Influence within the equestrian hemisphere is every changing thanks to modern technology. With more outlets and opportunities than ever before, it’s easier to get yourself plugged in within the horse world without a lot of clout. Sabrina Riehl is a young adult amateur who has started a successful blog called “Hairnets and Breeches”. In a short span of time she has been able to tap into the equestrian community to gain followers and influence by posting about her real life horse experience and her rescue off-the-track project thoroughbred, Rumor.
Blogging has become something of a phenomenon over the past few years, giving normal people a chance to have a very large voice online and on social media. An overwhelming thought for some, Riehl decided to jump in with little web building experience and just go for it.
“Writing has always been a past time of something I enjoy creatively. I thought blogging would be a good outlet for that. I had no idea how to set up a blog so I went and researched a bunch of pre-made blogging sites. I decided to go with Wix and it was a very easy step by step process. I also began utilizing instagram to promote the blog through a business profile (which was also a very simple task to do),” Riehl said.
With social media being a huge portal for public criticism and backlash, Riehl decided to create content for her blog with material she has had personal real life experience with.
“I only write about stuff that I know. I don’t believe in doing a post about content I’m not familiar with. I did a post on horse confirmation and used other professional sources to back up my points. I even talked to my vet to make sure I had accurate information,” Riehl said.
This form of authenticity has gained a following of over 4k followers on her Instagram account alone. Riehl said that one of the most important things she takes time to do is to interact with other bloggers and pages and engage with people’s content. It’s this little extra effort that has helped her blog boom.
“The biggest surprise I’ve encountered in the blogging community is how supportive everyone is. I have really gone out of my way to interact with other accounts who may not follow me or even know about me. I want to be able to be supportive to everyone in the industry and there is a genuine vibe about that that people are attracted to,” Riehl said.
Of course writing blog posts and posting on Instagram wouldn’t be complete without making sure she has visual content to accompany her articles. Riehl has partnered up with an amateur photographer who has really helped her visual content have a professional front. Riehl said she takes time to plan her content up to 9 weeks in advance so she knows what’s coming down the pipe each week. She religiously posts to her blog every Sunday (her followers have come to expect it) and she tries to post to her Instagram daily.
“I think getting my foot in the door and making the decision to actually start the blog was the hardest thing to do. Social media is a huge platform for critique and putting myself out there was really far out of my comfort zone,” Riehl said.
Riehl, being a senior in college is hoping that this blog is her next career move into the equestrian industry as a professional. Her goal is to eventually end up working for an equine partnership or management of a large equestrian facility when she graduates.
“One of the best things I have definitely learned through this experience is how to talk to people in the community and then hearing what people want in the equine industry. It’s also really helped me learn how to work with varying personalities,” Riehl said.
Her biggest star of her blog is her mare Rumor. She was rescued from a kill pen and was practically untouchable when she was bought. With hours and hours of training, Rumor is showing potential to be Riehl’s dream 1.15m horse. Documenting her journey and struggles along the way, Riehl feels like she found a sweet niche for the equestrian community with her blog.
“Before I began my blog, I noticed there was not a lot of information or content out there for a young adult in the equestrian community on a budget. I thought me documenting my life changes, and what I have learned in the horse world along the way could make a big impact. I would really love to eventually get an even bigger following as I get older and as I go through life,” Riehl said.
Hairnets and Breeches has also opened up the opportunity for Riehl to become a brand ambassador for several companies. These ambassador partnerships have allowed her to freely promote (and test products) while voicing her personal opinion.
“I was able to participate in a pretty large giveaway recently which was a huge deal for the blog. I teamed up with another blogger who helped reach out to companies and businesses explaining why they should partner with us for a giveaway. It’s been a great exposure experience. I am an ambassador for several companies but I am not willing to get paid gigs right now in order to keep my amateur status in the show ring. I have to first think of my mare and my responsibility to her. I don’t want to limit myself for classes or shows that my mare may or may not be ready for by changing my status,” Riehl said.
Riehl is a strong advocating for taking a risk on something that may scare you. She said it’s worth jumping into the blogging world just to see what possibilities may unfold.
“Just do it. As long as you can plan topics that you want to talk about, and you have an idea that you can play with you will be really surprised as what can happen. Start small and slowly work your way up. The industry is very supportive to bloggers and you really don’t know your potential until you try,” Riehl said.
Of course Riehl has said she has a large support system internally who has encouraged her every step of the way with her blog.
“My parents are my biggest supporters. My mom and dad have both been awesome for bouncing ideas off of and helping me decide on relevant content. The fellow equestrians I know are also just as good as helping me create content that is good and interesting. I really appreciate their support and it truly helps the creative process,” Riehl said.
With the age of technology constantly changing, it’s no wonder bloggers have begun to find a niche within the horse realm. This additional exposure for professionals, facilities, products, and riders has begun to completely change the playing field. Information is more accessible than ever, and connecting with riders and trainers across all disciplines is simpler than ever before. The days of “it’s who you know” is slowly fading (and probably for the better).
Are you interested in marketing your equine blog? Top Line Media Team can help! Contact us!
Ashley Culpepper graduated with a degree in Print Journalism and Two Minors in Ad / PR from Liberty University in 2013. Since then she has actively been using her media skills in a variety of realms including the horse world. Ashley is a major equestrian enthusiast with over 18 years of riding and training under her belt. When she isn’t working, Ashley loves to be at the barn with her AQHA gelding Bandit who she fox hunts and shows.