To Buy a Horse Business...or to Buy its Assets?

Have you seen certain websites (like Equestrian Life) or blogs (like Dappled Grey Equestrian Style) close up shop, but as they do so, pitch an offer to sell the business to an interested party?
Or perhaps your local hay seller or barn construction business has put up notice that they are "Under New Ownership."

If you work in the equine industry you may find it more efficient to buy a business rather than start one from scratch.

For example, you may buy a training stable rather than starting your own barn.  You may buy a tack shop rather than putting up a shingle on your own.  And as we have seen, this also applies in the digital world of buying an online site rather than building and growing one of your own.

Why would this be a good idea?  Wouldn't it be more economical just to save the cash you would spend to buy the business and put it into building your own business? It might be, but there are also many benefits to purchasing a horse business.

When purchasing a horse business you should evaluate whether you are purchasing the business, or whether you are just purchasing the assets of the business (a BIG difference!)
To illustrate:
Tacky Tack Shop has one store in California, one store in Florida, and a parent company in Germany.  You may buy the Tacky Tack Shop business, which would prevent the present owners from doing business under that business name, OR, you may buy just the United States assets of Tacky Tack Shop and not the business itself. 
 Assets of the business may include:
  • Ownership of the Tacky Tack Shop trademark (and other intellectual property rights)
  • Current inventory
  • Customer lists
  • Social Media accounts
  • Account Receivables (and may include the liability of Account Payables)


When you buy a business you can save an enormous amount of time, energy, money, and risk by buying into an existing customer base.  Sales are everything in business, and by taking the reins as the new owner of Tacky Tack Shop (in our example), you have access and rights to all the data of best selling items, top buying customers, wholesale and retail licenses and rights, and more.
The same applies to buying a training business- when you continue to operate under the existing name of the business there is a continuity of business flow that allows you to step into the shoes of a (hopefully profitable) business so that you can already know the estimated monthly cash flows of the business and avoid the time and cost building a business with unknown results.

Have you ever been at a barn that sold to a new owner?  This just happened at one of my previous barns, and by all accounts, my friends (the boarders) LOVE it!  There is a fresh perspective by the new owners, a little more money coming in to spruce up the facilities, and it appears to have all gone smoothly.  I imagine, however, there may be some horror stories out there as well (drama in boarding barns?! Impossible!)

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Own a business, selling a business, buying a business? You may have seen the recent Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind post.  We're a group of equestrians that network to grow each other's businesses, provide a sounding board for questions, and support each other push for greater business growth.  We have decided to briefly open the doors to a few other motivated people in the equestrian business (online business, physical business, products or services!). There is a nominal fee to join, which is currently discounted for the next few weeks.
If it sounds like something you, or someone you know, would like to be a part of...check out the page linked at the top of this blog! 

Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind


The Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind is an energetic, supportive, and educational membership for people who:

  • Own a small business that sell equestrian products or services 
  • Want to grow the reach and financial profitability of their business
  • Want specific and efficient advice and tactics to get better results
  • Want to learn how to set their products apart in a saturated market

If you want mentors, cheerleaders, gurus, and business colleagues to help you reach your goals, then the Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind is for you.




Do you ever feel uncertain about what to do to make your business grow? Do you ever feel lonely as an entrepreneur and wish you had a sounding board for business advice and support?  Would you like to receive personal, one on one guidance on how to increase your profits and product/ business presence?

The Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind will give you
Support and guidance in using proven strategies to grow your business;
Networking and cross-promotion opportunities;
Regular feedback and encouragement during the highs and lows of entrepreneurship from other horse business owners like you;
A unique experience from all other groups and memberships on the Internet: we are specifically horse-focused, small business oriented, and maintain a small size so we can focus well on helping each other.


 Is the Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind right for your business?
You are probably aware of a lot of membership sites, courses, and groups that promise you the moon.  Maybe you have even joined some and been disappointed with them.  We've fallen for them and their shiny marketing too!
Most of these groups are NOT applying personal advice for each and every member.  Most of them are NOT limiting the number of members to ensure quality attention.

Imagine being a part of a Mastermind that provides your business with as much personal attention as you can handle: website reviews, brainstorming sessions, product promotion, and social media advice all just for YOU.  Regardless of your business type, if you sell anything equestrian, then a tailored Mastermind membership is essential for your business toolbox.

