You can probably guess that the current COVID-19 situation has resulted in us closing the farm to all but a few volunteers, who come up singly to help Patty with chores. Even when we are eventually allowed to open, caution will dictate that we start off with one-family Ther-A-Playdates (instead of 3-4 families together). This will result in a much lower income from riding fees in 2020. They represent 23% of our total revenue. We don’t yet know what grants we will get, but it is clear that some granting organizations either will redirect their money to pandemic relief or will not have enough money to give out the number of grants usually offered.
And yet, our fixed costs are ongoing. We need to look after the animals (15% of costs) and pay our insurance, taxes and other admin costs. We continue to pay our Program Director, although we hope to recover some of that through the federal wage subsidy. We are hiring a summer student to do farm chores and will get some of that paid from a provincial summer student grant. We are applying for other grants to hire more students, to help them pay for college, and to make sure that if we are allowed to resume operations that we have help over the summer.
It costs about $15 a day per horse to cover food, veterinary and other care costs. Rider fees over the course of a normal year pay for our animal care costs, allowing us to apply grants to the rest of the operations. Now we do not have this revenue.