We’re excited to bring you this edition of “Ride The Stride” featuring Jennifer “Bobbie” Robinson. Jennifer was the original “strider” and it was an natural and very easy choice due to her unvaivering support of the brand. She did so much sharing and promoting of the brand without being asked, I wanted to put my support behind her. So Bobbie become our first sponsored rider and brand ambassador.
We shall call her Jennifer for the purpose of this interview, but some might know her as Bobbie 😉
SW: Let’s straighten out the confusion some might have about your name. Are you Jennifer or Bobbie or both and which name do you prefer? How did this name confusion all start?
Jennifer: Ha! The age old name question! My legal first name is Jennifer after my great grandmother. My mom really loved the name Bobbie though so she gave me the middle name Bobbie and I went by that. It was fine all through school but when I grew up and went out into the world things got complicated. My legal name had to be on documents and Jennifer sounded more professional to me. I stayed ‘Bobbie’ in the barrel racing community until I bought my cpra permit. Then, because my legal name had to be on that card, it got all muddled. I prefer Jennifer but will answer and often introduce myself as both.
SW: You’ve been a huge supporter of Stride Wear from the very beginning. What drew you to this brand?
Jennifer: Michelle. Sounds cheesy but since the day I was lucky enough to meet Michelle I’ve felt as though she was a gift. I’m not sure I would have had such an instant connection with Stride Wear if it had been anyone else’s idea. When Michelle first pitched Stride Wear and shared the first designs I instantly felt a strong connection to the idea and a deep love for the positive messages each piece carries. I’ve also struggled over the years from a mental standpoint and Stride Wear became that one thing that I could easily focus my mind on in tough times. When I’m on the road, I pick my shirt each day with my heart… I don’t wear it if it doesn’t feel right for that day. I call them my superhero costumes 😀
SW: What was your favorite lesson from the Mental Toughness Bootcamp and how did it help your riding and relationship with yourself and your horse?
Jennifer: Oh Gosh there are so many. I’m going to say that affirmation activation has probably been one of the key lessons for me. It’s a really good thing I travel alone most of the time because I do affirmations alot on the road. I feel that making this a consistent part of my life has helped me to be the best rider I can for whatever horse I’m on. I also feel like a rockstar after I do my affirmations, and who doesn’t want to feel like that? Bootcamp has also helped me to let go of animosity and move past negative feelings and thoughts.
SW: Can you share some advice for those who are just learning to #ridethestride?
Jennifer: I think one of the most important things that we all, including me, forget is that every single person started somewhere. The term we’ve all been there is so incredibly true. It always gets better, we always grow and learn if we allow ourselves and it’s so important to keep moving forward and allowing for that growth. Everything is temporary, the bad… and even the good. So be in the moment regardless of the situation.
SW: Recently you’ve gone from educating children full time to educating horses full time. What are some similarities and differences between these positions?
Jennifer: Oh gosh this is a loaded question haha. Teaching horses is really not that different from teaching children. Horses and children have very similar learning styles. Children learn from being praised when they are correct. Horses learn from release, which is what they consider praise. A human classroom requires a certain level of respect from either side and a mutual understanding between all parties. A horse training facility requires the same. Instead of moulding honorable human members of society, now I mould honorable horse members of society haha.
A teacher takes his/her work home with her. A horse trainer lives, eats and breathes their students. Literally. My job is never done. I spend 8-10 hours a day in the saddle and then another 2-3 doing chores. Chores don’t take a day off, so weekends are also busy! A good trainer is constantly thinking and puts their entire soul into their job. It’s not uncommon for me to work 6-7 days a week if someone falls a bit behind. I joke that the only difference between teaching children and teaching horses is that I didn’t have to do breakfast or dinner duty when I was teaching kids 😀 haha
SW: What advice do you have to others that may be pursuing their dream as a full-time horse trainer?
Jennifer: Never quit learning. Find mentors whose energy matches yours and ride with them. The best trainers I know and the ones I look up to most are the ones that never quit learning. Knowledge is the key to being a great trainer. Also, don’t ever be too good to ask for help. There will always be situations that someone else knows how to handle better than you. There’s no shame in that.
I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to ride under/with several incredible horsemen and women including Mel Hyland, Jodi Savage, Jeff Schwitzer, Ronnie Swales, Colby Gilbert and Andrea Udal. Andrea and Colby had the most impact on me and my program and while I take credit for my own journey, I am forever grateful for the part these two women have played in it.
SW: What does it mean to you to trust the process and #ridethestride? Where in your life and horsey journey have you put this into action?
Jennifer: #ridethestride is my mantra. I use it every single day, in so many different ways. I have worked really hard to not be a nervous competitor, however, when I go down the alleyway on Famous sometimes I forget that part about myself and have to remind myself that what’s meant to be will be and when it’s our time, nothing can change that. If you pay really close attention, you can sometimes catch me whispering “ride the stride” or “let it happen don’t make it happen” as I go down the alleyway when I’m re-focusing my energy during those tougher times.
Thank you for sharing with us Jennifer, we appreciate the interview and all that you do for the brand. Michelle