501(c)(3) Feature: L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue

Through our ‘Free for 501(c)3’ program, our team at BarnManager has had the opportunity to learn more about incredible equestrian non-profit organizations from across the country. Each month, we’ll be featuring one such organization here on our blog!

In the spring of 2009, South Carolina Animal Control executed the second largest animal seizure in the history of the state, removing 47 horses from a local farm following continued complaints to the authorities of the horses’ abuse and neglect. Recognizing the dire need for homes for these horses – many of which were in extremely poor physical condition – one South Carolina resident, Elizabeth Steed, took on the care and rescue of 33 of them.

It was from that event and out of crisis and necessity that the Livestock & Equine Awareness & Rescue Network (L.E.A.R.N.) Horse Rescue was born. Steed had spent 20 years prior to the 2009 rescue involved in private horse rescue in the Charleston, SC, area, and she had served as Charleston County’s large animal consultant for 10 years. When the state seized the 47 horses in 2009, Steed immediately recognized that there was a need for an officially designated equine rescue organization in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and so began L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue.

Since its founding nine years ago, L.E.A.R.N. has successfully rescued, rehabilitated, and re-homed more than 300 previously abused horses, with a specialization in rehabilitating severely starved horses. The organization is run entirely by volunteers, with no paid staff positions. Instead, a dedicated group of approximately 25 volunteers take turns signing up for morning and afternoon feeding shifts and care. With many volunteers and so many horses to keep organized, L.E.A.R.N. volunteer coordinator Jane Higdon was looking for a way to coordinate everything and “to work smarter, not harder,” when she came across BarnManager.

“I searched online for a program like I have used when working at vet’s offices, where we could keep all of the information on our horses in one spot,” said Higdon. “[BarnManager] helps tremendously since we are often standing in the middle of a pasture when we need to update information.” Today, L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue utilizes BarnManager to update horses’ records from anywhere, reduce the amount of paperwork that they have to go through when needing to find information quickly, and to smoothly and easily print out a horse’s records for its new owners once the horse is adopted – one of the ultimate goals of the rescue. In addition to re-homing the rehabilitated horses, L.E.A.R.N. aims to reduce or eliminate the vast numbers of abused and neglected horses throughout South Carolina through education and awareness.

“We always say we are working hard to be unnecessary,” said Higdon. “We have rehabilitated starved horses for many years and want to do everything we can so that we don’t have to do this heartbreaking work anymore. One of the main reasons horses in South Carolina (and other states) often get to this point is that most animal control agencies don’t have a facility to hold large animals, so owners are given many warnings, but horses aren’t seized when they probably should be. “We are working with other organizations and individuals to try to improve the animal cruelty laws for equines in South Carolina,” continued Higdon. “We are also working with animal control agencies and other rescue groups, veterinarians, and people willing to foster to create a network that animal control can contact when they need to seize horses.”

To learn more about L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue, please visit www.learnhorserescue.org.

To signup for a Free Trial of BarnManager click here, and to learn more about out Free for 501(c)(3) program click here!

Liv’s Tip of the Month – Clipping Like a Pro

Liv’s Tip of the Month

Start with a clean horse!  Shampoo, condition, dry.  Use a sheen product or grooming oil.   

Then add wickedly sharp clipper blades.  Pick a clipper blade that leaves enough hair for your taste.  Most blades have a mm designation that tells you how many mm of hair are left with that blade.   

If you are going for a partial clip, your horse doesn’t have to be clipped in a specific pattern.  It’s much better to clip your horse’s hot spots – where he sweats.   

If you clip too early in the season, you might have to do some touch ups later.  That’s fine!  If you clip too late, the hair will have stopped growing in and any clipper marks or “oops” will be there for a while.  

Depending on your climate, you may want to do a full body clip early so you can prep your horse in the last few days of warm weather.  As winter drags on, you can do a partial clip so legs stay warm but his body gets the benefits of a clip.

BarnManager can help track who needs to be clipped and who is left –  to sign up for a free trial click here!

