Building Business at Stables: Clinics

Hosting clinics is effective for introducing potential new clients to your horse facility and cementing relationships with existing clients.
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lesson clinic riding area

Selection of your clinician, facility, time of year and costs are just a few things to consider if you are putting on a riding clinic.

Hosting clinics is effective for introducing potential new clients to your horse facility and cementing relationships with existing clients. There are a lot of logistics to consider in order to put on a successful clinic. You need to choose a place, clinician, time of year, and determine how the clinic will be priced and conducted in order to be successful.

Planning a clinic requires time and brings with it a few worries. The concerns start as soon as you sign the contract with the clinician to the time the clinic starts, and continues until the clinician arrives back at his or her home, she said.

Here’s a few things to consider:

  • The cost of the clinic to you and participants—can you make money or at least break even?
  • The number of riders. Sometimes the clinician decides this.
  • The facility fee if you’re renting an arena to host the clinic or if you are leasing your facility to someone else to hold a clinic.
  • The materials charge for things like cattle, jumps or other equipment required to host the clinic.
  • The meal arrangements.
  • The facility amenities to ensure they allow enough space for trucks/trailers and some form of a restroom on-site.
  • Liability insurance.
  • Wellness of participants and clinician.

Wendy Shufelt rents a friend’s equine facility in upstate New York to bring Indiana trainer Steve Lantvit to serve her clients. She said, “When setting the fee for a clinic, you have to make sure you add in your expenses to cover any and all outside costs of the clinic. As far as the number of people who attend, the clinician will tell you the minimum and maximum number they would like to attend.”

To make the process of organizing a clinic easier, Shufelt recommended:

  • Collect a deposit to reserve a rider’s spot.
  • Require that all fees are paid in full in a reasonable timeframe before the clinic.
  • Create a backup plan, and as the pandemic has proven, have a plan A, B and C. When all else fails, wing it!
  • Prepare for the unexpected
  • Have fun! Organizing a clinic can be stressful, but it’s also an opportunity to learn and earn.

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