Rehab

Starzaan

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Hello fair wenches and dudes of HHO, long time no see.

Today I come to you not with an FF dilemma (which is a bit sad, I miss him and his gruff ways), but with a suggestion.

As some of you may know, I am broken. I had a bad accident in November and have been laid up ever since, recovering and going through multiple surgeries. JOY!

I have been told that I won't be able to return to doing what I love (running rehab yards) for the foreseeable future as I am going to have to start from scratch in terms of rebuilding my core etc. I'm out for at least a year, and my horses are sorted. One is being competed by a friend, and the other is on full livery so is ridden for me and living his best old man life while I'm sitting in bed with drains attached to my insides.

This leads me to a question/proposition I want to run past you lovely lot. I am lucky enough to have gained an awful lot of knowledge throughout my years working alongside vets and other equine professionals. I have my BHS Level 4 Senior Yard Manager, and was working on my Performance Centre Manager qualification when lockdown hit, and then had my accident, but I could continue that. I have exceptional testimonials, case studies, and references from some of the most respected vets, riders and equine professionals in the UK, and I LOVE helping people with their broken horses.

Do you think, people who are struggling with diet plans/nutrition/rehab or just want some general tips or advice on management (I have been lucky enough to be part of studies which have proven certain management styles ie: beds can genuinely increase life span and general health), would be interested in an online consultation service? I could help create nutrition or rehab plans, or assist with management. I will probably start a blog type thing alongside it, and then a lot of the knowledge I have gained will be more accessible to people. Even something like a pack or course for prospective yard owners or managers - I have the testimonials to back up the fact that I run yards with zero complaints, and have the knack for creating happy horses and happy owners.

Basically, this is the only thing I know I am really bloody amazing at, and it is breaking my heart a little bit knowing that I can't go back to helping people with their horses for such a long time, if ever.

This idea obviously needs refining, and I'm perfectly prepared to be shot down in flames as I have had a LOT of morphine so I might think I'm a genius and this is a glorious idea, when in fact I'm missing something obvious which makes it crap.
 

ihatework

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To be honest it’s what a lot of people need but just don’t really acknowledge they need it!

An independent person who can join the dots up and give a holistic overview, without the biases that come from well meaning liveries and yard owners.

What you would need to be is a realist though - not everyone has access to perfect facilities and unlimited funds.
 

Starzaan

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To be honest it’s what a lot of people need but just don’t really acknowledge they need it!

An independent person who can join the dots up and give a holistic overview, without the biases that come from well meaning liveries and yard owners.

What you would need to be is a realist though - not everyone has access to perfect facilities and unlimited funds.
Absolutely. These things need to be made accessible to the every day horse owner, who doesn't necessarily have unlimited funds, as you say. I would plan to offer a "best case scenario" but also offer alternatives and suggestions of how things could be improved in a less expensive way. Sort of a "most bang for your buck" type thing. For instance, the skincare guru I follow always says "put your money in the middle. Spend on the serums, never on the cleanser and moisturiser, those bits don't matter". There are definitely ways of saving people money whilst still massively improving the welfare/rehab plan/nutrition of the horse. I had one livery who came to me feeding a diet which cost her £2k a month (I almost fell over) and I managed to get this down to £160 a month, with much improved results.

Sorry for the waffle. I have had a lot of drugs haha!
 

DizzyDoughnut

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I would love something like this for nutrition, I've always had ponies that get fat just seeing grass and it's been simple, now my old cushings pony is not like that, although he's improved in summer I'm already looking ahead to winter and there's just to many options. Trying to compare things and work out what is going to work while also being safe from a laminitis risk point of view is blowing my tiny mind, then there's supplements how do you know from the hundreds available which is the right one!

Eta. I know there are nutritionists but I always think they're linked to particular company so won't necessarily recommend the best thing if it happens to be made by another company.
I think a blog alongside it would be good so people can see the results you've had and see that you really do know what you're doing.
 

SEL

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One of the FB pages I follow (S Bloom recommended it) is a biomechanics one. The lady who runs it has a lot of info on there, videos etc and charges for access to the materials. That means you can view at your leisure and don't feel left out with them doing live chats on US time zones.

Equitopia are the other place that have a lot of available info that they charge a fee to access. One of the nutritionists does it as well - lots of info on website for a small monthly fee but obviously a larger fee for specific advice.

I think that's a pretty good business model. You'll need to raise awareness through free blogs to attract people and have good internet content but I think it could work. Because of covid people got used to more remote working and one of the instructors round here became a cracking zoom coach encouraging her clients to get ear pieces so they could communicate as if she was there. All of that means you can run the business from anywhere - including a hospital bed if necessary!

And the only way to find out if there's a market is to try :)
 

Tarragon

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Seeing how well we have adapted to virtual meetings etc. in this post-covid world, I think that a lot of business models can be run very successfully like this.
Think of all the on-line horsey competitions that have been run!
You will have to be very savvy about using social media I think.
 

