Making a living in the horse industry...
Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:47 PM
So I guess my question is....is it possible to make a living in this industry? I want to teach/train...Id like to own my own barn one of these days. Im living in a relativley non-horsey place right now..but Im not staying here my whole life.
For those of you out there who are doing it....how do you do it? Do you own the barn you teach out of? Does your SO have a job that helps support that horsey habit? Or are you completley self-sufficient and make anough money to pay for your horses/barn and other expenses?
He thinks Im just rushing into it blindly...
Anyone have any suggestions?
Posted 31 August 2006 - 11:36 AM
check out the website www.pferdstables.com. This is a barn not far from me. My daughter and I took lessens there for a short time and I am thinking about going back this winter.
The owner/trainer only started riding in college, so she was not someone raised horsey. Now she has a great and successful barn. She has constant goals and she tends to meet them. She researched everything before she started and decided it was a better idea to rent barn instead of owning.
This is my example that it can be done. Make sure you do your research and be sure there is a market for what you want to do.
Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:37 PM
we still rent because getting a loan is darn near impossible when that is the only source of income.if we are lucky we will be in a position at the end of next year to possibly buy a house.thats after a lot of careful saving.
last year the horses alone made almost 180 grand,we split what they make with our owner instead of him paying a training bill.the other 2 owners pay a bill of 30 a day.out of it we pay:
the feed bills(hay sawdust grain)
our half of vet bills
our half of shoe bills
our half of stakes fees
tack shop bills
maintain vehicles and pay insurance
stall rent at track
raise 3 growing boys
its a struggle sometimes because you have periods of doing very well,then you might be lucky to win a race for god knows how long.so there always has to be money put back for all the things i mentioned above,you cant do it paycheck to paycheck.
i started out in the riding industry,and you have to be able to manage your money well and be well organized.running a barn takes the ability to multitask.you have to know everything.....what your employess are doing,how every horse is doing,what needs fixed/replaced,you have to be scheduled within an inch of your life to keep everyone happy.horse owners are for the most part a fickle,picky lot(how many posts do we see about unhappy boarders?)and they pay you to provide a service to them.and they all want their moneys worth.i managed a dressage boarding barn for almost 2 years.i was never so glad to get out of there....nobody was happy because they all thought every other boarder was getting something better than they were .the stress was incredible.
your best bet is to go to work,apprentice is a good word here,for a successful trainer or barn owner who is well known and well liked.ask a lot of questions about barn management,nutrition,horse health.find out if you would really enjoy running your own business,or if you even have the capability.
Posted 31 August 2006 - 02:38 PM
Posted 31 August 2006 - 03:36 PM
If you can, get an apprenticeship with a trainer. I don't know what area you like - there are usually several western trainers around here who are looking for good help.
"Good help" means someone who is there 6 or 7 days a week, from 7 am to 9 pm, feeding, cleaning stalls, cleaning trailers, cleaning tack, lots of cleaning involved! Doesn't grumble, is willing to learn, take criticism well, do what they're told WHEN they're told... all for about $750 a month.
If you can do that, if you can sacrifice EVERYTHING in your life for several years, just for the horses, you might be able to make it.
Posted 31 August 2006 - 04:02 PM
Much of it is how much money you go in with. Most people trying to break in as instructors are barely breaking even (and often survive with a second job and a partner also earning money).
Sometimes you can find jobs at existing stables that are live-in and have benefits, but that's pretty rare.
And around here, you may as well forget about running your own place straight out of the box, as property is so insanely expensive. The only way to do it is to rent stable space from someone else.
And reputation is everything- lacking startup money, it's all about who you know and your reputation dictating your success rate. If you spend some years as a working student for a big name, and get a lot of horses into the ring and succeed, it's much easier to get going.
The slightest things you do can have an effect on you. Even the "success story" mentioned above has a heck of an online reputation that may or may not cost them business someday. So you have to watch every step you take, be careful what you say, don't burn any bridges, etc.
And lastly, if you get in as an instructor at a stable, you don't get everything that you charge for a lesson- a big chunk of it will go to the stable you work for. If you charge $45 per lesson, the barn may take up to $20 of that. And while $25/hour may sound good, it's not likely you will be getting paid for the equivalent of a 40 hour workweek.
Obviously, the career choice is doable, as some people experience a lot of success, but it's not lucrative for most, and probably the majority of instructors and trainers are barely keeping afloat.
Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:40 PM
Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:22 PM