By default stable managers tend to advertise boarding, training and lesson opportunities in tack rooms and regional horse publications. Advertising in horse-related venues means your message is only reaching people who already own and/or ride horses. This is an important target market and one that cannot be ignored. However, they are a finite group in any geographic area.
Reaching out to non-horse people and bringing them into the industry opens so many doors for trainers, farriers, veterinarians and anyone making a living working with horses. Finding ways to reach those who are new to horses and offering programs specifically for Those people will allow the equine industry—and your facility—to flourish.
Reaching a New Audience
Regular lessons at Cooperstown Equestrian Park in Hartwick, New York, were already full. Owner Cody Pritchard knew she couldn’t handle a large influx of riders interested in weekly lessons. However, her stable’s proximity to the tourist attraction Cooperstown Dreams Park promised a profitable opportunity.
“When the families come into town for the youth baseball activities, we see an opportunity to serve the sisters and other family members who are not participating in the baseball activity,” Pritchard said.
On Fridays, when Dreams Park camp families turn over, Pritchard trailers a horse to the community mini-golf course and provides details on her weekly summer camps.
“It was a great way to promote the farm,” she said.
At the same time she seized an opportunity to reach a local audience, children enrolled in the public school summer recreation camps. She gave each camp attendee an opportunity to pet Ludevic, a 20-year-old Norwegian Fjord, and a lesson on how to pet, groom and handle a horse and also how to behave around horses.
By the end of the summer of 2015, she introduced more than 1,000 newcomers to horses. Her weekly lesson programs continue to be full, she regularly receives invitations to community events, and she expects her 2016 summer camps to fill quickly.