Horse Business Blues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2020
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Horse Business Blues

Hello, does anyone here have a horsey business that’s doing well but they actually hate it? I really miss having a life. I just wondered if any of you have been in a similar position and what you did. Everyone thinks I’m lucky and should be grateful I have a good business but it’s amazing how ‘lucky’ people get with hard work!! I have no support and anyone with the right qualities to help already have their own business. Sorry about whining I am just so so close to throwing the towel in and getting a life again x
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 04:54 AM
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No I don't, but I would think that running your own business with anything would take a lot of dedication and a lot of your time. I know people who do it, and yes, they are busy.

Do you fantasize about a nine to five working for someone else? After a while, you will find things to be dissatisfied about that too. Seriously, you will.

Have a life? Well, this is your life. I don't work for myself but my job calls for very strange hours, and days and sometimes it feels like this is all I do. That and take care of my house. I don't have a lot of time for much else but I've stuck with it and it is paying off.
Unless you have the funds to just do whatever you want without having to work then I would try to find the joy in it again. Remember why you got into it in the first place and get back to that. Not necessarily because it's a horsey business but because you say the business is doing well. Maybe you can figure out how to give your self some time off days and/or vacation so you don't get burned out. You really need to give yourself that if you don't already, it's more important than you know.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 06:51 AM
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I know it's super hard, but could you find someone to cover for you, and you'd take a week off?

My barn owner gets like this every so often (you can tell because she gets really grumpy LOL). She takes a week off (she has reliable people to cover for her) and then feels better.

Did you have a 9-5 job before? You could do the old "make a pros and cons" list where you write down the pros and cons of each (9-5 vs horse job) to help you figure out if you want to continue with your current work.

From what I've seen, working with horses full time is HARD. It's physical, relentless, exposed to the weather, and no time off. I can see how you'd get worn down by it after a while.

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 07:58 AM
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Your business being successful is because you do dedicate as much of you as you have.
Being in business is hard, far harder than most realize...
You never stop worrying, working or trying to improve...
You never walk out the door and leave the problems behind, they are yours 24/7 as the business owner.

For you...
I would suggest business hours, set them.
Make clearly understood when not at work you don't "do-business"...
It is your sanity and actual health you must protect with what you write of...
If you can't find a place where peace reigns in your mind and heart, then if this was me I would sell the business as you say it is profitable...and if you can't sell it, close it.
Truly I would...
From past experience firsthand I can tell you that feeling as you do will only intensify till hatred arrives for something you love or you would not of started in the first place.
You need to re-find what attracted you to this in the first place and how to grow that love again to nurture you, your inner-self or your business could destroy you...
Some tough decisions ahead to make, some very deep thinking and choices need to be figured out...
Once you can find the pros and cons and clearly identify them, then you will know how to proceed with business ownership.

My husband & I had a business, not horse-related but business is business and indeed we got "burned-out" which is what sounds like is occurring to you.
You need to find a way to recharge you and your energies.
I know for us, we made business hours and stuck to them.
We were open certain times, certain days and clientele were not welcome at our home and expect us to be happy to see them when we were closed..
Friends is friends and business is business and we had to learn to not allow them to cross or we had no peace.
We also had to learn to say "No" to many who needed "favors".

When the business is yours, you have only yourself to rely on to make a $ to cover the bills and paycheck for you to live on...something unless you have/had a business you just don't get, period.
Find a way to give yourself some needed time-off, time away by either hiring a part-rime employee and accept that no one else is going to work as hard or conscientiously as you cause the business isn't theirs...they come for a paycheck, period.
You need to find a way to limit hours and days so you can recharge you, have some off time...the hardest part though is being able to leave the financial worries at work, cause to me that was the part that killed me...
We ended up selling our business, going back to being someones employees and no longer always have the worries of being a business owner.
Honestly, if offered the chance again of business-ownership I would turn my back and walk away...
We loved it but not the stresses of it.
The best to you as you work for a solution.


The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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mental health among horse professionals has been a hot topic in the english disciplines lately with 2 high profile suicides. It's a harsh industry and between burn out, and the physical wear and tear it destroys a lot of dreams.

