I have been in “business” since 2011 and there have been so many ups and downs. Tonight I am sitting here reflecting on the last several years and all the struggles that have come with trying to run a horse business.
The first struggle for me is not having an arena or place to board/train training horses. I have a 60′ round pen in one corner of my pasture and a 20 acre field. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. My field is planted in hay for several months each year and riding young colts in an open field isn’t always ideal or safe for that matter. As for my round pen, it is great for starting horses, working horses under saddle and putting the first several rides on a horse, bitting up and “fixing” things on a horse. However, too much work in the round pen will bore a horse and they start to lose focus and thus resulting in misbehavior and no training getting done.
The second struggle I have is financial. I am working a regular 40 hour a week job to pay bills and to afford my horses and barrel racing. I have 2 current lesson students each week which pays for a little bit of stuff but it’s hard. Plus I need to be able to pay for insurance which isn’t cheap.
The third struggle I have is that because I don’t have my own arena I don’t have as many lesson students as I would like. I travel out to teach lessons and the problem with that is there is usually a percentage that is paid to the barn you are teaching out of. I don’t charge my students extra to cover this fee (probably something I should do, but I want to keep it reasonable for them).
The last few years have been a learning experience and hope that 2015 brings us a place to be permanently so that we can grow and share the knowledge and passion for barrel racing and horses we have. Thank you to all who have supported SL Barrel Horses through the ups and downs of the last few years!