Q&A with Sport Horse Essentials
Top Line Media Team had a chance to chat with Dianna Rodolpho Bessinger, the founder of natural care line Sport Horse Essentials (SHE) about the inspiration behind the company as well as a few of her favorite products.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself as the founder of the company:
A: I grew up in McLean, VA, where my love for animals began. At the age of 12, my mother bought my first horse, ‘Surprise’, and I was hooked from that moment on. The we moved to Central Florida in 1998. I fell in love with the area and eventually met and married my husband, James Bessinger. We have a farm in Longwood, FL in 2014.
Q: Have you always been involved in the equine industry in some way?
A: Yes! I began riding and showing horses at the age of 10. I turned Professional in 2011 and has extensively shown in the jumper ring, all the way to Grand Prix. Since starting SHE in 2016, showing has been on the back burner, but I plan on returning to the ring in 2019.
Q: What was the inspiration to start a natural care line for horses?
A: I started Sport Horse Essentials after my mother, Leah Rodolpho, introduced me to essential oils in 2014. I immediately fell in love with the healing properties of essential oils and began using them in my daily routine. My love of horses and dogs prompted me to start experimenting and researching the benefits of essential oils in animals. I was looking for a way to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals found in our everyday grooming products knowing they were toxic to animals and to myself. I began testing different oils to use see if natural ingredients would work as well as typical chemical-filled products, and I was amazed by the results. Other horse owners were starting to notice how effective the products were and began asking for them. Input from testers helped me develop a recipe that is as effective or more effective than the grooming products we have all been using for years.
Q: What was the first product you created? What is your favorite product from your line if you could pick one?
A: The first SHE product created was our Coat Spray. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to pick a favorite product. They all have such amazing benefits it’s really hard to choose! The Waterless Shampoo has the best smell!
Q: I love that you use “SHE” as an acronym. Did you have women in mind as your main target audience when you created the product line?
A: Thank you! Actually, SHE just happened to stick with us. We want everyone to be able to use our products and rest easy in the fact that whether you are male, female, mare, gelding, stallion, broodmare, or foal that our products are safe to use.
Q: Your social media game is strong! Do you find your ambassador program is working well for you in terms of marketing? What do you look for in an ambassador for the SHE products?
A: Yes! Our ambassador program is the lifeline to our business! We rely on our ambassador and customer pictures heavily for our marketing strategy. We have found that equestrians of all disciplines want products that work, and that equestrians value other equestrian opinions and honest feedback. Our social media pages allow people to see the photos that customers and ambassadors have tagged us in and allow them to review each of our products for themselves. For our ambassador program, we look for people that truly believe in our products. We want every discipline to feel welcome on our page and for everyone – regardless of discipline – to be able to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. Our ambassadors help convey that message and they are worth their weight in gold.
To view the entire Sport Horse Essentials line, visit the company online at www.sporthorseessentials.com or check them out on Facebook and Instagram at @sporthorseessentials
Daina Behe holds a Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University as well as a certificate in User Experience Design, and is well versed in many areas of digital marketing and design. Having been involved in the horse industry for years, she specializes in equine marketing as it brings her passions together. While not working behind a computer, you can find her training her Moriesian horse in the Western Dressage discipline, or teaching riding lessons to young equestrians.