Let me tell you something you already know. Horses. Are. EXPENSIVE! Yep, I said it.
Wow, is this game expensive! The path with horses is not in a straight line. It is not an accounting measure of adding up expenses and that equates a value. Horses are a game of doing everything you can to make smart decisions, working your tail off to get results and then being on the right side of luck when the coin is flipped. We all do it; we all have a passion for it. Sometimes the gamble pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. It should be a “known” in what we do.
Today, I am writing not to discourage you from enjoying your horse passion, but to inform you so that you can make informed decisions. As someone that has made a living in the horse business for quite some time, I want to see others succeed because if they succeed, they’ll stick around! Capitalism 101 — despite what some yahoos might say — is all based off of a mutual exchange of goods and services for both parties to benefit. Capitalism without customers is like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. Good luck.
Business is a game of cashflows, and managing those cashflows will dictate success or failure. More in than — it’s a pretty simple concept, really, but oh so difficult when in life we are faced with unforeseen circumstances. Life is tough. My horse business is extremely capital intense. Margins are razor thin. When I have a dead-beat, non-paying customer, it is tough to manage cashflow. It puts the kibosh on the whole system. I am hopefully getting wiser with customer selection and not allowing accounts to get too out of hand, but it is never easy. As stated earlier, it is rarely a straight line.
So with all that being said, I give you Horse Econ 101:
- Make sure you know costs before you commit.
- If you can’t afford it, don’t do it.
- Whatever you commit to, pay it on time.
- If it is not working, stop it so the expense stops.
- Do not make your problem someone else’s problem.
- Pretty please, with honey on top, do NOT treat your horse venture like a hobby when it comes to those that rely on providing services for your hobby, which is, in fact, their business.
I think that about covers it. I, too, have to follow 1-6 for the health and viability of my horse venture. I sure don’t want No. 5 for my vendors. At times, it sure hasn’t been easy, but alas, I’m still afloat.
Another thing, please don’t waste other people’s time or energy inquiring about horses that you really have no intention of buying or can’t even afford. I have been made a billionaire thrice over off of the deals that didn’t happen and would have never happened because someone, just for the sake of their weird game, wanted to kick my horses’ “tires.” Don’t do that. It makes me and others very grumpy. I’m, of course, exaggerating on the billionaire thing, but I’m 100 percent serious about not being a tire-kicker.
If any of what I have written has offended you, I’m not sorry. I do love you, though, if that helps. This is how I feed my family, so I’m not ashamed of who I am or what I do. I’m just trying to take one day at a time to make my tomorrow better.
To all those that entrust us with their horses through care and services, THANK YOU! We are so very, very, very GRATEFUL! I can’t promise perfect results, but I can promise near-perfect effort in all that we do.
I’ll sign off this entry with — Enjoy your horses at whatever level you deem appropriate and be wise with whatever decision you make. It will affect others. We are all in this together, and we all need each other. It wouldn’t be an industry if it were not so. Horses are the best.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” —Winston Churchill