Tell me a little bit about Musical Ride and its beginning. What was your inspiration? What year did you open the company?
I was stuck behind a desk in a job that was not very fulfilling, missing my young daughter and thinking of ways that I would rather spend my time. Things such as spending time with my horse and being able to fit in and enjoy riding my horse even though I now had a child to care for. When watching dressage to music on my computer I was fascinated by the Grand Prix freestyle and came up with the idea of creating Musical Rides that would help riders to school their horses. It could do many things such as helping to time the schooling session, encouraging both horse and rider focused and interested, and keeping the session motivated and stimulating. It took about a year to set up the company and I launched the website in 2011.
What is your background and how did that led into starting this company?
I have always loved horses, but I was not one of those kids who had ponies bought for me. I spent all my time at the local riding stables helping out and then went to agricultural college to get qualifications to learn about horses and riding. I worked as groom for many years working with children’s ponies, hunters, point to pointers, show horses, dressage horses and all sorts of horses. While working as a groom I worked for some people who did dressage to music. It was very inspiring to see how both horse and rider benefited from the music and especially how horses really seemed to ‘dance’ to the music. That’s how the idea for Musical Ride was born.
What makes Musical Ride different than other products on the market?
My products are pretty unique. There are some companies that offer recorded lessons, but my products offer something quite different. With Musical Ride, it is up to the rider to use their own dressage maneuver and exercises, although the Workouts have vocal instructions to tell the rider when the pace is about to change.
I have also developed fitness programs to help riders to get their horses fit.
Another aspect to riding to music is that it helps people if they are nervous riders and helps to calm an anxious mind. It relaxes you and so your horse feels more relaxed ans so progress is made.
What was your development process like?
I spent many hours watching horses moving and schooling and eventually put together the three versions of the Musical Ride Company to suit ponies, medium sized horses and large horses. It also took a lot of effort to find someone to the produce the music and combine the music with the voice overs.
Describe a typical day running Musical Ride. What are some of your challenges? What parts do you love most?
I am a mum to two little girls and I keep my two horse at home so I run my business around my family life. I am constantly looking for new ways to promote the Musical Ride Company. I use social media a lot to connect with people from all over the world and help them with their horses.
Is Musical Ride your day job, if not, what else do you do?
I also provide one-on-one online coaching services to help riders gain confidence in their riding which can incorporate the musical rides. It does take up plenty of time, but as with anything doing anything you love doing it never really feels like a job.
Do you have any plans for future product ideas that will enhance the Musical Ride programs?
Yes. I am planning to launch a Musical Ride Company club. This will be a subscription membership site and will provide members with new musical rides each month.
What is your equine story?
When I was a groom I rode many challenging horses and found those horses were the most enjoyable as they needed me to understand and communicate with them in order to gain their trust. There is nothing more lovely that horse who trusts you.
I bought my first horse of my own ‘Max’ when I was 31, after many years of looking after other peoples horses. He is a Welsh Section D. He was only four when I bought him and was perfect for me. He is so beautiful and has such a wonderful character. I used to do lots of showing and dressage with him, but now we enjoy going on adventures around the rural village in Bulgaria where we live. I still do dressage schooling and I use my own Musical Rides.