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Managing a Horse Ranch: What You Need to Know Post Preview

Ideally you will have spent a considerable amount of time on a horse ranch before you even consider managing one yourself. Horse ranches require constant hard work, and unless you’ve seen it firsthand you may not be prepared to take on such a large responsibility. Although there are hundreds of things you should know about the business before going out on your own, here are some of the most important components of ranch management that you should be aware of.

Record Keeping

If you’re not good with record keeping yourself, you’ll need to make sure to hire someone who is. Maintaining accurate records is one of the most important components of running a ranch. You’ll need to keep records of every single animal and all of their medical treatment, all business-related purchases, equipment repairs and facility maintenance.

Insurance

You need to ensure that you have appropriate insurance coverage for the entire ranch – facilities, animals and any staff you may employ. Horse insurance costs alone can be a bit of a shock if you’re new to the business. Horses are large and gentle creatures, but they’re also notorious for having large medical expenses and are also prone to accidents. Make sure to get several different quotes before selecting your policy and pay special attention to out of pocket costs.

Maintenance

Ranches, in general, require extensive ongoing maintenance as well as deferred maintenance, and you should be prepared for this. Fences will need to be checked and mended on a near-daily basis. Barns will need to be weatherized. Stables will need to be refinished. Grounds will need to be tilled. 

Animal Care

You should also be prepared for ongoing animal care. In addition to large medical costs, for things like surgeries, animals also require regular maintenance, cleaning, grooming and medication. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself having to wake up in the middle of the night several times a week to check on an animal’s condition. 

Yes, managing a ranch is a lot of work, but most people say it’s worth it. 

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