first the bad news
How do you make a small fortune with horses? You start with a large fortune.
For so many this is the reality of working in the equine industry. And the galloping housewife is no different. She has lost an extortionate amount of money in various business ventures from training to sales to commerce and watched many more friends and colleagues fail. She has seen world class riders having to sell their best horses just to keep a roof over their head, grooms subsisting on minimum wages, service professionals hanging up the tools of their trade and too many retail outlets to mention closing their doors permanently.
Yet there are plenty of successful businesses out there. Competition and livery yard owners, agents and dealers, photographers and bodyworkers who are traveling the world and living the lives of their dreams. The galloping housewife herself has gone from being six figures in debt to being on her way to a six figure profit this year. It is not just possible, it is necessary for an industry that is under a lot of pressure. With a growing awareness of the need for social licence on both a horse welfare front and the environmental impact of equestrian sport and the loss of corporate sponsorship partnerships as the commercial feasibility of these has declined, we need small and medium sized businesses to be successful if we are going to remain relevant and viable.
The galloping housewife has learned a lot of her lessons the hard way. Like most people who work with horses, she ended up in business by default rather than conscious choice. She believed the commonly quoted mantras ‘choose a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ and ‘do what you love and the money will follow’. She also followed the business models of others, not knowing that they were failing on a grand scale. Make no mistake, the galloping housewife is intelligent and capable and is not afraid of hard work, yet she still found herself at the bottom of a deep pit with no escape route.
For the past 18 months, the galloping housewife has gone on a journey of self development, beginning with a cold hard look at the reality of her situation. She faced her fears, got her head out of the sand and began to look at ways to improve her circumstances. She analysed her mistakes, read books and invested in courses & mentorship. She took responsibility and made changes. Over this time she still made some critical errors, trusting people that she shouldn’t have and paid the price of thinking that others have anything but their own interests and egos at heart. Yet she persisted.
She is now in a position where, even as she continues to grow and learn, she can transfer some of this knowledge and help others get ahead and not only make a profit from their passion, but truly become the leaders that our sport needs. Going forward we need to be more self sufficient. We need to make a career in equestrian sport a sustainable option at all levels of the game. If we are to survive we need to be an industry that can pay its own way and not be reliant on the wealthy amateur or the ultra rich to prop us up.
If you’d like real world advice presented in a practical way that you can implement in your day to day business to actually make money with horses, then follow along. It’s not always going to be easy, there will be tears amongst the laughter, but it is achievable, no matter what your particular brand of business is. And it will be worth it.