When Krista Jones beloved horse Buddy was diagnosed with navicular, her first reaction was to feel nothing but heartache and dread as to what his future would hold. But Krista decided to look at alternative ways in keeping him comfortable and decided to pursue barefoot rehabilitation with huge success.
With Buddy back competing, Krista decided to help other horse owners with bringing their horses back to riding life and set up her own business From The Ground Up. Sam Hobden from Haynet recently caught up with Krista to find out more about the personality behind this super equestrian business:
What were your childhood ambitions – was it to always work in the equestrian industry?
I grew up in London and kept my eventing pony on a racing yard on Epsom Downs so I’d often be found up on the gallops and with the jockeys so, naturally, I decided I wanted to become a jockey from the age of 6/7! I then realised that I wanted to eat more than a jockey so re-routed to a Mounted Police Officer but when I was told it was frowned upon to have any riding experience I set my sights on Badminton!
My pony had the heart of a lion but he was pretty old, Novice was his limit and I only had room in my heart for one pony so by the time I was a teenager I decided I wanted a corporate career to pay for the ponies and do it for fun. My big dream was to have the horses at home – I petitioned my parents to convert our garage into a stable but funnily enough, they weren’t interested.
What would be your best advice to a school leaver who is thinking of having an equine career, particularly in the area of therapy and rehab?
In any career, you need to find your USP (unique selling point) and the equine therapy and rehab field is full of lots of very talented people but very few make a decent living from it. You need to know your market, have a true passion for it and see how you can be different. That can be in any way from offering a different type of treatment, diversifying your offering to complementary fields (people, dogs, coaching etc) or focusing on a particular type of horse.
Tell us all about From The Ground Up.
My own horse, Buddy, was diagnosed with navicular and a whole host of associated issues as a 6yo and I was advised to PTS. He went through a barefoot rehabilitation programme and hasn’t trodden a lame day since. This inspired me to want to help other horses (and owners) who were finding themselves with heartbreaking diagnosis’ and I’ve spent the last 8 years leading up to this point.
Our primary goal is to keep horses sound and to educate owners on some early warning signs that can facilitate that. We currently offer sports and rehabilitation massage but will be going live with our on site rehabilitation programme in 2021. This programme will be focused on barefoot rehabilitation for horses with hoof and lower limb issues such as navicular, DDFT and collateral ligament injuries etc. Although the rehabilitation programme we offer here is purely barefoot, we want to spread the same message to owners of shod horses so that they can understand the importance of biomechanics and soundness.
What have been the triumphs and challenges of running your own business?
I relish working with every, single horse and rider. Watching their journey and seeing their joy when the horse they were told was written off, suddenly makes a comeback. I am not very good at the admin though so this will always be the bain of my life!
Which part of your work do you enjoy the most?
Hearing the joy in an owner’s voice when their horse shows an improvement.
With these unprecedented times with the Covid-19 situation, working within business is extremely challenging? Has this been an issue with your work and if so how have you adapted?
As we are still in launch mode with FTGU, I still have my corporate job to pay the bills! All of my contact with my sports massage clients has halted and I’m not doing any yard visits at all. To keep my clients and followers entertained and horses supple, we have been doing Sunday Spa Day videos which are quick clips showing some stretches and massage techniques owners can try themselves. All my clients also get access to a client only area on our website which also shares polework, groundwork and stretching exercises.
What are your future plans with From The Ground Up?
My focus is to help as many horses as I can. I can only do so much with our barefoot rehabilitation and owner education programmes so my biggest goal is to work with the wider equestrian community to help educate our professionals of the future on what a healthy hoof should look like and how it should be performing to identify potential issues before they arise.
On a day off, where would we find you?
At home, watching the horses on the track with a glass of something
Where do you hope to be in ten years’ time?
My aim is to get onto the vet school curriculum and to start to see these new vets approach veterinary hoof care with a different eye. On a personal note, I would love to see at least one of my rehabs compete at the top of their game – I’d be the loudest cheer in the crowd!
Against the Clock
Bays, Greys or Chestnuts: Chestnuts
Gin or Champagne: Tough one but it has to be champagne
Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate
Sunshine or Snow: Sunshine
Home Counties or Far Away Shores: Far away shores
Spend or Save: Spend
Home Cooked or Eating Out: Eating out
Music or Film: Music
Wellies or Heels: Wellies but I do love a beautiful pair of heels!
Please visit: https://www.fromthegrounduprehab.com/
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