Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Harris.
Susan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve loved and ridden horses since I was four. When I was nine I decided that when I grew up, I would have White Horse Ranch. As an adult, I watched exactly one polo match and decided I had to learn to play polo. The next thing I knew, I had a bunch of polo ponies to support by teaching math and selling Real Estate. One of my Real Estate friends had been bringing his granddaughter over to help care for the horses and ride with me. One day he handed me money. I asked why and he said she was learning more with me than in her regular horseback riding lessons.
The next day I told the story in the school staff room and one of the teachers asked if his kids could take horseback riding lessons from me. My business launched and continued building. I had already been training horses for friends, so I included horse training and polo. I was warned that this was a tough business, but I’ve always been lucky. I’ve taken many classes to improve my equine and polo skills. Today I enjoy having the career that I had wished for as a child.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Caring for multiple horses and running a small business is rarely a smooth road. It is hard physical work as well as being intellectually challenging. The largest struggle is being innovative and bringing fresh ideas to the stable and lesson plans.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the White Horse Polo Ranch story. Tell us more about the business.
White Horse Polo Ranch is dedicated to promoting understanding between horse and rider. It is a small business that provides custom equine experiences. I specialize in offering fun and exciting private and group lessons and beginning polo instruction.
I also enjoy leading a small group or private trail adventure lessons in locations like the San Dieguito River Park, the Daley Ranch, Fiesta Island, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and even in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for the spring wildflowers. Riding the horses into the water at Fiesta Island is a special treat in the summer. In the winter, mountain snow rides let my students celebrate the holidays on horseback.
White Horse Polo Ranch works with beginner to advanced horseback riders and polo players. We specialize in introducing riders to the joy of horses. Students learn how to communicate with a horse using body language and posture as well as verbal and traditional horsemanship cues. As a more advanced level is achieved, riders may go on to trail adventure lessons in the mountains or at the beach, go for faster rides and/or enter polo competitions.
We can teach equestrians to play polo, a thrilling and exciting team sport played with your best friend, your favorite horse. Illustrating care of a horse and what to expect with equine ownership is another area in which we excel.
I am proud of our friendly, gentle herd of horses, who take good care of my riders. I am also very proud of the many achievements of my students. Katie Gardiner helped convinced the administration to start an equestrian program at Northern Arizona University. Jerry Albers, a seventy-eight-year-old student is enjoying being a competitive polo player. Sixteen-year-old Ian Schnoebelen is on his way to becoming a star interscholastic polo player. Some of my students have ridden on horseback safaris in Africa.
I’ve been told that High School equestrian skills have been helpful for college admission, and I am excited to contribute to my student’s future successes. Customized equine experiences set us apart from other horseback riding establishments. We have been accepted by the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts as horsemanship instructors. I have worked with Escondido schools educating high school students about horses.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck has played an amazingly positive role in my business. About the time I acquired new horses from a friend who wanted them to have a good home, more students asked for lessons. I was lucky enough to be mentored in business skills by a retired businessman who explained how to prioritize expenditures and run efficiently. I feel lucky to be able to pursue my passion as a career that I love.
- Address:2950 Summit Dr.
Escondido, Ca 92025
- Website: WhiteHorsePoloRanch.com
- Phone: (858) 254-6773
- Email: WhiteHorsePolo@yahoo.com
- Instagram: white.horse.polo.ranch
- Facebook: White Horse Polo Ranch
- Yelp: White Horse Polo Ranch
- Other: Lulu Fan Page
Jim Bremner, Laurie Pringle