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The saying goes, “do something you love, and you'll never work another day in your life”. We at Love Finance think this is a great way to live if you can find a way to work around your hobby and earn a living, then what could be better?

All things finance is our passion, although we understand that many of our customers don’t share our love of figures, interest rates and helping secure the best finance packages for our clients.

As we have many friends and clients in the farming, agricultural and equestrian sectors, we have decided to highlight how a love of horses could earn you some extra cash, turn into a reliable income stream or even allow you to build a business around your hobby.

No matter your level of interest or skill, there is something for you to build a business around in the equestrian industry.

As with any new business venture, it is imperative that you have the required licences and insurance. Riding instruction, working with children, boarding and travelling animals, and other tasks relating to equestrianism all require specific insurance and qualifications. Advice should always be sought before offering out your services about your potential liability should things not go to plan.

If you need advice on what insurance you need to be aware of your venture, don't hesitate to get in touch.

 

How to Get into the Equestrian Industry

If you are looking to change your career to one involving horses but have little knowledge or experience, don't worry, there are many ways to get into the equestrian industry if you aren’t afraid of a little hard work.

It is vital that before you offer to undertake tasks around horses, you have the relevant experience required to work around these large and sometimes dangerous animals. Suppose you love horses but don't have the skill level to undertake employment. In that case, your first steps are to speak to rescues and non-profit organisations, where free labour is desperately needed, and experienced handlers oversee volunteers as an option to hone your skills. The lessons learnt while working under the supervision of a trained and experienced professional will be instrumental to your career in the future.

If you have experience in the field, you could set up a small business helping with some of the tasks horse owners don’t have the time to do. You could ask your local yard if they need any help or if you can put a few leaflets in their offices, or offer another service you may have in mind.

This could be a way of testing the water and eventually moving up the ladder, or you could find yourself with a booming business doing some of the things horse owners don’t have time to do themselves. Many jobs need doing around the yard that people would love to outsource, leading to you finding a profitable niche. 

Horse owners love to ride but don’t much love the cleaning up after; you could offer a local cleaning service dealing with:

  • Cleaning Tack/GearSaddles, bridles, bits, boots, bandages, breastplates, water buckets, and other tack can get very dirty during rides and can be time-consuming to clean; why not offer your services to local yards offering a mobile cleaning service? Do an excellent job for your current clients, and word of mouth will soon see your business growing in no time.
  • Mucking Out Sure, many places have full-time grooms who will clean stables, but some owners may be interested in outsourcing the job. It could be as simple as a one-off clean or a regular cleaning contract, but if you do a good job, the client will use you again and tell their friend about the excellent service you offer.
  • Clipping Nobody likes to do this, that is true, meaning that there is an opportunity for a motivated entrepreneur who is looking for a foot in the door. Keeping the horses clipped, clean and tidy is essential to ensure they are well turned-out when in competition and don't overheat.

The options don’t stop at cleaning, however. Another suggestion is a rugging and unrugging service. Many people who own horses have day jobs, sometimes far away from the yard in offices and various locations. These people don’t often have time to put on and take blankets from their horses, among other tasks. This can be a big problem, especially in the winter months; you will need to be confident in handling horses and know rugs' different styles and uses. Still, you could very quickly build yourself around rugging and unrugging horses for people who don’t have the time to do it.

Another task that many don’t have the time for is feeding – this could be as simple as throwing out hay in the field or mixing and preparing feeds and supplements, but it is something that needs doing and takes time; you may be able to find a horse owner or group of owners who would be willing to outsource this task to you.

Another great side earner could be blanket washing. If you have access to a large or industrial washing machine, then you could offer a cleaning service in the ilk of dry cleaners offering cleaning to horse owners in your area; you could offer a pickup and collect service for a bit extra and on top of your other enterprises could make a nice little earner.

Another job that is a necessity around horses, and many people don’t like doing it themselves, is manure collection; it's part of good pasture management but can be very time-consuming. You could offer your services as a pooper scooper on a daily, weekly or monthly arrangement, your clients may have a compost pile they want the manure dumping on, but if not, a motivated business person could take the manure away and sell it to a garden centre, farmer or someone else who needs a compost pile.

