help with business idea needed
So I am embarking on a lifelong dream to have my own equine consulting company. This is something I've had my heart set on for over 15 years and is why I studied animal science at university and did a PhD in nutrition. You'll notice I've made some posts on the health forum for nutrition related things as I love helping people who have nutrition and any other kind of equine problem they needed solving.
I was wondering whether anyone would be willing to share their thoughts on whether they would ever use an equine consultant? Or maybe you've used one before? The sorts of things I'm thinking of offering include nutrition appraisal of your horse and tailering a diet to his needs, doing hay analysis and figuring out the results into a diet for your horse, video riding appraisal where someone would send me a video of their riding and I would offer feedback could be great for folks who don't have an instructor handy, any barn management type thing again people could show me their barns and how they run them via video and I could show ways of improving them. I have some other ideas but these are my main ones.
Anyway I'd love any input that anyone is willing to give.
You've touched on a very broad basis.
Have you been certified to become a professional instructor? And what training and accomplishments as a rider have you had to enable you to to be able to appraise different horses and riders?
What disciplines do you specialize in?
Do you have Barn Management experience and if so, doing what and how long?
People are often set in their ways when it comes to operating their private barns. Generally engineers are used for high production plants to manage the farms and create efficient systems for production (My father does this.)
There are people that require equine nutritionist, but they are generally used as just nutritionist. Even then, nutritionist are unfortunately seldom used in the average horse person's life. People will seek well qualified trainers that have made some what of a name if they are in search for a consultant related to their riding. Also, I have noticed that when people generally inquire about something having to do with the well being and over all life style of their horse, they consult a veterinarian or at least their professional trainer or instructor.
You have a very good idea but it will take A LOT of qualifications to hold the position.
Thanks Kristy for your thoughts and you are right. I came through pony club which is an international organization that teaches riding and horsemanship to youth in the english disciplines. I got my B rating which is one below their highest level for riding and horse management. I now teach pony club and have examined and I coordinate the teaching curriculum in both riding and horse management for 2 states. I have competed in eventing up to prelim, show jumping up to 3ft6in, dressage up to 1st level, showing hunters on the flat and over fences (in the UK), polo, I have done trail riding, fox hunting and done gymkhana. I have worked as a groom in a boarding barn in the UK working with very well off clients where I was in charge of 4 horses in a 25 horse barn. I worked as a polo groom on my days off for a medium goal polo team. I spent a summer working at the hunt kennels exercising horses. I have groomed for combined driving. While doing my PhD I was a working student for an FEI level dressage rider and was riding 3rd/4th level and turned horses out for the CDI***. I started a mustang off the BLM and sold him to a young rider who shipped him to Georgia and took him up to prelim in eventing.
So while I don't have any olympic medals or competitive recognision I have a LOT of good horse knowledge gained in a variety of different fields.
But still you are right its going to be hard to market myself. I spoke at the pony club national convention a few years back and doing more things like that would really help get my name out there.
Most I probably wouldn't use but the hay and feed annalisis would be a real positive if you kept the price down. Most of these labs are out of sight and there are several feeds or things that would make good nutrisios feed that a person is un aware of because no tests have ever been run. For instance I feed mesquite beens to my herd. Most people down here on the desert have never herd of such a thing but the natives of years past used them consistantly. They are about 23% protien. We have what some feel is a common weed in N. Az that tests out to over 19%protien and the animals love em. I do most of my own vet and farrier work and get my drugs out of Mexico but a good lab would sure be a help.
Desertrat - the more I'm thinkg about this and hearing the more I'm leaning towards keeping it a nutrition company. I have been calling various labs to find out their fees and there is huge variation. I'm in AZ too and there is only one forage analysis testing lab in the state that has been tested to meet certain national standards for forage testing. They aren't cheap. I have been thinking that it would be intersting to find the plants mustangs eat and test them. I have seen animals self medicate by choosing certain plants and somehow the mustangs can do very well on what seems like not very much.
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