BarnManager Q&A With: Kristina Spellman

BarnManager Q&A With: Kristina Spellman

Kristina Spellman, Manager for Hubbard Horses LLC, located in Wellington, FL

What are three things that are always in your ring bag?

I always keep treats, vet wrap, and a towel in my ring bag.

Photo by Tryon x Natalie Suto

What is the most helpful habit that you practice at the barn?

I find that it is very helpful to follow a daily routine to stay organized.

How do you foster a great team environment in your business?

I try to always promote open communication. I find communication to be important when you are part of a team because it’s the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page about the horses’ care and the schedule. This way nothing gets overlooked and everything runs smoothly. Also, I think it is really important to have a positive attitude even during difficult days.

What’s your best tip or hack for grooming and horse care? Where did you learn it?

My best tip is to curry a lot. I have learned this through working for a number of top professionals in the industry.

What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

I really enjoy Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, NC. It’s a beautiful facility with great footing. Also, on days when you’re not competing it is nice to take the horses out on the cross-country field.

Photo by Tryon x Karli Dannewitz

If you were a horse, what would you be and why?

I would be an amateur jumper because I’m reliable and always try to have a really good attitude. Plus, I know my owners would spoil me!

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Horse Show Highlights From 2022

As the year comes to a close, many enjoy the tradition of reflecting back on favorite moments. BarnManager caught up with three grooms and managers to share their highlights from the 2022 horse show season.

Caroline McLeese

Rider, Manager, and Assistant Trainer for Double H Farm, located in Ridgefield, CT, and Wellington, FL

Photo courtesy of Caroline McLeese

What was your favorite memory of 2022?
I had the opportunity to show one of Quentin Judge’s horses, HH Qualido, in a national grand prix at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, this spring. We ended up double clear and third, which was an exciting result for our first bigger class together. McLain Ward won, and Rodrigo Pessoa was second, and being in the ring for awards with two riders who I have looked up to for my entire riding career made it even more special. On top of that, the whole Double H team had quite a busy day between showing and getting a few horses to the airport, and I was super impressed with how everyone kept things moving. It was one of those rare days where everything came together just how it was meant to!

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
I have a horse to jump some two-star FEI classes with this year, Moncler van Overis. I’m really excited to keep getting to know him and see where we go together.

Stephanie Nell

Groom for Amethyst Equestrian, located in North Salem, NY, and Wellington, FL

Photo by Sportfot

What was your favorite memory of 2022?
My favorite horse show memory from 2022 was from the beginning of the year when Rodrigo Pessoa and Lord Lucio finished seventh in the $216,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI4* during Saturday Night Lights at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Lord Lucio is one of my favorite horses to take care of, so it was a very special night. I also love the exciting atmosphere during the Saturday Night Light classes.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
I am excited to now be grooming for Rodrigo and Alexa Pessoa’s student, Maison McIntyre. Maison is a junior rider who has a lovely string of horses ranging in different competition levels. This summer we are going to Europe to compete, so I’m really looking forward to that trip.

Kimberly Graves


Former Groom for John French, located in Wellington, FL

Photo by Jump Media

What was your favorite memory of 2022?
My favorite memory of 2022 would definitely be World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. The $100,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association/WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular night class lived up to its name. It was truly spectacular. I had two horses in the class, Babylon and Milagro. They are both young and promising horses. It was my first time grooming horses for the class. I have watched this class in person and on live stream since it was available, and I have followed the sport and hunters since I was nine years old. I always dreamed of being a part of this night with a special horse or rider, and this year that dream came true. John French rode Babylon to an eighth-place finish that night for owners Ariana Marnell and Marnell Sport Horses. Just taking care of a special horse that qualified for that class was a check off my bucket list. I also had the honor of accepting the Mark Gregory Award for the best-conditioned horse of the first round of the class for Babylon and Marnell Sport Horses. That was the icing on the cake. I always take great pride in making sure the horses I care for are healthy, happy, and shiny!

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in 2023. I’ll be looking to find a new team to join in the new year. I’m also looking forward to checking more boxes off my bucket list like going to Devon and all of the indoor shows.

