Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How realistic is this???

This is an out of the blue suggestion from my husband and I kind of ignored it when he first mentioned it but he keeps bringing it up and so I feel like I should at least look into it.  So here is where you my friends come in.  Let me know your unbridled opinions about it.  Ryan has mentioned more than once about building a barn suitable to board up to 5 horses.  So we would need probably a 10 stall barn.  That would be a bit big but who knows what the future holds as far as my horses are concerned and I may get more down the road when all my girls are riding.  We have been talking about if we could board 4-5 horses that it should cover the cost of the barn and finance my horses.  Is that realistic thinking?  I know people do it but I don't know what kind of profit can be turned on each horse. 

This is obviously in the brainstorming phase and just trying to get an idea how much I should look into it.  I know we could get a very reasonable price having the Amish build it but I am trying to look into the financing available for something like this.  I have a loan officer looking into the possiblity of a small business loan and or other financing available for this type of thing.  Wow I can't even imagine this turning into a reality but the idea of it is pretty cool.  It may stay just that, a cool idea.  Who knows.

So lay it out for me and let me know your thoughts.  Am I crazy?  Ok I know I am crazy but I am talking specifically about this one matter.  I am hugely afraid of the risk involved.  It is tough when you are young but I hate the idea of having to wait until we are old to start building something like this.  OK OK not neccessarily "old" but when the children are grown and then starting a business?  I mean that is when the house will be paid off and there will be equity and extra cash available.  But is that what would be best?  To get through life with minimal amount of risk?  I don't know and thus I am looking to you for wisdom and advice.

A dream of mine is to have a family business.  Something the Ryan, me and the girls can do as a family to bring in money yet keep us together as much as possible.  We have considered many different avenues that could be done and are still trying to find the thing that works best for us.  What could be better, working with my family and working with horses???

So what do you think about"
Country Paradise Stables

Lemme have it girls!


  1. I think it depends on what the demand is where you are and what prices you can charge, and your cost structure. A big - the biggest - part of the cost structure can be labor, if you hire labor to help. And property taxes and maintenance can be big - if you've got a well-designed, low-maintenance property, that helps a lot.

    Do a really good, really thorough business plan. Make sure you have enough capital to cover unexpected expenses - there will be some. Also factor in the increasing price of things like fuel, other utilities, etc. Stress test the model for unexpecteds - what if there's another economic crisis and your boarders evaporate - can you cut expenses to match? What's your break-even point in terms of revenues/costs. Beware of non-variable costs such as property taxes and facilities maintenance - if your revenue should decline, can you cover them.

    It can be hard to make a living on board alone - most financially successful stables require training and lesson fees to do well. But people do run successful boarding operations, particularly if they're willing to put in a lot of their own labor and can configure their facility and layout so that expenses can be kept down.

  2. All labor will be done by me, my husband and my children. Would our property taxes increase with the building of a barn? As far as demand in our area that is the biggest unknown for me. It is not a huge demand like I know other areas are. My best guestimate on board would be 200-300.
    The biggest thing is I am not trying to make a living at all. I want to just cover the cost of a payment on the barn and cost of my horses. My husband is the provider and he would never not work. I would also do lessons to add income but do not plan to have a training facilty. We would be more low key than that. Though I would like to provide a small xc course and outdoor arena and maybe small indoor.

  3. Hmm, could be fun but yes, there are LOTS of details to work out. My BO has 4 of her own (and now a 5th-Mini). She boards 5 others. We basically cover the cost of to own her horses and feed them for free. The two of them (husband/wife) do all the chores. She doesn't work outside of the barn so she has the time to do it. Her biggest compliant is it leaves no time for to work with her horses. Depends on the person you are, how quick you move, etc too, I would imagine. Another issue that has newly arose, is one of the boarded horses colicked. The BO has been up every 2-3 hrs checking on him for 3 days..the boarder has been out maybe twice. As a BO sometimes, you deal with that BS too. Staying price competitive is tough too. As you know shavings went up but board costs have lowered in our state due to tough economy.
    I can see the Pro's for sure..working with family, at home, and with horses is HUGE. That may very well outweigh the cons...but the financial aspects are what you want to be SURE on. Exciting thinking though :)

  4. Kristen those are great points. Those are all things we have to seriously consider going into this. Hmmmmm is right. Would I have time to ride? That is a huge con for me. I would be doing it to afford my horses but if I won't have time or energy to play horsey then it wouldn't be worth it to me.

  5. I definitely think it's worth looking into, but it depends on what you are offering. Maybe start there and think outwards. What your dream barn? Is that what you want to offer? Pasture boarding with bring-in at night to comfy stalls? Do you have the land for that? Are there places to ride? I keep one of my mares at a lovely semi-private barn. The property is owned by a family who is committed to holding the land and farm, but they have no role in operating the facility. It works for me because board is $250 a month and I can work off a little of it by staying in the chores rotation.

    In short, there is a lot of good feedback here, but I want to encourage you to dream out loud a little (imagine what you'd really want it to be) and then back up from there. Ask for the moon and you might get at least a star...

    How's the part-time job going, by the way?

  6. Its a dream id like to make reality here too! So, I say if you can swing the initial lay out costs and you think there is reasonable demand go for it! Quality care is something I thin people will always be willing to pay for... you just have to know where to look to get a few good boarders!

    realisitically it costs us a bit less than $100 per month per horse we have at home. Thats hay, grain, minimal shavings (we use bagged pine beddig and i use one bag to "start" a stall then put in about 1/4 bag fresh per cleaning)a nominal fee to cover the electrical to run the water (we have a well, so no water costs) and lights in the barn.

    If you had to cover an employee to muck or feed that would add to costs. Insurance would be something to look into... we havnt quite figured that out ourselves. The cost of a loan payment etc. would maybe bring the total to $200 per month per horse... if you got 5 boarders they would easily cover your horses.

    Get going girl! Let me know when you break ground!

  7. I hope to have my own barn someday too. Everyone else who commented gave great advice. I would just plan it out well and hopefully things will work out. Two of my friends have both started their own boarding barns and it seems that you have to struggle for some months before things start heading in the right direction. They have to dealt with colics, water pipes breaking (flooded pasture), fence breaks, loose horses, people stealing, hired helpers being untrue, etc. There can be a lot of drama going on and it seems when they are away from the barn that it hits it's peak. Having your own stable and taking care of people's horses will make the barn be your LIFE. Also, if the barn is on the same property as your house, you might have people knocking at your door constantly. Not to mention the occasional crazy boarders who might come your way! But on the plus side, it would be YOUR place with YOUR rules. It is fun to have barn parties and get togethers, hanging out with friends. You might make some friends you could ride your horses with too!

  8. No one has mentioned this, so I probably should--INSURANCE. By all accounts, it's quite expensive and very necessary. What if one of your boarders rides on your property and gets hurt? Insurance companies tend to be pretty suit-happy, if you know what I mean.

    Definitely consider your market. I think it would be fun to board a couple of retired horses, but I am the sort of person who does not like constant interaction with other people, especially at my house which would then be a business.

    Good luck!

  9. Wow I have no experience with owning, starting or running a business so I can't really help, but I wish you luck if you do decide to do it. It could be fun, but would be a TON of work. It might just be easier to have a job to help pay for your horses that you can leave at the end of the day and not think about it again until the next day (less work and less stress). That may just be my personality though. I've never thought I would enjoy owning a business. I stress and agonize over every detail too much. Keep us updated on what you decide.


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