Then why did my husband and I in our forties (to be honest, he was in his late thirties when we started our business) leave our safe secure careers to start on our venture of building a barn and starting a horse boarding business? It's a very easy answer. Because we absolutely love the farm life. He loves working at home on the farm and I love taking care of all the horses. To this day we both still love it (except when it is below zero outside!).
Running a horse boarding business and being self-employed came with many changes in how we lived. I had finally quit my job with the school system and buying insurance was an expensive shock. I had fantastic insurance and I didn't realize how much more each month it would cost me to buy our insurance. Having your own job means you need to be self-motivated. If you are not then this might not be the job for you even if you do love horses more than anything. David and I are very self-motivated but David is much more than me and he keeps me on my toes when I want to be lazy. Remember that there are going to be days when you don't want to go out in the barn to do the chores and you will have no choice but to go out and it can be down right painful to get out of bed. You can't call in sick anymore.
If you are truly thinking of starting your own business in the horse industry, may I give you some advice. Work at a horse farm for a year or so and when I say work, I mean work there at least eight hours a day for at least five days a week if at all possible. Treat it like a "real" job and see how you like it. I have had many young people over the years come and want to help me with chores for the summer and after a few days I start to see it wear on them and many times they quit after a week or two. They have great intentions and are great kids but it is a lot different from boarding your horse at a barn and going out to ride after school. It is a true reality check of what it takes to keep a barn going on a daily basis.
If you are going to get into the horse business it will be the most exciting time of your life. It was for us and it is a fantastic life and job. It also is a lot of work and as the CEO of your business you will be in charge of everything that happens and the buck will always stop with you. You will learn barn management like you never have before.
I hear of so many boarding barns that close their doors for so many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that the barn owner didn't know how to be time efficient and they got burned out very fast because all their chores took twice as long as they should have. I truly believe many people don't know how to simplify their barns and make the business run simpler and smoother. They make it too complicated and then they get overwhelmed and it wears them down to where they want to quit the whole thing. It happened to David and myself in the first couple of years of having our business. That is when my life started to change and I started to learn what was needed to become a business owner and run the business and not let the business run me. We made many mistakes over the years but small changes and growing as people made all the difference in the world for us.
When you get through the bad times and still love the job more than when you started, then you know you are doing what you were meant to do in life. It is a great feeling.
Many people ask me if I am glad we started our business. To this day I can say yes one hundred percent. I will never get rich from this job and the work will never end but it is still the best job in the world. To this day, I still love going out in the barn each morning to take care of chores. I love turning on the lights and seeing all those ears perked up at me. To most people our jobs are not the normal career choices but I am so glad I am not normal. I am very much in love with my job and even romantic about it now. When you can get through the bad times and still love the job more than when you started, then you know you are doing what you were meant to do in life. It is a great feeling. I know what boarding horses is truly about now and I take the bad with the good and I love the job anyway. I definitely love it more today than I did when we first opened.
It can be the best job in the world for you and I also believe you can be successful and make an honest living in the horse industry. Just be smarter than us when we started and make your barn management simple and consistent. Don't waste a couple of years time trying to figure it all out. If you can learn from others that have done it before you and they are positive people who will encourage you and be truthful with you when need be, then surround yourself around them.
It's wonderful to have a passion for something and be able to make a living at it. Follow your dreams and be prepared for the bumps in the road because their will be some but if you keep going and learn from those struggles, your dream job will become a wonderful reality.
If you are new to my blog, then welcome! I wrote my newest book to give you an in-depth look into the business of boarding horses and all that it entails. This post today is one small example of what my new book addresses. If you are boarding horses or are planning on it, please check out, "A Step By Step Guide To Starting And Running A Successful Horse Boarding Business." It is a very comprehensive book on boarding horses and covers every part of it from building your barn or stable to solid barn management. I wrote this book because I realized there is an information gap when it comes to this subject and my goal is to help others so they don't make all the mistakes I made when we first opened our boarding facility. I want you to be prepared for the crazy and wonderful new career you are going into.