Managing a horse stable is a rewarding job for those who love being around horses and want to ensure that they’re well cared for. These types of managers can earn a comfortable salary while putting their hard-earned skills to use on the job.
If you’ve been thinking of going into stable management as a career, it’s important to know what kinds of skills you’ll need to develop. Getting an education in equine studies can help you build these skills so that you can enjoy a successful career as a horse stable manager. Keep the following in mind as you gather more information about this potential career path.
What Does a Stable Manager Do?
A stable manager has several responsibilities that revolve around making sure horses are taken care of and overseeing or handling day-to-day business operations. As a horse stable manager, you’ll have a chance to put your equine husbandry skills and business management skills to use. Stable managers don’t necessarily work on farms. Some work in other environments within the equine industry, such as horse shows or horse boarding. While some of these managers work for someone higher up, such as a farm manager, others run their own equine facility.
Barn Manager Duties
Working in barn management involves handling a wide range of duties and tasks on a regular basis. Barn management duties can include:
- Providing assistance with veterinary care
- Supervising barn employees
- Ordering supplies, including horse feed
- Maintaining and ordering equipment
- Paying expenses
- Maintaining barn records, including financial records
- Repairing or replacing broken equipment and fencing
- Managing employee payroll and schedules
- Planning horseback riding lessons, if needed
- Scheduling routine veterinary and farrier care to keep horses in good health
- Arranging transportation to horse shows, if needed
- Completing paperwork and ensuring horses have up-to-date vaccinations for horse shows or other competitions, as needed
Keep in mind that these are just some of the duties and tasks that barn managers are responsible for. Some of these managers have other duties depending on the type of equine environment they work in. For example, some barn managers provide riding lessons, while others assist with the birth of foals at the stable.
Skills That Horse Stable Managers Need
With the combination of equine care and business knowledge needed, horse stable managers are expected to have a wide range of skills. Developing these skills with the right education and experience can help you build a fulfilling career in barn management. These are some of the more common kinds of skills you should have in order to work as a barn manager.
Business Ethics and Responsibilities
One of the most important skill sets horse stable managers need is a firm grasp of personal and professional business ethics and responsibilities. As a manager, you’ll be expected to follow federal, state, and local laws when it comes to managing employees and maintaining a safe work environment. You’ll also need to be able to manage staff properly and handle schedules, payroll, and other daily operations.
Working as a barn manager means that you’ll be caring for horses and other animals, as well as employees. With this responsibility, it’s crucial to have a strong sense and understanding of business ethics. These business skills are also essential for having a leadership role in general. With these skills, you’ll be able to properly and efficiently manage a horse stable or barn.
Since managing a barn goes beyond caring for horses, it’s important to have solid communication skills, as well. In your day-to-day work environment, you’ll be interacting with other people, such as employees, farmers, or others in the equine industry. For example, if you manage a horse stable that offers riding lessons, you’ll be interacting with customers who want to sign up for this instruction. As a barn manager, you’ll also be communicating with other professionals involved in providing equine care, such as farriers and veterinarians.
Being able to effectively communicate with others is among the more basic skill sets you’ll be expected to have as a horse stable manager. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop these skills while getting an education in equine studies and working on networking for your career, such as meeting veterinarians or farm managers.
Equine Husbandry Skills
Working in horse stable management means you’ll be primarily responsible for making sure the horses in your care are as healthy and safe as possible. This involves having equine husbandry skills and knowledge, such as understanding equine nutritional needs and learning behavioral management skills. You’ll also need to have skills in other aspects of equine husbandry, including horsemanship.
Depending on the kind of work environment you choose for your stable management career, you might also need other husbandry skills. For example, knowing how to provide safe lessons as a riding instructor or learning to assist in foaling might be needed at certain stables. Keep in mind that handling machinery and other equipment used in stables or in the industry, in general, is another useful equine husbandry skill to have. With these skills, you’ll be able to handle more responsibilities at the stable. These skills can also provide you with the hands-on experience you might need if you decide to move up and become a farm manager.
Being aware of the historical importance of the equine industry as a whole can be helpful when you work as a barn manager. Having specific knowledge of the history of the organization you work for is also important. For example, you might need to understand the history of the horse shows your stable participates in. Knowing the history of the equine industry and the particular history of the stable or organization you manage can help you gain a deeper appreciation for your work. This knowledge can add another level of professionalism to your horse stable management skills.
Business Tools and Technology
Running a barn involves handling many different aspects of daily business operations. In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to know how to manage payroll, business expenses and other financials, human resources, and similar tasks. Business software, such as payroll software or computer-based management, can make these tasks much easier to handle, but you’ll still need to understand how to use them properly. It’s also helpful to expand this knowledge to include more advanced tools, such as cloud-based software. Being able to combine these technological skills with your other skills in equine husbandry provides you with a well-rounded and in-depth understanding of what it takes to pursue a successful barn management career.
Post Equine Program
At Post University, we offer a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies degree program to help you get the education needed for barn management. This program, which is available online and on campus, includes courses that cover all aspects of the equine industry, such as horse management and safe barn practices. We also offer concentrations for this program, including Equine Business Management, Equestrian Coaching, and Equine Wellness.
No matter which aspect of equine studies you plan on focusing on, we have the courses you’ll need to gain the necessary skills and knowledge. We offer an Equine Studies Minor program as well with courses such as Equine Care and Facility Design and Operation. This minor provides you with a way to get started on learning more about horse stable management if you’re not sure whether or not you want to pursue this as a career yet.
If you would like to learn more about our Equine Studies program, please contact Post University today. We can give you more detailed information on this degree program and help you get started with our admissions process.
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