This article originally appeared on the Tech Equestrian Blog. Read the full article here.
One of the highlights of 2017 was the birth of not only a really cool iPhone app for equestrians, but the start of a successful equestrian community. This community tapped into the online world of young riders and the success of custom horse profiles and avatars. The PonyApp Instagram page has close to 30,000 followers.
I had the pleasure of speaking with co-founder and accomplished equestrian, 24 year-old,
Lindsay Douglass right before Christmas to get an insiders view at the genesis, purpose,
and future of PonyApp – the business of horses.
Q: How did the idea of PonyApp come to fruition?
A: Co-founder, Lucy Davis and I went to the same horse shows growing up in Southern California and we both attended Stanford. While at the university, PonyApp grew out of a senior year project. We had the official launch in March 2017 in Wellington, Florida.
Q: What was your goal in creating the app?
A: Having grown up with horses and knowing there is a lot of office work and maintenance, we felt that using technology would help make horse care easier.
Q: Describe an experience you had before PonyApp.
A: I remember my new vet asking me about my horse’s injection history. Butterfly is my pride and glory, and I felt ashamed and embarrassed that I was stumped by the question. The app allows you to store all this vital information whenever you need it.
Q: What are some secondary goals of the app?
A: We’d like to ideally grow the fan base and expand worldwide. We want the app to become a more educational resource for equestrians to learn from the best on a global scale. Currently, the app has a ‘spotlight’ section that includes latest news, results and videos. There are 28,000 users, 46,000 horses, and 2,800 businesses on the app.
Q. What are the top features in PonyApp Premium?
A. Businesses can send invoices and get paid through the app. Our calendar feature allows users to see their horse’s activities on a calendar, which makes it easy to have an overview of a horse’s past and future activities. If you have multiple horses you can see all their activities in one comprehensive list, which makes it easier to manage a stable day to day. We’re adding a lot of powerful new features to PonyApp Premium in 2018, so the subscription will keep getting better and better.
Q: Describe your key demographic?
A: We actually have two – young equestrians/horse enthusiasts and barn managers/assistants who manage not only horse’s but also their employees. Both groups provide feedback and help improve the overall app experience.
Q: The PonyApp brand is very distinct – what is the most popular merchandise?
A: The merchandise side of the company kind of happened by mistake. When we launched the app we gave away PonyApp stickers. They started showing up on social media and when we introduced customizable stickers we had to set up an online store to deal with the demand. Since then, we’ve launched a ton of customizable merchandise and given how passionate horse people are - they love putting their horses on everything, so the merchandise has done quite well!
Q: Given your success, what does that allow you to do more of?
A: Since merchandise isn’t our key business we like to donate profits to equestrian charities whenever we can. We’ve also been able to start building our team, which gives Lucy and I more time to focus on improving the app and making it a powerful tool for all the players in the horse world.
Q: What are you plans for the app in 2018?
A: This year, we’ll be generating more original educational content and will do a lot of work to promote PonyApp for business, which allows equine businesses (training stables, farriers, braiders, etc.) to manage their teams, horses, and send invoices to their clients.
Facebook: @The PonyApp