When you work a full-time job, spending enough time with your horse can be challenging. Not only are you chained to your employment 40+ hours per week, you still have to fit everything else you have to accomplish into your schedule, plus find a way to get to the barn. A trip to the barn is rarely short, so to get quality time with your horse, you have to become a life-hack master. These four life hacks will streamline your personal and professional life, giving you more time at the barn.
Handling a Hay Shortage
In Arizona, this past winter has been unusually cold and wet, and March is continuing the trend. This has been hard on the crops, and hay is no exception. Usually, this time of year, farmers are able to harvest the first cutting of hay, but until we get 30 days of warm, dry weather, the hay remains uncut. Although I bought a large load of hay in the fall, I had more horses than I expected this winter, and I am quickly running out of feed. Hay prices are almost double what I paid before, if I can find hay at all.
Having spent 16 years in Montana, this is not my first hay shortage, and I am sure it will not be my last. This is how to get through a hay shortage without selling your horses.
Your email list is your business’s most valuable asset. If you are using social media to promote your product or service, you risk losing your followers when the social media site changes its algorithms. SEO is a constantly changing game and your Google rankings are always rising and falling. You own your email list, and it should be making you $1 per month per email address. Whether you own a brick and mortar business like me, or your business is completely online, you need an active, engaged email list to find lasting success.
While most bloggers promote building your email list with freebies, this has never been successful for me. Giveaways – done right – have been the most successful way that I have built an active, engaged email list and social media following. This is the step-by-step guide to doing a successful giveaway. (Read Giveaway Winner Announced to see the details of my first successful giveaway.)
Since the economic crash of 2008, our society has had a “hustle ‘til you die” mentality. You hear about entrepreneurs who make it big, but they work 60 or 80 hours a week, or maybe even more. They hustle and hustle, but they never create any continuity in their business, so they have to endlessly hustle to keep money coming in. When you own a small business, certainly at times you have to hustle, with early mornings and late nights, but that is not sustainable long-term. Without continuity, you don’t have a business, and where is your quality of life? What do you give up?
What if there was an easier way than living a “hustle ‘til you die” lifestyle? Something that created continuous income of $100 to $1,000 or more per week with only a little effort on your part? No doubt, any extra money I have funds my horse habit. My horses are a huge part of what makes me happy, but they are an expensive habit.
So, how can you make an extra $100 to $1,000 per week without adding to your hustle?
Horses are an expensive hobby (read The Real Cost of Owning a Horse to see how much I spend on my horses each month). No matter what percentage of my budget my horses use, I am happy I have them. They keep me sane, they keep me active, and most important, they keep me grounded in reality. I spent 16 years in Montana where wages were low and cost of living was high, so I became an expert at finding ways outside of my regular job to fund my horse habit. These three side hustles are the most lucrative ways I boost my income.
When I opened my Tucson horse boarding facility, one of the points I had to consider was whether I would allow stallions on my property (See Should You Board Horses on Your Property? for all the points I considered before boarding any horses). Safely stabling stallions requires more robust facilities than for most mares and geldings. I also had to consider the increased liability if I had a lot of novice horse owners boarding with me who might not be stallion-savvy. While I won’t accept stallions as long-term boarders, I do allow them for overnight and short-term stays.
Seven Side Hustles for Horse Lovers
Horses are an expensive hobby, but “expensive” doesn’t have to mean “unaffordable” no matter what your budget (read The Real Cost of Owning a Horse to see what you should budget for). After college, I had student loans and a mortgage to pay, and my day job paid less than $10/hour, but I still managed to afford my horses without eating Ramen noodles for every meal.
The reality is that our economy still hasn’t recovered from the 2008 recession, and most people have a side hustle. Whether you own a horse or just want to be part of the horse industry, these seven side hustles make you extra money and give you the horse contact you crave. Unlike most bloggers who recommend side hustles they’ve never tried, I’ve actually done all of these.
One of the great mysteries in my life is how to balance horses and parenting. For some parents with a great local support system, this is not so hard. I have always lived far from family, and my husband and I work opposite shifts, so I had to find ways to ride AND parent at the same time. Through months of trial-and-error, these five ways are how I manage to get in the saddle and entertain my kid at the same time.
How did I end up in Sahuarita, Arizona, owning a horse boarding facility? My journey certainly is not in a straight line – more like switchbacks on a mountain. Generally in the right direction, but with lots of ups and downs and reversals along the way.
I always knew that I wanted to own a stable, and I was finally able to open my Tucson horse boarding facility in May 2018.
I did not go into this business inexperienced. I started cleaning stalls in exchange for riding lessons when I was 11, and the stable owner took me under her wing and gave me the opportunity to understand how to really run a business. After college, I helped a colleague build and open a brand-new, high-end horse boarding facility and managed her property for a year. After a 10-year life detour I found my perfect property and knew I was ready to open my own stable.
Is horse boarding right for your small-acreage property? While horse boarding is a great tax write off and can provide you with additional income, whether it is right for you depends on several factors. This is what you should consider before you accept boarders on your property.
Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.