her mom's sewing attic
& a shetland pony led to the
largest western show attire
company in the world
Aired December 8, 2017
There is something about horses that speaks to so many of us as children, with a passion that’s impossible to ignore. Whether or not we come from a family that has horses – let alone, has any interest in them – is irrelevant. Almost to a person, we expressed our love of horses in similar ways – doodling them, riding any chance we could coerce a parent into allowing it, watching TV shows and movies about horses, and certainly reading read every horse book we could get our hands on, over and over. Even in our later years, these beloved authors’ names are intoned with reverence – Walter Farley, Marguerite Henry, Anna Sewell.
Not all horse-crazy kids, however, go on to do anything related to horses as they grow to adulthood, pursue careers, or raise families of their own. But some do. And some of them do it in a big, bold way by building on the skills they learned way back, when they spent their time dreaming of horses.
Suzi Vlietstra is the founder and president of Hobby Horse Incorporated, the largest supplier of western show apparel and related accessories in the world.
Hobby Horse began 30 years ago, but its origins go back further -- to when Suzi’s mother, a sewing teacher, taught her young daughter to sew. And together, they made a wild assortment of costumes and accessories for a variety of Shetlands, Paints, hunters, and trail horses – all from Suzi’s mom’s attic sewing studio.