Category Archives: Business

Equine Roadside Assistance

Who Would you Call if you Broke Down Whilst Towing a Horse?

I always thought there should be someone you could call if you broke down on the side of the road and had horses on board.  Well it seems, in the United Kingdom, there is!

Equine Rescue Services provide support to those travelling with horses:

At ERS, our mission is to provide specialist horsebox breakdown cover of the highest standard to all members of the equine community. Whether you drive a horsebox or tow a horse trailer, we provide the best breakdown cover in the industry.

Our core responsibility is to ensure the welfare of you and your horses in a breakdown emergency, 24 hours a day. Our experience spans over a decade of successful roadside rescues. We get hundreds of breakdowns back on the road quickly each year, with the expertise of our nationwide support networks…

Now in my mind, if you combined this service with a working knowledge of large animal rescue, you’d have a lot to offer horse lovers and be able to build up a successful business over time!

“We gaze upon their quiet beauty, their natural elegance, and we are captivated. They see us softly, in gentle light… rewarding human companionship with strength, grace and intelligence. As they run through arenas and open fields, past mountains and seas, moving like the wind toward heaven, we travel with them, if only in our hearts.” – Author unknown

Profile On: M.R. Bain, the Business of Horses

M.R. Bain

Author and business owner M.R. Bain has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about his business, the Business of Horses.

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
24/7

What is it exactly that you do?
We have a horse facility that is involved in training, boarding and breeding plus we do consulting work for horse business owners teaching them the ins and outs of this industry.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes, if you are willing to put in long hours when needed.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
A solid background that includes education and hands on experience. A willingness to realize that you will work a long time to gain recognition and fame.

Favourite horse memory?
They all are.

Future goals?
To keep on doing this as long as I am able.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
As a youngster, all I wanted was to be with the horses and this has provided me with that dream.

“He who said he made a small fortune in the horse business Probably started out with a large fortune!” – Author unknown

Emirates Melbourne Cup 2014 Tour

I received a message via LinkedIn from Racing Engagements and Cup Tour Manager Joe McGrath.  It was with regards to the 2014 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour.

Would a Melbourne Cup Tour Benefit Your Community?

If you know someone who is interested in having the 2014 $175,000 Emirates Melbourne Cup come to their community please forward on this email. We do travel far and wide.

The Cup comes with Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour talent (past Cup winning trainers, jockeys and owners) and presents a unique opportunity to drive community engagement. It also presents a unique opportunity to leverage off the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour brand and drive some much needed charitable funds for a needy cause. The Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour is a key promotional driver for the Melbourne Cup Carnival and is a most successful event. But more so, it is actually quite a lot of fun.

The 2014 Cup Tour will start in mid-July and continue through to Emirates Melbourne Cup Day (4th November).

Tenders close on Monday, 14th April.  If interested take a look at http://www.melbournecuptour.com.au.

“A racehorse is an animal that can take several thousand people for a ride at the same time.” – Author unknown

Profile On: Misty Caston, CEO of WikSmart Coolers

Misty of Wikmart Coolers

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
I work between 5 and 20 hours per week on my horse product business (WikSmart Coolers) www.wiksmart.com. I also teach a few riding lessons/training horses per week depending on the time of year (1-5 hours per week).

And, of course I try to spend as much time as possible with my own horses, between 4 and 12 hours per week with them or more if I go camping or to shows in the summer. In Minnesota, it all depends on how cold it gets and this winter has been fierce!

What is it exactly that you do?
I invented a new kind of horse cooler that gets the horse dry where they really sweat – the belly and chest – in addition to the rest of the body that traditional coolers cover. I am in my first year of business and basically run the WikSmart Business myself. I do everything from bookkeeping to marketing, to attending horse expos around the country selling my product, to web development and product design.

The WikSmart Cooler

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes, but not yet for me. I still work my full-time job as a Dental Hygienist in addition to the WikSmart business and training/lessons.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
For me, it was about creating a job for myself. At first there was a lot of product development , prototyping, and product testing. Then there was research into patents (WikSmart is patent-pending), manufacturing and shipping.

The WikSmart Cooler

Next came teaching myself about marketing, advertising, sales, web development, horse expo exhibition, and product promotion. Then, of course, accounting and number crunching. I figured most of this stuff out just by looking it up on the web and picking people’s brains who have the knowledge I need. I also took a class on how to start a small business.

Favourite horse memory?
The summer in which my 18-year-old, unregistered, rescue-horse, Arabian gelding and I took 6 first-places at local dressage schooling shows. I trained him myself and he came to me in sorry shape so I am very happy with our progress together and very proud of him.

The WikSmart Cooler

Future goals?
To be able to work full-time on the WikSmart business and make more than a decent living at it. And to have more time for my horses. I will not let those two things be mutually exclusive.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
Horses. Sometimes I stand back and watch people with their horses and think about how they brought us all together in that very situation. And I think about how much we learn about ourselves through them. Without them, I would not be as kind, compassionate, observant or accepting of a being. I also would not have as many friends 🙂

“You know you’re a horseperson when …you look at all the piles of laundry sitting next to your washing machine and most of them are breeches, horse blankets, saddle pads, etc…. but you don’t even care about the horsey hair residue that will be left in your washer and dryer.” – Author unknown

A Horse Themed Garden

People could Enter the Garden via some Form of Starting Gate!

When hubby and I purchase our property, it is my desire to have an open garden on display for a gold coin donation at certain times of the year. I believe this is a way to increase cash flow.

To make it particularly interesting to people, I want to have a horse themed garden.

