Horses are some of the most majestic, intelligent creatures in the world, and if you are interested in all things equestrian, then starting a horse ranch of your own may not feel like something that is totally out of reach. You have to go into your own horse ranch with the thought that this is a business. It’s not a place for you to keep your horses and ride them each day; getting your horse business off the ground is not going to be cheap. There a tons of business opportunities in the equestrian world, from veterinarian to farrier, but if you want to be the owner of a business, then you need to get your head down and do some research. Boarding, breeding, brushing and training horses is expensive – but it’s oh, so worth it!
Before you can even begin thinking about going into business for yourself, you need to decide whether a horse farm is right for you. You need to ensure you even want to start a horse farm in the first place. Breeding horses is grueling, expensive and difficult, but it’s not without its reward. There are financial challenges and physical challenges, and you will be working for yourself – so all accountability stops with you. If you’ve owned horses in the past, you’ll already know how to muck in and look after them. You may even know the little details about keeping horses safe from other animals and from escaping the farm. You have to do more than brush down at the end of each day; marketing, horse background checking and referencing and income tracking will all be your job. It’s such a big undertaking that you have to carefully think about whether you have the time, the determination and even the thick skin to take this business to the distance.
There are tons of advantages to owning your own horse farm, especially if you are crazy about the creatures. You also have to be crazy about business and what it could mean for you to run your own. Doing what you love is so important and it’s this element that will keep you interested and determined to run your business effectively. Some of the best advantages include:
- Caring for foals; baby horses? Yes, please.
- Selling horses that you’ve raised for more cash than you imagined. It’s a good way to fund your business as well as control the crowding that horses can bring.
- You get the chance to regularly ride horses, which is fantastic if this has always been your hobby.
- If you choose to operate your business as a stud farm, you can benefit massively when it comes to the finances, and you can choose to rent out your stables to mares during mating seasons.
These advantages aren’t the end of the list, these are just some of those that you should consider for your farm. Next, you should consider the disadvantages. I don’t want to put you off, but every single business in every single industry comes with downsides. Running a business is not easy and when you add in raising animals, managing farmland and dealing with customers, it’s grueling. Some of the disadvantages include:
- Costs can be high. The start-up costs, stables and equipment, the land and the horses and their general care are not cheap to run.
- Vet visits are an essential, but they’re not cheap. General health maintenance and care for injuries falls to you and you should be prepared for that; especially if you have more than one horse.
- You will need to consider your hiring options, including the need for a regular farrier. The horses need to be kept in the best possible condition, from hooves to mane.
- Impressing your customers with the condition of your horses is so important, and there is no room to slack off for it.
- More horses equal more work, which means you have to get your hands dirty and muck out as much as the stable hands that you hire do.
- Insurance and legal advice are expensive, and you will need to take advice regularly so that you don’t lose control of your carefully planned out budget.
The disadvantage list may seem long, but knowing the realities of operating your own horse farm are important before you get yourself immersed in the procedures and later discover that you cannot afford it. You absolutely must gain as much experience as possible when it comes to your horses, as there is no point in trying to run a business if you don’t know how to look after the animals. You don’t necessarily have to know how to ride a horse, especially as you can bring in some help for that aspect. But you will need to know how to lead and handle them. These are animals with their own personalities and when they are disgruntled, you will soon know about it. If they can sense you are panicked and cannot manage them properly, you will spook them.
When the time comes to look for locations for your horses, you need to check the zoning laws. Where you live, you may need a permit for your horse business and if you live in an area where they are not permitted, you will find yourself having to look elsewhere, which may not have been in your plan. However, if you are fully committed to your business, you shouldn’t have any trouble relocating for a better start. Keeping your expectations of your horse business realistic is vital. It’s an expensive start, and you may not make all your investment back right away. Most horse farms start off horse rich and cash poor, but over time you can build it all up to a successful venture, with healthy breeding mares and studs. This will draw in the customers and give you a business that you can ultimately be very proud of. Give your new business time, and you will reap the rewards.