Amateur Hour: Kristin Thornton
What is your day job and how often are you at the barn?
Five years ago I branched out of the corporate brand management and e-commerce world and started my own business consulting company with an emphasis on the equestrian industry. I was already being tapped from members in our community for pro-bono services, thus this was a natural progression to direct my expertise.
As part of the discipline of a growing business, I hired an advisor to provide a third party perspective. One of the recommendations was to use the existing business blog as a tool to “be creative” and share my professional and academic experience. What started off as part of K.M. Thornton & Co., llc, grew to a more lifestyle focused platform that was more accurately rebranded as Street to Stable ™ last December.
The goal of Street to Stable is to connect the common bonds that exist amongst equestrian enthusiasts. I still accept select consulting contracts, but my primary focus is the blog. This freedom allows me to ride 6 days a week, weather permitting. When I was in the corporate world, I was fortunate if I rode two times a week.
How do you plan your horse's training and show schedule around your work schedule? How often do you show?
Until last year, I rented office space and had a more set schedule. We made a large lifestyle change and moved from downtown and completely renovated a “country” home. We built out a full office for myself as well as a studio area for any photography work. I am now less than 10 minutes from the barn, which allows much flexibility in my riding.
During the summer, my typical day is that I go to Starbucks every morning at 5:45 am to return emails and review news, while enjoying a morning espresso beverage. My optimal riding time is 8 am and I am typically back home by 10:30. Depending on my workload, you may find me in the office all day with a break for dinner and back on my laptop until late at night. Other days, I have the flexibility to run errands and spend time with my family. It is not within my comfort zone to have such an organic schedule, but I remain very disciplined with riding, physical exercise and ensuring that business needs are met.
During the spring, summer and fall, I ride 5-6 days a week and I am just about to start showing my “new” hunter, Sazerac. We purchased him over a year ago and he was professionally shown in one USHJA Derby last summer before a minor injury occured. Unfortunately, we had a major setback in January when he had emergency colic surgery while I was away on business at HITS Desert Circuit. The entire process of rehabilitation and the number of friends and professionals that have offered support has been both humbling and inspiring.
What do you find you struggle with most as an adult amateur? And how do you overcome that?
I have two primary obstacles that I continuously work to manage.
What's been the best advice you've received and what advice would you give other adult amateurs?
Communicate your commitment to riding to the significant relationships in your life, but remember that you must also be willing to provide give and take with your time, as well.
What does being #AdultAmmyStrong mean to you?
Adult amateurs are unique because we unite as a group due to our personal choice to be part of the equestrian community. We tend to be passionate because it is a phase we “never grew out of”, although our parents were probably told we would! Most of us can relate to the personal sacrifices we must make in order to ride. These sacrifices may include time with family and friends, financial, career choices or all of the above. My closest friends are other “horse crazy” adults that share these same obstacles and we therefore appreciate each ride and our unique friendships.
In summary, #AdultAmmyStrong means that I am part of a supportive tight knit group of equestrian enthusiasts that are dedicated to lifelong passion. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to do what I love with people that I truly enjoy.
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