How will you decide on your prices?
The number and type of horses that you have will inevitably affect your earning potential - you will need horses and ponies of different sizes, performance and temperament so that you can cater for riders of all ages and abilities. You will also need to make provision for the quieter months, when trekking income is likely to be low. Bear in mind that you will also need to budget to replace your mounts once they become too old to work.
So you will need to consider:
- how much income you need to earn to cover all of your operating costs, including staff wages and your own drawings
- how many horses and ponies you can accommodate
- how busy you are likely to be
- how many days each year will realistically be suitable for trekking
- the costs you will incur per horse such as bedding, concentrate feeds, hay, veterinary and medicines, tack purchase and repair, shoeing, grazing costs and so on. (The British Horse Society - BHS - produces a guide to the cost of keeping a horse or pony, which might be helpful. You can download The Cost of Keeping a Horse or Pony from the BHS website)
- any other sources of income such as self-catering or residential accommodation
This will help you to come up with a tariff for the different types of trek or ride you offer. Although this must be based on an appraisal of your own costs, you will need to make sure your charges are broadly in line with your competitors. Many trekking centres post their prices on their website - have a look at a few to see what other centres are charging.
Think about whether you'll offer discounts to people booking a certain number of hacks or lessons in advance, or for off-peak bookings. If you offer one-to-one hacks or lessons make sure you charge enough for these.