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Athletux Check-In: 10 Business Tips from 10 Years of Business

Photo courtesy of Athletux.

Athletux has just celebrated 10 years of business! From equestrian marketing to public relations to growing sport as a whole, Athletux founder Frankie Thieriot-Stutes checks in with some of the best tips she’s gathered after 10 years in the business:

1. Think through your brand voice, vision, logo, colors, and branding. You will use them for years to come if you are successful.
2. Don’t be afraid to offer a smaller number of services and do them well!
3. When you are not the best company or fit for a potential client, say so! Quality, not quantity is key in clientele.
4. Always prioritize customer service above all else. Your company or brand’s reputation is key, go above and beyond to be sure your clients feel heard.

Photo by Tilly Berendt.

5. Continue to look at your brand over the years with a clear vision. Restructuring services, offerings, and various aspects can be scary, but are usually always worth it!
6. Give advice to those who ask without nickel and diming them. Be a mentor for others when you can and thank you mentors too.
7. Invest in people and relationships, you will depend on them for success time and time again.
8. You are only as strong as the team behind you.

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin share a quiet moment after successfully presenting to the ground jury at Luhmühlen 2019. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

9. Things will inevitably go different than planned and you will make mistakes. Admit fault when you are wrong and own up to it.
10. Learn from your past and take risks. Do not worry so much about what will be years from now, but rather what is happening right now. Your path down the road will have a weird way of working itself out.

5 Reasons to Intern with Athletux

Photo courtesy of Athletux.

If you’re looking for a way to dip a toe into working in the horse industry — albeit on a different side of the sport than in the barn, per se — Athletux might just be a great fit for you. You can check out job openings at Athletux by clicking here.

Experience. You will get experience working with the best and most qualified team in the equine marketing industry. Learn the ins and outs of marketing and branding from the people that live and breathe it. You won’t find 50+ years of combined experience anywhere else!

Networking. While working for Athletux, you will have the opportunity to work and network with other professionals throughout the equine industry in all aspects of the business. Meet industry professionals and make connections that are priceless as you pursue a career in the equine industry.

Flexibility. Because these internships are remote, you will have the ability to work anywhere, on your own time. Our team is flexible and understanding and knows that sometimes life gets in the way.

Education and College credit. Use this internship for college credit. We will work with your advisors to be sure they have all the information they need to give you credit hours towards your degree. Many colleges now require an internship as well and this is an easy way

Portfolio. Build your resume and portfolio with projects in every aspect of marketing. You will be working on real-world projects with each member of our team. While you gain experience, you will be able to actually have pieces of work that you can use to demonstrate everything you have done and accomplished in the industry.

Preparing for a Big Event: Andrew McConnon’s Best Practices

This article is brought to you and was first published by Athletux.

Andrew McConnon and Wakita 54. Photo by Shelby Allen.

When preparing for a big event, it is easy to think you need to cover every minute detail, practice your test one million times, and check your horse over one thousand times per day. However, oftentimes we get sucked into this trap and it becomes detrimental to our performances rather than helpful. We sat down with #TeamAthletux rider Andrew McConnon to go over how he prepares for a big event and get 5 tips to help you prepare for your next big show, no matter what discipline it may be.

1. KEEP IT SIMPLE

There is no need to get complicated or try to do too many things before a big event. Truth is, you have probably done your homework and even if you don’t feel prepared, you probably are. Andrew likes to stick to his normal routine and keep things very simple in the barn to ensure the horses don’t get stressed or overworked, which leads perfectly into the next few tips.

2. KEEP IT NORMAL

With horses, the best thing you can do is to act like it is any other show or event. When you are preparing for a three-day event or even a big jumper show or dressage show, you don’t want to let your horse in on the fact that this may be more important or bigger than just the average show. Don’t deviate from your normal routine and stick to it as much as possible.

3. DON’T OVERWORK

It is easy to get caught up in all the little details and trying to do too much. I try to give my horses a lighter week leading up to a big event to ensure their bodies feel their best. You don’t want them to feel sore or tired.

4. DON’T OVERSTRESS

While you are making sure your horses feel their best, make sure you feel your best as well and don’t over-stress. It can be hard to not stay up late thinking about everything and constantly going over your plan in your head. Take some time for yourself and get out of the barn to make sure you are staying as mentally healthy as your horses are.

5. HAVE MANY PLANS

With all things that are horses, by the end of the season, we will probably be on plan Z and going an entirely different route than we thought we would be at the beginning of the season. Don’t be stressed if you have to divert your plan and always be prepared for something to change. Enjoy the process and know that everyone else is probably having to change plans constantly too. And then if everything goes to plan, more reason to celebrate!

How to Keep Your Equestrian Business Growing in a Standstill, from Athletux

Finding ways to keep your business’ revenue coming in may seem difficult right now, but there are lots of ways to keep growing! Check out a few tips and ideas to keep your revenue coming in as your business slows down due to Covid-19.

  • Promote your items/services you are able to sell online
    • Advertising now will be more important than ever. Many clients are going to utilizing the internet for much of their shopping, and it’s essential to place yourself in a position to be their outlet.
    • List items for sale to encourage current clients to return and create deals or offers for new clients so you are still drawing in new clients.
    • Consider offering lesson and training packages people can purchase now and use later.
  • Release videos
    • Although you may not be able to see your clients as you normally may have, there are still ways to reach out to them and to draw in new clients. Releasing videos that allow clients to continue learning and interacting with you is a great way to do this.
    • Encourage riders to sign up for a week, month, or multiple months to receive videos to further themselves and their horses. Ideas of these videos could be things such as riding tips, training tips, etc.
  • Offer Video Evaluations
    • If you are no longer able to offer lessons, an opportunity to continue those would be through video evaluations. Allow new or old clients to send you videos of them riding and after critiquing return comments to the client. This would be a great way to keep current customers and encourage new ones.
  • Ensure to maintain contact with current clients so they return after
    • Some clients will not be in a position to return to your business until things have passed. This is an important time to keep in touch with your clients so you can ensure they will return when they can.
      • An idea to continue contact points with your clients is through a weekly newsletter that allows them to keep in touch with you, and you with them. This could include updates on your business, tips for them to stay healthy, etc.
      • Stand out to them just by telling them that you are there for them. You do not necessarily need to ask for their business at this time, as just knowing you are there for them means much more.
  • Look into and take advantage of government aid if you need it.
    • The government is currently issuing small business grants for 10k and in many cases you do not have to pay them back. Consider applying here- https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.