FlyingCircus

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I'd be interested. My mare is 10 weeks post colic op today and although I have a rehab plan, it's my first lot of rehab and I don't know whether I'm aiming too slow/fast and I may be missing out things that would benefit her core.

I guess the caveat is that I wouldn't want to pay for stuff I already know - I've 25 years of general horse experience so whilst I may have missed bits and pieces, I'm not completely clueless.
 

Starzaan

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I would love something like this for nutrition, I've always had ponies that get fat just seeing grass and it's been simple, now my old cushings pony is not like that, although he's improved in summer I'm already looking ahead to winter and there's just to many options. Trying to compare things and work out what is going to work while also being safe from a laminitis risk point of view is blowing my tiny mind, then there's supplements how do you know from the hundreds available which is the right one!

Eta. I know there are nutritionists but I always think they're linked to particular company so won't necessarily recommend the best thing if it happens to be made by another company.
I think a blog alongside it would be good so people can see the results you've had and see that you really do know what you're doing.
Before I’ve set this up, the nutritionist I would ALWAYS recommend is Chloe at Equicare Nutrition. I’ve worked closely with her for a long time and she’s incredible. She’s a practicing vet, and isn’t tied to any company so her advice is truly impartial and based on science. I’ve been so lucky to learn so much from her.
So, if I can’t help, she’ll be able to! However, I’m more than happy to give you some suggestions if you’d like to ping me a DM. 😊
 

Starzaan

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I'd be interested. My mare is 10 weeks post colic op today and although I have a rehab plan, it's my first lot of rehab and I don't know whether I'm aiming too slow/fast and I may be missing out things that would benefit her core.

I guess the caveat is that I wouldn't want to pay for stuff I already know - I've 25 years of general horse experience so whilst I may have missed bits and pieces, I'm not completely clueless.
So what I was thinking for rehab is to do what I would do for my clients in person. Provide a detailed rehab and nutrition plan for them to follow, and touch base maybe weekly so things could be updated and changed dependent on how things are going. I absolutely wouldn’t want to be patronising or charge people for things they already know. 😊
 

PurBee

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Sorry to hear about your accident starzaan, i hope you recover well yourself!

I like your idea and think there’s a need for it. As mentioned, aside from folk with injured horses going through rehab, there’s many yards/owners who could do with a consult but dont know they need it!

Have a blog, start writing mini articles, detail your experience - then start reaching out to yards/trainers/rehab groups about your consultation service.

When i was setting up my home based equine facilities from scratch, i was lost really, and despite reading loads, i would have loved to have had someone to come out and assess my particular space and make suggestions how best to arrange it. All places are different and really we end up needing to tailor-make it to that individual property/climate/amount of horses etc. I went through loads of bedding options/methods - so much was trial and error. Their feed needs were trial and error so that was a journey of tweaking here and there. To have someone to quickly guide the foundational ‘must have/do’ and then support tweaks ultimately leads to a faster journey towards equine settlement/welfare.

With internet camera linking these days you could even do off-site yard consults/horse consults and have on camera meetings - that gives you lots of scope for international clients rather than local in person client-base.

Offering equine general management consults, aswell as rehab advice services, and nutritional guidance will always be required in the industry. In fact, i thinks its a niche within the industry that’s under-represented, as that type of remote, individual consult in my whole country is only 1 or 2 people.
To offer a ‘complete package’ of management and nutritional consultation, aswell as some training/rehab elements if requested is what would set you apart from others who offer only 1 of those services.
With your varied experience you could offer varying consult ‘packages’.

If i could have had experienced eyes at this place/on my horses when i started it would have saved me years of trial and error!

The love and enthusiasm you have for your work is enough to make your idea work!
 

FlyingCircus

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So what I was thinking for rehab is to do what I would do for my clients in person. Provide a detailed rehab and nutrition plan for them to follow, and touch base maybe weekly so things could be updated and changed dependent on how things are going. I absolutely wouldn’t want to be patronising or charge people for things they already know. 😊
I'd be interested in something like this, as would also be good for accountability and someone to tell about the pony and her progress that isn't my long suffering other half 🤣
 

sbloom

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I think HOW you package it could be crucial, there is a need/demand out there for all those things, but equally it could be a confusing offer where people don't know exactly what you do, or think there's no way one person can do all that...and equally many people who don't realise they need what you offer. I think it would be a good idea to have a business coach, if you can find the funds at all, but if no funds then this FB group has just started up https://www.facebook.com/groups/3174801149289306, might help you starting out?
 

TheHairyOne

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For me the biggest issue i have with many people offering their services for these things is you get the ideal world version. My horses are happy, but i am sure there are things that i could be doing better within the constraints i have (time, livery yard, cost being the main 3) but without being able to have a realistic conversation about it and these things taken into account i cant do anything with any info i get, therefore i am not paying for it.

To give you an idea my horses live out 24/7, get hard feed once a day and live off an adlib hay/straw mix 4 months of the year. I know the once a day feeding isnt ideal (they are checked more than once a day!) but it is what it is. The last advice i paid for was 3 meals a day. It might have been the ideal, but would have cost £5 a day per horse (6) plus my trip to the yard. I can not spend 11k extra a year for someone to feed them! What a waste of time that was for everyone!

