I have noticed a new trend on social media in many private barn owner, manager and trainer groups - Equine professionals are starting to realize how burned out they are now and were BEFORE Covid-19 and this pandemic. People are starting to ask the question - how can I simplify my life and business now and still make a living working with horses? It is amazing how you start to see things so much clearer when you are forced to slow down and let's face it, that can be very challenging when dealing with horses every day of the year. The job never stops and then you add clients into the mix and you can easily find yourself going ninety miles an hour on a hamster wheel and never stopping - until now.
Covid-19 brought the horse industry to a screeching halt and not one area was left untouched. Riding lessons and horse shows were cancelled. Many barns closed their doors to all horse owners and trainers depending on the area you live. Equine veterinarians started limiting all barn calls to emergencies only and that included other equine professionals that work out of barns. The one thing that didn't change (and couldn't change) was the daily needs of the horse. They still needed to be fed, watered and cared for daily and they had no idea what was going on in the world except for the fact that their life became quieter and less busy over night.
In some strange way barn owners, managers and trainers also started to see their world slow way down. The chores and care still needed to be done but the daily hustle of clients, lessons, weekend horse shows, scheduling appointments, phone calls and many other activities all ceased and after the dust started to settle a few weeks into the lock down, many equine professionals started to realize how completely tired and burned out they really are. Now a few months into this pandemic many equine professionals are starting to ask a new question...How can I change things in my horse business so my life is not so crazy? How can I make money but not have so many clients or such a hectic schedule. What can I do differently so that I can spend more quality time with my family (which can be hard when taking care of horses daily) and not go under financially? A new dilemma has emerged and many people are not sure where to start and what this will look like for them and their horse business. If the truth be told - I think most barn owners, managers and trainers like the life of an active stable but now that they have had a taste of a quieter and simpler day, they are realizing how important it is to find a healthy balance when running a business and it has breathed fresh life into them that they hadn't felt in a very long time.
Looking for something good out of bad
I am a firm believer that there are great lessons to be learned from every situation both good and bad. This pandemic is no different. There is no doubt that this pandemic is terrible and my heart breaks for all the families who have lost loved ones due to the illness. My heart also breaks for all the business owners who are struggling due to the closing of their businesses and the economy. BUT I still feel there is something good that will emerge from all of this. Maybe for once, we will stop and look around at what is really important in life. Maybe we will start to realize that quality over quantity is a vital part of a successful horse business. Maybe we will finally take the steps to change how we do things in our horse businesses that will benefit our family first, the horse industry, our stables, clients, employees, and of course the horses we care for daily. If we slow down and not be so much in a rush as we come out of this pandemic, we could make this industry so much better and healthier. That includes our training and boarding stables which are a vital part of the industry.
I think we have started to wake up to what is truly important in life and if you want to change how you do things at your barn then do it! This is the time to change your business and life for the future and you will never regret it. If you are feeling burned out, then don't hesitate to start making positive changes. Listen to that voice inside of you and do what is on your heart. If you are not sure how to begin the process of making changes in your horse business, contact me anytime. I would love to walk this journey with you.
A special side note - I want to thank all my boarders who were so patient during the last three months with Covid-19. You made my job so much easier every day just by going with the flow of the changes happening at our stable. You all are the best!!
Wishing you many blessings in your horse business, Sheri Grunska
Please check out Sheri's 2-Day Barn Management Workshop coming fast! Please click on link.