NRHA shows often host young entrepreneurs promoting what they to support their horse hobbies. Meet the NRHyA members behind three such businesses.
NRHyA members across the country not only put countless hours in the show pen, but outside it as well. Any regular at NRHA shows sees many young entrepreneurs promoting what they do as a side hustle to support their horse hobbies. Below are the stories of just three such successful businesses. Be sure to share yours with NRHA Youth Program Manager Sara Honegger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kynley Bell (10)
Kynley Bell, age 10, is a fixture at shows in the South Central region. The young entrepreneur originally started selling beadwork, and you can often find her helping vendors promote their products, too.
“I like art and messing with my hands, and I was good at it,” said the daughter of non pro Spence Bell. “I sold beadwork for two years and then took a break.”
Her break would lead her to her biggest business venture yet: dog-walking at horse shows.
“A lot of people need to show, and they shouldn’t have to keep their dogs in stalls,” she said. “I hang up posters up with my mom’s number. Dog owners text her, then she tells me and I go get them for their walk.”
Since beginning her latest venture, Bell has walked anywhere from 20 to 30 dogs during a single horse show, she said.
“I don’t have a lot of friends who come to horse shows, since we may all show different places at once, and I need to save for college,” she said. “I also do it because I like reining and want to compete, but to do so you have to be able to pay for it.”
Although she doesn’t know which degree she’d like to pursue, Bell thinks she’d like to ride on the equestrian team at Baylor University or Oklahoma State University.
“Walking dogs at shows keeps me from getting bored, and sometimes I get to hold puppies,” she explained. “Sometimes I get to train the puppies how to lead, too. One time I had to walk a dog that loved the owner so much it got off the leash and ran back to its owner! I knew where the owner was, so I just went there and found the dog in its kennel. I couldn’t understand why it would rather be in a kennel than walking with me!”
Bell’s favorite part of the reining industry is the family it creates, and that includes the dogs, too.
“[Non pro] Sally Berg’s dog Millie is my favorite because she does tricks like shake and play dead,” she said. “Sally has always been so supportive—she’s family. There are so many people who are so nice and really support me, and I love that I can be there with my family, too.”
Lanie and Ellie’s Lemonade Stand
Lanie (8) and Ellie (6) Petroll
If you’ve shown in the South Central region, you may have heard two girls calling passers-by to visit their lemonade stand.
We caught up with Lanie and Ellie, daughters of NRHA Professionals Sebastian and Melanie Petroll, to learn more about it.
“Our daddy made the stand,” Lanie shared. “We helped him, of course. Why would we make him do all of the work? We brought it to a horse show, and we were a big hit. The next horse show, we couldn’t bring the stand, so we tried to sell mud—but apparently people don’t want to buy mud. But who doesn’t like mud?”
“We had to clean all of the wood pieces, hammer the pieces together, and paint [the stand],” Ellie said. “Then we sell the lemonade and get lots and lots of dollars.”
Lanie said they made $20 at their first show, but Ellie swears it was $1,000. Between shows, the sisters clean off the lemonade stand and split it apart for storage. By the time they get to the next show, it’s like putting a puzzle together. A very hard one, Ellie added.
Along with making money and enjoying selling lemonade, the Petroll girls also learned about money and how to add and subtract from their dad. They learned some business basics, too, since they have to pay him back for cups and lemonade, while the rest of their profit goes in their piggy banks—after they learned to count it.
“Originally the lemonade price was up to the customer; but now it is one dollar,” Lanie explained. “But guess what? My daddy wants us to pay him back now because he buys the lemonade—it is so absurd! He should do that when we are 20-something!”
Ellie said the biggest lessons she learned are to not spill lemonade, work hard, and never leave the cooler open. Lanie learned that if you want money, you have to work hard for it and that you can’t get mad at your customers if they spill lemonade.
“We don’t make the lemonade; we buy it,” Lanie confided. “Customers ask us where it came from, but we don’t tell them. You can tell people we buy it from the store. People will probably forget by the next time they buy lemonade—people forget stuff all the time,” she added.
While Lanie said her teachers are very proud of her for the successful business venture, Ellie keeps it a secret from her school so no one will steal her money.
“I’m saving for a house for when I grow up,” Ellie said.
Lanie wants to buy a house, a car, toys for her future kids, and for her future husband “lots of silly jokes” to make him laugh like her mom and dad do.
“I think we’ll have the lemonade stand forever, or at least until I turn 100 [years old],” Lanie said. “I really like to talk to the people and hope that they buy a lot of lemonade!”
Deary Performance Ponies
Wyatt (14), Owen (12), Joy (8), and Olivia (5) Deary
When Owen Deary was 5 years old, he watched his older brother, Wyatt, start a profitable dog business, and decided he wanted to start something of his own.
“I begged my dad to let me start training ponies,” Owen recalled. “We bought the first one from Bob Loomis. One of the goals was to make some money and save for college.”
With the same goal in mind, Wyatt quickly decided he wanted to begin training ponies, too.
“I was selling puppies for five years and made $3,500,” Wyatt shared. “Owen made $3,500 in one year. I wanted to make that much, so I went out and bought my own [ponies].”
The Deary sisters soon realized that they didn’t want to be left out of the family training affair.
“I started riding when I was 3 years old,” Joy said. “I started riding a big horse, but she died, so then I started riding ponies. All the ponies my brothers train have to be safe enough for me and my sister to ride. I’m training a 2-year-old pony. She’s very calm; she won’t buck or lope with you on her back. Today I stood on her for the first time; her name is Snowball.”
Although she’s the youngest, Olivia saw how much fun her siblings had and wanted to join the family venture, too.
“My pony is Peanut,” Olivia shared. “My favorite thing is to pet her face, but we already sold the pony. Wyatt and Owen helped me.”
Wyatt is currently training a yearling, but after that one is sold, his goal is to start playing golf more seriously. Owen, on the other hand, hopes to keep training horses and make more money.
It’s clear that the Deary Performance Ponies’ trainers have a lot of grit. Each sibling mentioned that they all learned they needed to get back on when they’re bucked off and keep trying even if it’s hard. The young pros have also learned a few lessons about training and understanding horses, with a little help from NRHA Professionals like their father, Casey Deary.
“The biggest thing I learned is to find a release point,” Wyatt revealed. “Once they go where they need to go, you need to find their release point. Our dad [NRHA Professional Casey Deary] and everyone at the ranch teaches us a lot, and so does [NRHA Professional] Trent Harvey.”
These young entrepreneurs aren’t just in the training business for the money—they also promote the importance of horses and reining. They’re proud to have sold a pony to a girl battling leukemia, and Owen has trained a pony that a client rescued from an animal shelter. Through dedication, Owen transformed the tough, fiery pony—now known as Kids Best Flinn—into a viral sensation. You’ve probably seen the video of the pair completing an entire reining pattern at Waco; they hope to be at the 2020 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel.
“We had a video that reached 3 million people, and it inspired a lot of people to try to ride,” Owen said. “A lot of people wrote about how it inspired them on the post, too.”