At the time I couldn't see the problems that were on the horizon for me and our business and I was just going along like all was good. Until the first tough decision had to be made. That is when I had a wake up call that my life had changed and I needed to change along with it.
When I talk with people that are new into the horse boarding industry and they are struggling, one of the first things I ask them is how long have they been boarding horses as a business. In most of the conversations the answers are pretty similar. The problems all start to take place in the first year or so and by the time the third year has come around many of them want to quit. They feel like they are all alone with no where to turn for help. Somehow they have gotten this feeling that they are at fault and they want to fix the issues but they don't know where to begin.
Mentors and barn management with problem solving classes are needed!
I also found out when I started my business ten years ago that there wasn't anyone to talk to. Sure there were other barn owners in the area with boarding barns but I didn't feel at all comfortable going to them and asking them for help when I was their direct competition. I also didn't want it getting around that our barn was having problems. That would be terrible for business. There wasn't a mentor to ask the difficult questions to and someone to give me honest feedback and advice. There wasn't anyone to help me transform into a confident business woman that I needed to be to run a healthy and well-run facility. I was on my own to make many mistakes and learn as each situation and issue was thrown at me.
It doesn't need to be so difficult
I really believe that fewer people would have serious issues at their barn if they knew someone that could help them in a positive way. In any successful business you will find mentors that will help new people coming into the job. I worked in the school district for many years and when a new teacher came in right out of college, her first year was always tough. The particular school district I was in had mentors and programs to help these new teachers during those first couple of years.
I believe the transition from casual boarder to equine professional can be an easier transition with the help from others who have done it longer and can offer guidance. That is why I am so passionate about my newest book, "The Total Horse Barn Management Makeover." I believe it can help new business owners get off to a strong start and help people who have been in it for a long time fix the issues they are having when it comes to the barn owner/manager/client relationship. It is vital for a healthy barn and business.
I don't believe most people set out on purpose to be a bad barn owner as many boarders would label them. I think what happens many times is they start out with the best intentions and somewhere along the line problems start to occur and they don't know how to deal with them or fix them and they become upset and frustrated. Eventually they mentally give up and the boarders can see it in the care that goes into the stable and for the horses.
I am so passionate about helping other equine professionals and equipping them with the tools they need to run their horse business with confidence even under difficult situations. I believe we all could use a little help at one time or another and I think if we start working together to build each other up and learn together, this part of the horse industry will grow and flourish in amazing ways.
If you are struggling at your barn and want to make positive changes, then I hope you will take sometime and read the articles here on this blog and check out my books. I want to see you succeed in your horse business.
I wish you many blessings in your horse business,