From Happy's Perspective
“In 2019, I was working for Melanie’s Veterinarian when I saw she was looking for a breeding manager. With my boss/mentor, Dr. Shem Oliver’s, approval and encouragement – I applied for the job. When I was hired, I did all the breeding paperwork, recipient mare care, and contracts. When Solo Select Select started doing more online sales, I began learning about sale production, sale pictures and video.
Now, as the ranch manager I’m over both the breeding facility in Whitesboro (“North) and the “South” facility in Lake Kiowa where we have primarily sale horses and overflow of breeding stock.
I was one of those typical horse-crazy girls but growing up, my family didn’t have anything to do with horses and wouldn’t let me have a horse unless I knew everything about them. So, I was in every activity that had to do with horses—all the horse clubs we could find, primarily 4H. Anything that had to do with horses, I was learning it. We would be going to competitions and my mother would be quizzing me with flashcards about horse knowledge. I now know a lot of useless horse trivia…sometimes it comes in handy, but not too often.
When I went to North Central Texas College, I started studying nursing but then I switched to animal science and art. I really like metalwork – like making jewelry and things like that. When I started college, I didn’t know there was a horse industry. I was amazed when I learned that I didn’t have to be a nurse – that I could work with horses the rest of my life.
My family wondered what I was going to do with my life, and I had no idea. But now I’m succeeding and this job has helped me become a better person in many ways. It’s also helped me figure out how to really be myself and become a better person to society, I guess you could say. You can go to a job and like it, but to go to a job and be completely consumed by it, that is a whole different feeling, and that’s my life. Last night I was here until 1 am – and I wasn’t mad about it, because this is my life and I love it so much. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Melanie and I go in separate directions – and both at ninety miles an hour. She is so busy, so I do my best holding down the fort, showing horses to people, taking phone calls, helping with the sale and anything else that the girls need at the ranch. I try really hard to take care of everything at the home base, so that Melanie doesn’t have to worry about it. That is essentially my job, if she leaves, she knows she doesn’t have to worry about anything at the ranch because she knows I am going to take care of it.
I always look forward to the beginning of a new sale and the end of each sale. It’s exciting to see what horses we are selling next, what’s coming in, what we get to video, and just getting to be around the really cool ones. When the horses are selling, I’m always looking to see who’s getting the high bids, and looking forward to seeing where they are going to end up. I handle all the shipping after a sale. I am always talking to the new buyers, and I get to ask what they are planning on doing with the horses – and most of the time, everybody LOVES telling me what their plans are.
There are few horses that have been my favorites. I would say my most favorite would be Fabio, the gypsy stallion. He was pretty amazing; he was just a good tempered, great guy with a lot of hair. We have a few broodmares that I am quite fond of – like Chars Gun, she just makes great babies and has a great personality. You just can’t help yourself when it’s a big pretty mare. I am definitely drawn to really nice broodmares that are big.
My goal is to keep bettering the company and the employees. I love teaching my co-workers as much as I can. I have literally done every job you can do here at Solo Select. Now, I’d like help everyone who comes here for a job or internship, learn to do everything – so they can be great at what they do, and hopefully catch the bug that I have!
In all reality, I would say it’s the best job I could have ever dreamed of having. I was one of those kids floating aimlessly in school and there was nothing that ever grabbed me other than horses. Being a part of all that is happening at Solo Select, it’s a dream come true. I’m living the best life I can live.”