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Something Beautiful Being Reborn from Ash

Phoenix Bird Horsemanship and Bodywork LLC, Darcie Pfeffer

Title / Role: Owner/Founder
Location: Alexandria, Minnesota
Formed in: 2018
What do you do?

I am a Certified Equine Massage Therapist. Right now I am focusing on competition horses, but I also work with some rehabs and rescues. I just started offering groundwork sessions, which involves working with the horse on the ground using a halter and lead rope. I offer two types of Groundwork: Movement Therapy and Horsemanship Skills. 

What inspired you to start your business?

I always knew that I wanted to make a living working with horses. I started out offering riding lessons. After completing my massage therapy training, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to branch out on my own and have control over my own schedule. 

I started building my business in Colorado in the Summer of 2018. Shortly after I met my husband, we made a move to Minnesota and my business has been received really well for the past year. It feels as though God was putting up roadblocks for me in Colorado in order to open doors for me here. For instance, the sponsorship with the barrel racing sanction has put me in contact with people that I otherwise never would have met.   

What's special about your business?

My training and technique is based on gentle fascia (connective tissue) release. It focuses on being in tune to the horse’s mind and body, which prompts the horse to make the change needed instead of me prodding the horse. The technique is gentle and non-intrusive. I have worked with horses that can only handle a touch, to working with horses more deeply within the muscle. 

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner?

One of the high points for me was getting the sponsorship with the barrel racing sanction. The first race of the season was a few months ago, which went extremely well. I'm not the exclusive therapist for an entire event, but work with a team that includes a chiropractor, a Magnawave therapist, and me as the massage therapist. The other two therapists are very well known and I hope to build my reputation up to their level one day. 

What is your relationship with SCORE? SCORE client What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

I was looking for specific help with how to market my business when a friend recommended that I reach out to SCORE. I met with Irmadene Hanson and two other mentors back in December. That first session went really well and has led to a truly beneficial mentor/mentee relationship with Irmadene. 

How SCORE helped.

SCORE really helped me by giving me direction and structure. It has saved me a lot of money and about three years' worth of time, instead of having to go through trial and error. I really enjoy having someone who coaches me, for which I am very grateful.

What's great about my mentor?

Irmadene taught me how to make the most out of the horse events I was already attending. I really appreciate how she is very encouraging and uplifting before and after she gives me feedback and homework.


Pictured below: Darcie working with a few of her equine clients.

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7760 France Ave S, Suite 1100
Bloomington, MN 55435
(952) 938-4570

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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