Equestrian Marketing Firm Athletux has recently restructured its business model to focus on three main areas: equestrian brandsathletes and events. This is a particularly exciting development for brands, who will benefit from Athletux’s wealth of industry insight to help build their image, maximize use of social media platforms and email marketing campaigns, manage sponsored riders, assist with graphic design and more. Learn more by visiting the just-launched new Athletux website here.

10 Tips for Shipping Your Horse Successfully

As many equestrians now prepare to move their horses back home from winter locales like Florida and Aiken, we thank Isola Shipping and Athletux for this list of tips for keeping your precious cargo happy and healthy on the road. Run by Durr Eventing & Show Jumping and David Taylor of Elevation Dressage & Eventing, Isola Shipping is a unique horse transportation company that combines quality safe transportation with those who know high performance horses firsthand.

Photo courtesy of Isola Shipping.

1. Ensure you always have your horse’s health documents along for all trips.

It is always important to discuss the details of shipping your horse with your vet, so they can ensure that your horse is healthy and ready for the trip, and that you have everything you need to go. All states will require a current negative coggins test, a health certificate from your vet from within the past 30 days, and proof of all testing and vaccinations that your horse has had. Before traveling check the vaccination requirements for all states that your horse will be traveling through as the horse may need obtain shots specific to those states.

2. Prepare yourself for any emergency.

Create an equine first aid kit, although you can never control or foresee what could potentially happen to your horse on a long haul, at least you have an opportunity to prepare yourself to react to those kinds of situations. Place the kit in an accessible and memorable spot and inform the driver as to where it is located, so all are prepared in the case of an emergency. Also be sure to include a spare halter that is not kept in your trailer (in your truck is a good idea).

3. Check over your rig thoroughly before travel.

Properly inspect your tow vehicle in all aspects before departing. With trailers they may weather out before they wear out so although their tread may be good, they may be cracked and weathered out, so it is important that they are safe for hauling. Check to make sure that your lights can be seen, check both your blinkers, and brake lights. Ensure that your fluid levels and belts can handle the extra stress of hauling, and make sure your
transmission is in proper shape to be hauling. It is important to be sure that your brakes are ready to stop the weight that you are going to be hauling. Lastly check your mirrors for visibility, so you know you will be able to see the entire length of your truck and trailers, so you can continually check on your trailer and its tires.

4. Keep your horse well hydrated.

While traveling, your horse should have access to water ever three to six hours. Some water will taste or smell different from the water that your horse is accustomed to at home. A few days before hauling, mix in apple juice or Gatorade to mask the smell and taste of the water and continue doing so on the trip so the horse does not resist drinking water from new places.

5. Cautiously utilize leg wraps if accustomed.

If your horse is used to having its legs wrapped before being hauled, utilize them properly and make sure to change them daily and allow the legs to to breathe. If your horse is being shipped commercially, address this with the shipper to learn about their wrapping preference. Shippers may prefer for horses to not be wrapped if layovers are planned. Ensure to be aware of the weather, if it is over 85 degrees, leg wraps should not be utilized.

Photo courtesy of Isola Shipping.

6. Allow your horse free access to hay.

Your horse should have continual access to hay while traveling. If your horse tends to eat quite fast, utilize a slow feeding hay bag to minimize its’ chance of choke. Hang the hay bag as low as possible without the chance of the horse’s legs getting into it. Bring along enough hay to last the trip and a little extra for its new location.

7. Monitor the vital signs of your horse.

After each rest stop and when you have completed hauling, closely watch their vital signs to catch signs of stress, colic, or other potential illnesses. Check your horses’ temperature, pulse, and their respiratory rate. Closely keep an eye on your horse and the way is presents itself to be sure that you catch warning signs of sickness early.

8. Lay down proper bedding in trailer.

Utilizing bedding in the trailer will reduce stress on your horses’ joints and feet and will make them more comfortable during travel. If your trailer is open you must be cautious that it does not get stirred up by the wind, which could lead to respiratory problems. Avoiding dusty bedding will also aid in avoiding respiratory problems while traveling.

9. Choose a proper halter to travel in.

Ensure your horse is wearing a well-fitted halter with a breakaway feature. During long trips you could consider placing fleece halter tubes over parts of the halter to aid in preventing rubbing or sores while traveling. This could be very helpful for horses with sensitive skin.

10. Give your horse a chance to rest after long travel.

One hour of traveling in a trailer is equal to one hour of walking for a horse. They will more than likely be tired and in need of essential nutrients in their diet. Give them a chance to acclimate to their environment and allow them rest. A good rule of thumb is that the number of rest hours should be equal to the number of travel hours.

Big news from Athletux! The agency has recently restructured its business model to focus on three main areas: equestrian brandsathletes and events. This is a particularly exciting development for brands, who will benefit from Athletux’s wealth of industry insight to help build their image, maximize use of social media platforms and email marketing campaigns, manage sponsored riders, assist with graphic design and more. Learn more by visiting the just-launched new Athletux website here.