The Profitable Horseman's Newsletter The only weekly electronic newsletter published for Professional Horsemen.
November 14, 2007

If you are looking for positive results in your horse business, we should have a conversation about how Profitable Horseman strategies can help. E-mail or call me. (716) 434-5371

this week:
  • Manure Piles and All That Rot
  • Speaking about the Horse Business...
  • Others have said
  • Back at the Barn
  • Horses are Horses-Business is Business

  • Manure Piles and All That Rot

    You've probably heard that old saying, "Ain't Much New Under the Sun." And you'll probably agree that when it comes to innovation in the horse business, the expression fits like a collar on a draft horse.

    The daily chores in the horse barn are: feed, water, muck and bed on every day year round. If you're like me, you don't mind the feed and water part too much, but that manure management is just plain old work.

    Spreading manure on a daily basis is a good solution to the problem of where to park all of the byproduct, but it's not always practical. That's because it takes time, isn't always an option in wet and freezing weather and requires a gutsy tractor and a functional spreader.

    Because horse manure is a lot like paperwork, it just keeps piling up. And up and up and up. . . . I visited a farm not long ago where you could see three states from the top of their Manure Mountain.

    On a quest for solutions to the manure management problem, I talked with Peter Moon, President of O2 Compost . Peter has invested considerable time studying and advising horsemen about the benefits of composting manure.

    Now, hold on to your pitchfork. Before you interrupt to tell me composting is a cumbersome and slow process, keep reading to find out what you can do to speed up the decomposition. And even better, how you can SELL that compost instead of paying to have manure hauled away.

    Peter told me in simple terms (he's very good at explaining things in spite of being a professional engineer) that the problem with slow composting rates is a lack of oxygen and a lack of the proper temperature (heat) to accelerate decomposition (rot).

    After thorough research, he has made a business of designing and selling composting systems in North America for use in all climates. Moon told me that by using PVC pipe, small blowers, timers and a thermometer, he can help his clients convert manure, with a properly designed composting system, from an expense to a profit item.

    You won't retire early on the profit, but you will enjoy reducing manure handling expenses, reducing fly populations, having a neater looking facility and controlling contaminated water runoff while putting a few bucks in your side pocket from the sale of the rich compost.

    How much is the compost worth? Peter tells me that his clients have sold compost for $5.00 a burlap bag to as much as $80.00 per cubic yard. To define its worth, it can be lab analyzed to help determine the nutrient value. Moon told me that he especially enjoys helping his clients with the marketing of the compost they make and helping them determine a fair sale price.

    If you'd like to know more visit his website by clicking here It's filled with information and photos of composting systems.

    Composting may be the right solution for your operation.

    One more thing. I asked Peter about all of the horse manure jokes. He reports that he has heard most of them and singles out this groaner, "fecal matters" as one of his industry favorites.

    Speaking about the Horse Business...

    Need a speaker about the horse business for your horse organization?

    Talk to me about talking. Keynotes and workshops available. (716) 434-5371

    Others have said

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." Excerpt from the notebooks of Lazarus Long

    "The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next." -- Cyril Connolly

    "A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." -- Groucho Marx

    Back at the Barn
    hay wagon

    We had an interesting side bar discussion last night at the Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club sponsored Profitable Horseman workshop regarding the plight of thoroughbred horses that, for a variety of reasons, have no potential for a racing career.

    Many good horses that don't make it in the racing world have promise as a career as an "ordinary" horse.

    The evaluation period and additional training time required for finishing former track horses as riding horses has always been a matter of risk for the horseman who takes on the challenge.

    The rising cost of hay and all feeds in general puts one more complication into the financial risk formula.

    The solutions are not easy.

    Horses are Horses-Business is Business
    Doug Emerson photo

    I work with Professional Horsemen who are struggling with the business half of the horse business.

    If you've had enough with not enough: time, money or the right people in your horse business put down your pitchfork and pick up your phone. Give me a call (716) 434-5371 and we can talk about how Profitable Horseman strategies can help you.

    Welcome to new subscribers this week. If you know other horsemen who would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to them!

    I appreciate your help !


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