Nov/Dec 2023Nov/Dec 2023
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To Get Your Horse Business Going Again… Get Going Again!

Filed under: Blog Post |     

By: Doug Emerson, The Profitable Horseman

COVID-19 has paralyzed your horse business. It’s not your fault. It is your fault if you wallow in self-pity and refuse to do anything about it.

Temporarily feeling like a victim is a normal response to hardship. “Why me?” is a legitimate question.

The answer to that question may be a long, detailed explanation of the why. The simple answer is, “Because…” The better question is not, “Why me?” but rather, “What am I going to do about it?”

People suffering from victim mentality believe that life’s challenges are directly aimed at them and that most events in life are negative and beyond their control. They believe they deserve sympathy. They feel they have little power to change things and therefore don’t need to take actions for improvement. Feeling stuck and believing there is no solution is the beginning of the end of a business.

Negativity is the front man for failure’s arrival in town. Adopting a positive attitude is a start for recovery.

Remember when you thought you’d never: pass the chemistry exam, have a prom date, or buy a car? Remember when you thought you’d never win a class at a horse show, have a paying client for lessons or training, and have your own horse business?

You did all of those things by controlling your fear of failure and charging forward. You’ll control your fear of failure and charge forward to get your business going again.

It’s going to take dedicated work on your part. It may not be fun, and there may be tears and sadness, but you’ll do what you need to do to improve and survive and begin to build a strategy and cash reserves for the next crisis, whatever it is.

Business crises like to appear when you least expect it: a tornado, hurricane, flood, fire, lawsuit, death, embezzlement, divorce, or pandemic. Whether you’re the owner of a business or an employee, crises affect everyone.

What to do about it? Each business is different. Here are some ideas that may help you move forward and solve problems.

  • Initiate a riding lesson package program where lessons are sold in advance and paid in advance.
  • Sell/donate lesson horses not paying for themselves with enough lesson revenue.
  • Sell tack no longer used. Bits, bridles, saddles…
  • Raise your rates if they are overdue for an adjustment.
  • Review each employee’s contribution and value for your operation. Adjust if necessary.
  • Enlist volunteer help where appropriate for you to spend more time on the business.
  • Consider borrowing money from a bank, relative, or withdrawing from a 401-K.
  • Sell an asset: horse, farm equipment, real estate
  • Review operating expenses, cut where applicable.
  • Define your marketing effort for the next 6 months: frequency of Facebook posts, videos to educate and promote you and your brand, ect.
  • Schedule a future event: clinic, horse show, demonstration.
  • Find a mentor or business coach.
  • Prepare a budget for the next 12 months to help plan.
  • Investigate deferrals and forbearance on loans.
  • Check into PPP eligibility.
  • REACH OUT and communicate with your customers frequently.

Now, more than ever, it’s time for you to take charge of your business.

Doug Emerson helps professional horsemen struggling with the business half of the horse business.

Visit his website: for more articles like this one and to subscribe to his free electronic newsletter about being profitable in the horse business.

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