Equine Transition #2 - Page 46

april 2019 | staffing crisis

Equine Transition / 46

Individual Action


You don’t need to be told that you need to make the best use of your employees’ time and skills...yet are you actually doing so?

Everyone has different skills and experiences. Riders might enjoy a bit of mucking out and horse care however, does it really use their skills to your advantage? Defining specific roles around skill-sets could help you create opportunities and attract more interest from a range of potential employees with different experiences and situations to complete specific tasks. This is already happening on many yards, in fact, Mark Johnson writes on his website that he’s being deploying staff in line with their skills as far back as the late 1980s.

Working Hours

There was an important discussion on ITV4 with Oli Bell, regarding greater use of flexible working patterns. Allowing, for example, working parents to work hours around commitments to children, therefore bringing skilled people back into the industry. Looking at the tasks required, skill-sets and using different shifts through the day. Where could you incorporate more flexible working in your routines?

There are some fantastic employers within racing, who put their employees first and have already made changes in response to workers needs to make sure they can attract the right employees. The NTF reported on ITV4 that there’s a lot of evidence that trainers are flexing their working patterns where possible to give staff more time off and to make use of more part-time staff.


Running a business is mentally tough and particularly so in the rollercoaster of racing. There’s a lot on your mind and you may be stressed however, showing your appreciation for a job well done goes a very long way to encouraging and maintaining morale and motivation.


Authorities and associations aim to ease the way, formalise arrangements and set regulations. However, the industry is really led by the people who work within it - both employers and employees. There’s no need to await directives before making changes to better suit your situation. If, as individuals, we make the changes we need in own working environments, personally and collectively, it’ll make a difference...

If, as individuals, we make the changes we need in own working environments, personally and collectively, it’ll make a difference.

Analyse Routine

Improvements can always be made to working practices and routines and so they should be regularly reviewed. Everything from the smallest task to the routine as a whole. If you do anything “because that’s how it’s always been done” then perhaps a review of the process is overdue to ensure it’s stilll efficient. All business owners, need to analyse what’s working for them, have limits, targets, know their profit margins and what eats into them - sometimes literally! When was the last time you really looked at how you do things?