We initially created an equine mastermind to have a safe place where we could have focused and personalized feedback on growing horse businesses.  Our members all met and exceeded their business goals!

If you're like the vast majority of small business owners that have participated in our Mastermind, you know that no one wants to dedicate weeks, or maybe even months, working hard to build a business that is doomed to fail because it's not based on a viable idea.  This is why people can agonize over decisions, go back and forth, doubt themselves, look for more research, and freeze and be stuck in a rut... and in the end, still do absolutely nothing to reach their goals.

They're paralyzed by the fear of heading down the wrong path.

Some of us in the Mastermind have made many right decisions that have lead to awesome business growth...but without a doubt, many have also made far less successful decisions in their entrepreneurship journey.  It is sharing our stories, comparing strategies, and offering a third-party perspective that leads to results and success.

That said, there's no need to run recklessly into a business that isn't built on a solid foundation and is therefore doomed to fail.

So if you want to be *sure* that the idea you pursue can really support a thriving, successful business, in the Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind we'll provide you with the feedback, advice, and insights we each have gleaned from our own business experience...whether you are starting with just the seed of an idea, or whether you have been working away on your business for several years.  If you are seeking growth, but want specific direction then get started by joining the Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind Today.


And when you've done that, you'll finally be able to proceed in building your business with the confidence and ease that come from knowing that it's going to succeed.


The Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind is for you if:

  • You are short on time and want efficient, actionable steps to grow your business
  • You are overwhelmed by all the ways your business can grow and want specific feedback and advice
  • You are new to small business and want the building blocks of getting your passion project off the ground

If you have one specific passion that you want to build your horse business around, you'll learn how to focus and position it in a market where it will easily be profitable.
And if you have too many passions, you'll learn how to narrow them down and find the one that has the greatest potential, and presents the biggest opportunities.
From there, you'll learn how to find your ideal customers, evaluate your competitors, and the perfect way to enter the market.

Instead of being stuck in a perpetual state of reluctance and uncertainty, you'll finally be making steady, tangible progress towards creating a real business.  Does this sound like exactly what you need? Join our Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind now!


So you may be thinking: 
Is my business ready for a Mastermind? Can the other equine entrepreneurs really offer assistance to me? Is this group different from the hundreds of other groups out there?


I really like that a lot of people who work alone and have to self-motivate all of the time can interact and rely on each other- I think that that is greatest thing I appreciate. I am in a pretty remote part of the country, so I love the interaction and accountability.  Dr. Piper Klemm, The Plaid Horse Magazine and Dr. Piper Klemm Equestrian Ponies



I've loved the mastermind. 1. I've developed marketing partnerships that have resulted in more facebook likes and traffic to my website. 2. The sense of accountability and support from other business owners also trying to get things off the ground. Kimball Wilson, The Equestrian Health Coach


I appreciate the connections made and the overall collaboration and genuine help – with everyone jumping in with thoughts and suggestions. Love that. Matt McClay, McClay Designs  

The Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind will work for your business if:
- You write books, blogs, or sell products or services geared to the equestrian market
- You have just the beginning of a business idea, or have been in business for awhile but would like to help stimulate your sales and customer base
- You want a group that is personal, small, and motivated to see YOU succeed

Remember that forming joint ventures can make the difference between a few sales here and there, and a business that can reach thousands of people.  Our private consultations and group input can help you learn how to choose the partners to work with, using proven strategies for approaching potential partners and cross-promoters of your horse business.

Equine Entrepreneur Mastermind membership is LIMITED! We do this to ensure your horse business receives personal and attentive advice and support.  For the remainder of 2014 we are offering a rare discounted price to participate and grow with us.  Normally membership is $197, but until January 1, 2015 you can join for a bargain of $97!  This is only about $7 per month!  For the cost of about two coffees you can be a part of an invigorating group that is focused on helping your sales succeed.  Remember, we have to LIMIT the number of Mastermind members to ensure high-quality delivery of networking, advising, and support, so don't hesitate to JOIN NOW AT THE DISCOUNTED RATE OF $97.00!