Liv Gude, a former International Dressage Groom for years, founded proequinegrooms.com as a way to unite Grooms in the horse industry. The educational website also serves to entertain and inform horse owners across all disciplines about horse care, grooming, and health. Click here to check it out!
Second Chance Thoroughbred - user of BarnManager for barn management software and equine management software

501(c)(3) Feature: Second Chance Thoroughbreds

Through our ‘Free for 501(c)3’ program, our team at BarnManager has had the opportunity to learn more about incredible equestrian non-profit organizations from across the country. Each month, we’ll be featuring one such organization here on our blog!

Everyone deserves a second chance, or, at Second Chance Thoroughbreds, at least every retired Thoroughbred race horse.

Collette Duddy started the registered 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2012 after she had made her first trip to the backside of the Finger Lakes Race Track in Farmington, NY, in September of 2011. There, Duddy was struck by the quality of the horses – even those who may not have been successful on the track – as well as by the lack of post-racing options in the area

Today, Second Chance Thoroughbreds’ board of directors includesDuddy and fellow lifelong horsewomen and volunteers, Karen Faillace and Robyn Hancock-Null. The organization is dedicated to providing OTTBs with a soft landing after the end of their racing careers, giving them ample down time and retraining before transitioning the horses to a new career.area for those horses. Soon after Duddy’s initial visit, six off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) traveled to the Duddy’s farm in Spencer, NY, to be re-trained and re-homed.

One of 64 organizations nationwide accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Second Chance Thoroughbreds also works to educate and demonstrate to the public how versatile and trainable Thoroughbreds are by offering clinics and participating in shows, parades, and community events. The organization is also unique in offering riding lessons and a summer horsemanship program using some of the OTTBs.

“OTTBs receive a lot of training while they are on the track, both under saddle and on the ground,” said Duddy. “Most Thoroughbreds are very good at loading, tying, and standing for the farrier and vet, and they are easily transitioned into a new career.”

With many horses coming into the program or leaving to be adopted and re-homed at any given time, BarnManager has been a welcome addition to the non-profit in helping them keep track of each horse’s paperwork and schedule. BarnManager’s cloud-based software allows the staff of Second Chance Thoroughbreds to input information and seamlessly communicate about the details of each horse’s care.

BarnManager helps keep us organized,” explained Duddy. “It’s very helpful to be able to store Coggins and other health papers in one site. When a horse is adopted, it’s easy to print out all of the info to send with the new owner, including the dates of the last farrier visit, worming, and vet exams, etc.”

To learn more about Second Chance Thoroughbreds, visit www.SecondChanceThoroughbreds.org.

To signup for a Free Trial of BarnManager click here, and to learn more about out Free for 501(c)(3) program click here!

Liv’s Tip of the Month – Fly Control

Liv’s Tip of the Month

There are two main things to know about fly control – first, know what types of flies you are targeting and second, you must attack all stages of the fly life cycle. 

When you know if the flies are heat seekers, like horse flies, or smell seekers, like stable flies, you can create the best fly control program.  The types of flies will also tell you about their environment. This enables you to start time turnouts and trim back scrub brush around creeks that flies like to live in.  

Use fatty acid based sprays for biting flies that look for their meals with their noses.  Confuse the sight oriented flies with zebra printed fly sheets.   

Keep the manure picked from your horse’s area several times a day, use fans, and do your research about what types of flies you are battling.  

Finally, keep notes from year to year on your management plan. BarnManager can help you do this –  to sign up for a free trial click here!

Liv Gude, a former International Dressage Groom for years, founded proequinegrooms.com as a way to unite Grooms in the horse industry. The educational website also serves to entertain and inform horse owners across all disciplines about horse care, grooming, and health. Click here to check it out!

What Makes a Great Barn Manager?

“Behind every great barn is a great barn manager” – or at least, that’s what we at BarnManager believe! But what does a barn manager do that makes the role so important? And what makes someone a great barn manager?

While those answers vary from discipline to discipline and program to program, we’ve found that no matter what kind of horses they’re taking care of, a great barn manager is a great barn manager.

