There are a million ways to “make it” – depending on what “making it” means to you. While many riders might dream of winning a gold medal in a pinque coat on a shiny, impeccably braided horse, sometimes you’ll find an even more fulfilling way to be in the horse industry that you hadn’t considered before.
Today on the podcast, we have two equestrian professionals with very contrasting backgrounds, journeys, and careers reflecting on how they found their way in the horse world.
Nikko Ritter was the trainer’s kid; in fact, his entire family is in horses. He had loads of opportunities handed to him from the time he was small (and yes, he was on the show Horse Power – Road to Maclay on Animal Planet). He’s ridden for folks like Mclain Ward, Missy Clark, Frank Madden and most Peter Leone. Now, he and his wife operate Nikko Ritter Showstables in Wellington, a boutique training and showing operation with one main sponsor for financial backing, as well as some sales and breeding. He produces horses for all 3 rings.
Anne-Sophie Milette had a vastly different path. She had really supportive parents, but they had no experience in horses which meant that she spent a lot of her young rider years learning as she went. She studied computer programming while she continued chasing her riding dreams, and then tried opening her own 30-stall stable for a few years before realizing she really wasn’t happy. She shifted her focus to sales and acting as an agent for horse buyers, and coupled with her computer programming background, started Europa Horse Agency while still bringing along a few horses on the side as well – what she describes as her perfect balance.
How Anne Sophie and Nikko’s differences in backgrounds led them in 2 different, but both successful and fulfilling, directions
Being the trainer’s kid versus coming from a non-horsey family
Nikko’s personal reflections on how, as a young rider, he lacked the ability to see the opportunities he took for granted
Mentorship and whether it’s really available to anyone who seeks it in our industry
The attitudes towards young professionals in Europe vs. North America
What happens when self-doubt comes into play