Susanne Blijlevens-Bos’ Blog: “The Hidden Poverty Among Horse Industry Entrepreneurs”

I started the first blog in this series where the financial side of an equestrian entrepreneur was added with a very nice Zeeland entrepreneur doing everything in his power to improve the welfare of horses. She dreams of achieving group housing with a little extra luxury, like a metal buffet.

basic information

Contractor type: pension stable, training and teaching

Province: Zeeland

Business volume 2021: 62,868 euros

2021 result: 13,297 euros

Average work week: 50 hours

Hourly wage: 5.11 EUR

Pension entitlement: no

Disability Insurance: Yes

At first glance, everything looks great. The horses are in the house and there is an indoor arena of 20 x 20 metres. This business woman has her business at home. Super luxury you might say! Unfortunately this is not the case. She rents the horse part and then there is also a loan for everything she built. Think of the indoor arena, stables, pastures, restaurant, outdoor arena, rush circuit, and so on. When I ask her what she owns, she proudly tells us about her five horses, one of them bred in France and the rest at home.

“To make changes, there are significant costs again and I hope to be able to sell one of my horses. This allows me to pay those costs again and fill the free stable with a new customer. I hope this brings me one step closer to my dream,” the entrepreneur said.

“I’ve had headaches on a regular basis for the past couple of years. How am I supposed to pay those high bills again? Fortunately, it has worked every single time so far, so I’ll stick with it. But I’m already dreading the annual purchase of hay and straw.”

“If possible, I would have preferred to focus on training horses only. Make normal work weeks so that my daughter does not have to go to nursery five days a week. Unfortunately, this space does not exist yet to receive more training horses, so I must have Additional activities, such as teaching and organizing clinics. In order to make my daughter more home, I will have to give up financially, because the pension storage alone will not produce enough if I myself am not at work during the teaching hours, for example.

“If I were to earn more, I would immediately put this money into better facilities for horses. I would immediately begin to perceive communal housing equipped with all amenities and luxuries (ring paradise, metal buffet, automatic roughage supply, individual feeding, manure suction dredger). Only in Should there be money left after that, I will finally be able to invest in more employees, so that I have more time for my daughter. I will also be able to finally increase my pension.”

“My biggest fear is that if I raise my prices, customers won’t understand and will leave. On the other hand, if nothing changes, I won’t last more than two years financially. I really enjoy my job and don’t mind hard work. However, I find it hard to take my daughter away for five days to cover some expenses.”

“I regularly tell my clients my costs and they also understand when I implement price increases. What they know less is the number of hours I spend. All my horses receive 24/7 care. It doesn’t stop with a clean stable and two feedings every day, It takes a lot of time. Getting in and out, communicating with clients, checking horses, being there for clients and extra care if a horse is sick. Thus, a day trip is not only possible, but a lot has to be arranged in advance, so that everything continues to work.”

“What I want to stress is that I’m not really pathetic. I choose this myself and I really enjoy horses. My biggest fear is not for nothing that I can no longer pay the bills and therefore should stop.”

“I think many (small) entrepreneurs in the equestrian industry identify themselves in my story, so it would be good if we all had different rates rather than competing with each other, say, pension storage rates.”

higher rates

Susan Bleglivin Boss is the owner of Paard en Profit (Paard en Profit).www.paardenprofit.nl), an equestrian entrepreneur and hobby breeder. “Because I see the numbers of many equine entrepreneurs, I know there is a lot of hidden poverty among entrepreneurs. Higher rates need to be introduced so that entrepreneurs can build something (for example, pensions or investments in horse care). It’s not that the entrepreneur gets rich, but that the entrepreneur receives a normal salary (above the minimum wage) and that entrepreneurs receive this too, including pension entitlement. Hence this monthly blog provides more information on this matter!”

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