Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandie Springer.
Sandie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began riding horses at the age of 10. I had a very successful riding career with many championships. Riding came easy to me. After graduating college and finding an office job, I realized the only career choice for me was horses. I replaced the high heels and dresses for paddock boots and britches and never looked back.
After working for a couple different trainers and learning the in’s and out’s of the business, I started my own barn. I have been in business for 20 years.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The horse business is very difficult. The hardest part is the other horse trainers and client loyalty. I have always started my students from the ground up. They come to me as beginners. It takes time and patience to bring them along to the level where they are “show competitive.” Because my riders always do well at the shows and are good, other trainers are constantly poaching them. Yep, that is a hard fact in this business.
I have had my barn “stolen” from me 3 times. The worse was when 10 of my clients moved away in the middle of the night to a different trainer. The next day I received a call from my groom asking me where all the horses were. I had 4 riders left. It was a nightmare. I almost gave up the business at that point. The only good part of that story is that all the clients who left also left the other trainer months later.
Since that incident, I have been very careful who I let into my barn. I keep my barn small. I teach because I love horses and I love watching my riders grow and become successful.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sandie Springer Stables – what should we know?
I am the owner, trainer, coach of a competitive show barn that specializes in hunters, jumpers, and equitation. Besides the competitive side of the barn, we also offer riding lessons to children and adults wishing to learn this amazing sport. The youngest student I started was 3 years old.
What I am known for is always having very polished, professional equitation riders with nice horses. There are many trainers out there that will watch their students go around the ring and say a couple things to them now and again and collect their money.
The biggest difference with me is that I care. I care about every single rider whether they are rich or poor, talented, or just riding for fun. I put my heart and soul into my teaching. Every rider is a reflection my teaching and that is important to me. There is no better gift than to watch my students reach their goals.
I am not about “the money.” I am about making dreams come true. I pride myself on having a barn of happy clients and horses.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The quality that is most important for my success is honesty. A lot of horse people are like car salesmen. They are so desperate to make money, they will tell you what you want to hear whether is going to benefit you or not. They will sell you a horse that is not quite right for you for the extra commission they will make.
I will never sacrifice doing the right thing for an extra buck. If a client tells me they want to go into the 3′ jumper ring and I don’t feel they are at that level and that it would be dangerous to them, I won’t let them go. I have lost clients because of situations like that. When the day is over, I still feel confident in my decision.
Honesty and integrity are everything. My clients trust me to do what is right for their children and their horses.
- Basic beginner lessons are $50.00
- Address: Hansen Dam Equestrian Center
11127 Orcas Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342
- Website: www.sandiespringerstables.com
- Phone: 818-913-4442
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Neill, husband and photographer.