Corinna you are very skilled at facilitating. Believe me, I know, because my former profession was being a therapist/counselor. It is challenging to strike a balance between being positive and warm and encouraging, while also motivating and creating accountability. You are well able to do both. You ask relevant questions, you took the time to get to know each person's business so everyone felt valued. And yes it can feel very isolating to be in this world without support, so this group has done so much to help me. Not the least of which has been the value of feeling LESS isolated. Also so many great business ideas I've learned from reading what other people are doing and looking at their web sites. Suzanne Cannon, Electronic Veterinary Electronic Billing

Mastermind Membership Includes:
  • Exclusive access for 12 months to our private and highly productive Facebook Mastermind group with other amazing horse business owners.  We utilize Google Hangouts, chats, regularly programmed Website Reviews, and accountability measures to help see each other succeed
  • A PDF of the The Equine Entrepreneur: Your Guide to Building a Profitable Horse Business
  • A 20 Minute Private Consultation with Corinna Charlton, equine business attorney, author of Ribbons and Red Tape and "The Equine Entrepreneur: Your Guide to a Profitable Horse Business"
  • A 20 Minute Private Consultation with Nichelle Martin, horse business reviewer extraordinaire and author of We 3 Equines, a specialized review site that receives nearly a half million page views each year
Your membership, with two private consultations and the provided literature and the private support and networking group, is valued at several hundred dollars, but because we want to see your business SUCCEED in 2015 we are offering you a membership at LESS than $100.  We are keeping membership limited to a select number of Equine Entrepreneurs who are serious and excited about growing and succeeding.  Join Now, membership prices will go back up to $197 on January 1, 2015.



Here's to your passionate business and profitable ideas!








Terms and Conditions: twelve month membership.  Re-purchasing membership will be required 12 months from the time of initial purchase.  No results or profit are guaranteed.  You will not receive legal advice from Corinna Charlton and will be encouraged to see an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for legal advice for your horse business.

It's Clinic Season!

Winter and horses go together about as well as a peanut butter and mustard sandwich.  Sure, the weather is cooler and Pinterest has some beautiful photos of horses in the snow, but the reality of my winter riding tends to be muddy paddocks, lost shoes in said mud, hooves packed solid with said mud (or the wet arena footing), and hyper horses that have been stall bound due to inclement weather.
But the upside of the winter riding season is that it is clinic season! 



Summer is for showing, and winter is the time to improve techniques and prepare for the next show season ahead.  In winter I work on riding without stirrups (helps keep me warm too!) and repetitive exercises to work on my horse's responsiveness.  This is why clinics are so perfect for winter, particularly if the clinic is held at a facility with an indoor!

I love to ride in clinics that give me specific homework for the dreary months ahead, or I love to audit clinics if I can't ride in it (and I always bring a thermos of hot tea because auditing always seems to be freezing!).

An important part of a clinic is the Clinician Agreement.  The Clinician Agreement can work in a couple different ways:
First, between the facility host and the clinician
Secondly, between the facility and the clinic participant

The facility should always use Clinician Agreements to help protect itself from liability.  Liability can arise if the relationship between the clinician and the facility isn't clear.  For example, does the clinician have aspects that make him/ her appear as an employee of the facility? Or an independent contractor?
How is payment made (or not made) between the facility and the clinician? What are the expectations of profit sharing (which can look like a default legal partnership if you aren't careful!)?

The facility should have also have a Clinic Agreement with the participants to clarify who has the legal duty of care.  If the clinician instructs a rider to ride a grid that the clinician should know far exceeds the rider's capability, and the rider falls and dies (legal examples are always better when they show worst case scenarios!), then the facility wants to have a signed Agreement on record in which the participant has relieved the facility from any liability arising from the clinician's instructions or teaching style.  And in this example, the Clinic Agreement should also clearly state that the participant understands and accepts the risk of harm or death from participating in equestrian activities.
If a facility uses a standard Release of Liability for the participants, then the Release should specify that it applies to clinics or lessons with independent clinicians on site.
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This weekend my barn is hosting a clinic this weekend with Rob Gage, a hunter/ jumper rider who has been Rider of the Year four times and has won over forty Grand Prix show jumping events throughout the world.
I encourage you to seek out riding in or auditing as many clinics as possible this winter- it will help inspire your training for spring riding and showing!

Any fun clinics coming up for you? Let me know if you ever sign a Clinic Agreement!