World of Horses Message Board
Category: General Horse Questions
You do not say what experience you have working with horses. I ran a riding school and livery yard for four years. They were probably the hardest and most enjoyable years of my life. I would ask you to remember several things. People are relying upon you to give their beloved animals the very best of care, and they will rely upon you for accurate advice on a wide range of matters, from feeding to veterinary issues. Because of this if you do not have any formal training, I would strongly suggest that you get some. There are plenty of Agricultural Colleges around that provide excellent courses. Finding the right sight is the most important factor when setting up your business. It wants to be close enough to a well populated area, but also surrounded by excellent riding country. You will need to provide good facilities, and these cost money. The better your facilities the more people will be willing to pay to keep their animals with you. You will need to consider how many animals you will be able to handle, will you have sufficient acerage, will you need to employ staff, if so how much will this eat into your budget? Remember that staff have a multitude of rights these days, minimum wage and many other entitlements. You will need to be very organised and will have to think about many things, you will have to deal with accounts, tax returns, wages, etc, not just looking after the horses themselves. Make sure you do all your research well before embarking on anything. Ask professionals for advice. By the way, the only reason I gave up was that during my fourth year I was left in the winter by a severe shortage of staff. It was impossible to employ any new ones, so I ended up mucking out in excess of 25 horses a day, making sure that the ponies that lived out were regularly taken hay and their water kept cleen and clear of ice, not to mention exercising and grooming. Eventually my body could take no more and I was told that if I did not stop I would end up in a wheelchair. Be warned. Make sure it stays a dream and does not become a night mare!