by Catherine Girard
“Establishing a trusted network can take time, but Rate My Horse PRO takes away the guesswork,” says Olympian and professional eventer Samantha St Jacques.
Rate My Horse PRO is the first of its kind decision tool designed to offer the horse industry a new level of transparency. The all-discipline resource allows verified users to anonymously add, rate, and review horse professionals throughout North America.
“The site is built on a rating system and engages horse consumers and professionals to improve industry standards,” explains Debbie Hanson, Director of Media Relations. Hanson says the goal is to offer the horse industry a new level of transparency and accountability. “Horse professionals have enjoyed minimal policing in the past; consumers have not had access to reliable information regarding professionals’ professionalism, ethics, and horsemanship.”
Verified users can anonymously add, rate, and review horse professionals in four business categories: horse trainers (including instructors), boarding stables, farriers, and horse shows. The next four rating categories will be decided by the site’s members. Just a few of the categories currently being voted on by members include equine veterinarians, horse transporters, and horse show judges.
A one time, nominal fee of five dollars, verified by a credit or debit card, allows guests to become members and interact with the website. This safe and secure process ensures the ratings are reliable and prevents people from using the site to bash businesses. The rating system is based on five stars and built on a system of rating statements which are scored for accuracy. According to research, this system minimizes the subjectivity of ratings; members can also leave comments. If a member would like to rate a professional not listed, they can easily add and rate the professional.
“Professionals can strengthen their business and gain credibility through customer feedback with Rate My Horse PRO,” Hanson continues. “PRO Details lists the professionals’ services, allowing them to differentiate themselves from others in their area.” Hanson says professionals also have the ability to help the company make future decisions. Verified PROs can submit themselves to be a part of the PRO Advisory Board.
Members can also utilize PRO Match, a proprietary tool that matches consumers with their best professionals based on their personal preferences. “In our fast paced world PRO Match takes the work out of finding the “right” professional,” says Hanson. “If you’re a parent looking for a suitable trainer for your child, PRO Match shows you the professionals with the top ratings in the categories most important to you, within your selected radius.”
“Members will benefit by being able to find great horse professionals that match their equestrian goals,” says St Jacques, who is also a Rate My Horse PRO Verified Professional located in Florida.
Hanson says the response from professionals has been overwhelmingly positive, “For the professionals who do business ethically, they see Rate My Horse PRO as a way to set themselves apart from the rest; it is time they are recognized for their excellence within the horse industry. It’s not just about winning ribbons; it’s about customer service, great horsemanship, and winning ribbons.”
“Horse people in general are skeptical and resistant to change, but this change is needed within the horse industry,” Hanson explains. The majority of people in the industry are good, hardworking, honest people, and we want to promote that, but there are some bad apples in the bunch. Rate My Horse PRO will make it easier to differentiate between the two. The more people who participate, the better it will be for everyone.”