When I got back home I started to realize how truly lucky I am. I have people who had stayed at my barn for a very long time and have been very forgiving of the mistakes I have made through the years. Many of them have watched me run the barn not knowing how things would really turn out (especially in the early years) when they would see me make quick decisions based all on emotion.
That is when I realized that as a barn owner you are going to make many mistakes as your business grows. I now believe two of the most important parts of any successful horse business is the ability to learn from your mistakes and the ability to forgive. Both are equally important. I have been forgiven when I have made a mistake and I have learned to forgive and move on when a client has made a mistake. It is going to happen and how you deal with it will set the tone for the kind of barn and business you want to have.
I know there are going to be times when you and a client don't see eye to eye and you need to go your separate ways. It happens. I also believe when you can forgive and your clients can forgive, the atmosphere in your barn will be amazing. It takes your barn management skills to a whole new level when you can move forward and let the past go.
If you have decided that you want to work in the horse industry and are just starting out, take time to meet with someone who is well respected and can give you honest advice when you are struggling. You are going to have tough days and your emotions will get the best of you at times. That is when we make some of the poorest decisions about our business and that is the exact time that we need some encouragement and honest advice.
Learning to keep it professional takes time and many mistakes along the way. Remember that you will go through many changes and so will your clients. Learn and grow together and the job will become easier and your clients will not worry when they see you are having a stressful day. They know it will pass quickly because you have become a professional and have learned to run a barn with confidence, integrity and honesty.
I know today's post is not a typical horse barn management post but it is a little part of what I have been reflecting on while I was in Haiti. Something off the beaten path when thinking about barn management but I still feel it is vitally important for a healthy and strong horse business. Remember that horse barn management is about so much more than great horse care. It is about your relationship with your clients and how you handle the day to day stresses that come with the job. Get ready to change your barn and business in ways that you never thought possible!
I wish you many blessings in your horse business,