Chilly temperatures, rain and snow often limit the amount of time boarders and lesson students spend at the barn. Finding ways to keep customers active throughout winter keeps them connected with your facility all year long. Here are three ideas you can try at your facility.
1. Host a Workshop
Organizing an educational event takes planning and preparation. When done well, these can have a lasting effect on the quality of care your clients provide to their horses while simultaneously fostering feelings of appreciation and loyalty to your facility.
Healthcare topics are endless, but pick a topic that is relevant and interesting to the people you’re hoping will attend. A topic like wound care or wrapping a horse’s leg is perfect for beginners, whereas preventing injury or lameness might be geared toward riders with more experience. Topics such as herpesvirus, Lyme disease, metabolic syndrome or basic nutrition could be of interest to all.
2. Organize a Field Trip
It might be too cold to ride, but bringing clients together for field trips is a fun way of keeping customers connected to you and each other. Outdoor activities such as sledding snow tubing, ice-skating or skiing are activities adults and children enjoy. The movies, a potluck lunch or a trip to a horse-related expo are other ideas. If you have a trained driving horse and a sleigh, break it out and get everyone to help clean it up and plan a sleigh day for the first big snow. Do you have lots of acres with pine, cedar or other Christmas-type trees? Let clients come and cut their own trees.
3. Plan a Tack Swap and Sale
Stuff accumulates quickly around a barn. Every rider, horse owner and stable manager has a pile of unused tack or clothing. Coordinate a barn-wide tack swap or sale and offer boarders and lesson students an opportunity to clean out unneeded gear. Expanding the event to include nearby barns or riding clubs could generate even more opportunities to get rid of and/or acquire needed equipment.
Ask for Input
The possibilities for non-riding events or outings are endless. For the greatest chance of success, ask clients what they would like to do. That takes the guesswork out of choosing an event and increases participation.