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

BarnManager Q&A With: Camille Guntrip

BarnManager Q&A With: Camille Guntrip

Camille Guntrip, Show Groom for Spencer Smith, a young professional show jumping athlete based in Belgium and Wellington, FL, who is a rider for the New York Empire team on the Global Champions League

What are three things that are always in your ring bag?

I always carry a towel, sticky spray, and a hoof pick.

Photo by LC Ruas Photography

What is the most helpful habit that you practice at the barn?

I think it is important to organize everything as you go. I try to put things back where they belong the moment I am done using them. This keeps the barn tidy and moving at a better pace since you know everything is where it’s supposed to be when you reach for it.

How do you foster a great team environment in your business?

I’m very lucky to be part of the team that we have with Spencer. We are all like a family. Communication is a huge part of keeping the environment positive.

What’s your best tip or hack for grooming and horse care? Where did you learn it?

Photo courtesy of Camille Guntrip

My best tip would be to keep things as simple as possible. Elbow grease, a curry comb, and attention to detail are my favorite ways to keep a horse looking their best. It’s easier to keep a horse clean than it is to make a horse clean.

What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

I love Spruce Meadows or the Dublin Horse Show. The atmosphere at both of those shows is incredible.

If you were a horse, what would you be and why?

I think anyone who knows me would agree when I say I would be a Shetland pony. The height and the attitude match me very well!

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Tips for Being a Working Student

Becoming a working student is an exciting step in a young equestrian’s riding career. These positions provide great opportunities to learn both in and out of the saddle. As in any new job you may be a little nervous at first, so BarnManager came up with some helpful suggestions.

Have an Open Mind

The two most important things you can do as a working student are to have an open mind and be willing to learn. The main goal of being a working student is to absorb as much information as you can about the equestrian industry. Whether you are riding, grooming, helping with horse show entries, cleaning stalls, or turning out horses there is always something to learn. You should also be open to learning new ways of doing tasks you may already know how to do. Even if a procedure is different than you are used to, learn the new way and understand why the barn prefers it. Also, never be afraid to ask questions. Working students are not expected to be experts so questions are expected, especially when you are still learning the routine of the barn.

Watch Everything

Watching is one of the best ways to learn in a barn. You can gather so much information by watching people ride, lunge, and do tasks such as bathing, grooming, or putting on polo wraps. This is a great way to pick up on small details about how the barn prefers tasks to be completed.

Photo by Jump Media

Keep a Positive Attitude

Working student positions can involve a lot of physical work and include long hours. During those extra-long and tiring days, remember to keep a positive attitude. Remaining upbeat at all times does not go unnoticed and can also help encourage other employees to act the same way.

Go the Extra Mile

Always aim to go above and beyond in your work. For example, if you are asked to sweep the barn aisle, go ahead and wipe off the tack trunks and wall boxes and remove visible cobwebs. Make sure you complete every task to the best of your ability, and if possible, do a little extra. This may mean applying hoof oil and wetting over the mane with a brush when you tack up a horse. Going the extra mile could also mean being the first person at the barn in the morning and the last to leave, ensuring daily tasks have been completed.

Manage Your Time

Although it is important to go the extra mile, it is also necessary to understand time constraints. While you definitely want a horse to be beautifully turned out when you groom it, you cannot spend hours cleaning one horse. If you are given several tasks to complete, you should prioritize each job in order of importance and also have a general idea of how long each chore will take. Additionally, if you finish your tasks early, be proactive and jump in on other tasks or ask for additional jobs.

Although working student positions require hard work and dedication, they are a terrific way to gain insight into the equestrian industry and what it takes to run a barn. If you are planning to be a working student, try to soak up as much information as you can while also having fun and enjoying the experience.

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Tips for Clipping Your Horse

As winter weather approaches it is time to start thinking about clipping your horse. Whether you are in a colder climate for the season or travel south with your horse, clipping is a good option if you plan to keep them in consistent work. Completing the task yourself can be a big undertaking so make sure you are fully prepared. Read on to learn about BarnManager’s top tips for a smooth and successful clipping job.

