Finding Mentors Wherever They Live

How often can you say that your play influences your work? Or even your marketing?

In a recent social media thread, my dressage instructor Bobbi Rockow started a conversation around the many hilarious and laser-pointed teaching vocabulary of her mentor, Raul de Leon. Since many of her students have also cliniced with Raul over the years, the list grew in a hurry. Well known in FEI circles, Raul is a Westmoreland Davis Equestrian Institute past director and coach of many successful equine professionals. When you ride with him, you feel the immediate expectation of military precision, buffered by a pair of twinkly eyes and quick praise when you get it right. 

You’ll often hear nuggets of wisdom at our barn that translate across life lessons and not just pertinent to riding. They are written on the arena walls, as well as repeated often during lessons. 

Funny how these Raul-isms often translate to marketing as well. As I’ve had the immense luck to ride with Raul a few times myself, I’m sharing some of the best nuggets on the recent list here.

“Don’t be indifferent. Better to make a mistake than be indifferent and do nothing.”

If your horse isn’t responding to what you are doing, do something else. If your marketing program isn’t meeting expectations (or you aren’t marketing at all), try something else. Use some common sense, but doing something is better than doing nothing.

“Where. Are. You. Going?”

For obvious reasons, this is either funny or embarrassing, depending on where you sit. If you don’t know where the quarter line is, how are you going to get there? 

Same for your business. If you don’t set clear and measurable goals, how do you know if your efforts are working?

“There is no guilt. As long as you’re doing the best you can, NO GUILT!”

Aimed at a rider in that moment, but so spot-on for life in general. Frankly, for anyone working at home with kids, dealing with the fallout of the past year, or trying to keep the store open, this one is for you.

As well as this one:

“Stay where you want to be!”

Don’t let the horse talk you out of your correct position. 

Maybe harder to attain in real life with the curve balls that have been thrown lately, but I feel like this is more of an attitude shift approach. Keep your head in the game.

It’s easy to feel like you are lagging without a mentor for your career path, but honestly, solid advice is out there if you are willing to keep your eyes and ears open. If you ride, horses ARE life. Everything is applicable across the board. 

Amanda MacDonald

Amanda MacDonald

Founder of Full Gallop Communications

Amanda is a marketing veteran that works with businesses on improving brand communication, marketing strategy, and creating content marketing. When not in the office, Amanda can be found at the barn with her horse, walking her two dogs on Lake Ontario or baking something carbtastic in the oven.

Contact her at to inquire about how your marketing efforts can become more successful.

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