This week, we get to speak with Bethany Lee, the genius behind My Equestrian Style, an equestrian lifestyle blog that will take fashion, horse riding, training, equestrian fitness and lifestyle to a whole new level.
Bethany is a professional hunter/jumper rider, who has been riding since she was just 4-years-old. She describes herself as, "the obsessed horse girl," and says she will "always be the obsessed horse girl." Passion for the animals is what has driven her riding career throughout all her years, and will continue to for the years to come. "I took some time off in college because there wasn’t anywhere for me to ride and I missed it all the time. I know I will find a way to keep riding until I physically am unable."
Riding is her passion, but Bethany's been quite passionate about her two businesses, My Equestrian Style and The Equestrian Podcast as well. To other equestrians thinking of starting their own businesses, Bethany's advice is simple: "If you are passionate about starting your own eq business, you’re halfway there! I think passion was the main thing driving MES and the Podcast. It doesn’t feel like work to me and so when the going gets tough, it’s worth it to push through."
My Equestrian Style has a unique background and was born as a result of Bethany's photography talents and fashion industry experience. "I had just moved to Florida from Los Angeles where I had first been working in fashion and then riding full time for a barn out there. When I got to Florida, I started riding and training, but needed that creative outlet. I photographed a lot of fashion bloggers in LA, and always thought it would be fun to do. Since I was in riding clothes every day anyway, I looked on Instagram to see if there were equestrian fashion bloggers out there, and a year and a half ago, there were only a handful. But I decided to give it a go anyway, posting just about every day since, adding a blog and now starting a podcast!"
Being a full-time blogger/photographer/fashionista/rider/trainer/fitness fanatic sounds like it could be very time consuming lifestyle, but Bethany doesn't let time get in the way of her passions for her business and her riding career! We asked, how is it that she can balance being a businesswoman and a rider? "Staying organized is key. I have multiple clients that I exercise ride and train with, and never with a set schedule. When I am not riding or teaching, I am working on the blog. It’s never-ending, but it’s the pace I enjoy! I use Google Calendar which has been a lifesaver when I get asked on the spot what my schedule looks like the next day."
In addition to her business, we were also curious about her experience with her riding. Everyone has something to learn from the horses. While Bethany doesn't have one specific horse that has been most influential in her life, she said that "my private clients’ horses have been the most influential in my life. They have given me a career and allowed me to learn from some of the best trainers in the hunter/jumper industry. Riding such high-quality animals is a gift I am thankful for every day." We 100% have to agree. Riding these animals is an incredible privilege that we share and we could not be more thankful to have them in our life! That being said, Bethany topped off our conversation with a very important reminder that the horses are our equals.
She said her biggest life lesson from horses is, "You have to communicate. The rider is not the dictator and the horse its peasant. (or whatever!) I always consider the horse I am on as an equal partner and do my very best to communicate exactly what I want from him/her. I think the horse is happier and tries harder for me because of it!" As applicable as this is for riding, it's incredibly true to life itself. Wise words from a wise businesswoman, Bethany Lee. Thanks again for chatting!