There are many products or services out there that become successful and a business is able to build on them. Then in time, the business can branch out into other products and/or services. Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo of Straight Arrow Products seems to be one such example. Originally established by the Katzev family on their home farm, the Mane ‘n Tail shampoo and conditioner products soon became popular for equine enthusiasts.
There is a statement on their site that a well-groomed horse leaves a lasting impression. And isn’t that the truth! And if not, perhaps you could spin it the other way – a badly presented horse leaves a lasting impression! Just not a good one 😉
These horse cleaning products are boasted to be high quality, safe and also effective. As it states on their site:
“These micro-enriched protein based formulas performed incredibly well, providing a down to the skin clean, without being harsh or stripping the necessary oils found naturally in the horses’ coat, mane, tail and skin.”
Mane ‘n Tail Grooming Products
Now more than shampoo and conditioner, Straight Arrow Products are made up of many other things. And yet, the products all have one goal: “to make horse grooming easier, horses healthier while making their owners, happier.”
What horse product or service idea do you have that you can see making a difference in the equine industry? It just goes to show, you can focus on one idea and make this a success and then in time, expand. Chances are if you work in the equine industry, you’re at a level where you can see what may be lacking or desperately needed. As you meet a need in any industry with a product or service, people will embrace it.
“It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” ― Adlai E. Stevenson II
I recently became aware of a marketing business called Candesco Online. What drew my attention was that one area focuses specifically on equestrian marketing. Definitely there are businesses that need to be able to address a wide range of areas to provide their services. Marketing is one such area. But how wonderful as an equine business to know that the person helping you to market your product/service also knows about the equine industry!
For Candesco Online, there is a particular worker who is able to boast over 45 years equestrian related experience. Debbie is not only a qualified saddler, but has also competed in dressage, show jumping and cross country as well as carriage driving.
What a resume to have for your equine clients who want to market their business! When you combine this vast equestrian knowledge with a background in marketing, you’re more likely to be comfortable hiring such a person to help market your equine related business.
Equestrian Marketing with Candesco Online
Things appear to be summed up well on the equestrian marketing page of their site:
“whatever your target market, we have the equestrian knowledge and expertise to help you reach your target audience in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.”
And honestly, who doesn’t want results like that? Someone who knows the equestrian industry as well as marketing is quickly able to help your business. They can identify who you should be promoting your product/s and/or services to. Being able to do so will save you time and money for your equine related business.
We all have various skills and passions. What’s to stop you from combining yours with a horse focus? There are so many equine career options out there.
“You seem to be trying to ride a pony named Trouble all the way to the border.” ― Erik Bundy
I recently made a post about the equine Podcasts that can be downloaded over at Come Along for the Ride. Tracy Malone has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about this initiative.
How much of your day/week is related to horses?
As much as possible with 4 children and organic gardens to tend to as well! I have 4 horses here at home so I’m lucky that I have them so close. I love to ride and would do so more often if time would allow it. My weekly riding lesson is the thing that keeps me grounded and on course.
What is it exactly that you do?
I have a podcast called Come Along for the Ride, a podcast for horse lovers everywhere. I am also in the start-up phase of my own business making natural, ethical and effective Insect Repellent, Itch Spray and a Healing Cream for itch, mud fever and cuts and scrapes.
In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
There are 2 ways to make money from podcasts. You either work hard to get high listener numbers and get sponsorship, or you have a product of your own to sell. I am living in bliss making my podcast, it allows me to follow a passion of mine and be completely indulgent in a topic that I love so much! It is also a part of a larger plan.
I am indulging a passion and at the same time building a personal brand, once my product is ready I will be leveraging the profile I have built to sell my own products. My grand plan is to run it as a partial social enterprise so watch this space!
As far as a full time liveable income, podcasting is a very long game that you have to play. To come into the market with a podcast only and to earn a liveable income within the first year would be very, very difficult. You need such high numbers to be able to command sponsorship money to cover living expenses, there are very few podcasters internationally who live off their podcast sponsors alone, and those people are getting millions of listens each episode. You really need a product to sell to make it financially viable in my opinion.
What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Anyone can start a podcast. You just have to upskill yourself which can all be done for free over YouTube or by listening to podcasts about podcasting. You can do all of it for free yourself, or you can pay someone to do it for you. It can be as simple, or as complicated as you like.
Favourite horse memory?
The moments when my horse and I are truly connected and working as one. My Spanish Mustang mare Gypsy, is on the cover of the podcast with me. She is such an intelligent horse that, like all Spanish Mustangs, bonds firmly to one person. And I am lucky enough to be her person. I can walk into the paddock and say “come and check this out with me” and she will happily leave the herd and come on a little adventure with me, she helps me move our pony around by walking behind him and keeps him moving as I lead him.
She will be started under saddle in the next year and I am so thrilled to be able to go on adventures with her. Now when she walks with me she falls into step with me naturally without me asking. These memories of her willingness to connect and build relationship make me smile every day.
To make the world a better place for horses with a great informative podcast with trainers who can show us a new way to be with our incredible horses. And also to develop and sell a product that is kind to horses. As well as makes a positive difference in their life by giving them relief. As well as the profits giving back to horses on a large scale.
