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BO's - Do you profit?

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  • BO's - Do you profit?

    A recent discussion at the barn this afternoon got me thinking.

    Do any of you barn owners that own a boarding facility profit? Or do you just break even enough to cover the expenses?

    You don't have to go into depth about how much you profit if you don't feel necessary.

    I am just curious about this because I know most barns around here don't really make a profit and was curious as to what other barn owners had to say.

  • #2
    Profit? No.

    Break even? Sometimes, almost.

    Require outside income to keep going? Yes.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bayou Roux View Post
      Profit? No.

      Break even? Sometimes, almost.

      Require outside income to keep going? Yes.
      Then why do it? If you are simply breaking even or taking a loss, I don't get why a BO would continue? It's hard work and I can't imagine doing it for the "fun" of it.


      • #4
        In my experience, typically:

        The boarding operation pays the boarding expenses.
        The lessons and the sales make the profit.


        • #5
          Profit? No. Why do it? It pays for my horses. And I enjoy having other people to ride with.


          • #6
            Originally posted by fourmares View Post
            Profit? No. Why do it? It pays for my horses. And I enjoy having other people to ride with.
            If it pays for your horses, isn't that profit?


            • #7
              If it pays for your horses, isn't that profit?
              Not a whole heckuva lot of profit if you figure out what it costs to keep your own horses in your own facility and then figure out how many hours you're working to cover that. Most of the time the smaller private places make enough for the BO to cover their own horsie addiction, but not enugh if that BO wanted to board their horses at fulll board price somewhere else. So yes, it's a type of profit but not one many are willing to take on considering physicla labor to covering horse expense ratios.
              You jump in the saddle,
              Hold onto the bridle!
              Jump in the line!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Donkey View Post
                If it pays for your horses, isn't that profit?
                I could see the 'not a profit' answer if boarders are covering one or two BOs horses.
                One of the last places I was at the BOs owned about 10 of the 21 horses there.
                Had they opted to not have so many horses there would have been more 'profit'.
                Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



                • #9
                  Originally posted by pandorasboxx View Post
                  Then why do it? If you are simply breaking even or taking a loss, I don't get why a BO would continue? It's hard work and I can't imagine doing it for the "fun" of it.
                  Because boarding is a loss leader where other ancillary goods and services make the profit: sales, lessons, shipping, camps, coaching, training, etc.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bayou Roux View Post
                    Profit? No.

                    Break even? Sometimes, almost.

                    Require outside income to keep going? Yes.
                    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pandorasboxx View Post
                      Then why do it? If you are simply breaking even or taking a loss, I don't get why a BO would continue? It's hard work and I can't imagine doing it for the "fun" of it.
                      The short answer is we do it because a life lived full time with horses is infinitely richer than one lived without.

                      There is a long extrapolation of that simple principle, which probably everyone here can illuminate through many an anecdote, but I think that's about the answer.


                      • #12
                        Profit? I'm sorry what is that? =

                        The boarding barn business plan never really works out. Perhaps if you have a TON of stalls (at least fifty), and don't turn horses out, but who wants do that? It is possible to break even, but even that's hard, as there are always maintenance costs for a horse facility that seem to come up. We are a training barn, so we make a little money on that. We don't do straight board, you have to be in training or lessons to be here. We have a great group of people that are serious about training and riding. Sometimes with straight boarding barns, you may not see the people for months, they don't have their horses feet done in a timely way, etc.

                        We have a lot of our own horses so the board and training money we earn helps. But even if we didn't there is still no money in boarding. You do it because you love horses.
                        "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."


                        • #13
                          Just wanted to say...

                          Originally posted by 867-5309 View Post
                          Because boarding is a loss leader where other ancillary goods and services make the profit: sales, lessons, shipping, camps, coaching, training, etc.

                          Nothing to add but I love your user name! Use that ringtone on my cell for my friend Jenny!

                          Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare


                          • #14
                            Technically, the barn makes a profit year to year. On a monthly basis, yes, there's a small profit, but that "profit" always goes to farm improvements....redoing the outdoor, more paddock footing, lockers for the boarder, etc, etc. There is not enough profit to live off of...both of us have 'jobs' outside of.
                            Thats in quotations, because my 'job' is the barn, and teaching /training. The barn operates as something seperate from myself teaching, etc. so, board is paid to barn, lessons are paid to me. it works.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks for all the input so far.

                              My BO just feels that they have to make a profit so they can be called a "business."

                              Do any of you classify your barns with the town/city as a business? Or do you not have to?

                              She said it's a "Business for them but a hobby for us" almost like it's not important to us boarders. But I understand where she is coming from to some extent.


                              • #16
                                To qualify as a business for tax write offs you have to show at least an attempt to swing a profit 3 years out of 5, right? Is that a state or federal thing?
                                HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                                www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


                                • #17
                                  We do, but the farm is paid off. Otherwise with a mortgage we wouldn't. As it is, it's not a ton of profit, but it allows me to have flexibility with the kids and their school activities. I don't miss the corporate world either.


                                  • #18
                                    Is paying for my horses "profit"... well, if you consider that I do all the work and I don't get paid a salary, then no, I don't think paying for my horses is truely a "profit". My barn is pretty small. I think that bigger barns are more likely to actually make a profit.


                                    • #19
                                      Umm, outside income source needed yes.
                                      Break even takes about $150. day to feed, pay mucker, hay straw, pro rate insurance and electric, don't count in mortgage for whole farm. Thats on 18 horses.
                                      Tax breaks help, money earners are from lessons, and selling horses if they move quick enough.
                                      Pay myself a wage, NEVER.


                                      • #20
                                        I always wondered about the difference in board prices, and how most BO's at bigger barns claim they don't make a profit. A really nice facility near my house is 700 a month plus mandatory lessons which makes the price 900/month. (not including all the "extras") I recently looked at 3 very nice, smaller private barns-at peoples homes. All 3 of these barns were very nice, and actually had nicer stalls then the bigger barn. 2 charged 400 and one charged 350 (everything included-no "extras"). The one lady told me that she is able to afford her daughter to take more lessons when they have boarders. The bigger barn does have a groom, the smaller ones don't have paid help. The feed/hay and care is quality at all the places. The turnout is much better at the smaller barns. I'm going to board at the smaller and trailer in to the bigger for lessons. If they all feed the same-it seems the bigger barn would be making a much bigger profit-yet I have heard the trainer state "I don't make money off board".