Hey Guys! We have a fun Day in The Life Interview with Lisa Wallace of the Dressage Sport Boot Company (or as we know and love them as DSB boots) and some information on her horse sales business in Florida. Check it out below and see some of her showcased horses at www.horses4yc.com Enjoy!
Forty Licks Farm
3111 Grande rd
Loxahatchee Fl 33470
760 672 9090
Horses Listed on H4YC:
*How did you start riding?
I started riding like every horse crazy kid I know — on a pony my father bought me for 50 dollars. Her name was Trixie and my father ( who always supported my horse madness) built me a stall and paddock on our property in northern Michigan. When Trixie wouldn’t leave the barn I tied a carrot on a string and hung it in front of her face. So began my dressage career!!! When I outgrew that pony I poured over horse sale ads ( little did I know this would be my future) and remembered being perplexed by the description of one horse and asked my dad what a gelding was. I was only 9 then and I guess he didn’t want to explain it, choosing to say instead: “a gelding is a good horse”. I took him at his word and said ok great let’s go buy it. The horse was $250 ( for sale because of a wedding) and as I had a book on buying horses I used its recommendations to vet him —- myself. When I got him home and started to ride him I said to dad it’s funny — he’s limping when I take him on the road with my friends— but not on the grass! Guess what — he had terrible navicular. Thus began my first experience in horse shopping . That horse required more experience than the pony so my parents drove me an hour each way for lessons on a school horse hoping I could learn to train mine.
*Who is one of your mentors in the Equestrian world?
When my instructor moved she sent me to Vi Hopkins — a very strict dressage instructor who kicked my butt on a daily basics and who militantly embraced the basics of riding, horse care and barn management . Many older pro riders came to train with her and ended up leaving in the night as the teaching was so rigorous and the criticism so scathing. She often, for example, hit my sister ( who also rode) with the whip while she was on the horse. And she made us pick stalls with gloves instead of pitchforks !!! But she also gave me an incredible start in horsemanship and dressage.
*Tell us some of your achievements in the Equestrian world?
I am a USDF bronze, silver and gold medalist and have developed three horses through to Grand Prix. I have competed in the CAN AM games, have been a Dressage at Devon horse show spectator commentator, have published various articles in Practical Horseman and the Chronicle of the Horse and even graduated top in my class in the judges program . Like many of my peers I managed a training barn for 25 years with all levels of students showing . Some of my most memorable experiences included training Tanya Kelly from an 8 yr girl to the first ever NAJYRC champion. I also trained Amanda Stearns —another successful young rider — through the levels.
*A Day in the Life:
My days are very busy and fulfilling ! I spend hours every day dealing with all of the issues relating to my DSB business. I generally go to the boot warehouse daily to deal with the endless details of packing and sending out boot orders, fielding phone calls from stores that sell the boots, and doing inventory. Additionally I try to keep up with the marketing for boot sales as well as the marketing of my own and others sale horses.
An average day could include taking clients around to see horses, riding horses I have in my sales program, and generally managing things at the barn. The horse sales part of my business is exhausting but rewarding. I have matched horses and riders for about 40 years and have had the pleasure of making so many people happy by finding them a truly suitable horse. In so doing I have met many wonderful people that have become friends as well as long time clients. Over the years I have sold multiple horses to the owner of the New York Mets, a horse to Barbara Bach (Bond girl and Ringo Starr’s wife) and even a horse to the wife of the famous comedian Jerry Lewis! I love meeting new people and the process of discerning what qualities they are looking for in a horse. Early on I started traveling to Europe as often as seven times a year scouting horses for myself and students. It has been an education! Buying, training, and showing my own and my students’ horses has given me years of invaluable experience that I use every day. And honestly I learn something new every day. Being a judge also helps me to evaluate a horse in terms of its scoring potential. I have sold up to 23 horses in a year — (not that this happens every year !!). Honestly I can’t imagine doing anything else! Both of my businesses — DSB and horse sales — has taught me that listening to others advice and ideas is productive but at the end of the day only you are responsible for what you are selling and you need to stand firmly behind what you say and do .
*Tell us about the DSB company. When did you start it?:
It is something that started as a side interest to my training and sales business over twenty years ago and has increasingly taken on a life of it’s own! It began when I had a student whose horse developed tendon problems because of incorrectly applied polos. I decided to develop a boot that could be put on easily by any rider or groom and not cause any problems.
*Where do you get your inspiration for new products?
I also enjoyed (and still do) producing these boots in various combinations of stylish colors and finishes.
*What do you do for fun?:
My greatest pleasure is watching my daughter Eva Wallace — who is currently starting to have great success in the juniors — ride.
*Give us one tip on selling horses?:
One’s knowledge and experience level directly affects one’s ability to represent or choose a horse. We can all be lucky or unlucky on a given day but ultimately what one knows and believes in shows thru in the horses one buys and represents. If I really know the horse I’m presenting, and if I know my clients riding ability and what he or she wants, my job is super easy and really fun . So know your product and your customer and work with people whose expertise and opinions you trust!