For Equivont's first behind the business, we sat down with the founding team of Myst Equine. Amateur rider Rachel Jackson and professional Kelly Chesser have come together to create a business with equine style and wellness in mind. They combine their hands on equestrian experience and knack for creating natural healing products to make our favorite equines look and smell their best. Here's a glimpse of the passion driving their business.
Rachel started riding on her 12th birthday. Literally, went on a trail ride and the next week was coming back for lessons and has been addicted ever since. Rachel and Kelly met a few years later and had the opportunity to ride a variety of great horses. As her junior years came to an end, she dabbled in the Jumpers and then quickly found that she preferred the adult ammy life in the hunters. Rachel owns a 9yr old Grey Holsteiner/TB Gelding that is said to be her spirit animal.
Kelly has been horse obsessed since she was a toddler. Anything horses she wanted her hands on (books, pictures, Breyers, anything). When she was about 9 yrs old she decided it was time to take lessons. So, as the young business woman she was, she opened the phone book and started calling all the local farms to price them out. Research was presented to her mom (who was very impressed) and lessons were scheduled! Kelly currently competes 2 What About Bob “Bob”, a 5 yr old Chestnut Swiss/American WB starting the 3’ Hunters in 2019 and Journey “Casper”, a 6 yr old Bay Swiss/Trek starting 3’6 Hunters in 2019. Fun fact, Bob and Casper are half brothers. Both are owned by Emily Lankford
How did Myst Equine come to be?
Myst was born really out of necessity! It all started with me (Rachel) making an herbal based serum to help Lloyd’s “scratches” under his chin and I happen to call him “my unicorn.” Various people in the barn started joking around about my serum and started calling it his “unicorn spray.” So, when we started seeing the results of the serum, we put our heads together to try and think of another more holistic alternative to an age old grooming technique, and the Elixir was born. The rest is history!
How do you balance being a business woman and an equestrian?
Rachel: Myst blends my two passions into one, which is a complete blessing. I knew graduating from College there was a path I was supposed to take and corporate America was just not it. I am fortunate enough to work where my horse lives, so I am constantly immersed in everything horse related, which is inspiring but time management is key!
Kelly: Luckily for me, I can incorporate both into one world, as I am actually a professional with a small training facility in central Florida. It’s been so cool to be able to have both passions rolled into one!
What advice do you have for other equestrians trying to start their own business?
Kelly: Go for it! You never know unless you try. There are so many cool new brands coming out and there is room for everyone!
Rachel: Totally agree with Kelly. If your heart is in it, go for it.
What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned from horses?
Rachel: Where do I even begin!? The biggest I think is how to have a sense of humor about yourself! Horses are humbling creatures that will tell on your every move! However, most importantly, horses have taught me drive. As a junior, I didn’t have a whole lot of support with horses from my family, so I would take every single opportunity there was to ride. Even if it meant riding the not so nice and sometimes crazy ones! I have 100% brought that drive to other aspects of my life, especially my career.
Kelly: To never give up on something you believe in. So many people these days are quick to give up the minute something goes wrong. Instead of looking for the root of the problem or an alternative, they just stop trying. I feel those people miss out on the great things because they have no patience nor open their minds to different possibilities.
What horse has been most influential in your life?
Rachel: Cleo, my first horse, taught me horsemanship. She literally had every surgery known to man. She got herself into EVERYTHING! I think I took care of her more than I rode her! AJ, who is actually Kelly’s horse, taught me how to REALLY ride and also humbled me anytime I got too cocky. However, my most influential horse has been Lloyd. I knew the second I met this horse at a photoshoot that he was special... After all, he’s the reason Myst exists!
Kelly: Ahh, so many! But, I’d have to say a lovely Danish horse named Byron. I saw a video of him jumping 2 jumps in Sweden and was convinced he was the one for my client. Thank GOODNESS I was right, as she took a chance and bought him from that video. I brought him along and he was the first horse that I truly felt competitive on. He really gave me the confidence I needed to start my professional career. And of course, I have to mention my heart horse Baldwin “Udo.” He is pretty much the sweetest dude around.
Everyone falls off, what is your post-fall off routine?
Rachel: First, make sure my horse is ok and then get back on and end on a good note. Then, get an immediate massage!
Kelly: I don’t bounce like I used to. So, the first thing I do is a quick prayer that nothing is broken! And then, its right back on and finish as positively as you can. Finishing off with a nice helping of Advil and a soak with one of our bombs!
Riding is a tough sport, what keeps you coming back each day?
Rachel: Horses have a funny way of reaching into your soul and holding onto it. My horse is so much more than a competitive partner, he’s my therapist, and inspiration. Non-horse people think I am crazy when I say that! It is a tough sport but that bond between you and your horse is what keeps me coming back.
Kelly: The genuine love for the horses. Riding or not, just being around them feeds my soul.
Check out the full line of Myst Equine products.