Best advice is too 1)set boundaries so you get some personal time off 2) look after yourself - get sleep, eat well, stray hydrated 3) have a vent buddy who also works in the industry 4) have a plan B if 1,2,&3 don't cure the burn out
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 05:52 PM
Join Date: May 2014
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If you have a riding school, can you let your students schedule lessons on-line, rather than over the phone? Iíve been watching my BO and Iíve come to the conclusion that most of her irritation comes from being interrupted with constant phone calls.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Upstate, NY
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self employed and I know the feeling. not sure what kind of business you have but assuming its taking care of horses which makes it 100x harder to get away than if it's lessons/training or something else so your best bet in my mind to bring back the joy is to go somewhere off site for a few days or week to learn something new and implement it. or just take a flat out vacation off site check your phone once per day while gone then come back and enjoy it again

every time i start to get burnt out and look at other opportunities I realize how fortunate I am that although things aren't 100% how I want them, I answer to my customers not to a boss AND the customers
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 06:45 PM
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I ran my own business for several years training animals for tv and film. I often travelled and slept in strange places last minute - trying to find accommodation for some animals was very difficult. Dealing with film crew is the worst. Dealing with insurance too even when everything goes right. Arranging transport. Then trying not to kill yourself or those in your care.

I had to CHOOSE, yes a choice, to live that life in the moment. Wanting time for anything even to pluck my eyebrows was just not possible. So I found peace wherever I could and I mostly loved it.

However it came to an end and I changed professions. I now get to leave my job at the door. And I love it. But it's not that one is better than the other. They are different and I am at a different stage of my life where I want to settle down. If you sit there and look at the greener grass on the other side it'll make you resent your life now. Unsure if you have children but I don't.. and that's how I imagine it feels like sometimes except you have no choice... so really there's no point wasting time on a fantasy. It's not that the grass is even greener than the other. Sometimes they are the exact same shade.

I made lucrative money when I ran my own business. Enough to buy a house and security. But now I am happy with enough to get by comfortably. My standards changed. TIME is more valuable to me now.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-08-2020, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2020
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Can I just thank you all so much! I’m going to try to give myself fixed hours, I’m going to get a business mobile and only look at it in those hours, I’m also going to ask friends and family to not get in touch out of hours too. To be honest they are the worst. My business is in retail and I had a ‘friend’ message me at 11 o’clock at night with the statement ‘my coat has leaked twice recently’ - that’s all she wrote, she bought it two bloody years ago and had friends discount on it too...anyway thanks to you lovely lot I’ve learned that I need to set boundaries for everyone else and for myself! Thank you you’ve really helped. However, if this doesn’t work and reward me with some time to have headspace and a modicum of life; I’ll be slamming the door on the shop as I can’t afford to waste anymore of my life being miserable. I’ll do what makes me happy (writing crappy books🤣) and live off baked beans on toast if needed xxx
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StressedEric is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 02-08-2020, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: London, UK
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Getting two mobiles is the best thing I ever did.

My old number became the business on and the new phone I got was for friends and family - I send out a blanket text explaining each number and how I would be incredibly... annoyed if they shared my private number with anyone that had a business enquiry.

Business phone when turned off or on do not disturb would go to voicemail asking all non-urgent queries to be emailed me at X instead. If it was urgent I would ask that they leave a voicemail AND text me as sometimes I could look at my phone for a second. If I was working with someone that I had to be on standby for I would change them to priority alert.

Private phone also had a dnd setting and set it so only certain people had priority/could get hold of me in emergencies. Eventually everyone knew that I was either working or resting. Anyone that made a fuss about me not messaging back in 6 seconds got erased from my life lol.

And before phones I could reliably change settings I had a third phone as an emergency "im sleeping please p*ss off" that only a few people could get through to me.

Honestly it was a NIGHTMARE and this was the only way I could stay sane. Everyone in the film industry thinks THEY are the most important that THEIR project much have priority... definitely do what it takes to look after yourself and have that quiet time!
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