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Customer story: Flying Horse print Print

  • 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • from 13 ratings

An ANZ business workshop helped Julia Latham turn her passion for horses into a successful business venture. And in turn gave her the chance to improve the lives of at-risk kids.

Three years ago, Julia Latham took the plunge and opened her own equestrian business in Otatara, Invercargill. There’s horse riding training for all ages, a top -quality dressage arena, a grooming range that she sells through her online store, lessons and workshops. Even equestrian pilates.

Julia is proud of the decision to turn her passion into her livelihood. But it’s when she talks about how her success has brought neglected horses and at-risk children together that her eyes really light up.

Flying Horse 2

Flying Horse rescues horses – horses that have been neglected and psychologically and physically mistreated - and gives them a safe home. These horses often form a deep connection with children who have also been abused.

“It’s sad to realise that these kids are never cuddled or loved or appreciated. Sometimes cuddling a horse is a huge release, as they have never had that closeness with their human family.”

Julia started Flying Horse in 2012. Up until then, Julia had helped her husband Dave run a helicopter business. Dave earned good money, which enabled Julia to build a top-of-the-range stable and dressage arena on their property, and fulfil her passion of training horses.

At the time, Flying Horse was more of a hobby to Julia. But when she attended the ANZ business workshop, she began to think of it as a potential business venture.

“It changed my life – seriously. I soaked up the info like a sponge and went home and started a Facebook page. Pushed myself out of my comfort zone and started believing ‘Yes I am good at what I do’.”

To grow her business, Julia has gone to as many ANZ workshops as possible in her local town and says they’re always valuable – especially with the support of ANZ Business Specialist, Pam Potter. Pam advised Julia to use ANZ’s mobile payment app, ANZ FastPay*, which lets you take card payments from customers on your mobile phone. ANZ is helping set up the payment system for Flying Horses’ online shop as well.

“If it wasn’t for ANZ and their awesome team, I would still be muddling along at my hobby with ‘one day’ dreams. Now I have a successful business and lifestyle.” Julia has also made the most of the networking opportunities at the ANZ workshops. At one event she met Jo Learmonth, who is now her business coach.

With Jo’s help, Julia has put together a five-year business plan, which includes setting up the online shop and formalising her clinics and training models.

Julia now employs two students part-time, and is looking to establish a role for someone to sell the grooming products.

Flying Horse 1

Julia says her business has developed in ways she didn’t think it would, such as her natural grooming products, which were born from her previous experience as a manufacturing technician at Southland Hospital dispensary.

Starting up and growing a business has its ups and downs, says Julia, but she believes many of the obstacles are in the mind. At first, she found time management particularly tricky, so she worked at developing systems to use her time effectively and keep a good work/life balance.

Part of overcoming the obstacles has been learning to ask for help. “I think it’s really important to have a good support network and also to pay people for what they are good at, so you can concentrate on what you are good at. For example, we have a great website designer, who puts together the newsletters and helps with the Facebook page and advertising,” she says.

Lack of confidence was another big challenge when she first launched her business seriously. “I thought ‘I can’t do this’.”

Turns out she could.

Julia has built a successful business from her hobby, and in doing so, has changed the lives of many horses and children.

Getting serious about your business?

For tips and information to help you become a successful business owner, get your free ANZ Business Start-up Guide.

And attend a free workshop for business owners for specialist business support and advice, and the opportunity to network with other business owners in your local area.

*ANZ FastPay is only available to approved merchants who meet ANZ’s credit approval criteria and have an ANZ Business Account. Terms, conditions and fees apply. Use of ANZ FastPay requires a cellular or wireless internet connection

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