Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer has been busy!

 Bonita, May, 2012

I haven’t blogged in ages!  This summer has been busy with horses and riding!  At the end of April, I bought 2 Rushcreek Arabian mares, to start conditioning for the Fall CTR’s.  During May, I was riding them, Shaggy and Duke, and through May and June, tried to bring in 2 4-year olds to be saddled and lunged.  This didn't happen every day, but I tried to work everyone a couple of times a week, and ride Shaggy and Allie and Bonita most of the time.  I was also riding Savannah, and did sell her in June.  The first weekend of June, I hosted a Centered Riding Clinic.  Through May-July, I was giving kid’s lessons when it wasn’t too hot and humid.  Even at 8-9 am, if I thought it would be too warm for the horses, who are lesson horses and out of shape, I cancelled lessons.  We didn’t have many July lessons, due to the extremely hot days.  I found myself inside sooner and sooner.  At least, I’m catching up on house things… some cleaning, paperwork, putting things away.  Why is it that I look at my dresser, and it keeps collecting “things” and I never get that cleaned off!  I need to put a box under my bed to put that stuff in to!

Time to take on a project!  LOL  For a few year, a different room was painted.  About 4 or 5 years ago, I finally took out 70’s kitchen cupboards and had the whole kitchen re-done, with new paint in the kitchen and eating area. Along with that major project, the tile guy finished our master bathroom tile.  This is a tiny bathroom, just big enough for shower, toilet and sink, and it had been tore up for a year!  Once we watched and saw how the tiling got done, we had the toilet and sink and vanity in within days!  Those 2 projects lasted my “let’s get something done” for a few years.
 But a few years later, the downstairs basement family room got new carpeting, as grandbabies were first starting to crawl.   The next year, the living room got new floors, and since we were down to the wood subflooring, the family room, which was directly under the upstairs living room, got some extra ceiling lights!  That room used to be so dark and 6 new lights sure made a difference.  Last year, the main bathroom was done by hubby and me. The 80’s wall paper, and underneath it the edges of the 70’s flower power wallpaper, was replaced by tile. We put in a very small jet tub that would fit and tiled the tub shower area.  And I was very pleased by how it looks!  Love it and my horsey home décor items!!!
This year, I turned to the office/exercise area. Not much exercising is getting done, but it needed organized.  Hubby has taken over some of the area too.  This room used to be the boy’s bedroom and was a great room for exercise equipment, but is too small for that and 2 office spaces. But I’m trying to make it all fit. 
But getting back to “summer has been busy” made me think about projects.  August is usually about when I start a new project, because it’s too hot to be outside.  July ended up being that month!  I still rode early mornings, but not even every week.  Hubby and I did go home the first week of July to visit parents in PA.  I did ride the 2nd week of July, and the horses were riding great after 9 days off.  But then the 3rd week of July, horses and I shut down.  They were hot and sticky, I was hot and sticky because they weren’t riding easy, so I decided if I had to work at riding, everyone was going to have a break!  Then my major project started.

I am, and have been, liquidating my tack store inventory for the last 2 years, since closing my store March, 2010.  I have been selling items in vendor booths at a few horse events, and reopened during the Christmas season the last few years.  I had discounted my prices and offered sales at 50-60% off.  Up until now, I had refused to offer more discount and lose money.  But I felt it was time to do just that.  I decided to sell items at 50-75% off online through Messick Tack & Feed Facebook Page. By the end of the 3rd week of July, I had tables lining my basement walls, and laid out all my inventory.  My clothing racks were already against 2 walls, with hanging clothes on them.  So I really only had to organize the T-shirts, books, caps, jewelry, kids item, Christmas cards and Breyer ornaments, Home Décor, and jeans.  The few items I had in storage in the barn, like cinches, grooming supples, first aid supplies, and a little bit of tack, and supplements were laid out on racks and tables in a room of the barn.  I was ready to see what I could sell.  And stay out of the heat on those 100+ days.  Check out the sales under the Photo Section!
Wow, the sale on the FB took off!  The minute I started posting photos of what the rooms looked like, I had messages as to what I had for sale and at what price.  I realized I needed to take close ups of each area, list the items, and put info and sale prices under each photo.  Easy to do, but time consuming.  For the last 3 weeks, that is what I have been doing.  Each day, or every 2 days, I tried to post new photos with prices.  The past 2 weeks, I took individual photos of all the jewelry, tank tops and t-shirts I had, and posted them with sizes and prices.  The Montana Jewelry sold out within a day.  Trying to keep up with messages and orders made for some long days.  But this is good news.  I see the piles slowly going down, yet I have a good selection of everything.  I don’t have all sizes in everything, but if not in one style, I have it in another style.
I’m looking at the whole picture now, from start of the tack store 8 years ago, until today.  And before that, I had feed sales.  Profit is still there.  If the use of social media would have been greater 4 years ago, or if I would have started using FB more, 4 years ago, (I’m not sure when FB started), I may not have closed the store.  I know I should have liquidated more items every Jan and Feb, when sales are at a slump after Christmas.  I should have offered more items at 60-75% off, just to move them, and make room for new items. 
Hindsight is wonderful.  Along with that, comes knowledge.  I’m a better businesswoman now.  Even if my business is turning another corner.  I’ve learned quite a few things from having the tack store.  I’m not sure I’ll deal with customers any differently, but I can understand customers better.  I’ve worked hard at helping customers find what they need and not what I could sell them.  I have always held that honesty and integrity and truthfulness is a must. 
I’ve been so busy, and have had very little free time.  I think within another week, I’ll be caught up on taking and posting photos, and then I’ll have some extra time.  I want to get back to blogging and posting informative articles and tips on my Horses Are Our Lives chat group.  I need to get back to working all these horses since we are having cooler mornings.  I want to get back to reading all these books I have and talking about them.  And I need to getting back to taking more photos to post on Sunday Stills, which I haven’t done all summer!  I’m not sure when I posted there last.  I miss it!  I miss that interaction. 
I did check FB this morning, and realized that I couldn’t take the whole day off.  If I hadn’t answered some messages, tomorrow afternoon would have been terribly busy.  I organized some piles of product that people were wanting and I can start invoicing more orders. This is after invoicing a large amount of orders last week, too.  
Then I sat down to blog!  It’s amazing when you finally sit down, and do nothing, how slow time goes.  I’m liking this. And I might just do this every Sunday afternoon from now on… when I’m not riding.  Those projects and chores will wait and be there tomorrow.   Time to grab a cup of coffee, lay my head back on this lounge chair, listen to the wind and the birds, and watch my horses in their lot.

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