The Profitable Horseman's Newsletter The only weekly electronic newsletter published for Professional Horsemen.
June 15, 2007

Are you tired of trying to make money in the horse business the old way? I help professional horsemen find new and better methods to add to the profitability of their businesses.
Welcome New Subscribers!

in this issue
  • Want to Transform Your Horse Business with More Profit and better balance between work, rest & play?
  • Picking Up the Pace
  • Others have said
  • Back at the Barn
  • Build the Horse Business You've Always Wanted
  • Speaking about the Horse Business...

  • Picking Up the Pace

    I was riding Rascal, our ever steady quarter horse, at a lazy, daydreaming walk the other day and lost touch with his slowing pace - until we were passed by a turtle.

    This happens often in warm weather since Rascal is thermostatically controlled. By that, I mean when the outside temperature rises above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Rascal slows his pace to a ratio of his comfort level divided by the temperature squared.

    Sensing my agitation, he must think, "No sweat, Doug, we'll still get where we're going, it'll just take a little longer."

    And from a horse's perspective, what's wrong with that? To a horse, time is an interval between feeding, naps and occasional work. To a business owner, time is an interval in which results happen that will reward the owner based on the value created by those results.

    Put simply, the time available to complete a task is limited and pace does matter.

    And that is true in your horse business. Think about all of the routine processes and systems that happen every day in your business: Feeding, watering, stall cleaning, bedding, turn outs, grooming, blanketing, bathing, and cooling out. Your pace and your employees' pace determine the amount of time it takes to complete the routine work. This time is subtracted first from the total hours available in the work day.

    Time available for instruction, training, sales and business development is determined after the time taken for routine functions is deducted. These tasks produce the revenue of the business and unfortunately, they are at the mercy of you and your staff's efficiency at completing routine work.

    So how do you improve timeliness on the horse farm? When Rascal chooses the pace of a turtle, I use a reminder system. It's very simple. I just put a crop in my hand and he is reminded that he should move more quickly than a snail's pace. He doesn't need to be touched by the crop; it's a signal for my expectations.

    In spite of what may cross your mind, I don't recommend using a crop on your employees, but here are tips on picking up the pace for each work day:

    • Establish benchmark times for starting and completing stall cleaning and bedding. As an example start at 7:00 A.M. and finish by 10:30 A.M.
    • Calculate an average time for mucking and bedding a stall. As an example: seven minutes.
    • Post feeding times and stick to the schedule.
    • Prepare a daily horse turnout schedule with regular time slots to eliminate confusion and keep the process moving
    • Post the lesson schedule for the day for both employees and students to see to help reduce delays and encourage punctuality
    • List the daily training schedule by horse and time slot to avoid casual interruptions.

    While rushing through work only encourages poor results, defined expectations encourage a productive pace and feeling of accomplishment for all.

    Do your employees clearly know your expectations?

    Have you set expectations of yourself that encourage you to pick up the pace?

    Others have said

    "A schedule defends from chaos and whim." -- Annie Dillard

    "If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal." -- Norman Vincent Peale

    "There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full." -- Henry Kissinger

    Back at the Barn

    Picking up the pace is always a challenge for me. I'm often thinking of C. Northcote Parkinson, creator of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

    If you have three weeks to complete a project, it will take the full three weeks. If it has to be done in three days, it will be done in three days.

    As a recovering perfectionist, I often set a deadline before the deadline to help get things done.

    Sometimes, good enough is good enough.

    Build the Horse Business You've Always Wanted

    I work with Professional Horsemen who are struggling with the business half of the horse business.

    Just like a top performing horse has a strong foundation, so does a top performing horse business.

    If you've had enough with disappointment in your horse business, call or e-mail and we can talk about your business and how I may be able to help you.

    A big Welcome to new subscribers this week. If you know other horsemen who would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to them!

    I appreciate your help !


    Speaking about the Horse Business...
    megaphone man

    Need a speaker about the horse business for your horse related organization? Talk to me about talking. Keynotes and workshops available. (716) 434-5371

    Want to Transform Your Horse Business with More Profit and better balance between work, rest & play?
    istock classroom

    A one day Profitable Horseman workshop can come to your neighborhood! Put together a group of six or more workshop attendees and I'll travel to your location.

    We'll cover strategies for success in the horse business:

    • Creating a three year vision for your business
    • Building a plan for profitability and getting contol of the money
    • Planning the time to plan
    • Leadership within your business
    • Creating customer service
    • The art of selling
    • Marketing methodically
    • Balancing work, rest and play

    Sound like a good idea?

    Ideas only work when put into action.

    Call (716) 434-5371 or email here.

    Click on the links below for more information

    Profitable Horseman Web Page

    Past issues of Profitable Horseman newsletter

    Professional Horsemen's Blog- More Free Business Tips Click on the link.

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