Welcome to John Harrer dot com
For thirty years, along with my wife, we owned and operated Cay Health Foods, a health food store in Bakersfield, California. Helping people live better, healthier lives was our goal and I think we succeeded. Not many retail outlets can say they have been around for thirty years. In reality, our store which was started in 1948 by James Cayford, had a lifespan of almost 65 years.
Retailing is a demanding profession. It requires constant oversight. It doesn’t leave much time for travel. To compensate, I explored many pastimes. Over the years I studied woodworking. I played golf and tennis. Gardening offered great relaxation. I studied yoga and even taught classes for a short time.
The Horse Connection
Then, in 2005 I rediscovered horses. My wife had owned one for many years, but I saw them more or less just as hayburners. What helped me find my way back was the Natural Horsemanship movement. A number of trainers were popularizing a new way to communicate with horses and I found this fascinating. When I tried it – it worked. I worked with my wife’s horse. I worked with a neighbor’s horse. And, when I ran out of people to let me use their horse, I went out and got one of my own.
The Video Connection
I studied the Downunder Horsemanship Method via a DVD series. Yeah, I know, learning horse training from a TV show seemed far-fetched to me too at the time. But it worked for us and I wanted to share my experience with other people. With the help of my wife Ranae, we started taking video of me and my horse Jessie working through the exercises. I edited the video and established a YouTube channel to post them on. I didn’t realize how many other people had been struggling with their horsemanship. The video channel has grown to over 40 videos and has had over a six hundred thousand views.
My wife and I ride most every weekend. Quite often we would just ride out from our home in southeast Bakersfield, down along a canal bank and through the farmland nearby. The rides are fun. We would spend some time training and intersperse it with some general meandering. Many a Sunday afternoon after the ride we would sit in the garden. Over an evening cocktail we would discuss what the horses did, how they reacted to different situations, and what we could do to be better horseman. Again, wanting to share these conversations and bring others into the discussion we started a podcast and called it, The Whoa Podcast about Horses and Horsemanship. (In case you are not familiar with podcasts, they are essentially a radio program you can listen to on your computer or mobile phone). The podcast is now heard in over 40 countries.
Connecting the Parts
My interests in video editing grew my interest in photography. As I was coming to the end of my career as a retailer, I wanted to tie everything together. John Harrer-dot-com was born. My desire now is to bring my knowledge of all these different parts to the horse world with writing, photography, and social media. Look around. Let me know what you think.