We will be running an agistment property where people pay to be able to keep their horses on our land. What a great way to draw interest for potential new clients by having them be able to come onto our property in spring and view a horse themed open garden.

This is seen (of course) after they travel down the tree lined driveway with paddocks full of horses on either side.

How could we make it horse themed? That’s only limited by the imagination!

  • There could be:
  • statues and carvings of horses placed throughout the garden
  • plants on display that are of use to horse owners (such as different fodder trees)
  • flowers on display in a horse shoe shape
  • or even ivy growing around a horse figure.
Parents can Relax in the Shade of a Tree While their Children Ride…

Gardens for me are a great refuge, and I’d love to think that those paying to keep their horses on our land will enjoy sitting in our garden too.

In particular I can imagine a parent or two enjoying a book in the shade while their child exercises their pony nearby.

Can’t you just see it?

“A little horseplay… the way best to enjoy a summer day!” – Author Unknown

Budweiser Clydesdales and Purina to Develop Partnership

I was sent an email last month about Purina and the Budweiser Clydesdales forming a partnership and am sad to say I’ve not gotten onto posting this information.  The Budweiser Clydesdales are well known throughout the world.  Any horse’s nutrition is important and it’s great to know that Purina are offering support in the form of nutrition for these large equines.

For more details on this partnership, take a look at the Pr Web Release.  Now if you’re someone keen to break into the world of equine nutrition as a career choice, perhaps Purina should be on your list of contacts? 🙂

“You know you’re a horse person when you stop channel surfing at Budweiser Clydesdale commercials.” – Author unknown

Assessing Pasture Course

Can you Assess Your Pasture Effectively?

I’m in Wagga for uni currently and one of my subjects is animal nutrition.  We’ve been analysing feedstuffs and are to develop feed rations based on these analyses.  One area of data we need to enter relates to pasture content, digestibility and dry matter content.

One student asked how such information can be filled in for pastures and our lecturer indicated that it comes with experience.  He also mentioned a course called Prograze run by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

There doesn’t appear to be any upcoming events listed on the site at this stage.  However, you can register your interest for future events as they can cater to demand.

The course is $670 in total and includes a manual.  The course aims are:

  • To visually assess pasture quantity and quality
  • To understand how pasture quality and quantity impact on animal production
  • Assess livestock fat scores
  • To use pasture and livestock assessment as a basis for matching pastures to livestock requirements
  • Use grazing management to improve the productivity and sustainability of pastures

Check out the above link to find out course structure, testimonials and more.

“Lessons From Your Horse: When you’re short tempered, let me teach you how to slog around the pasture for an hour before you catch me.” – Author unknown

Using Social Media to Spread the Word

Equus Blog has its own Facebook page in which any post that is put on this blog, is also found shared on Facebook. Because Facebook is such a largely recognised form of social media, it is one that I believe any business should look into being on – in particular because of its potential for so much free coverage.

Does your business have a page? It’s easy to create by visiting any ‘page’ (not profile) on Facebook and then clicking on the link to create one of your own.

Why have one?

  • To be able to connect with people who are already using this social media so that they can ‘like’ your page and therefore have any updates you post, come up in their feed
  • To be able to spread the word about your business – as your page is liked, this is shared on that person’s profile and so their networks see it
  • To get your brand recognised – if you have a logo, make sure this is displayed as your page picture, or the background picture on the page to generate recognition of your logo
  • To be able to connect with people that have willingly indicated that they like your product or services

There are many benefits to having a business page, if you’re willing to post to it on a regular basis. One great way to make sure this happens is to sign your blog up to NetworkedBlogs. You can link your Facebook page and your blog so that every time you post to your blog, within 3 hours, this is updated on your Facebook page.

Don’t believe me? Check out the Equus Education Facebook Page for this post!

The great thing about NetworkedBlogs is that you can login to your account via your Facebook profile and choose to ‘pull now’, which means that if any new blog content has been posted since the last time NetworkedBlogs searched your site, then they will update your Facebook page immediately.

There is also an application you can utilise for LinkedIn that will do the same thing, so this is also worth looking into. If you’re able to post once (on your blog) and have it mirrored where other potential readers/clients are following your business, why not do it?

“A little horseplay… the way best to enjoy a summer day!” – Author unknown

Providing Agistment to Horse Owners

Today was a close to perfect day at work. Most of the staff and students are off at Oaklands Junction for the Great Southern Weanling Sale. I’m back at the education facility with a heap of marking to do.

But who gets to feed the horses whilst everyone is away? 🙂 So this morning started with making up feeds for the geldings, dry and pregnant mares and then a stroll out with the wheelbarrow to deposit feeds and check everyone over, glance fences and stop an overflowing water trough.

Then into the office to report that all horses are standing, nothing has a leg hanging off or is walking on three legs. Onto some marking and then in the afternoon back out to do the feed run and check again. Today was a typically gorgeous autumn day and had me thinking about when myself and the better half will be purchasing our own property in the future.

I can think of nothing more appealing than heading out in the morning to check on client’s horses before going inside to deal with book work – or some horse related writing! – and then out again in the afternoon to check over stock before it gets dark.

I’ve been trying to chase up loan information of late due to a rather appealing property for sale just out of town. It turns out because the plan is to agist horses and therefore potentially earn an income, this would come under an agribusiness loan rather than a home loan.

For those of you considering the idea of agistment as a business, make sure you have a good business plan put together if still needing to purchase property.  Considering agistment/grazing rites contracts before offering such services would probably also be worth your while.

Definitely the amount of land I’m seeking is mainly to be able to offer grazing to other horse owners – why not have them paying towards the mortgage? 😉