Check Your Blades

The first step in clipping your horse is to check your blades. Make sure the blades are new or newly sharpened, so it is easier to cut through the hair. Dull or dirty blades will not only make clipping more difficult and time-consuming but can also cause a poorer-looking result. It’s also a good idea to have an extra pair of blades handy just in case.

Prepare Your Horse

If the weather allows it, bathing your horse beforehand will make the task much easier. Clipping a dirty horse dulls your blades more quickly and can also result in more visible lines in the horse’s coat. After bathing your horse, spray a mane detangler on their coat to help the blades go through the hair more smoothly. Be sure to wait until your horse is completely dry before starting to clip. Clipping a horse while they are still wet can clog the blades. If bathing is not an option, spot-clean and brush your horse as well as you can and use a vacuum if you have one to remove extra dirt from their coat. Another way to clean up your horse without giving them a bath is to rub them down with a warm damp towel. This can remove a lot of extra dirt without soaking them to the skin.

Another tip is to braid your horse’s mane to one side. This makes it easier to clip that area of their neck, especially if your horse has an unruly mane. Use elastics to tie up the braid when you start clipping the side of the neck that their mane lays on.

If you are doing a trace clip or leaving a saddle or spur patch, start by using chalk to outline where you want to clip. This will help ensure that everything will look even on both sides of the horse’s body when you are done.

Time To Clip

The first rule of thumb is to clip against hair growth. Adjust the angle and direction you are clipping as you go depending on the area you are working on. It is also important to remember that horses can be sensitive when you clip certain sections of their body. Many horses do not like their legs, ears, stifle areas, or stomachs clipped so it is helpful to have someone hold them during that process. Clipping a horse’s face can also be tricky especially if they are sensitive or fidgety.

Take Your Time

One of the most important things to remember while clipping your horse is to take your time. This is especially important if your horse is sensitive to clippers or is not accustomed to the process. If clipping is new to your horse go extra slow, keep an eye on how they are reacting, and give them short breaks. It’s just as important to make it a positive experience for the horse as it is to do a good job clipping.

Oil and Cool Your Blades

Oil your blades every five to 10 minutes while you clip to ensure they continue to run smoothly. Also spray your blades regularly with an aerosol cooling product as you work. Depending on how thick and dirty your horse’s hair is, blades can heat up quickly so make sure to check them often. If they are getting too warm, turn them off for a couple of minutes and spray a cooling product on them. Before you resume clipping, double-check that they have returned to a cooler temperature. Clipper blades that are too warm can be uncomfortable for your horse. Using a long-bristled brush to remove hair from the blades when you take a break will also make the process go more smoothly.

Go Over Your Work

As you are clipping be sure to go over your work and reclip certain sections multiple times. This will reduce lines or any missed areas. As you reclip, slightly change the angle of your clipping to help get rid of lines. Once you are finished, brush your horse off and wipe their body with a warm damp towel. This will get rid of any loose hair clippings and allow you to see any areas that need more work. You may have to run your clippers over certain areas several times to successfully remove lines.

Clipping your horse can be a daunting task at first but becomes much easier as you get the hang of it. Don’t be afraid to ask your barn friend for help or company to make the time go by faster. And remember, practice makes perfect!

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

A Day in the Life of Eliza Heyl

Eliza Heyl is a groom for Coco Fath of Hillside Farm LLC, located in Wellington, FL, and Greenwich, CT. Keep reading for a day in Eliza’s life during Tryon Fall 6 show at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, NC.

6 a.m.

I have a few alarms go off in the morning starting around six a.m. I’m not the type of person who gets up early with plenty of time to work out, make breakfast, and get going. I usually roll out of bed with just enough time to brush my teeth, get ready, and head out the door with my dog Penny.

7 a.m.

This week we are at Tryon where I have three horses showing at the FEI level and one horse at the national level. Gaucho is the national horse and Aventador 5, Chellasco Z, and Exotik Sitte are the three FEI horses. Coco’s trainer Vasco Flores of Highport Stables is showing Exotik Sitte, or “Scotty,” today and Coco is showing Aventador 5, or “Avi.” I start my day by giving all the horses their stomach pastes and beginning chores. We wait 30 minutes after giving their paste to feed them hay, and then wait another 15 minutes before giving their grain. After I give our national horse, Gaucho, his paste I head to the FEI stabling to start chores there. My manager, Lauren, helps me when the horses are split up like this. She will do Gaucho’s chores and get him out for a hand walk while I focus on the FEI horses. Once I get to the FEI stabling, I clean stalls, dump and refill waters, and sweep the aisle.

8:30 a.m.

Photo by Shelby Phillips Photography

After chores are completed, I tack up Avi for Coco to ride before his class. Chellasco Z, known in the barn as “Chewy,” isn’t showing today so he will just hand walk before being ridden later. Vasco will ride Scotty around 11:30 a.m. After Avi and Scotty are finished being ridden, they will each get a bath so they are extra beautiful for their classes, and Chewy will just get groomed again.

I don’t like to wash manes on the days that horses are showing because it makes them too slippery to braid. My grooming routine is simple but thorough. Before pulling the horses out of their stall I always pick their feet to minimize the mess in the aisle and grooming stall. I start by spraying show sheen in their tail and letting it sit while I do everything else. I like to curry them with a grooming mitt because it allows me to get every inch of their body while also being gentle. After currying, I comb the mane before brushing the body so any sort of dirt or shavings in the mane does not fall on a clean coat. I then use a thick flick brush to get dust and dirt off followed by a soft face brush to bring out the shine. Lastly, I gently comb out the tail and clean the nostrils and eye area with a baby wipe.

11 a.m.

We feed lunch hay at 11 a.m. so I head over to feed the three boys in FEI and check their water. Lauren is over in National stabling getting Gaucho ready for Coco to ride so she will take care of his lunch for me.

Avi and Scotty are both showing in the $37,000 Welcome Stake CSI2* today and that starts at 1 p.m. Both horses are clean after their baths, but I still need to braid Avi and put flipped bands in Scotty’s mane. Avi’s neck is quite long with a thick mane, so I like to give myself as much time as possible to braid him so it looks neat and tidy. Before Vasco gets on Scotty at 11:30 I quickly band his mane and flip it so that all I need to do is quickly bathe him before he shows.

1 p.m.

Photo by Shelby Phillips Photography

The welcome class starts and Avi goes early in the order, so I bring him to the ring about 15 minutes before the start of the class. For Avi, I do the boot check as soon as we get up to the ring. I also readjust the saddle, put Coco’s stirrups to jumping length, and remove the cooler so he is all ready for her to get on. I like to keep those last few minutes at the ring quiet and calm so both horse and rider are relaxed and focused going into the warm-up.

After I put Coco on Avi, I go back to the barn to get Scotty ready for Vasco. Lauren will stay with Coco to help in the warm-up and bring Avi back to the barn for me. Before I left with Avi, I made sure that Scotty already had grab boots and front boots on to save a little time. All I need to do is quickly brush any last-minute dust off, put the tack on him, and head to the ring.

Avi and Coco did not make it to the jump-off so when Lauren brings him back to the barn she quickly pulls his tack and boots off, puts him in his stall with a cooler, and wraps him in four ice boots before coming back up to the ring.

Vasco likes to warm up on Scotty before doing the boot check, so I wait a bit before asking a steward to watch while we put hind boots on him. Scotty jumped great but unfortunately had the last fence down, so he does not make it to the jump-off either. When my horses come out of the ring, I always give them a cookie and a pat. I then hold them while the stewards perform the post-boot check.

2 p.m.

By the time I come back to the barn it’s time to take off Avi’s ice boots. While Scotty relaxes in his stall with ice boots, I take care of Avi. It’s chilly today and he didn’t get very sweaty, so I just groom him really well and wipe in between his hind legs with alcohol to remove any sweat and sand. Next, I apply Tendonil to all four legs and wrap them. On their final day of jumping for the week, my horses will be wrapped with poultice up over their hocks, but for today Tendonil and wraps are all they need. I then remove his braids, wet his mane, and comb it out so it dries straight. I apply the same process to taking care of Scotty. My last step is to pick out their feet to remove any ring sand and pack them with hoof packing.

Once I’m finished with Avi and Scotty’s care, I groom Chewy and take him out for a hand walk. Normally I like to give them all time to have a bit more of a relaxed walk where they can graze but unfortunately there’s no grass at Tryon this time of year that’s available to the FEI horses.

3 p.m.

Photo by Ashley Neuhof Photography

Now that all of my horses are put away, I start afternoon chores. Everybody gets hay at 3 p.m. and then I clean their stalls, top off water buckets, and sweep the aisle. Dinner is fed at 3:30 p.m. While they are eating I clean tack, tidy up the grooming stall, and make sure everything is neat and in order.

4:30 p.m.

Today I am heading home around 4:30 p.m., which isn’t so bad for having two horses in an afternoon class! Some days I can finish up as early as 3:30 p.m. but some days it can be much later. It all just depends on our schedule.

8:30 p.m.

Once I’ve been home to shower, eat dinner, and decompress with some Netflix while snuggling my dog, I head back to the barn for night check. Tonight the temperature will drop to the mid-30s so my freshly clipped horses will get heavy and medium-weight stable blankets and the furrier ones will just get heavies. They all get a hefty flake of hay at night check, and I top off their water again. Before leaving I double check their doors are locked and wish them all a good night’s sleep!

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

The BarnManager Q&A With: KJ Pearson

The BarnManager Q&A With:

KJ Pearson, Manager and Rider at Hunt Tosh Inc, located in Milton, GA

What are three things that are always in your ring bag?

I normally do not have a ring bag, however my dirt bike always comes to the ring with me. Three essentials that are in my trunk are Advil, hairnets, and candy that Maddie Tosh and I always keep close by.

What is the most helpful habit that you practice at the barn?

Photo by ESI Photography

The most helpful habit that I practice at the barn is starting early. I like everything super organized. Getting the horses ready and the barn organized early helps the day go a lot more smoothly.

How do you foster a great team environment in your business?

We do a lot of things together as a team. Whether it’s going to a horse show, or finishing up daily barn chores at home, everyone always pitches in. The Toshes are like family to me, so we are a very close team. Maddie and I do things like getting everyone lunch or having ice cream parties and game nights when we are at home to show how much we appreciate all that our team does.

What’s your best tip or hack for grooming and horse care? Where did you learn it?

The best hack I have is probably for fixing blemishes such as a spur rub or covering up stained white knees and socks. White chalk, black chalk, and baby powder can make magic happen when you are trying to cover up a stain or rub. Ruben Cruz, who is Bobby Braswell’s head groom, taught me that a few years back and I still do it to this day.

What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

Photo by Jump Media

My favorite horse show hands down is the Bluegrass Festival at the Kentucky Horse Park where the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship and Green Hunter Incentive Championships take place. It’s my favorite week of the year, and the entire team looks forward to it. USHJA puts on such a good show for the young horses and asks them all the right questions. “Derby Finals” has such a special place in my heart; there’s no feeling like walking down the ramp during the final round at night.

If you were a horse, what would you be and why?

If I was a horse, I would for sure be an endurance horse. My friends all joke with me that I am the energizer bunny because I’m always going.

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

What To Know at an FEI Show: Post Competition Examinations

Stepping up from the national level to the international level at a Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) show comes with additional checks to insure the fairness of sport and welfare of the horses. In all disciplines, the post-competition inspection of the horse and equipment is mandatory for the result to be made official. Understanding this process will help you feel more prepared at the show. For more information about regulations in the warm-up arena read part two of BarnManager’s What To Know at an FEI Show blog here. Part one regarding the FEI stabling area can be found here.

Post-Competition Procedure

Immediately after competing, the rider must stay on their horse and walk over to the post-competition horse examination. This is true for international dressage, show jumping, and eventing competitions. A steward uses a gloved hand to check the equipment on the horse to ensure all tack is legal to use, changing the glove for each competitor to avoid any cross-contamination.

