It will be 3 years ago in June when Zack and I took over Lincoln Equestrian Center. We had plans to renovate and ideas about what it would take to manage and own such a facility. And dreams, lots and lots of dreams. You have to be a dreamer to be a part of the professional horsemanship world.
There is a lot of advice out there about how to run and manage a successful boarding facility. Things like, cutting costs where you can, managing labor, offering events and specials. One bit of advice was to specialize in one particular type of riding. Apparently, it's a GOOD idea to limit your barn to English or Western. Jumping, or Dressage. Barrel Racing or Reining. It's easier to advertise and market to your target demographic, and supposedly it cuts down on the much despised "Barn Drama." Apparently English and Western riders, according to the Internet are like the Jets and the Sharks. Misunderstanding about the various disciplines apparently creates problems.
Zack and I never adhered to this piece of advice. Yes, certainly, get the best deal on hay you can but maybe just maybe you can build a community of all different types of horse people without the drama. We set out to do exactly that, build a community. Over the past 3 years we've had all different kinds of riders from across a range of ages, and specialties, and not yet have we had a Jets and Sharks dance fight break out in any arena between English and Western riders.
...what we do have is diversity, of horses and of riders. Dressage Queens riding with Barrel Racers. Pleasure riders mingling with jumpers and instead of there being a divide based on tack we at LEC have found harmony because regardless of the shape of your saddle, and if you affix it with a cinch or a girth we are all horse people.