Melissa Miko is an American writer, thinker, and entrepreneur. Additionally, she is an equestrian coach, horse trainer, clinician, speaker, accountant, model, and agriculturer.
She aims to motivate Earth’s creatures to find their best selves through education, empowerment, and positivity.
Born in Connecticut in 1984, Melissa grew up in the shoreline town of East Lyme riding and showing horses, as well as excelling in academics, dance, and track & field.
She attended the University of Connecticut on scholarship and under the honors program and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from the UCONN School of Business in three years. While at UCONN she was a member of the philanthropic Kappa Kappa Gamma, took numerous Equine and Animal Science Classes, and received her worst grade ever: a D- in Flower Arranging. She also worked at various stables, earning enough money to purchase her first horse, Louie. Melissa gained a strong interest in exotic animals and housed various reptiles, feeder mice, hairless rats, an angora bunny, a rescue German Shepherd, rescued cats, and Japanese Quail in her college apartment. After being educated on animal rights and human nutrition, she became vegan.
Upon graduating, Melissa moved to Beverly Hills, California where she pursued a career in accounting. The pets and Louie came too.
Before long, the wind took her to the beachy city of Santa Barbara, California, where she worked as an auditor in a corporate environment, before quitting “working for someone else” right in the midst of the Recession crisis and going solo as an entrepreneur. She worked as a consultant and contractor, tax preparer, and eventually started her first business, HorsePlay of Santa Barbara. Among all the failing big-money fancy barns, the meager beginnings of HorsePlay soon grew to be Santa Barbara’s highest rated and most talked about riding stable. This was accomplished by keeping costs down, delivering real instructional and training value instead of supporting a fancy premise with preoccupied instructors, being affordable to the middle class, instilling passion and motivation into our students and horses, and relying on word of mouth to send us riders that would jive with HorsePlay’s philosophy.
In California, Melissa also started up several other small businesses that went quite successfully, including a hair extensions company, Extreme Extensions, and partnerships in a pressure washing business, JetSpray and a medical marijuana growing operation (which is LEGAL in California, before you get your panties in a wad! OMG hide your wives and children). Melissa led numerous projects through her consulting business centered on accounting, marketing, and income growth for individuals and small businesses. She enjoyed surprising success as a motorsports promotional model which led to becoming a multi-time calendar girl, print model, and got her in free (the main goal of this pursuit) or paid to be a part of some pretty amazing events such as motocross races, car shows, and ESPN’s X-Games.
Melissa enjoyed hiking and exploring the majestic canyons and beaches of the central coast, dirtbike riding on tracks and trails, wine tasting, and adding to her exotic plecostomus and catfish aquarium. She participated in volunteer work and the area’s Young Professionals Society. She took up an interest in self-sufficiency and survival and started becoming educated on homesteading. Melissa felt exceedingly lucky to make lot of good friends, have good relationships, and make influential connections during her time in California.
Just short of seven years on the west coast, Melissa made the decision to move “home” to Connecticut, to be closer to family and where slightly more affordable real estate abounds. Again, Louie and company came too. It is here she resides with her two cats, Bouse (found as an orphan) and Escobar (adopted from a South Central LA shelter), Nubian Goats Luna and Grasshopper, heritage breed turkeys Cherry Blossom the Bourbon Red and Gary the Narragansett, and American Saddlebred horse Louie. She lives a serene life as owner and head trainer of Bright and Beautiful Riding Academy, business consultant, and as a writer on equine issues and self-improvement.
Melissa is fortunate to have the best boyfriend in the world and a loving family, She also has horrific handwriting, is a passionate quilter, and likes offshore fishing.