Polo Club residents Jaymie and Tommy Klauber were on a trip to Peru four years ago, and like every trip they take, they ventured out on horseback.
This time, though, was different.
They were riding Peruvian paso horses when they came upon a suspension bridge that went over a gorge, the floor hundreds of feet below them.
"You could feel it moving," Jaymie Klauber said. "The people who weren't experienced riders, they didn't know any better. But we were thinking, 'What if a horse rears up, and goes into another horse?'"
It might have been dangerous, but the Klaubers had one thought on their mind when they got over the bridge.
The wow effect is something Jaymie Klauber remembered, even as she returned to her duties with her husband running the Polo Grill & Bar in Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. In April, though, after 10 years, the Polo Grill & Bar closed.
Jaymie Klauber wanted to take some time to consider her next business move, but her thoughts always returned to the fact whenever she was away from the restaurant, she wanted to be with her horses. And then there was that wow effect.
On Aug. 13, Jaymie Klauber announced she has opened Epic Equine Experiences, a company that will offer specialized trail rides led by her; a myriad of equine services; and social polo.
Although it might seem like quite a shift away from the restaurant business, she said she remains "a people pleaser" who wants nothing more than to hear her clients say "That's the best time I ever had."
"There are so many parks (in Sarasota and Manatee counties) people don't know about," Jaymie Klauber said. "The scenery is gorgeous and the wildlife is beautiful.
"And this is not going to be nose-to-tail trail riding. We want our people to go through the water, to get some cantering in. There will be stops for wine and cheese and then at the end of it, Tommy will make a fabulous meal."
Tommy Klauber said while this is his wife's business baby, he will do whatever she needs to make it a success.
"I know it's hard to make a living off horses," Jaymie Klauber said. "Horses usually cost way more than you could make.
"But this is what I like to do. I want to bring the passion I have for horses and use my hospitality and organizing skills."
Besides the experiences, Klauber said her business will be kind of an equine concierge. If someone wants a horse for a model during a photo shoot, she will line it up. If someone is looking for a place to board horses, she will research it. She will also help with lessons, setting up "ranch parties," and buying and selling horses.
A full listing of services can be found at epicequineexperiences.com.
Besides the experiences and services, Epic Equine Experiences will offer social polo play for those who don't want to make the commitment to play at a higher level.
"We call it polo for the people," Jaymie Klauber said. "It will be an affordable social league where you don't need to be a member or have a horse to play.
She has rented four area fields, all within 15 minutes of the Polo Club, for seven months beginning in October.
Everything she will offer in her new business involves things she loves doing. She wants to lead her experiences herself and she said she will try not to do more than one experience of about eight riders in a day.
"I want to keep it smaller so the horses don't get sour, and so we don't get sour," she said.
She plans to subcontract employees to meet demand. She also will hire a full-time groom and a part-time bookkeeper for her new business. She currently has nine horses and she will add three more.
There are so many people who are horse people, but have moved here and don't have horses anymore," she said. "They still want to ride. And I have a bunch of my lady friends who are dying to do this.