News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Erin Lane lives out equestrian passion

Erin Lane has always had a passion for horses, ever since she was a young girl. Five years ago, she shifted her career path to combine her passion for horses with her expertise in the production and media industry.

Lane grew up in Sisters and graduated from Sisters High School in 2006. She attended all three Sisters schools and continued riding horses throughout all her schooling, in the English discipline, mostly hunter-jumper.

“It is hard to think of where the inspiration to ride came from, it is something I just have always wanted to do and always done ever since I was little,” said Lane. “I had two dreams as a little girl: to be an Olympic equestrian, or be an actress.”

After high school, Lane decided to pursue the acting dream and moved to Los Angeles and began her career in the TV industry. But she kept riding.

“In my 20s, I worked with every major network including NBC, ABC, MTV, ESPN, etc. I worked as everything from a TV host, producer, field reporter, and media producer, trying to work my way into acting,” she said.

Lane then realized, in her late 20s, that she wanted to rekindle her passion for riding horses. At the time, Lane was living in San Diego working in the equestrian reporting circuit.

“By 29, I had really built a career in TV, but my heart wasn’t in it, and I knew I wanted a career where I wouldn’t burn out,” she said. “My heart was still in horses, so I took a big career risk and quit production and went and started teaching polo lessons.”

Lane got back into the horse world with polo instructing, but she wanted to go bigger.

She stumbled upon a managing editor position for a company called Noelle Floyd, an equestrian training platform based in Canada. Noelle Floyd is a subscription-based digital education program that uses the best trainers to teach different aspects of riding.

“I started working there and moved my way up the ladder. My experience of media came to light so I started video production for them,” said Lane.

Lane currently works as a media producer for Noelle Floyd and handles all the visual media and puts together master classes.

“I travel and work with riders and trainers from all over the world, putting together master classes and filming them,” said Lane.

She recently returned from filming for six weeks in Florida during the state’s showing circuit. She has produced and directed over 17 new master classes so far this year.

“People can learn everything from learning riding skills, horse care, show jumping technique, etc., from these master classes and online programs,” said Lane.

Lane was featured on the March 2022 cover of Flying Changes magazine. Flying Changes is an equestrian publication that has been in the business for over 25 years. As stated on their website: “With its exclusive relationship to clubs like the Oregon Dressage Society, Washington State Hunter Jumper Association, Equestrian’s Institute, and the Oregon Hunter Jumper Association to name a few, the magazine serves as a community tool for news, announcements, awards, and information for competitive and recreational riders alike.”

Lane’s cover story focused on the equestrian world overall, dreaming big and making it work in a complex, expensive, and competitive industry.

“I was asked to do the cover feature talking about the facets of an equestrian career and how I don’t come from a background that is typical to be successful in the equestrian industry — and most actually don’t,” she said. “Most come from normal backgrounds that have a passion for riding. I didn’t think it was possible, but here I am making it a career in my 30s.”

The article focuses on dreaming big, even if you don’t think you fit into the equestrian world; Lane was there to prove that it can be done.

“It was a dream to be on the cover of a magazine I had a subscription to when I was a kid. I wanted to give some inspiration and connection to my experience to other riders that even if you feel like you might not fit in, you just have to find creative ways of getting in and doing it a bit differently; that’s what I did,” said Lane.

Lane moved back to Sisters from San Diego around five years ago to be in an area conducive to having her own horses and to be close to the barn that she works and trains at currently.

“I can work remotely for Noelle Floyd and am still able to ride professionally,” she said.

She is training at a barn in Tumalo called Starnes Equestrian, exclusively a hunter-jumper barn, where she also works part-time training other riders. She is still actively competing in the show circuit as well. Lane’s typical workday consists of working out, working on production and editing for Noelle Floyd master classes, creating social media content for her own Instagram account that has over 19,000 followers, and training and riding five or six horses a day.

“My day usually spans from around 4:15 a.m. to 9 p.m. and then I get up and do it all over again the next day,” she said.

Lane got a lot of her work ethic and drive from growing up around people in the Sisters community who were also driven and motivated to chase after their own passions.

“I was always close to people who were doing their thing and chasing their dreams and dream careers, growing up in Sisters,” she said.

It was, for her, a unique experience getting to know the same people from school through every phase of life.

“I was one of those that had to leave and come back to really be able to appreciate the community,” she said.

“It’s really cool to be based in Sisters.

I thought to have a career I’d have to be in LA or NY, but then I couldn’t have horses as easily, so it’s cool that it worked out for me to be based somewhere I can have property and my horses, while still pursuing my career,” she said.

Erin Lane plans to continue riding and working as a media producer directing and producing educational segments. She recently bought her newest horse in hopes of its being a Grand Prix hunter-jumper five-star horse, and her horse for the rest of her career in jumping.

“I am hoping this horse will be my partner in my career as far as I can go in show jumping,” said Lane. “He’s a 7-year-old Zangersheide gelding by top show jumper Comme il Faut, ridden by German Olympian Marcus Ehnning. I imported him from Belgium at the end of last year.”

Lane also plans to continue training other riders and horses.

Read the Flying Changes cover story:

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