It’s not uncommon for professional horsemen and women to share Anne Brzezicki’s sentiments of loving the work but hating the business aspect of the horse industry. Professionals are drawn to run stables and to teach because they enjoy being around horses. Unfortunately, running a long-lasting equine operation means learning business fundamentals.
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Brzezicki is a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) executive committee member on the CHA board. She runs her own lesson business and recently retired from the Middle Tennessee State University, where she was the director of Equine Laboratories and the equestrian team coach.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the work, especially if you love it, and forget to do the billing. Then the money doesn’t come in and you’re stressed out, and it’s your own fault,” she said.
Equine business owners can create an Amazon Business Account.
Any business, but especially horse businesses, can only withstand so much charity. When someone loves what they do, they tend to do it for anyone and everyone, sometimes at no or reduced costs. Sometimes it is a feeling of “paying it forward” and sometimes it is just for the love of the business. However, it’s important to find a balance between paying it forward and making sure you are getting paid in order to keep your business afloat.
“You can’t keep the doors open giving all your services away,” Brzezicki said. “On the other hand, I do know trainers and teachers who don’t do anything for free, and I think that’s wrong. It is good karma and good business to give away some 4-H and Novice clinics, help out the new person at the horse show who looks lost, and generally to be a good citizen of, and ambassador for, the horse industry.”
Brzezicki encourages professionals to figure out what they do well and to do that often. However, she also encourages individuals to work on the things they don’t excel at.
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“You never know when you will need other skills or abilities, or services to offer, and diversity often helps in times that are tough. Which is nearly always in this business,” she said.
Editor’s note: If you are looking for ways to give back to the equine industry, check out Stable Management’s “Giving Back is Good for Equine Business” series.