It has been over six thousand years since human beings first domesticated horses. While automobiles have long since replaced horses as our primary mode of transport, horses still play an integral role in many people’s lives — and an equine business can yield big profits for those with the right knowledge and skills.
If you have always dreamed about turning your passion for horses into a profitable business, there are several different routes to take. In this blog, we will explore the different types of small businesses (and not-so-small businesses!) that you can start in the equine industry, how to formulate a business plan for a horse business, and how an equine studies degree from Post University can build a solid foundation for your equine business venture.
Types of Equine Businesses
As long as people continue to enjoy riding horses, there will remain a need for different types of equine businesses. This includes businesses such as:
Breeding & Racing
Two equine business types that are generally the least profitable and riskiest ventures are breeding and racing. There are, of course, rare exceptions to this rule that end up achieving profitability, and that can make these options incredibly enticing. But they aren’t the most accessible areas of the industry for people to invest in, and both breeding and racing are much better ways to lose money than make money.
Equine breeding businesses profit from the sale of horses they breed and raise. Breeders who can provide high-quality bloodlines can fetch decent prices for their horses, but it’s a total gamble whether your foals will develop into valuable racehorses. The world’s most sought-after racehorses can sell for tens of millions of dollars, but managing to breed a horse of this value is akin to becoming an NFL superstar. There is an adage in the horse industry that says, “if you want to make a small fortune in the horse business, start with a large one.” What this means is that the real money to be made in this area of equine business is in stud fees, investing in a stud and charging others to breed their mares with it.
Horseracing is a similarly risky investment. The upfront cost of purchasing racehorses can be astronomical (see: “racehorses can sell for tens of millions of dollars” in the previous paragraph), and once you have a racehorse, there is no guarantee it will win any races. The average cost of a racehorse is $75,000, and racing them is not the most lucrative or secure route to take for an equine business. You’d be better served investing in equine businesses such as those we cover below.
Equine management refers to the overall care of horses and includes things such as boarding, training, transport, and breeding. An equine management business might provide a variety of services, from boarding and caring for people’s horses to training horses and breeding horses for sale. While some horse owners have plenty of property to raise their horses and all the knowledge needed to care for them, many others do not. By providing a complete suite of horse care and boarding services, equine management companies allow people to enjoy owning a horse without all of the work, responsibility, and barriers to entry. This is something that many horse owners are willing to pay steep prices for, so full-care boarding costs can vary widely.
Riding and Training
Despite thousands of years of domestication, horses still need to be trained before they are safe and enjoyable to ride. However, many people do not have the time and knowledge to train their own horses and rely on professional horse trainers to do it for them. The cost for these services naturally varies from trainer to trainer, but the average cost to train a horse is $30-$100 per half hour. This makes horse training a great small business for anyone who has the right skills and facilities.
Along with training customers’ horses, another popular type of horse business are those that either take customers on horseback riding excursions or let them rent horses and equipment for their own adventures. These horse-riding businesses are especially popular at scenic locations that attract a lot of tourists. However, you do not have to live in a tourist hotspot to start a successful horse-riding business; as long as you have well-kept trails and well-trained horses, there will likely be customers eager to enjoy the experience.
Not every equine business involves working directly with horses. There is a lot of equipment and supplies required to care for and ride horses, and many horse enthusiasts are willing to spend a lot of money on their beloved animals. This creates a sizable market for companies selling a wide range of products and supplies for horse care and riding.
In the era of e-commerce, starting such a business is now easier than ever before. Whether you sell your products online, at a brick-and-mortar store, or both, starting an equine business that focuses on sales is a great way to enjoy a more standard business model while still putting your knowledge and passion for horses to work.
Starting an Equine Business
As with starting any entrepreneurial venture, starting an equine business begins with creating a business plan. If you plan on attracting investors or getting loans to fund your business, this business plan will be key to showcasing that you have a viable strategy for making your business successful.
The business plan that you create for your equine business should include details on the products/services you will offer, the market you will target, analysis of your competitors and what differentiates your businesses from theirs, and your strategy for attracting customers — just to name a few. Creating a comprehensive business plan will not only help you attract funding for your business but will also serve as a roadmap you can use to guide your decision-making.
Once you have defined all the strategies and goals for your company and written out a business plan that covers all of these considerations, starting an equine business is a matter of getting funding, obtaining the appropriate licensure, and putting your plan into action.
Why Pursue a Degree in Equine Studies?
If you have dreamed of owning your own equine business, earning your equine studies degree is an excellent option to consider. The equine studies program will cover the skills and knowledge you need to breed horses, manage stables, and provide horses with routine care, to build the foundation you need to excel as an equestrian entrepreneur.
With the online B.S. in Equine Studies program at Post University, you can earn this rewarding degree from the comfort of your own home. If you would like to learn more about earning your B.S. in Equine Studies, be sure to contact our admissions department today!