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Paradise Pines Equestrian Center: Robosson Family Emphasizes Mare Care and Customer Service

Those who find lasting success in the pleasure horse world find their passion and build that passion into a business that fulfills a unique niche in the industry.

We spoke with Nicole Robosson about her evolving involvement in the pleasure horse industry and her goals in the coming years.

How It Began: “I started taking riding lessons in the 80s after my mom’s best friend talked her into taking us to a local barn. I caught the bug, and it’s been non-stop since then!” Robosson laughs. 

Nicole began her show career on the open circuit in West Virginia and transitioned into showing on the hunter circuit doing A and B Hunters in the Baltimore area. In the 90s, her interests shifted to showing English All-Around on the AQHA circuit, focusing on the classes over fences.

Robosson shot straight to the Open division after graduation from youth classes and built a name doing a lot of catch riding for Paige Quarterman. That work transitioned into her work with Robosson Performance Horses, coaching Youth and Amateur riders in the English all-around with showmanship and horsemanship mixed in.

Her daughter, Emma currently shows in the 11 and Under All-Around Division, but recently, she has cut back on her training and showing to make way for her long-time passion, horse breeding.

Acquiring Paradise Pines: In 2020, while most people were stuck at home, Robosson was paving the way for her dream of owning a breeding facility. She and her husband, J.R. debated expanding their facility in West Virginia. However, on a chance, Nicole contacted Mike and Jan Hay of Pilot Knob to see if they were still interested in selling the property.

Miraculously, they indicated the facility was for sale, and the family headed to North Carolina to see it in person. The place was just what they were looking for, and they immediately returned home and put their home on the market. 

In another act of fate, their West Virginia property sold the day it was listed, and in July 2020, they moved to what is now the Paradise Pines Equestrian Center in Pinnacle, North Carolina.

“My program has changed since we moved to the new facility because we are home from January to June, so we take on fewer clients and focus on the breeding, which means we don’t hit the show pen until late summer or fall.” 

Stallion Station: Paradise Pines is home to a stallion station and a mare care facility. Robosson has limited her training horses and focuses on standing stallions like The Gamechanger, Just Good Vibes, Invite the Investor, and a future junior stallion named BMQ Leaving A Legacy. 

“I enjoy the breeding aspect of the industry – seeing the process from start to finish and watching the result of all your planning and hard work is amazing.”

Nicole explains, “Buying The Gamechanger was a bit of a gamble for us. First, I showed his dam and put all the over-fence points on her. Then, I watched him show as a 3 year-old, so when he was for sale years later, we took a chance based on our love for his dam.” 

The family bred a small group of their mares to The Gamechanger in 2020 and then stood him to the public for the first time in 2021. “He is big and kind and crossing fantastically on Thoroughbred mares. I see his get being able to excel in English all-around.”

Mare-Centered Care and Reproductive Services: Robossen has been a small breeder for many years. After seeing the condition of many of the broodmares they purchased, she wanted to focus on mare care at Paradise Pines. 

“We lay our hands and our eyes on the mares every day. I believe that the foals get more from the mare than the stallions, so I want the mares to be treated just as well as the stallions, which is my facility’s underlying mission. The mares build the future of our industry, and they deserve their pampering too!”

Nicole understands that mare owners put substantial money and time into getting their mares in foal. As a result, she believes they “deserve to know that their mares are cared for such that their likelihood of getting pregnant and staying pregnant is higher. We pride ourselves on the mare care.”

Paradise Pines charges a flat-rate fee for mare care because Robosson has been on both ends of the breeding equation and acknowledges that it can be so expensive to go to a vet for multiple ultrasounds, cultures, flushes, and inseminations. 

“We want customers to be able to budget and plan for the expense of breeding without too many surprises.”

Into the Future: Paradise Pines is now doing embryo transfers and have expanded their recipient mare herd to allow more options to the public. 

“Last breeding season, we had over 70 mares come directly to the facility for breeding on-site. So, we see ourselves as standing a max of seven stallions to focus on individualized care of those stallions and the mares who come to us while focusing on customer service.”

Robosson sees embryo transfers as the future of the breeding industry, which is why she is continuing to expand their recipient herd to service their clients better. 

“We are so excited for the future of breeding at Paradise Pines and look forward to being a small part of the dreams of our customers. Stepping into this role has allowed us to be more present at the farm and hands-on with the foals as we prepare them for sales. It is certainly a change from life on the road as a trainer, but I love every minute of it.”

CLICK HERE for more information about Paradise Pines Equestrian Center.

CLICK HERE to view their ad in the January issue of GoMag.

About the Author:  Megan Rechberg has been riding horses on and off since sixth grade. She works as a full-time mom to son Jackson and daughter Sterling, a part-time litigation attorney, and social media manager for up-and-coming APHA stallions. She will be showing her yearling APHA SmoreThanA PrettyFace under the guidance of Double A Performance Horses in 2023.