Budgeting for Horse Barn Owners

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Whether running a private operation with a few horses or a large boarding facility, the thought of budgeting can send some farm owners into a mental tailspin. The task can seem tedious and time-consuming, so they avoid it, figuring out how to manage things financially one step at a time. But for a commercial horse facility owner, having and sticking to a budget can be crucial to staying afloat. And for any horse owner it can be freeing, in that it allows you to make financially sound decisions on matters such as setting board rates or choosing a time frame for making big purchases.

Barn owners are subject to the same economic challenges and hardships as owners of any other business; when fuel prices go up, for instance, so do expenses such as costs for transporting supplies (in the barn owner’s case, feed and bedding). Daily wear and tear on facilities takes its toll, and equipment must be repaired and replaced so it remains in safe working order. Plus, horses are known for their destructive habits and can easily upset the barn budget apple cart when they kick, chew on, or break things.

A practical barn owner and/or manager that’s both creative and diligent in overseeing facility expenses can provide a safe, functional, enjoyable facility, while also being profitable.

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

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