Get Social With Your Equine Business

by Michelle on February 19, 2020

I’m excited to bring you part 1 of a series of guest blog posts with social media expert Shelby Wickson of Sweetgrass and Saguaro Social.   Enjoy these great tips.   ~Michelle


If you haven’t heard, social media is the fastest growing, most responsive, revenue generating marketing tool out there. Why? Because it allows you to connect with real people, in real time. In an industry that is greatly centered around connection whether it be two or four legged, it is important that as a business in the equine industry you begin to take note and take advantage of this incredible marketing tool. You’d be silly not to!

In a series of guest blogs, I will be exploring how you can tap into this exciting new marketing tool, tailor it to your equine related business and be successful while doing it!

Part 1: How to present yourself professionally through social mediaShelby Wickson

This is probably one of the most important points when utilizing online marketing, and something I see so many struggle with.  A common misconception is that people see this type of marketing as casual and sometimes present themselves too much that way. The truth is that being professional AND remaining approachable is so much easier than you think!

Setting yourself up for online success. Whether your business is based out of your barn, has a storefront or is strictly online – there are a few essential steps in creating your online presence that will contribute greatly to your success.

1. Create a logo
You need something that represents your brand or business and tells your story. I recommend utilizing a professional graphic designer for this. This part of your marketing setup is so much fun! You get to choose brand colors, elements and images that are going to represent who you are and what you stand for. Logos are important to attach to print material, use online, and for physical marketing material if applicable. When it comes to logo design, I like to stick to a minimalist approach, typically sticking to clean lines and two or three brand colors or tones and clear, easy to read text. Your logo should be able to stand alone and tell your story.

2. Website
I truly believe that every business no matter how big or small needs a website to keep their market informed. Your website can be so simple and still be so effective. In three pages, viewers can tell who you are, what you believe in and what you do. Based on that, they will form an opinion on if they want to buy into you and your business.

3. Brand Identity
In order to establish your brand identity, it is first crucial to identify your target market. Who is your ideal customer? Write down everything you can think about them. Get creative with it! Where do they live? How much money do they make? What is their occupation? What do they value? All of these points play an important role in ensuring that you are tailoring your online presence to the RIGHT people. The people that are going to potentially be customers!
From there, you can develop your brand identity. Your brand identity encompasses the language you use, the platforms you are active on, how you engage with your audience, and how you tailor your service or product.
For example; let’s say you own a small stallion station. Likely your target market is going to be individuals, male and female, 30+, experienced in the horse industry, with steady jobs and income, looking to make an “investment” in your “product”.
If I were creating a brand and identity for your business, I would be intentional about the following:
-use simple, classic graphic design with basic colors (nothing too crazy and outside of the box!)
-write with proper grammar, using a mature tone and language.
-keep up with professional engagement, encouraging the conversation with your audience.

Whether you are re-working your online presence or just launching a new equine related business, focusing on these three topics will give you a head start in attracting the right audience and keeping them around.

Sweetgrass and Saguaro
Shelby Wickson of Sweetgrass & Saguaro Social is a social media whiz specializing in platform management, brand strategy, and online marketing. With specific experience in the equine and western industries, Shelby believes in creating genuine relationships through authentic content. Sweetgrass & Saguaro Social offers a variety of services including social media management, website design, brand coaching and more!

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Canadian Barrel Futurities 2018

by Michelle on March 2, 2018

The first events in the Canadian Barrel Futurity schedule aren’t until May, but the first payments for these events are due this month.

First up on the schedule is the Yellow Rose Futurity in Claresholm, Alberta.   The event is slated for May 4th-6th.  yellowrose The first payment for entries is due March 5th.   The second payment is April 5th.   If you miss a payment, a $50 late fee will be added to each late fee.   The first go of the futurity and derby will be at 11 am Saturday, May 5th.  The second Sunday, May 6th.

The Yellow Rose Futurity and Derby has a minimum of $7000 added to the futurity and the same for the derby.   The event is CBHI approved with $2500 added and Western Fortunes nominated offspring are also eligible for another $9000 split between the futurity and derby times and $5000 in the open.    There will also be an open, jr. and sr. race in conjunction with the weekend.   The Jr. race on the weekend will also be a KK Run For Vegas Jr. Barrel Race Qualifier.

