Blaine County Beacon: Raty Offers Three B's of Business Advice
June 23, 2021
After she graduated from Chinook High School in 2014, Paige Raty attended college at Montana State University-Northern (MSUN) and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Operations Technology with a minor in Business. In addition to her education in Havre, she earned certification as an Equine Sports Massage Therapist (CESMT) through Midwest Natural Healing for Animals out of Indiana. This degree and certification make her regular work-week possible and productive.
Raty regularly works as a Soil Conservation Specialist for the NRCS/USDA out of the Havre office. Although she received the job offer in January, it was early June before all of the government onboarding and orientation processes could be completed and she had an official job description and office space.
In fact, everything seemed to happen at once for Raty since towards the end of May, she added her own business to her work schedule: Raty Performance, a limited liability company (LLC) specializing in Equine Massage and Rehabilitation. Her motivation to pursue equine sports massage came after seeing the effects on her own horses while competing in collegiate rodeo for MSUN. After investigating several different forms of rehab, she eventually found Muscles in Motion in Conrad.
"Watching Heidi work with my horses and seeing the improvements in their overall body condition and level of performance, I was inspired to learn the process for myself," stated Raty.
In preparation, Raty spent four months studying rider biomechanics, learning about saddle fit and placement, eyeballing for potential soreness, and developing multiple strategies for correction. Because of her previous satisfaction and experience with Muscles in Motion, Raty followed that study with hands-on training with Heidi Billmayer to complete her certification.
Since Raty has an extensive background in both the rodeo and ranching communities, she expressed excitement about opening Raty Performance to serve the Hi-Line. Anyone interested in a massage or body work for a horse can private message (PM) her with questions, for information, or to schedule an appointment. Interested persons can also contact Raty via phone: (406) 357-8765 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Furthermore, Raty has a Facebook Page for her personal business, where she posts before and after pictures. These provide a testimonial to the transformation that takes place under the influence of Raty's touch. One satisfied customer said, "He doesn't even look like the same horse! Paige reduced tons of tightness in his neck, shoulder, and sacrum area!"
On June 16 after a day in the NRCS office, Raty saw one of her patients. A nineteen-year-old quarter horse owned by Madison Jenkins, Sparky was showing signs of weakness and slumping after a day of working cattle.
Raty explained that in an animal as heavily muscled as a horse, most issues are muscle related. Because stress often leads to a headache, she starts the massage process in the head to relieve the pain there before moving to areas that will rejuvenate the circulation process so that blood can contribute to healing.
With Sparky, her techniques involved applying firm pressure to muscles and other underlying soft tissues such as the fascia-the connective tissue surrounding muscles. After warming up the muscles and prior to deeper work, Raty used percussion-gently tapping the horse to warm the muscles and encourage blood flow. Then she alternated between effleurage (light to firm stroking) and compression (application of deeper pressure).
As she worked, Raty explained her procedures and also commiserated with the horse, speaking calming words. Depending on the degree of relief he was experiencing, Sparky responded with lip smacking, tongue licking actions, yawning, neck stretching, and head shaking.
To her work, Raty brings a background in not only performance horses but ranch horses as well. "With the purchase price of horses and with vet bills skyrocketing, it is important to keep your animals in good working condition. I bring knowledge of various disciplines, saddle fit, and rider biomechanics that I believe really take the rehabilitation process to the next level," Raty exclaimed.
When asked about the surprises of owning a business, Raty was quick to reply: "I've been extremely shocked by the overwhelming amount of support people are willing to offer to someone just starting out. I was informed in class that getting those first clients would be extremely difficult, yet I have been fortunate that a lot of people have placed their trust in me so early on."
Raty, who was booked solid in June, also reported that working through the legal processes of forming an LLC has been the most educational and challenging part of forming her business. "Along with that, learning to balance the different parts of life along with the business has taken a significant amount of preplanning and working on budgeting my time properly," she said.
Her plan for the business' future is to expand her client base and to work on securing repeat customers. According to Raty, consistent work on the same horses will help them to reach their full potential.
She also plans to take additional classes on topics such as red light therapy, acupuncture, and essential oil treatments. Raty will perform trial runs and performance reviews on her own horses to continue to increase her knowledge of different ailments. Eventually, she would like to set up a long-term rehab program to perform in-depth work on horses that may have more complex issues.
To new business owners, Raty offers this advice trinity:
• Be passionate about your work and learn your clients' needs and goals;
• Be confident in your abilities and put forth the best work possible; and
• Always be sure to block personal time to recharge and keep your life in a healthy balance.
In addition to her regular job as a Soil Conservation Specialist and hours spent immersed in her personal business, Raty finds time for training her own horses and competing in rodeo events throughout the year. She also has a few clients that take riding lessons, as well as a bit of competition training.
"One of my students qualified on my personal horse for the National High School Rodeo Finals, an event that takes the top three competitors in each state, and I am excited to watch her compete in July," Raty reported.