Patti worked full-time for a fortune 100 company in a large metropolitan city and her husband was Mr. Mom. They stayed sensitive to this call for many years but nothing really happened outside of them rescuing one pony and one horse which they boarded at a friend's small stable. At that time they worked at the stable doing chores to work off the board.
Later down the road due to unforeseen circumstance, the Cianflones needed to move their horses so they started to look for a place of their own. They found a farm that they could half-lease an hour from where they lived. Steve and Patti's roles changed overnight. Steve went back to work full-time and Patti stayed at home (which was an adjustment) and took care of the children. Her family got up early each day, ate breakfast, packed lunches and went their separate ways. They made the long journey to the farm each morning and Steve would drop Patti off and he would head to work. Patti would take care of the farm chores and horses and their new business was slowly being born. That was the birth of Triple L Ranch LLC of Quakertown PA.
They slowly started taking on boarders and with that came a realization that they needed insurance, barn rules, boarding rates (which was grossly underestimated at first) and so on. As each new thing came up, they added it to the list and kept going. As they got into the boarding part of the business, they also started with the mission that God had put on their hearts years before. They began to help some kids and their families whenever they could and horses would be a huge part of that. The Cianflones realized that they needed to make many improvements at their barn and stable not only for their horses in their care but also for their clients and visiting families as well. They dug in and started making changes and improvements.
During this time Patti and her husband had been investing much money and time into this farm that they were leasing and after a year the owner of the property came to them because of some changes that had taken place in regards to the property. Patti was scared to death that all their time and money would go out the window and awaited the outcome of the conversation. It turned out that the property owner was incredibly happy with all that the Cianflones had been doing to improve the property and asked them if they would full-lease the farm!
This was wonderful news but also a huge step for Patti and her husband and they wondered if they could afford to full-lease the barn and land. Where would they find the extra money since the rent would be almost double. They needed a few days to think about it. After much discussion, number crunching and much prayer they agreed to take over the farm completely.
Now with even a larger monthly payment they needed to fill the stalls and dive in completely. They advertised, updated their business insurance for a larger operation, conducted farm tours and within a month they had several more boarders sign on. The work load increased and many things changed but they kept moving forward. Money was extremely tight but they took it one day at a time and somehow they made it through the first year.
Patti told me it was a year of faith and growth in so many ways. Each year they have been able to grow and add lines of business to the basic boarding operation and minister to quite a few young people and their families. Last year they were finally able to move within ten minutes of the farm!! Moving closer greatly cut their travel expenses and gave them peace of mind to be able to check on the horses at anytime.
The Cianflones are now five years into this endeavor and have a fantastic relationship with the property owner and his family. They are now embarking on adding EAGALA therapy to their boarding, lessons, leasing, summer camp, pony parties and events business!
They have learned so much and grown with every test that has come their way. And now they are turning the corner to the best days yet to come! This is the story of how Triple L. Ranch LLC of Quakertown, PA. got their unexpected start.
I asked Patti a few questions about what her and Steve have learned about starting a horse business and all that goes with it.
How many horses do you board at your stable?
We board 9 horses, have 14 stalls total and own 5 horses of our own along with 3 pygmy goats.
How many horses in your program?
We currently have 5 horses in our program. We own all the horses in the program. They are mostly rescued and rehabbed horses. To read about our horse, human, goat and canine staff, please visit us at: http://www.hbahors.com/about-us.
What are your plans for the future?
Our immediate plans are to partner with as many local mental health professionals, at-risk youth homes, shelters etc. to offer this wonderfully effective therapy to as many people as possible that will benefit from it. Our 5 year plan is to have our own larger farm to host the therapy sessions and perhaps offer overnight retreats. We want to also train others in this EAGALA model of therapy and teach certification classes.
What would you do differently now if you had to start from the beginning?
The few things I would do differently would be not to under-price, under-value our boarding prices and fees. I would create a more thorough list of barn rules and ensure all boarders know their importance and that they will be enforced as per stated with no exceptions.
After reading Patti's story I realized that this is definitely a family affair. Their daughters Aubrey-Shea and Rebekah-Grace are involved in all parts of the business. From doing chores, turning horses in and out, blanketing, inspecting the horses and everything else it takes to keep the business running smoothly day to day. They are a huge asset and blessing to the business. Aubrey is 23 and Rebekah is 13 years old.
The Cianfones also have a large support staff to keep everything running smoothly. They have trainers that come to their barn and give lessons including a mounted archery trainer. They also have the "Heard By a Horse" EAGALA Therapy staff which includes many licensed professionals in many facets of the industry to help with the needs of the families that benefit from this incredible program. They also are blessed to have so many wonderful volunteers and working students that help on a weekly basis.
The last thing Patti wrote to me is -
"We have seen God's hand on our business and have been greatly blessed and have grown in so many unexpected ways. We trust Him in our daily dealings and lives and are grateful for each and every hand, heart, hoof and foot that is involved in our programs, farm and barn! We hope our story has been an encouragement and blessing to you all!"
The Triple L Ranch LLC Farm Family
To learn more about Triple L Ranch and the Cianflone family, please go to www.triplelranchllc.com
Their Facebook page is Facebook.com/TripleLRanchLLC
Their EAGALA/Therapy Blog is http://eagalablog.wordpress.com
Our address and contact info is:
Triple L Ranch LLC
1975 Krammes Road
Quakertown, PA. 18951
We would love to hear your story at Probarn management!
Wishing you many blessings in your horse business!