By Brenda Mueller
Originally published on Chicago Equestrian
George Schumacher of Brookfield, Wisc., has been a fan of Shark Tank since he was little, and he is only 15. With his passion for horses, Schumacher was destined to have an equestrian related business.
Schumacher rides his horse, Riverwalk, in the children’s/adult jumpers and has big aspirations of riding in a grand prix someday. His aunt, Deb Blommer, Jackson, Wisc., is responsible for getting him interested in horses back in 2008. She bought an auction item at the Milwaukee County Zoological Society Auction for riding lessons and took Schumacher along.
He continued riding at various stables with his rides including a pony named Kidaka Heart N Soul, a local favorite that jumper rider Denise Wilson, Oconomowoc, Wisc., owned and showed as a young rider. Schumacher rode Kid in his first horse show in 2010, making his debut in the Short Stirrup division. After trying out a few lease horses and some eventing, Schumacher started his partnership with Riverwalk in 2013, then a preliminary eventing horse.
In 2014, Schumacher landed in the show jumping world with immediate success, winning the Wisconsin Hunter Jumper Association circuit Championship in the Children’s Adult Jumpers on the B Circuit. He also won the Split Rail Stables Jumper Derby at the Wisconsin Equine Derby Weekend in West Bend, Wisc. He eagerly spent time during the summer of 2015 as a working student for Mark McKone in Mukwonago, Wisc. Schumacher is hooked on horses for life and rides as much as possible, sharing his time with homework and the business.
It didn’t take Schumacher long to figure out his hobby was pricey and the road he wanted to follow to become a grand prix rider was not going to be cheap. In September 2015, the Marquette University High School student borrowed some money from his parents and began The Good Life Horse Pads, LLC.
Schumacher had done some research on different equestrian related products and after a summer of being a working student, had some ideas for products he could make for his business. He first researched tack trunks and he and his father, an architect, even made a sample to see what it took. After calculating the production numbers with his mom, an accountant, he decided it would not be a profitable enough venture.
He then focused on baby pads and now has made over 300 custom saddle pads. The pads are handmade in their home with all products made in the USA. The trim for the pads is purchased locally from a store in Elm Grove, Wisc. They use only 100% cotton so the pads wear better over time. The pads can be customized with colored trim, double trim and logos. Schumacher can also monogram horse sheets, blankets, coolers, show jackets, polo wraps, and standing wraps.
The young business investor used the money he borrowed from his parents to purchase the embroidery machine, also from a local company. He has already paid his parents back for the loan in full.
Schumacher’s parents help him with the business and help him with the accounting, the website and business decisions. Perhaps someday he’ll get business advice from his favorite Shark, Mr. Wonderful, aka Kevin O’Leary.
Why The Good Life?
“We actually went through a couple other names first like Schumacher Pads. When thinking about a name, I also was thinking about equestrians in general. With all the trainers and riders I have met so far, I have never met a person that is annoyed or sad while at the barn or riding a horse. So I wanted to come up with a name that represented riders while they were riding, at the barn or at a show. I then decided to call it The Good Life Horse Pads,” explained Schumacher.
“My goal as a company owner is to build the brand so that more people know The Good Life and what our story is,” said Schumacher. “I plan on becoming a vendor at a few horse shows this summer where I will bring the embroidery machine to the show and embroider pads for people at the show. I believe this will be a big money maker since I can embroider the pads for them right there at the show instead of them having to wait a couple weeks to receive them. I also want to sell a lot of pads to show stables and be able to go to a show and see the “The Good Life” tag on everyone’s pads.”
The young entrepreneur is accomplishing his dreams one step at a time. His riding dream is to ride in a Nations Cup or international grand prix and to work for Olympian Beezie Madden.
For more information or to purchase your Good Life Horse Pad, visit their website at www.tglhp.com. Follow them on Instagram @tglhp or Facebook.