The couple who live for the love of the horses and each other. -

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The couple who live for the love of the horses and each other.

December 27th, 2021 | By: Joakim Krassman

Hugo and Tova are a young couple in the horse business who started their companies separately but have now merged their bags into a joint venture, TH Stables

For Hugo, it started with his own business in 2017 when he was 19 years old.  He started working with horses full time. For the first two years he worked for Anna Wemlert. These two years at Anna meant a lot of free hands, a bit like running your own company as the work included marketing, contact with sponsors, customer meetings, etc. In between, he was also an extra staff member in the restaurant and sometimes babysitting.

During this period Hugo realised all the costs of running a horse business, from electricity bills, diesel costs, wear and tear on cars including all the costs directly linked to the horses such as feed etc.
Driven as he is and to promote himself, Hugo took up the cause and sent out 100 sponsorship letters telling people about himself. He received ten replies, two were interested and the result was one positive collaboration.

Tova in turn started her own business in 2018, she worked with her own horses and was with Stina Lilje and Nathalie Adelborg during periods. What she mainly took with her was a set-up and system for planning the riding and training of the horses. She also worked for Sylve Söderstrand for a year where she developed a lot in her riding.

The big question, where did Hugo & Tova meet?

Of course, lightning struck out of the clear sky at a horse show, in 2019. Then it went fast, "both laughing" and in May 2020 Hugo made the move from Motala to Tova in Uppsala.

What's it like being a young couple and running a business together where you hang out 24/7?

We think it's only positive that we are young and have the same goals and interest. It has worked beyond expectations since the start. We are alike as people.

Running your own business requires many different "hats" and it's nice to be two and share the responsibility. From roughing it to mocking, being social and a lot of phone calls when selling horses, riding and training horses, getting into the competition bubble at competitions, administration such as billing and insurance, maintaining the facility, cars/buses etc.

To be able to take help and advice from each other, for example when one jumps and the other is on the hill. A big plus here is that the rider feels and the one standing on the hill sees and so we can talk together.
Sometimes we change horses when we ride in different ways. For example, Hugo's riding suits when it comes to holding the horse with his long legs. Tova has enormous patience when needed most and also enjoys dressage work. 

What are your goals for your business?

That we can make a living from the business. Tova is passionate about young horses and their journey. Hugo enjoys developing young horses as well as riding older horses.
In ten years, the dream is that we have a lot of client horses, preferably a client with several horses and a larger cooperation. That we expand with more horses, be able to have employees and compete more.
More breeding would be fun even if it is not the most profitable. To be able to keep horses that you have trained yourself from the start and have the opportunity to accompany you on the whole journey up to 150 classes.

Do you have any role models in equestrian sport?

Tova answers that she would like to have Stephanie Holmén's soft hands when she rides. She also likes Marlon Zanotelli & Angelica Augustsson who both ride soft and supple.
She also looks up to Thomas Ryan, a skilled rider with many clear rounds.

Hugo looks up to Anders Lagergren for whom he trains. Abdel Said is also a role model with whom he has had personal conversations. Hugo says, "I'm not a style rider myself and I'm a little more there and then with role models".

Competition nerves appear different for Tova and Hugo. Tova thinks that racing a client's horse feels the same as racing her own horse. Hugo feels more responsibility for customers' horses and is a bit more nervous than when he competes with his own horse.

What advice do you have for other young riders who want to start their own business?

Above all, don't give up, fight on. It's more adversity than success in equestrian sport. It is also important that it is fun.
One tip is also to start by having a 50% employment if possible. Hugo worked at riding school at 50% at the start and at the same time had eight horses at home.
Tova worked 50% at ICA for a year and went from three to eight horses in the stable.
Think about what drives you too? For us, it's that we both love being in the stable and the goal of the daily work is to compete and meet people with the same interests.

Tova and Hugo are users of Hippocrates ProStable and this is their experience:
ProStable is a flexible system that facilitates all aspects of an equine business. We can plan and invoice wherever we are.
We find it easy and we can manage our business and keep track even when we are away.

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