Managing Horses, Managing People

First and foremost, almost all barn managers’ top priority is the proper care and maintenance of the horses they’re responsible for. Depending on the barn, that can mean overseeing:

  • feeding, supplements, and all of the horses’ nutritional needs and any medications
  • turn-out schedules
  • horses’ exercise routines
  • the cleaning of stalls, as well as barn cleaning and maintenance
  • vet, farrier, and specialist appointments and scheduling
  • the ordering of supplies and feed
  • and more!

If the barn has a competitive show program, the manager is also likely in charge of all aspects of the horse show schedule, including arranging transportation for the horses, making packing lists, submitting horse show entries, ensuring the horses are up-to- date on health matters such as vaccinations required by show managers, and organizing the necessary veterinary paperwork and/or passports.

The horse care aspects of the job can themselves fill up a rather lengthy list, but the tasks of a typical barn manager don’t stop there! In fact, for many barn managers, the management of people is as much, or even much more so, a part of the job as the management of horses.

Barn managers are often also in charge of the small business operations side of running the farm as well, including:

  • employee schedules and payroll
  • the hiring and training of new employees
  • accounts receivable and payable
  • lesson scheduling and coordinating.

What Makes a Great Barn Manager

With so many moving pieces and components involved with being a barn manager, strong organizational skills are extremely important, as are these three additional traits of a great barn manager:

  • Extensive horse knowledge – Since he or she is often the one overseeing each horse’s daily care and feeding, it’s important for the barn manager to have a solid understanding of equine nutrition, basic equine medical treatments, and all elements of daily horse care.
  • Great interpersonal skills – A barn manager is often the one interacting with both employees and clients on a daily basis, and therefore he or she needs to be an effective communicator with the ability to also listen to and work with others, and to deal with any conflict or problems should they arise. The attitude of the barn manager often really sets the tone for the barn environment – either positively or negatively.
  • Dedication – Barn management is not a 9-5 job. It can often mean long hours and 24/7 availability should a problem or emergency situation arise, and the horses in the program are likely never far out of the barn manager’s mind even when he or she is away from the barn. Dedication to the job and to the horses is a key to not only success as a great barn manager, but also to true enjoyment of the job.

Thank You to Barn Managers!

Knowing just how much goes into the role, we at BarnManager are extremely thankful for all of the barn managers that we’ve had the privilege of working with!

Thankful for your barn manager and want to make his or her life a little bit easier? Or a barn manager yourself looking to make your life a little easier? Consider introducing
BarnManager! Our cloud-based software is designed to streamline organization, keep records all in one place, and get barn managers out from behind the paperwork and
back into the barn with the horses they love. Signup for a free trial here!

501(c)(3) Feature: The North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center

Through our ‘Free for 501(c)3’ program, our team at BarnManager has had the opportunity to learn more about incredible equestrian non-profit organizations from across the country. Each month, we’ll be featuring one such organization here on our blog!

In 1977, the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center (NCTRC) was founded by Lou Paules, Debby Lominac, 

and Dot Kohlbach, who was inspired to start the program after moving from her native Scotland to North Carolina, where she was unable to find a therapeutic riding program to continue the volunteer work that she loved. 

Now, more than 40 years later, not only is the NCTRC program still going strong as the oldest therapeutic riding program in North Carolina, Kohlbach is still involved with the program and with special events, and she and the NCTRC have served thousands of children and adults with disabilities!

For the first 30 years of its history, the NCTRC was a small, all volunteer run organization. Then in 2008, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Suzanne Case, the program moved from Durham, NC, to the Case’s Clearwind Farm in Mebane, NC. There, the NCTRC has grown into a highly comprehensive therapeutic center, accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International) and offering year-round, full-time programming.

The NCTRC aims to empower children and adults with physical, mental, emotional, and social challenges to create more active, healthy, and fulfilling lives through equine assisted activities and therapies. Some of the challenges faced by the NCTRC’s participants include autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, behavioral issues, brain injuries, and other learning disabilities and developmental delays. Over the last decade, the NCTRC has also added veterans’ programming, equine-assisted psychotherapy, and inclusive summer camps.

With many offerings and so many participants, and similarly so many horses now involved in the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center, the staff was searching for a solution to manage all of the horses’ records when they came across BarnManager.

