Trillion Equestrian is place for all skill levels for horse riders, but it takes passion, dedication and hard work to get on the saddle. We peel back the curtain on what it’s like to run the business in Naperville.
There’s more than meets the eyes when it comes to equestrian sports.
While the pageantry of it gives off an illustrious façade, there’s hard work being done behind the season here at Trillion Equestrian
Working with the horses
Avital: I grab my helmet and my boots where I keep them in the back. I go grab my tack, I have a saddle, couple saddle pads. And then I take my horse out, brush them down. We’ve got different kind of brushes. And then after that I tack them up and then take them into the arena. Sometimes outside, sometimes inside.
Avital Saletsky is around these bards a lot – a Naperville North 2019 graduate, she’s off to the University of Maryland to study animal sciences. Something Trillion has prepared her well for
Avital: Had a horse that was injured for a couple months. And I would just walk with her on the ground. Those are the times that you bond with them the most, when they’re sick or injured and you’re just helping them on the ground. It’s truly the most bonding experience.
Avital is like many others buzzing around the property, owned and operated by Ann Janke – Aubrey Podojil is just 11 and is a recent first-time horse owner
Aubrey: I just like spending time with the animals, they’re fun to ride and I think they’re pretty animals… They’re easy to talk to and nice.
They’re also quite a responsibilities.
Ann: 365 days a year, we don’t get a day off. Someone has to feed them and give them water and clean their stalls. So there’s not a day you can take off.
Ann has been running Trillion Equestrian since 2005… and started as an idea to make the horses more accessible.
Ann: I wanted to start a barn to give that ultimate environment to everybody. A lot of the barns are very specific to their disciplines and this is what we call an all-around barn. And so there’s a home for everybody here.
Kaela: I have been really blessed and lucky to grow up with horses and be assosciated with them the way I have been. I got to grow up with them in my backyard. Which was really nice. It’s also something that has taught me a lot along the way.
Kaela Girdauskas is Ann’s daughter. Echoing many of the same sentiments as other riders, the nature of caring for horses instills some valuable life lessons.
Kaela: I’ve learned patience, I’ve learned conditioning and built strength. And I’ve learned how to stay committed to something.
The volume of lessons will certain also teach you about work ethic. In peak season, Trillion hosts some 100 to 120 lessons a week. Giving Kaela a sizable part of the business to help with.
Kaela:Starting out as just a rider and having my mom do all the stuff she’s done – now I get to teach and I get to do training and it’s been really awesome.
Ultimately, it is a business. And while the work is done for the enjoyment of the riders, there is a financial component. Something that this unseasonable wet summer has been messing with.
Ann: what do horses eat? Hay. Hay has to be baled. We’re usually on second cutting and they haven’t even started first cutting. So we’re hundreds of thousands of bales behind to feed horses.
While the dollars and cents may technically keep the business running – the diligent work put in each and every day to take care of the horses is what keeps Trillion Equestrian the one and only stable in Naperville.
Ann: I love it, I love it, I couldn’t ask to do anything more.
Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Kevin Jackman