Good horsemanship is built on solid basics…so is good business!

Penniless Philanthropy


Horses in my life

I have never known “what I wanted to be when I grow up” but have always found what comes next. Horses have played a significant and central role in my life. They have been my friend, hobby, sport, way to earn a living, and provide a deep spiritual connection. Horses have given me focus and direction at critical times in my life, and I owe them much. I can’t imagine a life without horses. When I owned my first business – a 25 horse boarding, instruction, and training facility – it was this relationship that I wanted to provide to others as well. I wanted to share the joy, bond, and mulitude of other benefits that horses have to offer. I have many fond memories of those years, and a phenomenal group of people that feel like family.


When I was considering my next career step, horses were once again center stage. As my Masters Degree final project, I chose to start Blue Ribbon Consulting. I knew first hand the challenges that an equine professional has in running their stable and wanted to provide the assistance that would help them to overcome obstacles and thrive. I also realized that by working with horse businesses and associations, I could impact a larger population than I could when I ran my stable.


The dream

groomAt some point along the way I finally discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up. A philanthropist – I wanted to be a philanthropist. Well, since I’m still working on banking my first million (believe me, there’s still time!), I have found a way to accomplish this dream without a ton of money.


Pay it forward

First, I am offering a Pay It Forward program. I am going to work with two businesses or organizations a year for a focused project that will help them start or grow their operation. This will be offered to those that recognize they need assistance but lack the financial resources to take that step. The caveat here is that they must, in turn, help someone else out with their business or services in the next 6 months. Details of this offer can be found in the Penniless Philanthropy document.

Penniless Philanthropy *


Love of the land

If there is anything that has had an equally profound influence in my life, it is the land itself. I was born as the fifth, and sadly last, generation on a family farm. My connection with the land and nature are as strong as my connection with horses. And horses need land to live on and work on and recreate on. I have been a supporter of Equine Land Conservation Resource since it started, and in addition to that support I am going to donate 10% of all income from the sale of any of my written materials.



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Penniless Philanthropy

Next Round deadline - July 15, 2017

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Recent Blogs


"When I was an adjunct at UNH, Lisa Derby Oden brought a wealth of information and knowledge about current issues facing the equine industry locally and nationally to the equine science students there...Lisa provided a full understanding of how each segment of the industry is dependent upon each other for stability and growth. Her in-class workshops helped students increase their awareness of problems encountered in the equine field. She offered opportunities to learn about small business operations and professionalism.

Time and again, she offered UNH undergraduate students insights into current horse industry trends which have an effect on their chosen equine profession. I sat in on Equine Business Management when Lisa offered it through UNH. It helped me tremendously with my own business on my farm. I highly recommend her industry workshops as a must do walkthrough before venturing into any horse-related business. "

Heather Smith, Sunrise Bay Farm, Durham, NH