Jennifer Byron has a special way with horses and people. Jenn grew up riding the deserts around Mesa and, after her family relocated to the Prescott area, she found new wonders awaiting her in the almost endless trails meandering throughout the mountains and valleys of this beautiful area.
At first Byron wanted to become an equine veterinarian, but while volunteering with many owners, she became aware of the frequent disconnection between riders and their horses. She found that far too often people don’t understand that owning a horse, which is significant monetary investment, is actually buying into a team effort. Horse and rider need clear communication so that both benefit from the partnership.
Graduating with a BS in Entrepreneurship from NAU’s Prescott Valley campus, Byron began to hone her perspectives and skills to discover where she could best market her abilities with horses. With a minor in Community Development, she knew that her affinity with horses and riders needed an outlet and she worked closely with one of her professors, Dr. Jim Subach, to begin Jenn’s Heart & Horse. Subach, with whom she is still communicating, directed her to SCORE and she was paired with Jerry Jones.
“Jerry helped me with real life connections,” Byron said, “rather than textbook details. He’s awesome because he redirects me if I get off track.”
Through SCORE and her mentor, Byron was given a packet that included all the steps she needed to take to move her business from a concept to a reality. She is now insured against accidents, which she says can certainly happen when training horses and riders. She is developing consistent branding and improving her business model as she works with her clients. Jones also guided her in addressing her cost structure and helped her break this into workable segments.
Byron explained that her business is training both riders and horses to work together effectively. This is a journey that requires clear communication and understanding between each individual team. Jenn works with the horse and rider in a way that alleviates the setbacks that often happen between a horse and rider when training for their chosen discipline. She travels to the horse owner’s location so that they are comfortable with their surroundings and this gives her a better opportunity to assess the issues that the rider is having with their horse.
“Often,” Byron said, “it is a simple communication issue.” She works with both the horse and the rider to resolve whatever problems they are having. “Sometimes it just takes a fresh eye to see what the issues are. You should treat your horse like a partner and learn to pick up on their emotions and treat them accordingly. That is the formula for success.”
Byron’s first horse, Annie, is a mustang. For Annie, she allows her to keep in touch with her wild roots. Her second horse, Smarty, was a rescue. She came from a very bad place and when Byron got her she would only go forward and fast. Now Byron and Smarty are competing and winning. Last April she and Smarty entered the all-breed, multi-discipline horse show at the Yavapai College Chino Valley Agribusiness campus and were awarded Reserve High Point. That was the second highest score for participation in all events.
Through both her education and experience, Byron has developed effective ways to work with riders and their horses and her passion and enthusiasm for training people and horses shines through. Contact Byron at 928-350-0400 or HeartAndHorse@gmail.com.