Rebecca Courtney - All the King's Horses

Rebecca Courtney
All the King's Horses


Explain your background or how you got interested in your chosen field?:

Horses have been a part of my life from an early age- primarily for trail riding around the farm. Growing up, I had a strong interest in beef cattle and specifically reproduction. I learned to do bovine AI before I could drive and implemented many best breeding practices on our farm. I attended Michigan State University to study Animal Science and Agribusiness then returned home to the farm and spent a few years working for Farm Credit. When I met my husband he wasn't terribly interested in cattle but loved the horse side of things. Over time, we transitioned from a beef cattle operation to breeding draft horses for sale and use in my husband's logging operation.

What do you think helped you the most to make a career as a woman? What is the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?:

I have been blessed with abundant support from family, friends, and industry mentors along the way. My father taught me how to analyze income and expenses using our 4-H projects and this ability helped me to understand how to best manage my business to be profitable as well as enjoyable. My husband encouraged me to 'take the leap' and leave my Farm Credit career to invest full time in the farm and supported me through that transition. While I believe in hard work and investing in my own education, both huge keys to success, I know it's the support from the people around me that have truly allowed me to succeed.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?:

Honestly, one of the biggest challenges has been learning how to balance farm/work with raising my family. I would not change it for the world and believe the value of raising up the next generation of the farm family far exceeds the challenge. But it has definitely changed the ways I am able to invest in my business during this season of life.

What mistakes have you made along the way and what did you learn from them?:

So many mistakes! Perhaps the biggest was holding on to my 'first dream' of life as a beef farmer longer than was warranted. When my sister and business partner moved away the farm got to be a lot for me to manage on my own, and the stress of the challenges of farming outweighed the joy I was getting from the work. However, I'm stubborn and figured I was 'living my dream' so I stuck with it for several more years. Working together with my husband to switch over to breeding horses was a huge blessing as I again had a partner to share the ups and downs of farm life and found so much more joy in the experience.

Do you or did you have a woman leader as a mentor or are there specific women who inspired you and why?:

I am surrounded by a great group of women working with the European Brabant horses, and have grown to admire them through my work as a founder and the Registrar for the European Brabant Registry of America. Our President, Stacy Pearsall, is a veteran, horse breeder/trainer, artist, media expert and invested in so many things yet she always has time for a chat and fresh ideas about how to promote our horses here in the US.

You are a busy woman. What do you do to relax and maintain good mental health?:

Love a good hot shower or bubble bath at the end of the day!

To help other women starting out, Tell us how you advertise your business. Do you use social media marketing, website, facebook? What provides the most value to your business?:

Our strongest marketing comes through Facebook, partly because we've been a presence there for nearly 10 years and grown our following over time. We also have a website with more specific horse details and have recently branched out into Instagram, though I'm still learning that platform!

What is your website?:

What is your facebook address?:

Please provide any additional information you would like included in your profile. :

One of the most valuable things we've found in our farming work, and life, has been to be grounded in our faith and treat all those who reach out to us with respect and kindness, even if we can't help with what they need.


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