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The Profitable Horseman's Newsletter Helping Horsemen with Solutions, Growth and Change in Business
February 8, 2006

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.

in this issue
  • Looking for a Speaker about the Business of Being in the Horse Business?
  • Riding Arenas: Risk and Reward
  • Others have said
  • Back at the Barn
  • More Profit in Less Time
  • Getting to the Point

  • Riding Arenas: Risk and Reward
    Parco Arena

    Picture this scene. Bright sunshine, clear blue skies, shirt sleeve riding conditions, clippety clop, clippety clop, not a problem in the world for horse or rider. All of us have ridden on perfect weather days and there is no better scene for enjoying horses.

    The problem is that in most parts of the world, there arenít enough of those perfect weather days. Weather and a busy professional horseman are often in conflict with each other. Scorching sun, bitter cold, rain, snow, mud and fierce winds can severely limit the number of days to make money with horses with training, riding lessons or attracting customers to your boarding facility.

    A day lost due to bad weather is lost money for the professional horseman. That window of time to generate income for your professional services is gone forever. Sure, you can ďmake it up" another day, but that means you lose a day off or you have to work long hours the following days to recover the income.

    The solution for those horsemen who are always fighting the weather is to build an indoor riding arena for bad weather and early morning and after dark work. I can hear some readers thinking, yes but, GASP, I canít afford it!

    My answer to that comment is a question. Is it possible that you canít afford not to have an indoor arena?

    I am the first to admit that every personal financial situation is different, but for the sake of simplicity letís consider the following example:

    You have $5000 to put toward construction of an $80,000 indoor riding arena with not too many frills other than a roof, four walls and proper footing and lighting.

    You borrow conventionally, or creatively, $75,000 at 6.5% interest to be repaid monthly over 15 years. The monthly payment is $653 per month.

    Letís ignore additional real estate tax, insurance, utilities and maintenance expenses because they will vary by location; please donít forget to include these expenses in your personal calculations in making your investment decisions.

    Now, calculate how much horse training and riding lesson income you lose annually due to bad weather and not being able to work before light or after dark. How does that loss on a monthly basis compare with all of the costs of having an indoor arena? You may be surprised with the results. Could the lost revenue due to weather pay for the indoor arena?

    I talked with Pete Rohring, owner of Parco Building Systems over coffee last week. (click here for link) Heís been building barns and arenas for over 25 years and had some tips and considerations for building indoor arenas.

    • Find out if your builder carries builders risk insurance coverage for the structure during the construction process. Wind damage to partially complete structures is the most common culprit for building damages. If the builder doesnít offer it, look into getting your own coverage.
    • Door openings large enough to drive a hay wagon through are important for ventilation and getting things that need to stay dry out of the weather in a hurry.
    • A 36Ē wide service door is handy for people to move in and out without disturbing riders and horses by opening large doors. A four foot wide sliding door for walking horses in and out and saves large door opening time, too.
    • A ĺĒ plywood liner built on a taper to protect riders legs and steel walls is a nice touch
    • A roof vent on the ridge helps keep air moving and minimize condensation. Consider roof insulation for condensation control and noise reduction during heavy rainfall.
    • Natural light provided through skylight roof panels is nice but consider the potential for leaks and shadows and sunspots on the arena footing from skylights. Eave light panels in sidewalls are efficient and lower maintenance.
    • Overhangs (minimum 16Ē) create shadow lines on the exterior for architectural appeal and also keep snow and rain away from the building sidewalls.
    • Donít forget ice guards for northern climates.
    • Good lighting is important. Talk to experts in lighting commercial buildings.
    • Base Footing should be well-compacted and surface footing selected for dust control.

    Put that pencil and calculator to work some evening and do indoor work on how you might be able to do more ďindoor work.Ē

    Others have said

    "If a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade." -- Tom Peters

    "The best investment is in the tools of one's own trade." -- Benjamin Franklin

    "A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it." -- Francis Bacon

    Back at the Barn
    back at barn

    Pete Rohring built an indoor arena for us several years ago after a difficult financial decision to go ahead was made by Betsey and me. Okay, it was tough for me. Betsey sees value more quickly than I do and she knew that it would be a good investment from the start.

    I rode inside on Saturday this past weekend while the winter winds outside were gusting up to forty miles per hour. On Sunday, I rode inside while sleet and rain saturated the ground enough to create a lake in our outdoor riding area.

    While riding, I was thinking about the business investment we made, the increase in value in our real estate and the fact that I can enjoy working with the horses on my schedule instead of the schedule created by fickle weather. A rare occasion it is when man triumphs over weather!

    Life is short.

    Ride hard.


    More Profit in Less Time

    I show Professional Horsemen how to use 8 key strategies to build a business that creates more profit in less time. Call me and we can talk about how your business can benefit.

    If you know other horsemen who would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to them! I am on a quest to tell 1000 people what I do and I need your help.

    The purpose of this publication is to help professional horsemen also be Profitable Horsemen.

    Getting to the Point

    I write another weekly newsletter about the business of life. Curious? Click here

    Looking for a Speaker about the Business of Being in the Horse Business?
    megaphone man

    Have Voice, Will Travel. I am available to speak to your horsemen's group about making money in the horse business. With a 39 billion dollar industry, there are plenty of opportunities to make a profit.

    I speak to horsemen's groups about ways to improve profitability in the horse business. I'm also available to present a half or full day workshop for groups interested in making money in the horse business.

    Call or email me today about your meeting needs.

    Click on these links for more information

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