MAKING HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES – 7 SIDE HUSTLES FOR EQUESTRIANS
There is an old saying that one ‘should may hay while the sun shines’ meaning we should take advantage of favourable circumstances… but with the economy in a slump and a passion for a sport that includes equipment that eats while we sleep (literally), many of us have a whole lot of month left at the end of our money.
Whilst majority of us have a day job that doesn’t include horses (but serves to fund our love of horses), our earning capacity is often restricted to those working hours. But with ever increasing electricity and petrol prices and the subsequent increases in food and all other services, it often means less and less disposable income at the end of every month to spend on the things we love and want. To avoid robbing banks and resorting to extremes, we’ve put together some ‘side hustle’ suggestions to help you make additional income.
Clipping or Plaiting Horses
Both clipping and plaiting are somewhat of an art when it comes to equines but with enough training from someone experienced, it’s a service which could make you a sustainable side income. Many people are prepared to outsource these services as they’re difficult to do well without experience and they’re time consuming. Find an expert who can teach you multiple styles and practise on your own horse until you’re good enough to start charging for your skills. An initial investment in a good quality clipper may set you back, but with that and transport being your only hard costs, if you can secure enough loyal customers you’ll pay it off in no time.
If you’ve got free time, access to transport and enough experience to ride horses of varying temperaments and skill level, then consider exercising horses on behalf of others who may be too busy due to work or other life commitments such as pregnancy or work transfers. For those who wish to compete but aren’t able to make it to the stables frequently enough to maintain their horses’ fitness levels, this would be an ideal solution to have the best of both worlds (and another person to love and spoil their horse!).
Train for Gain
If you have the skills and desire, you can make a side hustle of training and selling horses – often referred to as ‘flipping’. There are many recently off the track thoroughbreds and horses seeking homes from neglect situations who can be acquired for little to no cost and with lots of schooling, love and attention could be developed and sold as competition horses and companions for a profit. Maintenance of these horses on a month to month basis is a cost which needs to be considered however as well as whether you have the heart to let them go to a new home once you’ve become attached.
Horse Box Rentals
If you own a horse box but don’t use it frequently or if you have the funding to invest in a horse box specifically for this purpose then you could consider horse box rentals as a side business. Transporting horses to vets, lessons or shows occurs almost daily and there may always be someone who doesn’t have their own, needs a replacement trailer or extra space for additional horses and would consider hiring. If you’ve got the means and desire, you could offer the transport service yourself and become the “Uber” of horse transport – assuming you’re prepared to take on the responsibility of transporting livestock. If this sounds appealing, don’t forget to consider all the aspects to consider such as insurance, licences, regular servicing and roadworthiness and rental contract development.
With online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, it’s possible to buy and sell equestrian related products at a profit. If you’ve got the time and patience to seek out the bargains and the skill to refurbish and repair items needing some attention, then this could be your calling. As with any online transactions you’ll need to keep your wits about you to avoid the scammers, but if done correctly there is money to be made.
As winter comes to an end and horses no longer need their blankets at night, majority of riders and stable yards will look to have the blankets thoroughly cleaned, repaired and securely packaged so they can be neatly stored away and be kept fresh for the following year. If you have an industrial washing machine or the means to have them intensely scrubbed then this could be your annual money spinner. It may only be once a year, but if you have enough clients to render it profitable then it could give you that cash injection to last you for a couple of months.
This isn’t an immediate money-maker, but, with enough dedication and commitment it could eventually. If you can find an interesting enough topic to generate an audience and readers, you can eventually make income from advertising, affiliate income and/or selling sales or services. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection and a good handle on spelling and grammar. Many basic blogging platforms are free, giving you the opportunity to test the waters without financial commitment.
They always say that if you do something you love you’ll never work a day in your life which is motivation to find horse related side hustles! As with any business, no decisions should be taken lightly at the risk of wasting time, effort and money for little to no returns. Always make sure you have put in place contracts and insurance where required to protect yourself and your side business.