 

Riding Instruction

If you have a high level of skill in horse riding, then you can pass your knowledge on to others who would benefit from your knowledge; from basic riding skills to competition level instruction, there are always people looking to learn or to ride for the experience, be aware you may need specific qualifications and insurance to carry out riding lessons.

Horse riding instructors are a great help to the upcoming generations; whether you are skilled in show jumping, dressage, eventing or one of the other equestrian disciplines, there are plenty of youngsters and even adults who are looking to learn a new skill, some who want to enter competitions and some who want to get involved for fun or the health benefits.

Instructors charge anything from £15 to £40 per hour, so this could be an excellent way for you to generate an income.

Riding instruction isn’t limited to specific disciplines or a particular set of skills; many instructors operate trail rides as a way to generate an income; trail ride leaders or assistants spend much time riding and meeting new people as well as taking in some fantastic views and experiences while making a payment for the service they are offering the trail riders.

You will need to be a competent rider and be familiar with horse care. Handling and being comfortable with giving instructions to those who may not have significant levels of riding skills and, depending on where you are based, others who may not speak good English.

Costs depend on the service you offer and the length of the trail ride. Still, they can cost anything from £10 per person, so it’s just a case of deciding where you will go and how much you want to charge if you are lucky enough to be surrounded by incredible scenery or areas of historical interest. If you can keep your trail rides widespread and well organised, you could have yourself a very viable business.

If you love horses and have some experience in youth or care work, why not combine your passion with your skill set and become a therapeutic riding instructor?

Horse riding as therapy is a fast-growing market both in the field of youth work and in working with the disabled; if you love horses and have a passion for helping people, then what could be better than imparting your knowledge to people who could find real respite and motivation from your instruction, the ability to make a difference in the lives of others can be a gratifying career while paying the bills at the same time.

Systems are in place to help you become an instructor for disabled and youth projects. You would be responsible for planning lessons, training others, assessing riders and conducting riding sessions.

If you are thinking of becoming a therapeutic instructor, then The Riding for the Disabled Association might be the best place to start your career.

Make your hobby pay

You don’t have to be a beginner or an expert rider to do a business around horses; there are many opportunities to be successful working around your hobby. Just keep your eye out and your options open. Here are a few more options that are out there.

Boarding/Livery

If you have land and stables at your property, then you could consider offering livery at your property; you need to decide how many horses you can house and whether you will provide a full board, which will include some or all of the following: feeding, yard and regular cleaning, stalls/fields/pastures, watering and blanketing/rugging among others services or DIY boarding where your responsibilities are restricted to the upkeep of the facilities.

DIY livery can start at £25 PW, and full board can be upward of £75 PW but sought after locations can be more, and if you offer extra services, something a bit special, you can charge much more. The more livery you can take, the more income your business can generate.

Working with children

Children are big business in the modern world, and parents all over the country are looking for fun and educational activities for their children to keep them busy and engaged; why not offer a children’s camp where kids can learn to ride and also learn about responsible treatment and keeping of animals?

You could offer day camps on weekends or in school holidays, or overnight camps for the immersive farm experience; your local laws and regulations will need to be checked at all times when working with children, so be sure to make sure you are covered in terms of the law when being responsible for kids and that your property meets all the relevant regulations for overnight guests etc.

Another way to teach kids about horses and earn a little along the way is party ponies; this is where you take one or more of your most friendly and tolerant ponies to a party, school or fete for pony rides. You can even use coloured food dyes to decorate the pony should you see fit, even allow the kids to paint the pony if you want.

Arts and Crafts

If you have a skill in arts or crafts and a love for Horses, why not paint or create some pieces and sell your wares to other horse lovers?

Whether you paint or build, stitch or weld, there are many online marketplaces where you could sell your wares and plenty of local shows and country car boots where you can have a stall and sell your creations.

These are just a few ideas of how you can do a business around your hobby of horses; there is much more out there!

If you are thinking about starting your own business and need funding or insurance, why not contact Love Finance and see how we can help make your dream a reality?

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