Making the decision to do something in the horse industry is, for some of us, a “no brainer”. Making the educated decision to do something in the horse industry with a full understanding of just how hard it can be to succeed might be on the edge of a fantasy world. When I made the call to hand in my resignation to the equestrian school where I was teaching, the first thing many said to me was "Congratulations!"; the second being, "It's going to be so hard."
Since I opened Gallifrey in 2013 (and officially for business in 2014) I have had that in the back of my mind. I let it drive me on when I'm tired and ready to give up or just call it a day when there is still so much to do. I didn't turn a single soul away for lessons or their horses for training no matter how much what they thought I should do clashed with what I knew I should do. Eventually, I started picking up steam (and more clients) and by July of 2014 both barns were full and I had a short waiting list. It was sureal but I didn't let that go to my head. I didn't change my work ethic and I didn't start turning anyone away. If anything it made me work even harder because you never know when it could all go away. What has helped my efforts and keep the business afloat was finding a dedicated team who felt the same way about my passion for horses as I do. Mikki and Mariah are the rocks I count on daily to help me get it all done.
It took me a while to really get the feel of how I wanted the business to run and my business
To say things recently have been busy at Gallifrey is an understatement. The weeks leading up to USDF Regional Championship and the weeks after have had us all going nonstop. On top of it all, for the past two months I was away every weekend; either teaching, showing or training. This means that I pack my days with extras like the lessons I would have normally done on the weekends. This has turned into several weeks of seven days a week for 12+ hours working a day. Its quite a bit of work even doing something you love so much and I honestly am so happy for it.
While I like to take the weight of the world upon myself I am always floored when I am reminded of how much my team wants it too. Mariah, Gallifrey's barn manager and lets face it best customer service representitive, spends her mornings working with me and then jets off to her second job as a waitress. She has not had a full day off since September. She does this to survive, she does this because this is an industry she wants to be in and she does this all for her horse Damon. Mikki, owner of her own equine massage business, has been in that truck with me almost every day since Septemeber. We travel to clients and tag team lessons and massage, she's the best groom I have had the priveldge of knowing and she talks me off the preverbial ledge more times than I'd like to admit.
The 2015 show season is over and while it looks like things might settle down for the holidays it doesn't mean things get any slower ethically. We do it all firstly for our love of the horse, an addiction that doesn't let us sleep well let alone sit down and relax, and secondly because we know the hard work involved to keep an equestrian facility going. While one day in the future I do hope to have a weekly scheduled break, right now this ship is going full blast because you just never know when the winds will change and nothing is moving that ship... but you.