What is your experience with horses?
I have loved horses all of my life. In my circles, we call it the sickness and horses are the only cure. I owned a horse as a teenager and paid for all expenses since my parents had no desire to fund this hobby. Then when I went to college, I lost tough of horses for many years.
When my teenage daughter got a wild hair that she wanted to go hang out at the mall – I suggested perhaps she could do some volunteer work. She selected a nearby Therapeutic Riding Center. (no she doesn’t have the sickness). She loved working there and they loved her. I secretly would go early to pick her up so I could take in all the smells of the barn. Pretty soon, I was volunteering there too. Then I became an instructor. I love working with individuals with special needs – it is so rewarding. I worked at that center for awhile, and worked at other centers in varying capacities. Eventually I started free lancing my TR (therapeutic riding) classes and now own my own small PATH center.
What do you do?
- Trainer or Instructor
- Marketing Manager
What is your business name?
When did you begin your business?
Why did you begin your business or pursue your passion?
The road has some turns. I started my own TR center, but that is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the trouble I discovered when trying to find new clients.
Once I started trying to find my own clients, I signed up for a referral program. When someone was looking for therapeutic riding classes, this lesson web site would send me the information of the person inquiring. They were supposed to filter out people who specifically wanted therapeutic riding classes in my area. That did not happen. I received a text for every person within 100 miles who wanted any style of horseback riding instruction. It was time consuming to sift through the texts from this web site with “potential clients”. Turns out nobody wanted Therapeutic Riding and they didn’t even have a separate filter for that. They just sent me everyone – because any time I contacted a potential client – I would have to pay and they make more money by sending you every possible student.
There had to be a better way. I couldn’t find anyone doing it better, so decided to create a web site to match clients with their perfect equine service provider on my own.
What is unique about you or your brand?
I am in the business. I know about the different types of riding instruction, equine-assisted activities and therapies that are available. I can create need and funnel folks to the correct type of practitioner.
How does your brand or business positively affect other equestrians or horse welfare?
It positively affects other equestrians offering equine-assisted services, in that it gives them a viable way to find qualified clients.
What challenges have you faced in life or business?
My life has been pretty great. We were in a terrible car crash many years ago now. My daughter was critically injured and had to relearn to do everything. That is what drove me to love the idea of helping people from a therapy type of perspective. I also have a grandson with special needs and I just really have an affinity for working with individuals with special needs – I love them.
In business – I have always had a entrepreneurial mindset, but learned how to be a quitter early in life. I have really had to overcome that. I have had to learn to persevere and keep going even when things are sucking. I had a successful short Real Estate career recently and that taught me so much about getting out of your comfort zone. We are more powerful than we know.
What keeps you motivated or inspired?
The desire to do something on my own. Of course everyone needs a team really, that’s not what I mean. Doing something outside the box of “going to college, getting a job”. I want to prove that there is an alternative for creative, motivated, and unique people.
Who has influenced you and why?
Mother Teresa – I know that is a big one – but she is LOVE. If you can do everything with love it changes your world. She showed how important it was and is – to treat every human with dignity.
How could your story benefit others?
My experience can help others to realize their gifts. When you say,”there should be such and such type of business, or I hate it when….” those are your opportunities to start a business. Alleviate a pain point. Once you start thinking like that, great business ideas will come at you at a million miles an hour. Find your favorite and jump – build your wings on the way down.
What advice would you give to someone starting on a new adventure or business? What advice would you give?
Don’t stop. Keep going. Do something to advance your business every single day. Find a coach. Don’t be afraid to spend money, but don’t be stupid about it either. Don’t make excuses, not one, not ever. Get out there and take a chance.