We were searching online for an affordable software system to manage our herd’s records,” said executive director Lara Katz. “Most of what we found was way out of our budget, particularly because we needed multiple users. Multiple staff members are involved in the care of our horses, and we wanted to have a way to update horse owners who have generously loaned their horses to us. Finding out that it was free to nonprofits was fantastic and a huge benefit to our growing organization!

Katz and the team at the NCTRC now regularly utilize BarnManager to quickly and easily access the horses’ records on their phones.

 Before, we used to carry paper files out to the barn for vet visits, and this has made things so much simpler,” said Katz. “We are excited about adding our horse owners as users so they can see updates on their horse’s health any time they would like!”

For those local to North Carolina, the NCTRC is always in need of experienced horse people to volunteer! Learn more by visiting www.nctrcriders.org. For those not local, Katz encourages others to check out therapeutic riding centers in their area:

“It’s the most fun you will ever have volunteering! It’s incredible to see the changes that horses bring to clients’ lives.”

To signup for a Free Trial of BarnManager click here, and to learn more about out Free for 501(c)(3) program click here!

 

Liv’s Tip of the Month – 5 Springtime Dangers to Avoid with Your Horse

Liv’s Tip of the Month
Springtime brings some beautiful flowers and we all want to be outside after the long winter. However, springtime also brings some unique dangers to keep your horses away from.

  • Buttercups are toxic – really toxic – but luckily they are bitter tasting and most horses won’t eat them. However, this can become a problem when your horse gets hungry from being in a sparse paddock with nothing to nibble – then the bitter taste may not matter so much.
  • Dandelions are not toxic – but they are very high in sugars! With springtime grasses also high in sugars, this can become a real risk for the metabolically compromised horse.
  • You should also watch out for cool mornings – temps below 40 degrees overnight create a spike in pasture sugars. Hot afternoons are also an issue – the same thing happens when temps warm up suddenly!
  • Poison ivy – another non-poisonous one that can still cause some issues. Your horse can rub on the plant and transfer the oils to you.
  • Leftover acorns are a problem because they are toxic AND delicious. While most oak trees shed their acorns in the fall, sometimes they can linger until spring, so watch out for those!

The solution to many of these is the keep plenty of fresh forage and clean water in front of your horse to distract them from expanding their diet into any unhealthy things. You can use BarnManager to create reminders to check on all these plants, and to get the word out to your team. To sign up for a free trial of BarnManager’s horse management software click here. Be safe out there and enjoy the warmer weather!

Liv Gude, a former International Dressage Groom for years, founded proequinegrooms.com as a way to unite Grooms in the horse industry. The educational website also serves to entertain and inform horse owners across all disciplines about horse care, grooming, and health. Click here to check it out!

A Spring Cleaning Checklist

Your Barn Spring Cleaning Checklist

The weather is finally warming up across the country, which means it’s time to open the barn windows and get out the cleaning supplies! The fresh start that spring brings is the perfect opportunity to clean and organize not only your home, but also your barn, your tack, and your horse.

Here are a few things that we recommend checking off your spring cleaning list!

Tack and equipment

Get to the bottom of your tack trunk. When was the last time that you actually took everything out of your trunk? Whether you’re coming off a winter show circuit or just gearing up for your first show of the season, the spring is a great opportunity to take everything out of your trunk, deep clean, re-organize, and maybe even re-locate that glove you thought was long lost!

Evaluate, eliminate, and replace tack as needed. As you’re going through your tack trunk, also evaluate all of your tack and equipment. If there’s something that you no longer need or want, consider donating it to a horse rescue or therapeutic program or taking it to a local equine consignment shop. Now is also the time to replace any broken or overly-used tack or equipment or stock up on new items for the summer.

Send blankets out for cleaning and repair. By the end of the winter, it’s likely that your horse’s sheets and blankets are in need of a deep cleaning! Depending on your area, some exceptional blanket cleaning services are available to clean and repair your blankets and then carefully wrap and pack them for safe keeping until cooler weather returns.

Your horse

Get spring vaccinations. Make sure that your horse is up to date on all vaccines and has a recent coggins test.

