mission to help horse owners everywhere!
What is your experience with horses?
I was always a horse crazy kid. I read books about horses, watched every horse movie, and learned everything I could with the resources available. My parents weren’t into horses, but somehow, there was always something that kept pulling me towards the barn.
When I was twelve years old, I was taking lessons and trail riding every now and then, but I really wanted to surround myself with horses everyday. I started out by volunteering at a horse rescue to learn more about their rehabilitation program. It was during this time where I fell in love with a black mustang who was in a neglected situation.
His name was Noche. He was a skinny black horse with one white sock, and a gorgeous roman nose. Noche was not part of the rescue, but rather privately owned by an older gentlemen. He was known as a disobedient horse who always challenged his riders. In my eyes I didn’t see him as a problem horse, instead I saw a special horse who was misunderstood.
Now at 12 years old, I had no money and unfortunately my parents weren’t in a situation where they could afford a horse. But that just made the journey so much better. I started asking people around the barn if they needed any help with their horses. No job was too big or too small.
During this time, a local trainer noticed me and asked why I don’t have my own horse. With a heavy heart I responded that it was hard for a twelve year old to find a decent job. The trainer smiled and said that she had a client who needed their horses exercised and she thought I was the perfect fit for the job. Little did I know that this was my blessing in disguise.
I started out riding three horses a week, and before you know it I was making enough each month to be able to afford my first horse. At thirteen, I signed the official documents and adopted Noche.
What do you do?
- Trainer or Instructor
- Professional Rider
What is your business name?
Fit Equine, which was registered in June 2020.
Why did you begin your business or pursue your passion?
Learning new things, especially related to horses has always been a passion of mine. As a rider and trainer, I am always looking for mentors to study and learn from. In today’s world it can be a bit challenging.
Our horse world in America is very different then in Europe. In Europe, in order to be a horse trainer you would have to go to school and intern for trainers before opening up a training business or riding school. Here in the US, the process is so much simpler. Technically anyone can get trainer’s insurance and start taking on clients. But this brings up an interesting question, “How do you know that a trainer will be able to deliver the results you want?”
The equestrian world is full of extremely talented riders and professional trainers, many who have won some of the world’s greatest championships and started many successful horses from the ground up. Learning from these trainers is certainly an incredible opportunity. Unfortunately, studying under a trainer at this level can present both financial and geographical challenges.
These challenges became the backbone under Fit Equine’s development. We wanted to find a way to make education accessible to everyone and anyone. So we developed a platform where people can ask questions, learn at their own pace, and fully immerse themselves under the biggest names in the industry.
Another huge inspiration for Fit Equine came from the idea of bringing the equestrian community together. Our sport can be very competitive, making it difficult to find the right support and encouragement. But what if the equestrian community came together as one? A place for new riders to learn, ask questions, and decide what discipline interests them. A place where top riders can find a course where their biggest idols can directly work with them. And most importantly, a place for the equestrian community to grow together.
And so Fit Equine was born with the mission of “Inspiring equestrians through the words of champions”.
What is unique about you or your brand?
Learning styles are often broken down into four different categories; visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic. While 65% of the population are classifical as visual learners (according to social science research network), everyone has a unique style that works best for them.
At Fit Equine, we want to embrace just that. By offering different types of resources, we encourage our students to discover what learning means to them. Some of the resources we offer include :
- Online Courses
- Virtual Lessons (both live and video submission)
- Embedded questions and comments
- Podcast (coming soon!)
How does your brand or business positively affect other equestrians or horse welfare?
Fit Equine started out with a vision to inspire equestrians. We wanted to create a space in the equestrian community where people can come together and learn from not just the top riders and trainers in the world, but also learn from one another.
Today’s media features all these amazing champions and their talented horses. But what they fail to show is the hard work and challenges these riders had to overcome in order to get where they are today. Knowing that our biggest role models faced similar challenges is can be inspiring. Hearing that it’s okay to fail. The important part is to never give up.
