[VIDEO] Stories of Greatness: Boyd Martin, Three-Day Eventer

If you haven’t heard the Boyd and Silva Martin story yet, get a cup of tea and a box of tissues ready.  Boyd grew up in Australia and moved to the states to pursue his career as an professional event rider, and took up citizenship with the USA.  He’s now a regular USA Team member at international competitions, including the most recent Olympics. This video was created by the Martin’s sponsors, Purina, and tells an inspiring story of perseverance, dedication, talent and love.  Enjoy!

Equestrian Sport has a Marketing Problem

I came across this article on social media this week, and as it’s a topic we’ve discussed here on FourPlusTwo before (“Why is Marketing Equestrian Sports so Damn Hard?”) I wanted to share the link here for you guys as well. HorseNetwork is a great blog site, and not afraid of asking the harder questions! They did a great interview with retired media-relations expert Jayne Huddleston to ask what it’ll take for horse sport to break the mainstream media barrier.

I Once Snipped the Knuckle Off a Labradoodle’s Front Right Foot

There, I’ve said it. Obviously it was an accident but… It’s a horrible thing to hurt a dog and it’s something that we groomers have to deal with every working day. ‘What if today’s the day?’ is a question that I sometimes – less often as the years go on thankfully – ask myself. Happily it’s been many years since I’ve cut a dog, touch wood (wait does that even work with the written word??!) but the incident with Lex was a valuable lesson in learning to say NO to my clients. For instance, I should have said NO when…

5 Things Successful Dog Pros Do

What makes the difference between dog businesses that thrive and those that only survive? Here are the top 5 things we teach our clients to do: 1 Actively market If you’re not willing to market your business, you’re running the race with your shoelaces tied together. These days people have lots of dog businesses to choose from; if they don’t know you’re there, they can’t choose you.

Going Pro- Working Full Time With Dogs Making A Real Living

Do you want to work with dogs full time, but can’t see how? Do you struggle part time, telling yourself you’ll keep the other job just until the training really takes off? It’s a common refrain. Coaching and supporting dog businesses for a living, I’ve seen every kind of business model and every type of owner, from wildly successful full-timers to weekend hobbyists. Mostly, though, dog pros work part or full time at other jobs, and run a dog business on the side, hoping it will one day support them.

Sponsorship: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Pt1

Sponsorship, it’s something that most small businesses will do in one form or another.  Often it’s to “get the name out there”, for “exposure”, to “have my products seen” or to get “celebrity endorsements”. If you are a new business, or in start up phase it can be very easy to jump in head first and sponsor EVERYTHING going- wow! look at all the exposure I’m getting!!  I know, I’ve done it in the past as well.  We all have. But- if you are in those early stages of growing your busienss, or in survival mode where every dollar counts,…

Stop Coaching, Start Training

The Case for Day Training We trainers often feel frustrated by unfinished cases and low client compliance—endemic issues in our industry—leading us to describe owners as lazy, uncommitted, unskilled, uncaring, cheap. Alternately, we internalize the failure and blame poor results on our own shortcomings. Neither explanation is fair nor helpful. We have learned to stop blaming the dog and just get on with training him. It’s time to leave behind feeling guilty and reproaching clients, pinpoint the true problems, and focus on solutions. Coaching is the Culprit The heart of the trouble is our coaching approach, our religious insistence on…

Dog Trainers Must Train the Clients

Most trainers agree that working with clients is the most important—and most challenging—part of the job. Even when the trainer does the training in board and train or day training situations, the work with the client remains the central ingredient to success. Transferring complex skills and understanding to a human is tremendously more involved than employing the laws of operant and classical conditioning to train a dog. It’s no wonder, then, that it is this part of our work that trainers most often struggle with.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Pet Business

The start of a new year is a hectic time for your pet business, but it’s also a great time to make strong resolutions that are going to help your business to improve. You might have many goals in mind already, such as gaining new customers, learning new things, and networking. When making resolutions, you need to focus on what is going to help your business to grow, no matter what field of the pet industry you are in. Sometimes though, it’s difficult to decide which resolutions are going to benefit your business the most. There are 5 resolutions that…

Your Best Cattery… Right Meow!

As we approach the busy holiday season, you might find yourself thinking that if I suggest changes to your cattery right now, that I’m insane. Your facility is at maximum capacity every day, and you’ve got to ensure that your business runs smoothly. Fortunately, large changes aren’t necessary to ensure that you keep up the busy holiday momentum throughout the year. You might be surprised to learn that by making small changes to the way that you market your cat business you can attract more clients and increase your revenue.