This week, we discuss riding and SynNutra Equine with Maria Falgione, a lifelong equestrian and firm believer in SynNutra Equine products.
Maria started riding before she could walk, and has since developed her skills through various riding styles. "I learned to ride on my grandfather’s cattle ranch and grew up riding hunter/ jumpers and competed all over the East Coast. I was on the Varsity Equestrian Team at the University of South Carolina, which was pretty special because being an equestrian isn’t exactly a team sport. I had the opportunity to be on a team and made lifelong friends because of that. After that, I learned to gallop racehorses and went on to be one of the few female jockeys on the ultra-competitive Southern California racing circuit. I rode against Hall of Famers on a regular basis and it was an incredible experience." These various experiences have merited Maria with profound knowledge about horses and their health, which is also why she has become a firm believer in using SynNutra Equine products for her own horses.
Maria gives us some more background on SynNutra Equine and how she became involved in the company. "SynNutra was started by Dr. Edwin Simpson, who is one of the top veterinarians in the United States. He started developing these all natural products as solutions to common problems he was seeing in his practice with performance horses. I got to know him at the racetrack and was so impressed with his knowledge, horsemanship and just all around “can do” attitude. If I was having a problem with a horse, I could talk to him about it candidly and if there wasn’t a good solution, he would create one. I started using his products with racehorses and with my OTTBs that I have in training to be hunter/ jumpers. When I was ready to retire from racing, Dr. Simpson and I decided to work together full time. I started introducing SynNutra products to horse shows and sharing with my friends who compete on the “A” Circuit and do FEI World Cup classes, etc. The company is growing so quickly and we’re rapidly making fans out of world-class riders like Ashlee Bond and Harley Brown, just to name a few. It’s easy to stand behind products I know work because I use them!"
While the company is growing quickly, Maria still finds time to balance life as a businesswoman and as a rider. "I’m very lucky that those two things go hand in hand for me. I like to wake up early and get my “desk work” done while I’m still fresh and then go out and ride in the afternoons. Just like with everything in life, I’m constantly trying to find the balance. Every once in a while I even get it right!" On growing a company, Maria also recommends that aspiring business owners should take the plunge and, "Just do it. Don’t make excuses why you can’t or why it won’t work, come up with reasons why it will. My Grandpa always said, 'You can do anything you put your mind to.' And he’s right!" With her go-getter attitude, Maria has found a way to grow a super company along with finding the middle ground with her riding lifestyle. She encourages others to give it a shot!
Back to her riding career: while Maria can't attribute one specific horse as her most influential, but she "can honestly say I’ve learned something from every horse I’ve ever ridden- and there have been thousands. So many have influenced me and will continue to influence me for the rest of my life!" And those influences include many large life lessons that vary from different stages in her life. "Oh, there are too many to name! The one I’m noticing currently is how honest horses are. Being pretentious and taking yourself too seriously will get you nowhere when a horse is concerned. Be humble, put your head down and just get the work done."
And finally, Maria hits the target when she notes how riding and being involved with horses is a way of life. Even when things get tough, she always somehow finds herself back at the barn. She says, "I wish I knew [why]! At this point I’ve been doing it so long, it’s just a way of life. I wouldn’t have it any other way!" We wouldn't either! Thanks so much for chatting with us, Maria!
If you'd like to learn a little more about Maria and what she's up to nowadays with her horses, check out this video below: