Five Ways Digital Records Could Help Your Horse’s Performance
We all go to great lengths to help ensure that our horses feel and perform their best, between vets, farriers, chiropractors, supplements, thorough grooming routines, and well-planned fitness regimes – but have you ever considered how digital record keeping could help, too?
We talked to barn managers and riders about how they use digital records and created this list of five ways BarnManager could benefit your horses’ performance.
1. Use detailed record-keeping options to zero in on what does and doesn’t work for your horse. BarnManager’s record-keeping feature allows you to easily store detailed notes on horses’ treatments, show performances, training, and more.
There are a number of ways to make BarnManager’s records feature work best for you, but Miranda Valentine, the barn manager for show jumper Charlie Jacobs and CMJ Sporthorses, shared how she breaks her records out by horse show to monitor what does and does not work for her team’s horses.
“I like to make a title for each horse show, and then within that is where I specifically write paragraphs about each horse,” said Valentine. “Each week of showing, I write down what the horse shows in and how they do. Then I add in any medications that they get, any therapies before, recovery, treatment times, anything that stood out to me as different and why it occurred.”
By saving these details, and others such as the type of footing or venue or if studs were used in the horse’s shoes, all in one, easily accessible location, it’s easy to quickly see what was done surrounding the horse’s best performances and what factors may have been most beneficial.
“Cassinja’s a horse that it’s been really, really helpful to use it with,” said Valentine of one of Jacobs’ longtime successful mounts. “When you have a horse for a long time, you get to really learn what they’re good at and what they’re bad at. As you keep track of their weaknesses, you can learn how to do it better over time. Whether it’s differences in weather or venues or footing – all of it makes it a huge difference when you want them to be as consistent as she’s been throughout her career.”
2. Share your records with the horses’ team to keep everyone on the same page. Have you ever tried to tell someone what a vet told you about a horse, but you find that you have trouble recalling or properly conveying the specific details? By using easily sharable, digital records, you can avoid that situation.
Vet records and notes can be easily saved into BarnManager as PDFs pulled from emails or as photos taken of handwritten notes or paperwork. These records, plus any notes and records typed directly into BarnManager, can then be shared with all members of your team or only with those you designate. This helps ensure that everyone involved with a horse is using the same information to make decisions about what’s best for that horse.
“We’re very forthcoming as a team,” said Valentine. “The records are something that the grooms can see, and Charlie can see if he has any concerns or wonders why things were a little different. When one of the physios shows up, I would love to say that I remember all the details, but that’s absolutely not the case. With BarnManager, I can easily be accurate in how I communicate with everyone.”
3. Schedule your horses’ therapies and appointments on a timeline that’s most beneficial to them (and never miss an appointment!). By using a combination of the calendar and records features, it’s easy to tell when horses were seen by the vet or received certain treatments or therapies before or after showing, and it’s possible to identify what timeline for such therapies is most beneficial to each horse.
BarnManager also allows you to set notifications for any upcoming appointments or to remind you to schedule or perform certain tasks.
4. Plan your horse show calendar and access it at a glance. BarnManager’s calendar is also ideal for mapping out your horse show calendar and working backward to develop a training schedule that works best for your horse. The added benefits of planning your show calendar within BarnManager? It puts all of your information in one place and streamlines your planning process, and it can to link to each horse’s USEF record, allowing quick access to show results, registration numbers needed for entries, and more.
5. Keep track of your horses’ nutrition and easily identify when feed or supplement changes were made. BarnManager’s feed and supplement feature includes a tool called the “change log.” Horses’ supplemental, nutritional, and medicinal needs often change, and while it may be easy to remember that something was adjusted, it can be hard to recall exactly when it happened. The change log makes it easy to see when something was introduced or removed from a horse’s plan, which helps determine if the adjustment had an impact – positive or negative – on the horse’s performance.
Click the video below to hear more from Miranda Valentine on how she uses BarnManager to help manage CMJ Sporthorses, and sign up for your own live demo and 14-day free trial here.