The open races include a Benefit Barrel Race For Brains – Friday May 4, 2018  All the money raised this evening will be donated towards Brain Aneurysm Research, under the Calgary Health Trust. There will be prizes in each D and to the contestant that raises the most money.

Click here for the Yellow Rose entry form and event schedule. 

The events Facebook page is here.

Second in the 2018 CBF roster is the 17th annual South Country Barrel Racing Futurity and Derby in Cardston, AB.   It will run May southcountrybarrel11-13th, 2018.     This futurity has $10,000 added and the derby has $6000 added.   The first payment deadline to enter without a $50 late fee is March 12th.  The second payment is due April 12, 2018.      The event has $4850 added money for CBHI eligible horses and also has added money from Valley Girl Barrel Racing Association Incentive for futurity horses.     South Country barrels are also hosting open races with $1500 added to each race on Saturday and Sunday and $500 on Friday.

You can click here for entry forms and more info.

The events Facebook page is here. 

The futurities in Canada are open to 5 year olds who have not competed in barrel racing before Dec 1 of their 4 year old year.  Derbies are open to all horses 7 years and younger.   Each year contestants compete at the CBF events throughout the year and accumulate points.  The highest point earner for the year earns the coveted Canadian Barrel Futurity Champion Futurity or Derby horse award.

Other upcoming events in the CBF schedule are:

Claresholm, AB – May 4-6, 2018  –  March 5th 1st payment deadline
Cardston, AB – May 11-13, 2018  – March 12th 1st payment deadline
Nanton, AB – June 22-24, 2018
Peachland, BC – June 30-July 1, 2018 – Tentative
Teepee Creek, AB – July 20-22, 2018 – Tentative
Oak Lake, MB – Aug 5-6, 2018 – Tentative
Chilliwack, BC Sept 21-22, 2018 – Tentative
Ponoka, AB Oct 4-7, 2018

For more information on the Canadian Barrel Futurities click here.

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Top 25 Stallions from the CBHI Auction

March 1, 2018

February 28th brought the conclusion of the 2018 Canadian Barrel Horse Incentive Super Stakes Stud Fee Auction. The lucrative auction of 133 stud fees raised almost 125,000 towards the 2022  Super Stakes pot. Taking home the honors of the highest stud fee sold this year was A Classic Guy from Sandy Ridge Stallion Station. Close […]

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Reasons To Buy A Mom’s Horse

February 7, 2018

There are all kinds of trainers out there. Guys and gals of all ages, training and selling horses. Many times, it’s not trainers that are selling horses, but just the average horse owner looking for a change. No matter whether she’s a mom trainer or a mom horse owner, there are plenty of perks to […]

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Marketing Your Horse For Sale Online

January 29, 2018

In the posts previous to this one I wrote about writing your ad, taking pictures that sell and taking video to support all this. Now I’d like to talk about how and where to market your horses for sale. Gone are the days of placing your horse for sale in the local or rodeo newspaper […]

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It’s Official! CFR45 in Red Deer, AB

January 16, 2018

History was made tonight in Red Deer, AB as the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, the Westerner Park and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association announced the 45th edition of the Canadian Finals Rodeo will run in Red Deer. They have indicated it will be there for at least 10 years. It will be a 6-day […]

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Red Deer Said To Be The Home of CFR45

January 12, 2018

Speculation is high as RDNewsNow.com broke the announcement that  “The Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce and Westerner Park have scheduled a “major announcement” for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Enmax Centrium.” *Congratulations the city of Red Deer, the Westerner Park and the CPRA on their new venture in Red Deer, AB. It’s […]

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Using Video To Sell Your Horse

January 12, 2018

In the first installment of the How To Sell Your Horse For Top Dollar, I wrote about how to write an ad that sells. In the second blog post I talked about how to take pictures that sell. In this post, I want to talk about using video to help sell your horse. Your sales […]

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How to take pictures of your horse that sell

January 1, 2018

This is the second post in the series on How To Sell Your Hore For Top Dollar, and quite possibly the most important piece of the process.   The first post was on writing the ad. It’s really true that a picture is worth a 1000 words. A good picture might even earn you an extra […]

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How To Sell Your Horse For Top Dollar

December 27, 2017

There’s a lot to getting top dollar for your horse so this will be a multi-part series on the topic. I will talk about writing an ad, preparing your horse for sale, taking good pictures, pricing your horse, shooting videos, placing ads and marketing your horse for sale. I want to be clear that “top […]

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