Episode 003 – Interview With Randi Thompson of Horse & Rider Awareness

Laura Kelland-May, Equine Business Builders,

Special Guest Randi Thompson of Horse and Rider Awareness and How to Market Your Horse Business

Show Notes – We had so much fun talking I have shared this over three posts! 

Part 1 – Click here 

Part 1-B – Click here

Part 2 – Click here

Could you tell us a bit about what you do?  Horses and the horse people

Laura Kelland-May, Equine Business Builders,
Randi Thompson

who come with them have taught me so much about life and making choices and decisions as I keep re inventing myself.  Currently I am focused on what I am doing with the Horse and Rider Awareness Educational programs which include How to Market Your Horse Business, the work I do in the legal world as an expert witness and consultant, and my local clients who ride and compete.

How did you get started with your product/book/ riding?  My journey in the horse world began as a young girl.  I had a series of dreams where I was a horse. That was the beginning of a life long journey where the spirit of the horse challenged and inspired me to reach heights that I could never have imagined.  At one point in my life when I was in my early 20’s I had a big Ah hah moment.  That day I realized that if I wanted to be a professional in the horse world that I would need to learn how to communicate to humans.  That led to years of studying psychology and interpersonal communications and teaching techniques.  This led me into new ways of thinking and living my dreams.

What advice do you have for people who want to succeed in the horse world?  What do you think is holding back people from doing what they want to do?    Let’s begin with the secrets to success.  First, most of us are entrepreneurs.  We love what we do and are able to create almost anything we want in our business.  So many people have amazing dreams of what they can do to go forward into their future success.  They talk about them and their goals, but as you have seen….  Many of them never get beyond that point.  They forget that to make their dreams come true they have to create the action steps that will make them come true.

The magic of Networking. This was a hard lesson for me.   For people like us, connecting with other successful horse people is very important.  Especially for those who are a  local based business.  It is these people who become a part of your network who will have the biggest impact on your business.

Discover new ways to promote yourself.   You are invisible unless other people can find you.  You can be sure your competitors are.

Keep learning.  Continues education is so important.  Every year I attend conferences and other courses to update my knowledge.

Part 1 B – Interview With Randi Thompson

4. What do you think are the biggest stumbling blocks that people have when it comes to creating a business within the horse world?

1) They think it will magically happen

2) They do not know how to promote themselves

3) They get stuck in their own “box” and do not reach out to other professionals in their business

4) Getting stuck in their ego.  There is always going to be someone who knows more than you, or is better at promoting themselves.

5. What was one of the major “roadblocks” you experienced when you set out on your journey?  

What I saw as roadbacks in the beginning of my journey in the horse world were really blessings.  I was not one of those born with a “silver spoon” in my mouth and came from an area where we did not have access to horse and rider training techniques like we have today.  In fact, we only had two channels on our home TV and no internet.  When it came to horses, I had no idea that there were trainers or instructors.  I learned for what ever publications I could find such as the Western Horseman Mag and the Prof. Berry School of Horsemanship manuals.  My greatest teachers were in fact, the horses who were in my life.  I made a lot of mistakes (and still do….)   as I rambled around trying to find what I wanted to do.  If there was a horse training technique I probably tried it both the good and the not so good.  All of those experiences taught me so much about life and the world of horse and rider training.  I was able to understand why some people do what they do with horses and riders.  Its all they know, or maybe all they have ever been able to learn from anyone else. There was a time when I thought dressage was pronounced dressage. Now I know the difference… Once we become exposed to other ways of doing what we do the whole world opens up in ways we could never imagine.

6. What was the big “a-ha” moment when you knew you overcame one of the major roadblocks? 

My biggest A hah was when I realized that I was not one of those people who fit into the “box” of being normal and that this was a good thing!  Sally Swift showed us all that being different can be a good thing with her creation of her “Centered Riding programs.  She was my influence for starting the Horse and Rider Awareness programs.  Now I am very comfortable creating techniques for horses and riders that are different from what others might be doing.  The good news is that people love what I have to offer because it is a different approach.  I started exploring the possibilities of being different when I started coaching and certifying instructors and clinicians for the Horsemanship Safety Assn.  A few years ago I took another “leap of faith” when I started sharing the lessons I was coaching live on Youtube.  That was not easy as I was sharing my ideas with the world.  Since than that Youtube channel,  randithompsonlive has taken off in ways I could not imagine and I can see that there were people who have been waiting for what I have to offer them.

5)  What advice would you give listeners who feel limited in their options for having a fulfilling career connected to their passion?

1) Find a mentor or do an apprenticeship so you can learn from someone who has already found their success.

2) If you really want this to happen,  it can.  If I can do this, anyone can!

I would like to remind your audience, at this time…  that they make a difference, the horse world is a better place because they are in it and that there are people in their future who are waiting for them to come.

Part 2. Now for some specific equitation questions!

Why is good equitation or riding well, so important?  

Equitation is the art and practice of horsemanship and horse riding.  Basically this means that as a rider becomes aware of how their riding position, as well as their influence and reactions (often called aids) affect a horse’s balance and responses.  Once the rider gets to a certain level and has control of their riding position and aids their horse will become more comfortable to ride and easier to influence.  This is when a horse and rider start becoming one as they think and move together.

What is the biggest challenge you see people are struggling with their equitation?  Most people see only the problems they are creating that “perfect riding position” instead of realizing that most of us have had to work on ours forever… and still do.   As a rider grows in their ability to balance and influence a horse, the horse also continues to change.  This means both the horse and rider are always in a state of change.  As riders, our goal should be to know that change is a good thing and that good changes take time.  A balanced active riding position that works takes time to create.  At first a rider will learn the mechanical aspects of what to do with their riding position, than they will be able to have more influence on their horse.

Of course, we all wish that we could have a safe horse (not green or those with problems) to learn from, but that is not what always happens.

What are some tips you could give RIGHT NOW to help people listening to either prevent, stop or correct the problem?  Focus on one challenge at a time and keep reminding yourself.  Good things take time.  If your hands are not staying where they need to be to keep your riding position balanced… than now would be the time to focus on what you can do to keep them where they need to be.  If your seat is bouncing in the saddle, maybe you need to take a lunge lesson to find out how you can balance better in the saddle.  If you feel like you are not making progress it might be time to try a new trainer, or a new technique.