As your boarders grow in their horsemanship many of them will try new things along the way and sometimes it will affect your job as the barn manager and it may even affect your income if they choose to leave for a barn that better suits their growing needs.
Some of the things that might change
You will have clients that will try showing and if they fall in love with it, they may decide they want special turn-out for their horse. You might have a client that sells their horse for a more competitive horse (in the showring) and with that comes different needs especially if they are showing. You might not have a trainer that is available for the type of riding discipline a boarder has now chosen. In that case a boarder will leave a barn for a training barn of their new discipline choice. You will have clients that will all of a sudden want night turn-out if they feel they need to keep their horse's coat from fading during the summer months. You could be asked to keep a horse in all the time because the client is now worried their horse might get hurt being with other horses. You might have a boarder that decides to put special show shoes on and now they want their horse inside all the time.
There will be boarders that will follow fads and want to change how you feed their horse according to what is popular at the moment. You are going to watch boarders grow tremendously in their riding skills and sometimes they will ask for amenities that you have never offered before. You will have clients that were easy going with one horse and then they purchase a new horse and everything changes. They become overprotective to the point that it starts to make your job stressful. You might even have a boarder now and then that has now decided that they prefer a different way of doing herd management and this can be true for your feeding program as well. What was once a perfect barn for them has changed and that will definitely be difficult. It sure was for me at certain times.
The list of changes that your clients will go through is really endless but every change will affect you as the barn owner or manager to some degree. Some of these changes and requests will be easy to accommodate but many of them will not, especially if it becomes more work for you. Your barn might start out as the perfect barn for someone but as their needs change they might start looking elsewhere if you can't offer what they now want for their horse. This is a very real part of running your business and you will drive yourself crazy if you try to make everything perfect with every change that a client is going through. Don't go there!
Making changes for your clients growing needs and deciding what to say no to is an individual decision. I want to be honest and tell you that if you try to accommodate every request that a boarder now wants or needs, you will probably to become overwhelmed at some time and with that comes much stress.
If I can give you a few words of guidance, I want to tell you that if you stick by how you want to run your barn and what is best for you and your family than your business will be healthier and stronger in the long run. As your boarders grow as equestrians you will also grow as a business owner. There will be many things that you will be able to accommodate for your clients but there will be things that you will learn to say no to and you will feel a sense of weight lifted off your shoulders when you do say no.
Your barn will go through growing pains as your business grows but this can also happen to your clients as they grow as equestrians.
It is okay if some of your boarders outgrow or need different amenities than what you offer at your barn. It happens all the time in this business. The best thing you can do for your business is to be honest with your boarders about what you offer and if they need to make a change in barns then wish them the very best. Do not take it personally because if it not a reflection on you as a barn owner. It is simply just part of watching people grow and change.
Do what is best for your barn and the right people will come. Sure you might have a few now and then that will need different services than what you offer. But if they leave, wonderful new boarders will come and your barn will be perfect for them. Remember also that how you treat your clients through all these changes will reflect on you and even if you tell them that you can't offer what they are asking for, they can't deny that you treated them with respect and honesty and that is worth it's weight in gold for you as a business owner.
What a great job and career this truly is. I get the pleasure of watching my clients learn and grow and in the process I am learning and growing every day from each new situation that comes my way. Take each issue and request that comes your way and learn from it no matter the outcome. This is where you will grow the most as an equine professional.
If you are struggling with issues at your barn and are not sure how to fix the situations that have become a daily part of your job, I encourage you to please check out my book, "The Total Horse Barn Management Makeover." It will change how you look at yourself as a barn owner, manager or other equine professional and it is the most honest book you will find about the day to day life of running a horse business.
I wish you many blessings in your horse business,