Dressage

For dressage, the FEI steward looks over the horse’s body with special attention to a few key areas. The steward looks at the athlete’s spurs and the horse’s side to make sure the spurs are legal to use and that they have not drawn blood. They also use their fingers to confirm the noseband is not too tight. If the horse is using a bonnet, the steward will ask for it to be removed or remove it themselves. This allows them to check in the horse’s ears to make sure the athlete has not used earplugs, which are not permitted in a dressage test. Blood in the horse’s mouth or on the body as caused by the rider results in immediate elimination of the athlete.

Show Jumping and Cross-Country

In addition to the body examination and checking of the noseband, the use of boots or bandages in show jumping and cross-country presents an additional measure that needs to be checked carefully by the FEI stewards. The steward will remove boots and/or bandages on the legs and make sure they are compliant with FEI regulations. They will also check the horse’s legs to make sure they have not been injured or scraped by the equipment. Once the steward gives the “okay,” the boots or bandages can be reapplied, if desired, before the horse finishes cooling out and heads back to the stabling area.

For show jumping and cross-country, if a steward sees blood in the horse’s mouth, they can authorize wiping of the mouth. This is to help determine if the horse has bitten itself in or on the mouth accidentally or if there is a bigger issue. If the bleeding persists, the athlete will be eliminated. When a steward finds blood on the body caused by the evident overuse of spurs or a whip, the athlete is eliminated in this case as well.

Being aware of the intricacies of participating in an FEI show from arriving at the stabling area to completing competition will ensure you and your team are well prepared for a smooth and successful week. While it might seem like a lot to manage at first, knowing the rules, having a plan, and delegating responsibilities will help keep everything on track. For more information about entering an FEI show, read BarnManager’s FEI Paperwork blogs with part one about horse passports here, part two regarding registrations and entries here, and part three pertaining to the check-in and jog here.

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

The BarnManager Q&A With: Kimberly Graves

The BarnManager Q&A With:

Kimberly Graves, Manager and Flat Rider at Hesslink Williams, located in Wellington, FL

What are three things that are always in your ring bag?

Click above to learn about what Kimberly Graves keeps in her ring bag.

That’s a hard one because I practically have a whole wall box in my backpack. I have everything from hairspray, zip ties, and seam rippers to lip balm, sunscreen, and Band-Aids.

Click below for a closer look at what is in Kimberly’s ring bag.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CaP_1XxpdMp/

What is the most helpful habit that you practice at the barn?

I think one of the most helpful habits is organization. I love when everything has a place. I’m a big fan of containers and label makers. I want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to know where everything is. It really helps with efficiency in the barn, especially on show days.

How do you foster a great team environment in your business?

Kimberly Graves and Babylon at the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show. Photo by Jump Media

I think that communication is key to a happy and successful team. Making sure that everyone is on the same page and knows what’s going on leads to fewer mistakes and more success. I also believe that equality is very important in creating a great team, especially in the horse world. You’re never too good to help with the horses or daily chores.

What’s your best tip or hack for grooming and horse care? Where did you learn it?

I’m a big believer in “no hoof no horse.” I like to keep the horses’ feet dry and as hard as possible. I don’t like to use hoof oil because it softens the feet. Instead, I use a hoof sealer called Kevlar Tuff. The farrier that I used for my personal horses for more than 15 years instilled his philosophy on hoof care in me when I was young. He always told me to keep the horses’ feet dry and hard to protect them inside and out against all the elements and surfaces our horses face. Stronger hooves equal better hoof growth.

What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

I would have to say the Capital Challenge Horse Show is my favorite because it brings out the best hunters in the country. I love that hunters really get to take center stage, especially with the World Championship Hunter Rider classes. The ribbons and awards are always beautiful. I enjoy the pomp and circumstance.

If you were a horse, what would you be and why?

I would definitely be a hunter. A chestnut hunter with chrome to be exact. Chestnuts have been my favorite color since I was a child. I like the jumpers, but my heart truly lies with the hunters. I obsessively follow the discipline.

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

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! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!