NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Staller, an app dubbed the Airbnb for horses, has come to North Salem.
Staller founders Pablo Jimenez and Arturo Ferrando found exactly the right partners in North Salem residents Diana Walters and Eric Hasbrouck when expanding from their headquarters in Wellington, Fla., to the Northeast.
The app is meant to bring the benefits of the sharing economy–think Airbnb, Uber, etc.–to the equestrian world by giving barn owners a way to monetize open stalls while making it easier for those traveling with horses to find a place to stable their mounts.
Jimenez and Ferrando founded the app in 2016. It enables people to search by location and price and see photos of the locations.
Walters, who owns The Pavillion Farm in North Salem, and Hasbrouck, its head horse trainer, were early investors and supporters of the project and have brought clout to the app with their reputations in the North Salem horse community.
“At the end of the day, North Salem is a very horsey community, and a lot of barns want to figure out how to make more money in their barn because it’s getting more difficult for the equestrian to survive,” Walters said. “You think, how do I make more out of my asset?”
Jimenez used the Spring Shows at Old Salem Farm the last two weeks to introduce his app to the area and got dozens of local stables signed to the platform.
It’s free for barn owners to list their open spaces; Staller makes money by commission when stables are rented.
Walters said she was looking for something like the Staller app when she saw an advertisement for it in an equestrian magazine.
“I just started thinking about the market and how horses move around and how people use their asset to make money and thought, it would sure be nice if there was more visibility in the way people book stalls,” Walters said. “I thought, there must be a better way to be doing that.”
Jimenez grew up riding horses and went to college, getting advance degrees in business and finance before shifting to technology.
The team wants to eventually take the app to the national stage, but for now is growing small and strategically to make sure both the barns’ owners and the people looking for stalls have good experiences.
“This is the epicenter of horse stuff and that’s one of the beautiful things about this area and thank goodness for it,” Walters said. “There are Olympic-caliber trainers and from this area they will spring board to north of here–northern New York, Canada.
It’s a very important area for the sport and the sport is important for the area.”
Right now, if barn owners want to advertise open stalls, they mostly do so through their connections, word of mouth or expensive advertising.
“You waste a lot of money advertising in places and you don’t get the right visibility,” Walters said.
Hasbrouck said it can be hard for newcomers to the equestrian world, too, because those availabilities come through relationships they must form.
And because Hasbrouck is well known as a horse trainer, it means a lot that he and Walters are endorsing the app, as opposed to an unknown software developer.
“Horse people are finicky,” Hasbrouck said. “But once they understand what (Staller) can do for them in so many ways, it’s great. Everyone loves it. “
The app is available to download for free on all platforms. For more information, visit staller.com