Custom Carriage and Trail Rides of the Finger Lakes
Hi, I’m Eric, I’m a farrier/horse teamster/actor/musician/hay farmer from Ithaca, New York. I own six horses and keep them on about 50 acres of pasture land that I rent from my friend and neighbor Debby Halpern. When I’m not shoeing horses for my clients or involved with a performance in town, I like to take my friends and members of my community out in my horse-drawn wagon or on trail rides horseback. Over the past several years, I’ve been developing this passion of mine into a profitable side business. I’ve made significant strides toward obtaining all the tools and equipment to offer a top-notch horse experience to my customers. From the time I first applied for a Kiva loan in early spring of 2014, I have obtained a powerful and very functional pickup, a five-horse trailer, made improvements to my wagon and horse equipment, and generally outfitted my business to meet the standards of the profession. It does take a lot of gear! You’re hearing from me again because I have one more hurdle between where I am now and how I want to operate. I’m planning to buy a tractor to help me with all of the hay production, equipment and material moving, snow plowing, pasture mowing and tree work that go along with operating a horse farm that for me has always been self-serve. A cash loan of $10,000 will give me a lot of buying power to purchase a 40-60 hp tractor with front-end loader and a brush mower to take care of all of the jobs I have to do.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Like the name implies, you tell me what you’d like to experience with horses, and I’ll customize that experience to suit you. I do so many things, from talking with middle-schoolers about what it was like to travel by horse and buggy, to pulling out locust trunks I’ve cut down to turn into fenceposts. My business is me and where I take my horses. I spent two months traveling in North Carolina last fall, with four of my horses (two teams) hired out to pull two wagons for a traveling troupe called the Rural Academy Theater- one of my proudest achievements. I have been ramping up business all spring and am now booking events throughout the summer – weddings, parties, trail rides – you name it.
What is the purpose of this loan?
I’ve operated farm machinery on a regular basis since I was six. Anybody who’s involved with agriculture at anything above a homestead scale knows that, draft horse power or no (and I do like to use my horses for power, when it’s practical), a farm wants a tractor. I log about 100 hours a year amongst several tractors that have been in my life for the last seven years or so, but none of them belong to me. I operate tractors to mow and plow snow at the farm where I rent land, to mow, ted, rake, bale, and haul hay while putting up about 1000 small square bales to feed my horses over winter and to sell, and to move manure, compost, gravel, soil, and rock as needed at my home, at my farm, and when my neighbors hire me to do so. I pay for the use of this borrowed machinery by bartering my time, usually at some other task like stacking hay or cutting firewood. Some of the equipment I’ve been able to borrow in the past is about to become unavailable – it’s being sold – and it’s time for me to step up, make a sound purchase, and step into a new but ready-made bartering arrangement where I am providing the equipment. I’ll also now be able to mow fields and do driveway work for my neighbors for cash. Most immediately, I’ll be plowing, tilling, and planting an additional ten acres to hay.
Years in operation: More than 5 years
A loan of $10,000 helps Eric purchase a much-needed farm tool, work saver and money maker…. the tractor.