From hobby to business

I have been thinking about it for a long time, and now I have decided to take the leap. I am going for my entrepreneurial dream.

The company, Rideferier AS has been established and I am well into the planning stage. This will be the first Norwegian travel agent specialized on horse riding holidays! Today rideferier.no serves as a private website containing blog posts and travel reviews, but this will soon move on to be a sales channel.

My long experience as a travel consultant and the last 5 years where I have worked as an accountant is a good mix of experience to bring along. If you add a tiny portion of midlife crisis in addition to a passion for horses and a desire to create something on my own, everything should be lined up to give this a try.

I am not going to go completely bananas so I will do this in addition to having a regular day job, but with reduced working hours. I have long term goals behind this, and it is very important to me to choose my suppliers carefully. The focus will still be on the suppliers who stand out with good values and go above and beyond when it comes to the welfare of their horses.

Start-up

I have never started a business before, so there are a lot of things to consider in this process. To establish a company is surprisingly simple, but then there is all the other stuff. If you are going to run a travel agency in Norway you have to be in compliance with the big and scary Package Tour Law. This is first and foremost a security for the travellers as it regulates the responsibilities for each party. Pursuant to the Package Tours Act, all organizers of package travels must also provide security covering their obligation to refund monies paid and for the repatriation of the consumer in the event of the organizer’s insolvency. If you don’t have this covered you are not allowed to market package tours  – it is as simple as that. To get guidance around legal matters I have established a membership in the Norwegian trade organization, Virke. They have been very helpful so far!

A company also needs good accounting procedures, and I have been looking for an accounting software system to cover my needs. I have chosen Fiken for this purpose as it is very user-friendly in addition to being up to date on new technology. I am very pleased with this so far!

In Buskerud where I am located, we also have a very useful resource for entrepreneurs; «Etablererveiledningen i Drammen».  This is a local organization working to help entrepreneurs in the process all the way from having an idea to being well established in the market. They arrange a variety of courses and workshops and is also an arena where you can meet other entrepreneurs. I am getting a lot of inspiration and ideas from this network!

The important and supportive suppliers

Then, of course, there are the great group of suppliers I have made agreements with. These are the core of it all, and they are cheering me on and support me along the way;

Linden Tree Retreat, Sundance Ranch, Naturarte Boutique Hotel, Cortijo Los Lobos, Il Cornacchino.

The website will be updated and the launching date will be set soon.

So,  I am not quite there yet, but for sure I am going to enjoy this process along the way! It just feels fantastic to have made the decision. Why can’t I do this when so many others can?

 

I have a motto that pops into my head a lot these days:

«I know it is going to be solved – I just don’t know how yet!»

 

Wish me luck!

 

Elisabeth

 

Hello world!

Have you ever felt that burning feeling inside to do something so strongly that you just HAVE to act on it one way or the other? That gutted feeling by the thought of giving it up? In that case, you know where I am coming from.

 

Welcome to Rideferier.no. This is my thing – this is my passion!

 

Riding Holidays – on the horse’s terms

It is very exciting to finally be able to publish this website, focusing on a subject that I have been passionate about for many years; Riding Holidays – on the horses’ terms. Riding Holidays is a small niche, and by limiting it even more to only include the best in class makes it even narrower. That doesn’t mean it is less important.

The ones that go above and beyond

There are several tour operators out there offering riding holidays, and even though there are some bad apples among them, I am sure that most of them have good intentions and control of the quality of the destinations they sell. I, on the other hand, want to take it one step further and promote those places who go above and beyond – that extra passion and respect for these great animals we are so lucky to spend time with. The ones who stand out by giving good quality living conditions for the horses have responsible values and who burn to communicate these to others. Meeting these people is incredibly inspiring, and I want to share those experiences with you!

A portal for horse-friendly holidays

Rideferier.no is not a tour operator, and I don’t have any income for what I am doing with this website. The thought is that this is going to be a portal where horse-enthusiasts can go to find horse-friendly and inspiring travel destinations no matter which level they are at. I have established a few criteria as a basis for what I would consider being horse-friendly, and I am using these for reference when I am looking for establishments to promote. You can find these criteria on «About Rideferier.no»
I am not saying that the riding establishments that don’t fulfill all the criteria are irresponsible and that they are neglecting their horses, but I think that many have the potential to improve, both suppliers of riding holidays, and riding centers in general.

It is time to challenge the established

I have an open mind, and I try to always look at an issue from more angles than one. My starting point is that it is usually a sensible explanation for most things and that most people you meet have good intentions – until proven otherwise. Some may think that is a little naïve, but that is how I choose to meet the world.

Another part of me is very critical and curious, and I often raise questions about things that are presented to me. When it comes to horses I am questioning a lot of things about the established and widely accepted pattern. Why are we doing what we do? Is it ok to use whips, spurs, tight nosebands and other physical tools? What gives us the right to do that? In my opinion, the old “show the horse who is the boss” attitude must be challenged. Shake it up and get some new perspective.

Blog posts and selected destinations on this site will probably be influenced by critical views, but I aim to have a positive focus and to promote horse-friendly values. You are welcome to comment and share your views on the topic!

What will you find on this website?

In addition to building the portfolio of destinations worldwide (yes, it may take some time), I will write blog posts on a regular basis. These will be about riding holidays, events and news from the holiday destinations, presentation of new destinations and thoughts about horses in general. I hope you want to join me on my journey!

If the blog isn’t crowded with readers and comments at the beginning that is also ok.
I have taken the first steps!