If you have been following our career spotlight blogs then you probably have noticed how much variety there is with careers in the equine industry. If you want to be a trainer, barn manager, equine insurance agent, or equine lawyer, you name it the equine industry probably has it. In today’s blog we are going to wrap up our career spotlight series and look at someone else who has made quite a unique career in the equine industry.
Riyan Rivero is the owner and manager of Riyan Public Relations. She has been in the Arabian horse world ever since she was born. Her mom was an assistant to Gene LaCroix at Lasma Arabians when Riyan was nine years old, so you could probably say that Arabians were just in her blood. Her mom later managed the promotion of two of the industry’s most famous breeding stallions, Bey Shah (Bay El Bey x Star Of Ofir) and Padron (Patron x Odessa).
“I’ve always said that in addition to my traditional education, I learned from some of the greatest Arabian trainers, managers, grooms and horseman in the world,” Riyan said.
Riyan used that experience to have her own vast communications career in the industry. Some of Riyan’s past positions include owning and operating Equine Image Center (an Arabian breeding, marketing and training facility); Director of Digital Marketing Media, Website Design, Event Coverage, Photography and Videography for Arabians International; and so much more.
“Growing up in the business and having the opportunity to work at virtually every level from stall cleaning to grooming and training to breeding from a very young age,” Riyan said, “my experiences made talking about the Arabian horse second nature.”
Riyan has been able to use her passion and experiences to promote some of the largest Arabian horse shows in the world. Some destinations have included Paris, Aachen, Abu Dhabi, and many more.
“Those experiences have offered me the ability to be a better servant to the shows here in the states that I am currently involved in,” Riyan said.
She has been the arena coordinator, done international halter scoring, done on-air interviews to promote the event, handled program design, been the director of social media promotion and was a member of the public relations committee all for Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. To say that Riyan has worn a few different hats is an understatement. She has also held multiple positions with the Arabian Horse Association National shows, the Arabian National Breeders’ Finals (ANBF), Arabian Breeders’ World Cup and the Silver Sire Breeders’ Futurity.
Riyan describes her current position as being a strategic communication and public relations professional to help clients in the Arabian horse world develop and implement communications and PR programs. She uses traditional practices along with digital, social media and her 25 years of experience to achieve business objectives. To top it all off, she also has experience with event planning and horse show management. Riyan has had the joy of traveling the world and even creating the sponsorship program, the Breeder Award, at the ANBF show. Since her schedule is extremely full of the Arabian horse world, she has found it difficult to include public relations work in other areas.
With the variety of shows and events in which Riyan is involved there must come some challenges. Riyan says that sometimes the destinations can be glamorous, but the travel is daunting. She is also constantly having to reinvent her ideas to keep up with the ever-evolving technology. It can be very expensive to keep up to date with the latest and greatest equipment and software.
“I’ve learned that once you create a ’kit’, so-to-speak, and try to stick to it, you quickly fall behind and lose the ability to capture people’s attention,” Riyan said.
If you want to become an equine public relations specialist, Riyan says that experience is everything. Experience in the horse industry can teach you things that you won’t learn in the classroom. Having her previous knowledge of the Arabian horse has made it easier for Riyan to talk about the breed.
“School may teach fundamentals, but knowledge of horse pedigrees, their impact on the breed, the history, and science of some of the industry’s most important breeders,” Riyan said, “and hands on participation in nearly every aspect of the Arabian horse is the foundation of everything I do.”
Riyan’s advice to those that want to work in the equine industry and with public relations is to work hard and start from the bottom and work your way up. Her favorite part of the job is the people she meets and the passion that she shares with each and every one of them. Of course, the beautiful places that she gets to travel to are a huge perk too.
“Clean stalls first. Don’t jump right to the glamorous part and expect to be a success,” Riyan recommends, “and most important, never stop learning!”
The most important thing to remember about the equine industry is its vast size. No matter your interest outside of your horses, you are bound to be able to combine it and have a great career in the industry. So, get out there, work hard and get experience! No matter what you want to do, you can do it.