Marissa Schaefer Jan 24 2023

Part 2: Tools to Prevent Burnout in the Equine Industry

7 minute read

In the last Part 1 blog, you learned what burnout is, how to recognize it, and the solution to preventing it.  If you haven’t read it yet, CLICK HERE before moving on!

Hopefully, you had some big ‘ah-ha’ moments and mindset shifts!  Make sure you’ve completed the prompts at the end of the Part 1 Blog Guide to prep you for today.

Now, get ready to dive even deeper into the actionable tools you can use to create the thriving business you want while preventing burnout.  Don’t forget to work on the prompts at the end of the complimentary Part 2 Blog Guide!


Feeling frantic, with a constant, looming to-do list that sends you into overwhelm, is no way to run your business. If you’re ready to end the era of ‘the grind’, then today’s blog is for you.

It’s possible to create work/life balance and have a business you love and look forward to - even in the horse industry

But, this doesn’t happen on its own - you need to take intentional action.

In the last Part 1 blog, you learned that mindset is the solution to preventing overwhelm and burnout.  Today, let's dive even deeper into tangible tools & actionable steps to get real results.


Overwhelm isn’t a circumstance, event, place, etc. - it’s a feeling caused by thoughts.  This is so important to understand.

Science has shown us that feelings (emotions) are created by our thoughts - not people or circumstances.

This is why multiple people can experience the exact same situation but all respond differently.  One person may find the situation comical while another person may get angry/upset.

Again, your thoughts cause feelings of disappointment, anger, guilt, frustration - not people or circumstances.

For example: Your client list is full and you’re unable to take on new clients (neutral circumstance).  

A new horse owner reaches out to you and wants to book an appointment, but you feel guilty that you’re going to disappoint them since you’re unable to take any new clients.

Instead of feeling guilty, you can shift your thoughts to create a whole different emotion.  “I’ve created amazing demand for my services - this is exactly what I set out to do and dreamed of when I started my business and I finally reached that goal!

Can you feel the shift in emotion from guilt to confidence, just by turning the thoughts around with a little intentional thinking?

ACTION STEP - Decide what emotion you want to feel and create intentional thoughts that produce that emotion. 

*Writing this down on paper is super helpful in going through the process*


Your brain is conditioned for survival and to keep you alive.  It does this through 3 things: seek pleasure; avoid pain; preserve energy.

Hundreds of years ago this served us. Today… not so much.

Today, we have the same brain but a different environment.  So while we are still motivated to rest and eat a lot of food to guarantee survival, we (thankfully) no longer have predators to run from or famine to prepare for.  

Your brain is why you hate risk and failure.  100 years ago, failure could very easily result in death.  So to protect you, your brain wants you to stay small and play it safe.

Our brains are also efficient.  They like to take shortcuts and loop on habitual thinking - think of all of the classes you’ve signed up for but didn’t do the homework (guilty!).  Your brain views deliberate thought as hard, and therefore to be avoided.

Once you understand your brain, you can see how you’re being motivated internally not to do things that get you ahead.  There’s nothing wrong with you or your brain - you just need to learn to work around it so you can reach your goals.

ACTION STEP - Take a moment to thank your brain for keeping you safe and alive.  Then, work to manage your survival brain with your thoughts (prefrontal cortex) & flip the ‘brain script’: 

  1. No false pleasure - stop the mindless scrolling, the hours of binge watching tv, the things that feel good in the moment but leave you feeling worse after. True pleasure is often those things that don’t feel so good in the moment - a workout or even building a new barn - but feel so damn good after.

  1. Allow pain - it’s part of the human experience and how we grow.  Learn to embrace discomfort to grow, develop and get stronger.  Let failure and humiliation be the price you pay to learn how to do something right next time.

  1. Use energy - take massive action until you get the result you want.  


The saying may be cliche, but it’s so true - you can’t pour from an empty cup.  Self-care is how you fill your cup, and is so much more than a glass of wine and a bubble bath.  Self-care is putting yourself first, treating yourself with respect, and setting boundaries to protect and take care of yourself.

  1. Be deliberate and present with your precious time.  Time is non-refundable - how are you spending it?

  • Worrying? Pretends to be useful but produces nothing of value.

  • People pleasing? Everytime you say yes to something, you say no to something else.

  • Indecision?  Keeps you stuck and from moving forward.

  • Judging/Comparing? Wastes time and never creates anything useful.

  • Regret? Keeps you stuck and from learning.

  1. Implement clear business boundaries. You have the power to change/implement policies or pricing to whatever you need to serve you.  Do you have clear cancellation policies, payment policies, working hours and schedule?  If you feel yourself feeling frustrated in any area of your business - it’s time to strengthen those boundaries.

  1. Have a day off.  Everyone deserves a day off.  Do you currently take a true day off for fun and enjoyment?  A day for no working, studying, responding to emails, errands, etc.?  Your day off should be a sacred day for you to relax, recharge and reconnect.

  1.  Create a self-care list.  Refer to this list any time you’re feeling run down, overwhelmed or burnt out and incorporate some of these into your daily habits.

  • Podcasts: find podcasts that inspire you - these can be self-development, motivational or even ‘just for fun’!  Listen to them in the car in between your appointments to inspire you and keep your mind focused.

  • Books: there are so many amazing books out there - create a book wish list and get reading! Even 10 minutes of reading a day leads to big results.  Choose a topic you want to improve on and dive in.

  • Bodywork:  a regular bodywork schedule is just as important for you as it is for horses.  Get a massage, adjustment, acupuncture - anything to relieve tension and help you feel better.

  • Spend Time in Nature: hiking is my favorite activity when I’m feeling overwhelmed and run down.  Create a list of ideas/places to get outside and connect with nature.

  • Dinner with Friends: do you have friends you can grab coffee or dinner with weekly or even 1x a month? 

  • Meditation:  there are tons of great, free meditation videos on YouTube starting at just 1 minute.

  • Gratitude Journal: each morning, write down 3 things you’re grateful for.

  • Affirmations List: create your own personal affirmations, or even listen to affirmation videos on YouTube.  Read your affirmations each morning.

  • Sleeping Ritual:  set a bedtime and aim to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep.  

  • Nourish Your Body:  with self-compassion, the foods you eat and the movement you provide to your body.  Can you incorporate a 15 minute walk each day?  Can you eat an extra serving of fruit and vegetables?

  • Find a Hobby:  as equestrians, it sometimes seems as if our entire lives revolve around horses, but a hobby outside of horses is so important.  If you have a rough day at the barn, a hobby is something you can turn to at home to decompress.  Hobbies can include crocheting, learning a new instrument, baking, making soaps/lotions, crafting, etc. There are tons of great, easy hobbies out there you can pick up whenever you have some down time. 

ACTION STEP - Create a self-care list you can refer to anytime you’re feeling down.  Try to add 1-3 of your self-care ideas to your daily habits.


Only you have the power to eliminate overwhelm and burnout in your life and business through your thoughts and actions.  You hold the power to create peace and find enjoyment in all you do.

 Now, head on over to the Part 2 Blog Guide and get started diving in and doing the ‘work’ to get those real life results. 

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