Daniel Dali Haber
Owner and Trainer, Mountain View Training Center; Age 34; Education: South Hadley High School
At age 6, Haber started riding horses at Mt. Holyoke College Equestrian Center, and rode and worked at Mt. Holyoke until his high-school graduation, when he opened his own painting business. Three years later, her was diagnosed with bone cancer. “That was a pivotal moment,” he said. “I quickly realized life is too short not to pursue your true passions.” So he packed up everything he owned and accepted a position at a horse-training facility in Virginia. After four years in Virginia, he received a call that his father was in ill health and diagnosed with cancer. He knew he had to return home to be with and help his family, so he returned to Western Mass. and, after a few years, decided to open his own horse-training business in Granby. Haber has gone from renting a six-stall barn to owing a 47-stall farm which specializes in the Friesian breed of horse.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a horse trainer.
How do you define success? I feel I am successful when I watch my clients walk out of the show ring with their prize-winning ribbon.
What three words best describe you? Hardworking, humble, sincere.
What do you like most about Western Massachusetts? I love that my roots have and always will be here in Western Mass.
What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? My goal every day is not to let myself get hurt.
What actor would play you in a movie about your life? A young Robert Redford.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about my horses, family, and farm.
What goals have you set for yourself? My long-term goal is to be known worldwide for the work I do with the Friesian breed of horse, which I am so passionate about.
Whom do you look up to, and why? I look up to the horse trainers who came before me and the ones who have lasted the test of time.
What will work colleagues say at your funeral? Are you sure he’s dead? We’ve seen him come back from the worst.
Photography by Leah Martin Photography