Best thing about your sport/profession?
I feel so incredibly privileged to have access to the calibre of horse people I have on the podcast. I get a look into their life and the journey they have taken to get to where they are. And I learn so much from every interview.
It would take me decades and thousands of dollars to get the kind of insights I get each week. I am so incredibly grateful each day to have the privilege to do this work. And the best part is: I thought of the idea, I upskilled myself and I created the exact podcast that I wanted. I have full creative influence over all the content and that is an incredible thing. It takes a lot of commitment and time, but I have a vision and the podcast and interviews fill me with so much joy and gives me focus.
Once again thanks to Twitter, I was made aware of another incredible horse setup. This one is Pony Power Trust. It seems to me that equine therapies are growing in numbers, availability and the different areas that horses and ponies can be used to benefit people. There is an apt quote by C.J Rawlinson found on the Pony Power Trust website:
“The aim of any therapist is to make a person feel they are accepted without judgement for the unique individual they are. I have yet to see anyone achieve this as quickly or as consistently as a horse.” – C.J Rawlinson
Pony Power Trust
Created back in 2015, Pony Power Trust was deveoped to make charitable visits. This was specifically for anyone who may be too poorly to leave the hospital or their home. What a lovely initiative!
As this developed, mental health and recovery agencies recognised the therapeutic value of these visits. Founder Carly has a background in respite for high risk children as well as foster care. She also has a counselling qualification and is undertaking an integrative therapy course. Add to that the fact that she is also a riding instructor and it seems you have a pretty good makeup for an equine therapist who can make an impact!
Pony sessions have been noted to uplift both adults and children that suffer from the following:
anxiety and/or depression
recovery from addiction
Sessions that involve the ponies may be unmounted therapeutic sessions at the stables or they may be educational visits to schools. Private or group visits can make up sessions as well as hospital visits and pony care sessions. Through the variety of sessions on offer, it seems that this pony related therapy is indeed forward thinking.
Through the work I’ve been doing recently in updating resources for some of our horse courses, I have come across so many interesting horse websites, articles and products. I guess the Equine Neonatal Manual website is a culmination of the three. This site is specifically to promote and sell a non fiction equine book.
Having a website for a particular product can be another way to focus on equine related passive income. If the product can be generated once but sold many times over, then it generates residual or passive income.
The equine neonatal manual is a text book by Dr John Madigan. The same named website focuses on promoting and selling the book. Once set up, it can continue to work in the background as the author continues his work as a vet and considers the next update he will make to the manual.
The website currently promotes the fourth edition of this book. As it states on the website:
“The manual has been considered the single most authoritative, easy to use, source of information for the veterinarian working on foals in the field, clinic, or critical care unit.”
Now this may be a book that is of great benefit to veterinarians working in the equine industry. And although these may be the main purchasers of the book, I have no doubt this book will be of benefit to anyone working within the horse breeding industry and looking after foals.
The Equine Neonatal Manual
There is so much that can go wrong with neonates (newborn foals up to 72 hours old). It’s great to see that a comprehensive text on their care and diagnosis of issues has been established – and continues to be updated. You can find out about the author on the site and even check out a preview of the book. Chapter 11 Physical Examination of the Equine Neonate is provided for those interested in viewing some of the book’s content.
If you have a horse product available for sale, it is a great idea to set up an online presence. From here you can detail the benefits of your product. Then you can give an example of what is contained within the product. And of course, you should provide an avenue for sales to be made.
Depending on the cost of your product – and your profit margin – website hosting and an annual .com fee could be very minimal. This is especially so when compared with the extra sales you make. And why? Because you’ve created an easy avenue for people to find and purchase your product.
There are so many different facets to the equine industry – I love this! It’s wonderful also to see when people combine their particular knowledge and passions into a viable business. Consider the likes of MB Equine Services.
Their website says an integrated approach to horse’s health and performance. There are many things that you can make a living from with horses. When you’re able to combine 2 or 3 things, then you increase your chances to make income and sustain a viable business.
MB Equine Services looks at 3 distinct areas:
Equine nutrition consultancy: “MB Equine Nutrition Consultancy assists the equine industry and horse owners with professional and practical information about horse nutrition. We provide high-quality consultation services for horse owners, breeders, equestrian sport stables, trainers and feed/supplement companies.”
Property and pasture: here they look at sustainable horse keeping and equine permaculture. Amongst their services in this particular area, they offer consultancy on equine pasture management, consultancy and design in the area of regenerative horse properties as well as grazing planning, forage enrichment and keyline design. Cool!
Dressage training and coaching: there is no doubt that many horse owners want to improve as horse riders. Mariette focuses on her passion of classical riding principles and balanced riding techniques alongside evidence-based coaching to help riders improve and achieve riding goals.
You may look at these three areas relating to horses and think that they’re vastly different. And yet, if you have passion and knowledge in these areas, what is to stop you from offering services in all of them? Nothing!