Have those teeth checked. While your vet is there for vaccinations, or if you use an equine dentist, now is the time to have them float your horse’s teeth and check for any potential dental issues.

Stock up on fly repellant products. In most parts of the country, the onset of warmer weather also means the onset of more flies! Stock up on fly sprays and any fly masks or sheets.

Around the barn

Check your fire extinguishers. If you have your own barn, your spring cleaning check list can grow immensely! Consider including things like checking your fire extinguishers or

having them serviced. Don’t have a fire extinguisher? Add getting one to your spring list, as every barn should have at least one!

Clean out gutters and downspouts. Clear out any leaves or build-up that may have accumulated over the fall and winter months.

Inspect your pastures. Walk the perimeter of all pastures to check the fencing and locate any weak or broken spots. Thoroughly clean any run-in sheds, and walk your fields and fill in any holes.

Have BarnManager help!

BarnManager makes it easy to simplify your spring cleaning and organization!

After your horse gets its spring vaccines, snap a picture of the shot records, and upload it straight to your horse’s profile in the BarnManager app!

Have a long list of spring cleaning to-dos? Make the list within BarnManager and even share it with fellow barn members, clients, or staff to assign tasks or accomplish the to-do list together!

Plan your spring and summer show schedule directly within BarnManager’s calendar for easy access by everyone within your barn!

Sign up to try a free trial here!

Equine Technology Collaboration

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford  

Competition moves us forward, but collaboration transforms us.

It is a very exciting time to be working in the equine technology space. New companies seem to be launching almost daily, and we all share common goals of moving the equine industry forward, improving horse care, and making the lives of horse people easier, safer, better, and more efficient.

However, the launch of new equine tech companies also means that we are all competing for the same resources and attention within an already hectic niche industry. I know that, through BarnManager, we have built a great tool for barn managers, horse owners, riders, and other equine enthusiasts, but with so many new companies, how can we make sure that we aren’t getting lost in the noise? And more importantly, how can we make sure that we are continuing to deliver a product that makes our customer’s lives easier? My answer is through collaboration.

Equine Tech Collaboration

As more and more companies seek to use technology to solve the equine industry’s problems and close the gaps, we need to be aware of what impact we are going to have on potential customers and what impact we are having on one another.

This is the foundation for the collaboration between BarnManager and our equine technology partners, currently including Equo, JumpFax, Stableguard and Electronic Vet. We as equine tech founders and owners want to communicate with each other, grow together, and work to bring better solutions to our customers than any individual startup can do on its own.

So what does this all mean?

Integration and Inter-operability

We are committed to looking for ways to integrate our services and offerings and to make them compatible with other products and services. Each equine tech company is creating value for its customers in its own unique and specific way. Maintaining that focus on a specific problem or challenge enables each company to perfect their approach and to continue to evolve and improve over time. However, many of our customers are shared, so it is on us to make the use of all of our products seamless.

Our software and applications should communicate with one another and enable you to get the most of each product. They should minimize data entry so that you are not entering the same information in multiple places and programs. And they should work together to identify opportunities that arise from working together, opportunities that neither individual may have been able to identify or achieve on their own.

 

Cross-Promotion

No one wants to be constantly bombarded by salespeople, advertisements, sponsored posts, and e-mails. As start-up tech companies though, we must all utilize these channels in order to grow our businesses, reach new people, and share our stories. We want to tell you how our products can help you with that thing that drives you crazy, that thing you know you could do better, or that thing that you love but never have the time for.

If we as equine tech companies work together, we can have more meaningful conversations and create greater long-term value, while also taking less of your time. We can be in more places, learn more, share more and grow more as a team.

 

 

Innovation

It is no secret that the greatest innovations come from diversity of opinions, perspectives, backgrounds and thought processes. As we work together, we hope to bring you new ideas, discoveries, and inventions. Creativity is born from collaboration, and the best creations often come when you least expect it.

We at BarnManager look forward to serving our customers alongside our equine tech collaboration partners! Together, we are stronger than we are apart!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Sign up to start your free trial and to find out more here!