josh-on-lurain-300We had the State of the Union, the State of the State, the State of the County, and now, the State of the Farm address.

Some of you are aware that the position that I held with Mopar, that made this program possible, was eliminated last September. Like everyone else, we need to look at what we can do to keep the services that we offer without raising our rates.

We have reviewed the other therapeutic riding facilities in the area and have learned that we have the lowest rate in this area, and, quite possibly, in most of the nation. Except for those facilities that do not charge and rely heavily on donations, we are at least $5/session lower than the others. Some charge $20 for a 30 minute session.

In addition, the hay that cost us $3.50 last June, and $5.50 in October is now costing us $7.00 a bale. We know that hay costs more in the winter, but this is double our summer rate. We do not have a definitive price for this year’s hay, but are expecting $4.50 or $5.00 out of the field, with rate hikes in the fall and winter. Our farrier is also increasing his rates by $5.00 per horse trim. Our horses are trimmed every eight weeks.

In an effort to not raise our rates this year, we are looking at additional ways to increase our revenue. This includes:

  • Increasing the number of riders to 100. We are asking you to distribute our flyers to anyone you know that could benefit from our riding classes. As a bonus, anyone who recruits a rider and that rider stays for three months will receive their choice of a free riding lesson or a 2009 Pretty Pony Pastures t-shirt.
  • Increase the number of Scout troops that utilize our facility for the badge workshops. I have a brochure that explains all the workshops. Take a few and hand them out to the Scout leaders that you know.
  • Add Horse Days, clinics, and riding “camps” to our list of services. Our first is Hug-A-Horse Day that will take place on Valentine Day. We will also have Horse Fever Days during spring break, and plan to add similar activities during the summer.
  • Encourage more schools to use our facility for field trips or classes. We were very successful with the five week session that we held with Patterson Elementary School in Holly. If you know any Special Education teachers that would be interested in our program…we have a brochure.
  • We plan to hold a barn sale this spring. We will call it a barn sale because we have tack that we can sell as well as household goods. You can help or rent a table. Date and time to be announced.
  • Add advertising in our Giddy-Up Go show bill. Businesses or individuals who take out an ad will get the bonus of being listed on our Website as well as the show bill.

Thank you for your support. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.