The winter season marks the beginning of another New Year. It’s time to celebrate and to get off on the right foot. Start the year with a critical eye, suggested Larry and Marnye Langer who operate Langer Equestrian Group in Burbank, California. They recommend evaluating how the facility looks, operates and functions.
“This is a good time to consider if the barn needs a facelift and to evaluate the condition of your parking lot,” Larry said.
Generally, the winter months are a quieter time of year around the stable. Take advantage of the downtime as an opportunity to de-clutter. “Stuff accumulates, trees grow over roofs and broken equipment gest tossed into the ever-present junk pile,” Marnye said. “Neaten, clean and organize.
For tips to declutter your barn, read our tips for organizing your tack room https://stablemanagement.com/articles/tack-room-organizing-tips-31821 or our series on decluttering your barn https://stablemanagement.com/articles/clutter-buster-tips-stable-54274.
The slower time of year is also an opportunity to review and update your stable’s safety practices, Larry said. If your barn doesn’t have fire extinguishers, buy them. If fire extinguishers are present, have them tested and be sure that staff knows where they are and how to use them.
“Ask yourself if your staff is prepared to deal with an emergency,” Marnye said.
Emergencies can range from horses having a medical issue to fires and natural disasters. Create a plan for dealing with these scenarios and share with staff and boarders.
For facilities that cater to clients who compete, the winter months are an ideal time to decide which shows or events to compete in.
“Usually we sit down and plan out our shows for the upcoming summer and fall season and then from there decide where everything will fit in,” said Kendra Duggleby, a United States Hunter Jumper Emerging Athlete. She has an integral role in managing her family’s Cleveland, New York stable North Riding.
While Duggleby focuses on the events, her father and brother, who are intimately involved in the business take the lead on projects that need to be done around the farm.
Taking advantage of a slower time of year can help your business flourish throughout the year.