If you are thinking of starting an equestrian business, you will first need to decide on what kind of business you want. This article outlines 10 equestrian business ideas for anyone who is looking to start their own equestrian business.
10 Equestrian Business Ideas:
- Online Equestrian Retailer
- Equestrian Artist
- Freelance Groom
- Freelance Riding Instructor
- Equestrian Marketing Agency
- Equestrian Business Consultant
- Saddle, Bit or Bridle Fitter
- Equestrian Influencer
- Livery Yard Owner
- Equine Transport Business
Online Equestrian Retailer
Becoming an online equestrian retailer essentially requires an online shop and stock to sell. You can use a platform such as Shopify to host your online shop, and you can purchase stock wholesale from large and small equestrian brands. You will also need a good understanding of your stock and your customers’ needs. Online shops tend to require less customer interaction than bricks-and-mortar tack shops, but you should still understand what you are selling so that you can market your stock effectively and assist customers when needed. You will also need to be able to invest money in purchasing stock, setting up your online shop and marketing.
There is plenty of demand for equestrian art – be it in the form of paintings, sketches or photographs. You will need to be able to execute these skills to a high level, especially if you want to do commissions. Equine artists and photographers may sell their work online or at events, and photographers may be commissioned for competitions or race meetings.
Freelance grooms are in demand from both businesses and private individuals who need short-term cover as well as regular assistance. Being a freelance groom requires you to be knowledgeable and confident around horses. You may also want to consider taking professional qualifications – the British Horse Society is a good place to start. Grooming for a living will require a degree of physical fitness, as you will be on your feet all day. You are also likely to be working early mornings and weekends.
Freelance Riding Instructor
Like grooms, freelance horse riding instructors are in demand from riding schools and private clients. Being a freelance riding instructor allows you to specialise in teaching a particular discipline or ability level, and you could decide to run your own clinics or courses. Again, you will probably need to have some professional riding instructor qualifications.
Equestrian Marketing Agency
Equestrian businesses need to have a marketing strategy in order to gain clients and grow. If you have an understanding of social media, SEO and / or website design, you could set up your own equine digital marketing agency. Alternatively, you could specialise in graphic design, print marketing or even sponsorship procurement. You should have a basic understanding of at least one type of marketing and be willing to spend time learning and improving your skills. This may involve going on courses or taking qualifications.
Equine Business Consultant
An equine business consultant helps other equestrian business owners manage their businesses. Equine business consultants operate in a number of ways. Some offer 1-to-1 consultancy, whilst others offer group coaching sessions. Consultancy may include advising on social media and marketing, business development, time management, sales, PR and more. Being an equine business consultant requires you to be approachable and easy to talk to as you will likely be working closely with other equestrian business owners.
Saddle Bit or Bridle Fitter
Saddle, bit and bridle fitters help horse owners find the right tack for their horse, and help to adjust and customise that tack to suit. To be a successful saddle, bit or bridle fitter, you will need to have a solid understanding of horse biomechanics, riding and schooling. You will also need to apply the practical skills required to measure and adjust tack to fit the horse correctly. This type of equestrian business is likely to require you to drive to visit clients and you may also need to take qualifications. The Society of Master Saddlers and The Worshipful Company of Loriners are good places to start.
Equestrian Social Media Influencer
Social media has exploded in recent years and there are thousands of people using social media to make a living. Influencers are people who create content for social media and monetise this content through advertising and paid partnerships. Being an equestrian social media influencer requires you to have a substantial and engaged audience. You will need to produce regular, engaging content in a variety of formats, including video and social media posts. You may be invited to attend equestrian events for meet-and-greets, and you may also be able to develop your own product line. Equestrian influencers should have a good understanding of Advertising Standards regulations and have excellent conduct both on and off social media.
Livery Yard Owner
Becoming a livery yard owner requires significantly more upfront investment than the other equestrian business ideas mentioned here. To begin with, you will need land and a yard. You will need to consider how many horses you can keep on your land, what type of livery you will offer and whether you will need staff.
Equine Transport Company
Most horse owners will need to transport their horses at some point. Whether it’s to shows, the vet or to move yards, horse owners are likely to need an equine transport company to move their horses. Running an equine transport company requires certain licenses, and you can find out more on the government website. You will also need to be calm and confident handling all kinds of horses, especially as some horses are nervous or difficult when loading and travelling.
General Considerations for Starting an Equestrian Business
Regardless of what type of equestrian business you want to set up, there are a number of general considerations. You will need to register with HMRC and make sure that you have valid and appropriate insurance in place. You will also need to consider the amount of financial investment required to start your equine business. Marketing, HR and PR are also key considerations and are essential to helping your business grow. You should also consider how qualified you are and look to take relevant courses or qualifications as necessary.