And we may be used to remoting everything now, but a web form really doesnt take the place of a conversation, it can be a starting point to collect info to make a conversation more meaningful.

Defo a market though, especially for someone not affliated with anyone.
 

palo1

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Sorry to hear you need such a long time to recover and sorry you have had such a horrible accident :( I think your idea is great!! As I live so far away from any kind of 'specialist' (for anything really lol) , for someone like me this would really be helpful in fact. Marketing and communication about what you can offer and what skills, experience and qualifications you have etc would be key but I think the basic idea has legs. Perhaps also, when you are better - whenever that is, this is something that you could also develop in a number of ways.

I sort of wish I could do the same for my specialist area; it is massively frustrating knowing that I could help people but not having the 'reach' to do that. I think you should deffo give your idea a go. Good luck :)
 

DizzyDoughnut

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Before I’ve set this up, the nutritionist I would ALWAYS recommend is Chloe at Equicare Nutrition. I’ve worked closely with her for a long time and she’s incredible. She’s a practicing vet, and isn’t tied to any company so her advice is truly impartial and based on science. I’ve been so lucky to learn so much from her.
So, if I can’t help, she’ll be able to! However, I’m more than happy to give you some suggestions if you’d like to ping me a DM. 😊
Thank you, that's so kind. I'm happy to wait till you set up and pay you though, I'm in no particular rush at the moment, we've just started doing in hand pole work and he's feeling pretty well at the moment.

I was looking at Chloe's website and saw she does a subscription where you pay so much a month and get however many consultations a year and a report, Would something like work for you as well as the one off consultations? I'm not sure how much of a pain it would be to keep track of everything but it would maybe give a steady regular flow of income?
 

TPO

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To be honest it’s what a lot of people need but just don’t really acknowledge they need it!

An independent person who can join the dots up and give a holistic overview, without the biases that come from well meaning liveries and yard owners.

What you would need to be is a realist though - not everyone has access to perfect facilities and unlimited funds.
This although I do think that some people are becoming more aware that there are better ways of doing things and to educate themselves.

For example the value of groundwork, both for training and strengthening/straightening, is starting to be appreciated along with an awareness that its not "join up" and it does transfer to ridden work. There have always been people that knew this and it has taken a while but it does seem to be gaining more value.

I'm not sure if this is the same person that sbloom recommends but I recently found this Instagram account they they appear to do similar to what you're suggesting rehab wise. https://instagram.com/travelinghorsewitch?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

I think the nutrition side might be more tricky/risky without any qualifications. I don't think having seen diets recommended by someone else work is enough to start advising in a paid capacity.

Again people are getting a lot more switched on to forage and soil analysis and trying to create (actual) balanced diets. I'd be concerned how you could validate/justify any advice. I wouldn't pay for someone's opinions, I'd want proof in the form of facts and figures. Apologies if I've misread and you fo have qualifications.
 

Fjord

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Sorry to hear you had such a bad accident, I hope you have a speedy recovery.

I think it sounds like a great plan. With mobile phones and zoom calls etc you could have a virtual tour of someone's set up without having to travel anywhere. As others have said, marketing is key. If you do a FB page then let me know so I can follow you!
 

Boulty

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A friend who I met through both our horses going to Rockley Farm years ago offers a similar service (she's a bodyworker but has various other qualifications & I think does some in person stuff as well) as a rehab consultant drawing up plans etc (her niche I think is mostly supporting those wanting to transition their horse to barefoot, especially if doing so due to injury) & I believe has had a fair bit of success with it especially during covid.

Can definitely see the demand for it as often what vets will prescribe as a rehab plan is a bit vague & wishy washy & it's always useful to have someone really knowledgeable to bounce ideas off & keep things on track with.
 

teapot

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Sorry to hear about the long term rehab, if you’re thinking of doing your PCM, three of the four sections are assessed online and I would be more than happy to chat through them, bounce ideas off!

I think there’s a market for what you’re thinking, it’s whether a) people realise that and b) are honest about their horses etc (thinking those who cannot or will not see a fat horse in front of them)
 

sbloom

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I'm not sure if this is the same person that sbloom recommends but I recently found this Instagram account they they appear to do similar to what you're suggesting rehab wise. https://instagram.com/travelinghorsewitch?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
It is indeed, though I'd say her work is for life and not just for rehab :cool:. She has a FB page and the private masterclass group, you have to join the masterclass via her website though https://www.wildmagicllc.com/master-class. She's also done quite a few podcasts, Youtube interviews etc, so you can find out a fair bit about her approach without having to join. I've posted a series of before and after photos on FB from her masterclass group where everyone volunteered their photos for us to share as a one-off. She catches some flack, that she's only about the TS (she's not) and that you can't achieve much in 15 mins a day, well I can say that's been proven to not be true at all. I think it's because she's very attractive, wears makeup and jewellery, has some lovely photos taken of her and her family and speaks her mind.
 
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