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How It All Began

Updated: Mar 11

Life has a funny way of taking unexpected turns, often driven by seemingly small and unimportant decisions. On April 27th, 2017, I made one such choice that completely altered the trajectory of my life. Little did I know that a single Instagram post would lead me from a directionless path to a fulfilling journey in horse breeding, farm animals, and eventually, the acquisition of my dream stallion, VS Code Red.

At the tender age of 20, I was facing a series of life-altering decisions. I had recently dropped out of college, was disillusioned with my job, and felt lost without a clear sense of purpose. My future appeared hazy, and I yearned for direction. That fateful day, however, my friend and I decided to spend some quality time together, taking a leisurely walk and capturing photographs of each other. Little did I know that one of those photographs would change my life forever.

The image I posted on Instagram that day depicted an ordinary moment in my life. At the time, my social media following was limited to people I knew from the world of horse breeding and showing. There was nothing particularly remarkable about the photo or its caption. But to my astonishment, overnight, I gained a thousand new followers.

The turning point came when several country girl pages reposted my image. By September, I had amassed an impressive following of 50,000. The irony was that none of my newfound followers knew about my passion for hunting. As the hunting season approached, I decided to share my hunting experiences, and that decision set the stage for an explosive growth in my following.

Throughout the hunting season, I documented my adventures for the first time. By January, I had garnered attention from prominent hunting companies and secured sponsorships. My journey into the world of social media had officially begun.

Fast forward a few years, and I had established strong connections with various hunting companies. I found myself embarking on multiple sponsored trips each year, promoting hunting outfits and businesses. Social media had evolved from a pastime to a full-time job, and this transition was pivotal in my life.

As I devoted more time to social media, my involvement in horse showing took a backseat. However, my passion for horse breeding never waned. I rekindled my interest in breeding when I consulted with my mother and decided to resume our breeding program. Beyonce and Ethel became the stars of our program once again, and we began welcoming new foals.

My dedication to breeding deepened as I delved into extensive research on bloodlines, a passion I had always harbored. In 2021, I started sharing videos about the foaling season, breeding practices, and the intricacies of farm life on my social media platforms. This shift in content marked a turning point.

Previously, my Instagram following had stagnated at 300K for a couple of years. However, the introduction of farm-related content breathed new life into my profile. My growing audience allowed me to invest more in my breeding program. I purchased a few mares of my own, setting off a chain reaction that transformed my social media presence and breeding endeavors.

The increased following and additional financial resources enabled me to expand my breeding program further. I took on the responsibility of covering all veterinary and breeding expenses, along with hay and feed costs. This newfound stability in my farm life ultimately paved the way for me to realize a long-held dream: acquiring my dream stallion, VS Code Red.

In essence, it was that one seemingly ordinary picture posted on Instagram that initiated this incredible journey. The remarkable twist of fate that took me from uncertainty and confusion to success in the realms of horse breeding, farm animals, and the fulfillment of my dream of owning VS Code Red is a testament to the power of social media in shaping our lives.

So, as you navigate the choices and decisions in your life, remember that sometimes, a seemingly insignificant decision can set off a chain reaction leading to remarkable transformations. Who would have thought that a single photo could have such a profound impact?

Katie Van Slyke

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