Equine Business Resources – Business vs. Hobby

Is your horse operation a business or a hobby? The easiest way to determine whether your operation is a hobby or a business is to start with a few fundamental questions:

  1. What is your product or service?
    • Define what you are selling, what will generate income, how many products you are capable of having, and what makes your product special.
  2. Who are your clients?
    • Determine who your possible clients are. What is their gender, their ages, hobbies, lifestyles, and levels

Equine Business Resources – Employee Requirements


It doesn’t matter what the employee is called (agent, partner, independent contractor, etc.), and it doesn’t matter how payment is made to them or how many hours a week they work. But anyone who performs services for another person has now initiated an employer-employee relationship.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor

  • Independent contractors
    • Provide their services to the public
    • Control the means and methods of accomplishing the result
  • Employees
    • The employer controls the methods and results of the services performed
    • Employees are

Equine Business Resources – Insurance for Equine Businesses


Insurance protects horse owners and users against negligence and liability.


A good insurance policy is needed for any horse business to protect from the cost of defending itself in court and to protect from lawsuits. Before purchasing an insurance policy on your horse operation, the following should be considered and be reevaluated each year to determine the value of the policy and what possible risks are to be anticipated:

  • Financial stability of business
  • Value of the horses
  • Level of risk

Equine Business Resources – Best Practices for a Safe and Efficient Equine Facility

Best Practices:

  • A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. A “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. – Wikipedia

How to Improve the Safety and Efficiency of Your Equine Facility:

  • Increasing awareness of hazards
  • Making a conscious effort to prepare for emergency situations as well as daily activities
  • Discuss safety hazards and emergency procedures with workers, or conduct more formal

Equine Business Network Articles

Are you looking for information regarding equine businesses? Need some basic information regarding services, contracts, insurance or liability? Check out the following peer-reviewed articles for business guidance. This information is provided by university experts to help enhance your horse-related businesses, no matter how large or small.

Legal Documentation

Services and Contracts
How do contracts play a role in my equine business? Contracts are written agreements between two or more parties that are enforceable by law. Whether you are boarding a …

Optimizing the Horse Industry Labor Force

Free Online Training Program focusing on human resource, liability, and farm safety issues.

Equine business professionals are invited to participate in a dynamic, online short course series where they will be connected with land grant universities, equine business experts, networking opportunities, and other invaluable resources. There are over 1 million horses and 162,000 horse farms in the North Central Region of the United States. It is estimated that 4.6 million Americans in the U.S. are involved in the horse industry …

Equine Business Resources – The Real Cost of Owning a Horse

Important questions to ask yourself before purchasing a horse:

  1. Why do you want a horse?
  2. What will you use this horse for?
    • Pleasure, show, breeding stock, work horse, racing, etc.
  3. How are you going to care for the horse’s daily needs?
  4. Where will you keep the horse?
    • At “home”:
      • Barn/shelter – a barn can bring on more time and management care
      • Pasture – consider sectioning the pasture to rotate horses and keep pasture healthy
      • What type of fencing will you

Equine Business Resources – Economic Equine Outlook

       There are many indications of market saturation due to overproduction and the loss of the slaughter option for unwanted horses. Most horse shelters and rescues are full. University donations of horses are at an all-time high, and most horses are being turned away. Reports of abandoned horses continue to increase along with the cost of production.

National Situation

  • Approximately 9 million horses in the United States, with only 2 million horse owners
  • The total impact of the horse industry in

Equine Business Resources – Liabilites and Waivers

Equine Activity Liability Acts (EALA):

These acts prevent an equine activity sponsor, professional, or others from being sued if a participant who engages in an equine activity suffers an injury, death, or damage done from an inherent risk. These laws include exceptions that would allow a claim to proceed if the equine activity sponsor, professional, or others do any of the following:

  • Provides faulty tack or equipment that somehow causes injury, death, or damage to the equine activity participant
  • Fails

Equine Business Resources – Services and Contracts

How do contracts play a role in my equine business? Contracts are written agreements between two or more parties that are enforceable by law. Whether you are boarding a horse for a friend, standing your stallion for breeding, or sending your horse to a trainer, contracts can be instrumental in any equine business agreement.

What Is a Contract?

A contract is:

  1. An agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified
  2. An agreement enforceable