We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaye Ganibi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaye, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am from what used to be the modest, country-like area of Thousand Oaks, California. My parents moved themselves, their two sons and horses there in 1975, shortly after my twin sister and I were born because they noticed that their former location was becoming quickly over populated. I am from an extremely middle class, blue collar family. My dad was and had been a self employed salesman his entire life. Although we sat in the middle, we were comfortable. Because of my dad’s choice in business he was able to provide for a family of six, while my mother was able to stay at home. Most importantly, my dad coached us in every sport and never missed a game or event. This way of living is all I knew, and in fact turned out to be all I wanted. After graduating from College in 1997, I tried to work the 9-5 route because that’s what I was “supposed to do”. I learned quickly this was not and would never be for me. I learned quickly that I was okay to not have benefits. I learned quickly that I would work weekends. I also learned that although I am married to my business most days, I am able to pick and drop my kids off at school, and to have afternoons to go do what I want to do with them-to coach them, to ride horses with them. Granted-it took a LONG time to achieve this level with my business. There were years of my kids life that I missed because I was working AT my business, instead of ON my business. Sure, I will never be a millionaire, my dad wasn’t, but he was able to live his life the way he wanted with his family. Growing up in this environment I knew from a young age I would always own my own business, and for that, I am grateful for that upbringing and the impact it made on my life and career.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am proud to say we are the original Horseback Riding paired with wine tasting operation in the Santa Ynez Valley and neighboring areas. We just had our 12 year anniversary. I say “we” because without my team of amazing guides I wouldn’t have a business. The most challenging aspect is two fold-finding a property to lease for the rides, as well as finding horses that are beginner friendly. Our horses put up with so much, I am grateful for them every minute of the day! All of our rides are private, so the riders really have a chance to connect with the guides. Our guests always leave as friends. Running this business has really taught me a lot. I am definitely a “yes” person, and excel at customer service, but because of the nature of horses I’ve had to learn to say no, and regulate folks while keeping composure. It’s been a great lesson for me with business and with life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, we definitely don’t have a city to entertain in, however, we have a city near by! In our area, I would start out the day with a hike or run on our neighboring trails-either in Santa Ynez or Santa Barbara, followed by riding and wine tasting with Vino Vaqueros of course! Then off to lunch at Dos Carlitos in Santa Ynez. More wine tasting in Los Olivos at Four Brothers, Defoe Wines, and Larner tasting rooms. A quick stop at Lucky Hen Larder for a cheese board, then off to Fess Parker winery for a picnic. End the day with dinner at SY kitchen and you’re set! The rest of the week would be spent exploring Santa Barbara and the small beach towns north of us. We are so lucky to live where we do! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a few people that have inspired and assisted in pushing me to continue my business. My husband is actually the one who started it, we had our first child, then I took it and ran! Also, I am blessed to have a group of women in my life who also run their own businesses-they are bad asses-and inspire me everyday.
Yelp: Vino Vaqueros Horseback Riding
Becca Nuss John Pingry