• Shannon Stambaugh

Chasing the Dream: Part 2

Ten months ago, I filed with my attorney and became a legal LLC. The last ten months have been some of the toughest months I've endured. They've also been some of the best. In these months I have adopted, retrained, rehabbed, and re-homed a horse, adopted and re-trained another horse, shown at higher level events/venues, worked hard enough to make my company break even, and, oh yeah, I got engaged to my best friend.

It's hard to think about all the work that has gone down since becoming a business owner. Learning how to balance and keep track of my bookwark has been difficult to say the least. The actual process of it and using the online software isn't bad (thank you, world, for Quickbooks Online), but tracking and remembering who paid for what/who owes what can get tricky.

I've also learned that if I had all the money in the world, I would own every single horse out there. Since becoming self-employed, I have cut my personal herd of horses down to two and a half instead of four and a half. Reluctantly, I sold my colt and rehomed my re-habbed Thoroughbred, who I had such high hopes for. This wasn't a hard choice seeing as I will never let Elly out of my ownership and Gambit has been too profitable for the business to sell.

Speaking of Elly, I learned that some things truly are priceless.

The thought of selling Elly was something that never sat well with me, but I understood it was a good business move and would help me in the long run. So I listed her for sale. A few people inquired, a few people came to see her. Then it became clear that I absolutely could not sell her. Not to mention JP used her to propose...

Here's to forever with my best friend!

Recently, things have been hard at home, running a business and trying to nurture a relationship is hard work, but totally worth it. I've learned that everyone has a "person." A person (who's not their mom) that will love them unconditionally and support their every dream. I'm very thankful to have found that person. Being a full-time horse trainer would not be possible without the love, support, and hard work of JP. Girls- if you have a man who supports your passion, hug him a little extra tonight because I've seen the ones who don't support their girl's passion, and it's not pretty. Guys- don't be that guy.

I've learned that horse shows are way more exhausting (and expensive) than I ever imagined. Before truly committing to this career, I had only ever been to schooling shows. Rated shows are hard work and the courses are hard. Walking away from my first show at the World Equestrian Center had me feeling all kinds of ways... I was sad that we had a rail in one of our classes, but I was so happy that we went and learned. The amount of knowledge that I gained just from being at bigger shows was crazy. I noticed things that trainers did that I definitely never wanted to do, and I watched my trainers closely, to see what they were doing and how they coached their clients.

It's really hard to believe that it's been almost a year of chasing my dream. Sometimes, I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, and other days I feel like I'm on my way to the Olympics. Looking back, there has been so much growth for me; in my riding, my horsemanship, my training, my clientele, my relationship, and my thought process. Sending out a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way and a big apology to those who have caught the backlash of my frustration of trying to navigate the horse world. And a very special thank you to the love of my life for everything he has done to make this dream possible for me.


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