Our courses aren’t meant to be black and white. We try to cover a lot of in depth material that is very raw, in the sense that we don’t try to make the horse look good or take videos when everything is perfect. When taking the course, we want our students to experience everything the trainer goes through and what exactly they do to overcome these challenges.
What challenges have you faced in life or business?
In our earlier stages of development our biggest challenge was actually rejection. When searching for a professional trainer, we wanted to make sure they would be a good fit for Fit Equine. If we felt like they were a good match based on their training philosophy, teaching approach, how they treated their horses, etc.. we would reach and to connect with them.
After hearing about Fit Equine, many of the trainers were very fond of our company. Although they were extremely supportive and excited about our new venture, they were also uncertain about taking on a project with a start-up company. A lot of times, we received phone calls and emails asking to keep in touch and to contact them again after our launch.
While this type of rejection was unpleasant, it also made our company that much stronger. The trainers that agreed to work with us before our launch didn’t do it because of the money, instead they truly believed in the vision we had for Fit Equine.
As we began working together, they brought their own ideas to the table. Essentially they became the backbone of Fit Equine. Through this process, these trainers were no longer in a one time collaboration, but they were now a huge part of our team. Seeing them filled with inspiration and believing that one day we were going to become something big together, was one of the most wholesome and rewarding parts of the process.
What keeps you motivated or inspired?
A huge part of what inspires Fit Equine is our supportive community. It is full of passionate people who are just as crazy about horses as we are, and they aren’t afraid to express themselves. They are brutally honest, so they’ll share what they love and what they don’t. For us, it’s inspiring to read on how we can improve our platform and give back to our amazing community.
Our team is yet another huge inspiration for all of us. It’s amazing to be around incredible people who inspire one another, grow together, and share their talents with the equestrian community. When we have meetings, you can just feel the passionate energy roar, and it’s inspiring to us all.
Who has influenced you and why?
When it comes to horse training, there are a lot of inspiring horsemen and horsewomen out there. A few of my favorites are Warwick Schiller, Mustang Maddy, Jonathan Field, and Charlotte Dujardin. Just recently, the horse world began to accept the idea that horse training didn’t have to include force. It started relying on the psychology of horses and how we can apply it into training. What’s inspiring about these trainers is they each brought their own unique training method that kept the horses relaxed, happy, and looking forward to their next sessions.
Another huge inspiration of mine is a famous entrepreneur named Andrew Carnegie. During his time, he contributed heavily to the steel industry which made him one of the richest people in American history. The inspiring part about Carnegie was his incredible leadership skills and his ability to think outside the box. Even with all of the fame and success, he was a very humble man who gave away most of his fortune and spent a lot of time helping others become successful in their careers.
How could your story benefit others?
Fit Equine started out as a daydream, a solution that makes learning from the world’s greatest champions easy for anyone and everyone. Today, Fit Equine has gained partnerships with many high level trainers, and is continuing to expand our vision for the equestrian community.
Although our story is just getting started, we hope it inspires you to pursue your dreams, no matter how crazy you think they sound. The world is big, and the opportunities are endless.
What advice would you give to someone starting on a new adventure or business? What advice would you give?
Starting a new venture or business is always an exciting journey, and no matter what you will learn a LOT from it. The biggest advice I’d give anyone that’s starting a new venture is to make sure you are pursuing it not because of the money, but because it’s something you are truly passionate about.
“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you.” – Richard Branson
Following your passion helps you create a drive like no other. It will make the long days and sleepless nights worth it. The best part is you will spend every second doing what you love the most.
Are you working on anything currently?
Fit Equine has a lot of exciting plans for the future. As a diverse network, we are working on expanding our courses to feature different career’s among the equestrian community. There are so many opportunities out there beyond being a horse trainer or vet, and we want to make sure to include that. Another exciting feature we will have available down the line is the Fit Equine podcast. The podcast will be a place where we chat with trainers and answer questions that directly come from our community. Since we are an interactive platform, there will be plenty of opportunities where our students can get featured. There is a common saying “ save the best for last”. Well in this case we are working on a few different courses that will be available free of charge, for everyone to enjoy. This way, equestrians can explore new disciplines and see what speaks out to them.