Building Equine Business: Ancillary Services

Hosting clubs, providing facilities for a wedding or offering carriage rides are other popular options for expanding a stable's financial base.
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Hosting weddings, wedding photo shoots or other events can make use of your equine facility and property for non-equine income.

Boarding, training and lessons, on their own or in combination, are the basic money makers for stables. Profit margins can be thin, and increasing the capacity of those services isn’t always the answer for increasing revenues.

Hosting clubs, providing facilities for a wedding or wedding photo shoot, or offering carriage rides are other popular options for expanding a stable's financial base. Each of these options can be lucrative when they are the right fit for your stable. Trying new concepts can be fruitful and taking a look at your expertise can help you consider the possibilities. 

Bethany White, a judge, clinician and instructor in Pittsford, Vermont, offers a Homeschool Horsemanship program. It’s limited to families who have their children enrolled through an agency of education home study program.

“Our Homeschool Horsemanship filled instantly with a waiting list,” she said. “It's a program geared toward beginners that teaches not only riding, but care, coat colors, tack, parts of the horse, etc.”

Summer Terry, the owner of Superior Therapy in Guthrie, Oklahoma, is sharing her knowledge with others. In addition to offering a wide range of rehab therapies, she teaches horse owners basic massage and stretching for their horses as well as to people who want to work in the rehab industry.

“Everyone is looking for a side business and ways to improve their own horses,” she said.

Adding ancillary services can be as simple as thinking about different groups of customers and offering an evening specifically targeted to their interests. Maegen Evans operates Evans Performance Horses at Pondview Farm in Bethlehem, Connecticut. She offers a ladies night and a guys night, plus provides ranch trail and trail obstacle group lessons.

Amanda Vance owns North Country Horses in Ganesvoort, New York. She was approached by two clients interested in hosting a guy’s night for all the dads and husbands who hang out while their children or spouse ride. For a flat fee, participants are treated to snacks of pizza and beverages.

“It kind of started as whim, but then grew into something,” said Scott Keyes, a rider who encouraged the idea and pitches in to help on those nights. 

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