You can combine your equine passion to create a flourishing horse business that is unique from anyone else’s. Think about what you love to do and know and how this can generate income. For me the passions of breeding thoroughbreds, writing and website design allow me to generate income. This is from fictional horse books, teaching horse studies at TAFE and developing online resources. What could your three be?
Equine Connection offers the chance for people to pursue a career in equine facilitated learning. Whether you consider gaining a qualification a horse course, going to a horse school or undertaking a horse program, they are clear on one thing: equine connection allows you to ‘achieve a dream career for you and your horse.’
It states on their online brochure:
‘Becoming a Certified Facilitator is about inspiring and helping other human beings develop life skills! Skills are the most sought-after commodity in every industry, and you will be shocked at the positive results you will see in your clients. Horse learning and horse work are imperative to the success of the programs and how they communicate with human beings. We value the well being of the horse and know that a horse can only think like a horse, and that is what makes them the ultimate teacher!’
Through studying with Equine Connection you can gain a qualification as a Certified Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator. It allows people to set up their own horse business in the area of equine assisted learning. The course includes a business package, business training, marketing with the horse field, how to secure and retain clients and support.
As an equine assisted learning facilitator, there are many different groups of people that can be helped by work with horses. Some recommendations on their brochure include:
youth at risk
self confidence programs
women at risk
leadership development programs
workplace skills development
Many of these ideas will work best in conjunction with a social worker, psychologist or counsellor. That said, there are a lot of people that have successful EAL businesses, catering to niche groups. Consider Kari Fulmek and Cindy Jacobs. Workshops with horses can be a great way to develop skills for various groups of people. Perhaps this could be a horse business idea for you.
A recent meeting with thoroughbred industry specialists at work had me thinking. What about local equine organisations and business relationships? Do you have complimenting horse businesses that may be able to help you to promote your services or product? And also perhaps gather new clients?
The breeding organisation wins by upskilling and qualifying people in the industry. They promote particular educational institutions that can provide the training and qualification. The educational institution wins by gaining new students/clients for horse courses. It’s a win/win situation for both.
Local Equine Organisations and Business Relationships
Have you considered how local organisations may help you to build up your horse business? Maybe local riding schools could be approached by an establishing farrier. Educational institutions could reach out to local equine businesses about students gaining practical experience. The local pony club could talk to horse businesses about coming in and teaching theory for their riders. Local equine organisations should work together to create complimentary business relationships. Surely it will only help the equine industry as a whole.
‘Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.’ – Job 39:19-25
Recently I came across the Easy Wormer website when looking up information regarding rotation of wormers and active ingredients. One of the first search engine results brought me to the Easy Wormer site. Now it seems that these guys have taken a horse product – worming pastes – and added a brilliant level of customer service.
Not only are they offering products for sale, they are also able to guide you on which product would best suit your horse. This is based on class (e.g. gelding, broodmare, aged horse) and whether the horse is mature or still growing. When you identify the category your horse fits into, you are then shown a recommended worming schedule. This is based on worming seasonally and rotating the active ingredient of the wormer. Generally this is between the Mectin group and BZ group. Using this information, you see which products of Easy Wormer are recommended for your horse. And you learn at what time of the year to administer them.
Easy Wormer Packages
Now going one step further, these guys have set various packages on each class of horse. Once you know what to buy, you are then guided to being able to make a purchase for one, two or more horses. The more you buy, the greater the discount. What a great idea!
But wait, it gets better. Firstly you put in your order and make your payment. Then Easy Wormer go to the trouble of sending you out the particular paste/s that are due for a specific season. They do so each season and email a reminder a couple of weeks before you’re due to worm your horse.
So if you buy a year’s worth of worming products, then you will be sent out the appropriate wormer/s for each season as a reminder to keep your horse protected. How cool is that? I love this idea – such considerate customer service to really help sell a simple but vital health care product.
I recently was made aware of Country Park. This website has a niche focus: herbs for horses and other animals. It is a website that informs about horse herbs and also is an online store. You can purchase herbs for horses, learn about their benefits and even receive a consultation by author of A Healthy Horse the Natural Way, Catherine Bird.
This website is a great example of how a niche focus can generate income. Products are able to be sold to clients who would use them regularly for their horses. (The site also caters to canines). There is also the chance to meet with potential clients and discuss what herbs may benefit their horses and why.
In the section focused on the A-Z of herbs you can find out about 60 different herbs that are used for horses to help in their health in one way or another. Some herbs I am familiar with: garlic, chamomile, cinnamon, comfrey to name a few. But others are a complete blank to me! These include cornsilk, eyebright, ginkgo and many others. It’s a whole other world to me, but one I’d be very interested to learn about.
I love the idea of being able to grow your own herbs that you can use to treat your horses. Perhaps something will help to calm them or improve their digestive system or maybe even treat a wound they have. Being able to use natural ingredients to help your horse’s health is very appealing.
If your curiosity is peaked and you want to learn more about horse herbs, then check out their article section. There are pieces on different herbs for the seasons, competing on horses, helping with breeding, cooling herbs for summer immunity and also laminitis! Fascinating stuff. Whether or not you end up buying some herbs through the Country Park website, chances are you could learn a lot on this topic.