Getting Paperwork Organized for an FEI Competition: The Passport

Making the step from national to international- level competition is always exciting! Of course, participating in shows governed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) comes with its own set of rules and paperwork. If you travel internationally, you need a passport, and similarly, your horse needs one to compete in designated international shows. If you’re thinking of competing in an FEI show, it’s important to make sure your horse’s passport is ready to go.

Many changes and updates to a passport must be completed at the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) office in Kentucky. It is important to allow enough time for the passport to be mailed in, processed, and mailed back. Planning your competition schedule in advance will enable you to have enough time to make sure everything is in order.

Validation

Like human passports, horse passports are valid for a fixed number of years. The FEI requires a passport renewal every four years. The first step is to check to make sure your horse’s passport is current. Usually, you can find the expiration date on the front cover of the passport. Some passports have a more recent revalidation sticker on the back cover. If you only need to renew your horse’s passport you can submit a “Passport Service Application” to USEF. They will send you a revalidation sticker in the mail. You will have to send the passport in to USEF along with the application if there is anything else that needs to be updated. If your horse has never had a passport, or an old passport is lost, you can submit the “Passport Service Application” to the USEF for a new one.

Ownership

When you revalidate a passport, USEF will check that the ownership in the passport matches the ownership in its database. If the information does not match, USEF will require an ownership transfer to be recorded to correct the discrepancy. Any time a passport shows a new owner listed inside the front cover, the owner must physically sign the passport to make it official. Allow time to get this step completed as well.

Vaccines

Equine passports have a section dedicated to the horse’s vaccination record. Horses are required to be vaccinated against Equine Influenza Virus in order to participate in FEI events. Each time your horse receives an Equine Influenza Virus booster vaccine, it should be recorded in the passport by the administering veterinarian. The vet must include the vaccine serial number sticker as well as their official stamp and signature in order to make the vaccination recording complete.

When a horse’s vaccines are recorded consecutively, it’s referred to as a series. Check to make sure your horse’s vaccine series is continuous and correct. That means each vaccination recording is “complete,” and each booster is within seven months of the previous booster. If there is a previous booster in your horse’s vaccine series that is not “complete,” it makes the entire series invalid. This means your vet must start a new series. Your vet will also need to start a new series if your horse’s vaccine series has not been recently updated, creating an extended lapse between boosters.

Within the seven-month booster intervals, there is a window of time in which horses must have received their vaccine in order to enter FEI-designated stabling at the show. Horses need to be boosted within six months and 21 days of entering the FEI compound. They cannot enter if they have been vaccinated within the past seven days. Horses also cannot travel internationally if they have been vaccinated too recently. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of this timing. Schedule your horse’s vaccines with your desired show and travel schedule in mind.

Coggins

Equine passports also include a section where Coggins can and should be recorded. A Coggins test is a blood test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) typically taken annually by your veterinarian. All horses need proof of a negative Coggins test to show at both the national level and in FEI competition. A Coggins test is also necessary for your vet to generate a Health Certificate. This is necessary for your horse to be able to pass agricultural inspections while traveling across the country. While an annual coggins is sufficient for domestic travel, if you are traveling abroad for an FEI show, such as in Canada or Europe, you may need a more recent Coggins test.

What might seem like a lot to organize at first becomes less complicated as you maintain the passport over time. After you have all the logistics settled, you’ll be able to focus on the excitement of your first FEI competition!

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!

Five Qualities of a Well-Managed Barn

If you are a rider looking for a new place to keep your horse or a manager thinking about how to improve your barn, there are certain qualities that stick out at a well-run stable. Keep reading for five important characteristics of a well-managed barn.

1. Cleanliness

Overall cleanliness is an important detail to look for at a barn. Obviously, no barn will ever be spotless but the aisle, tack room, grooming stalls, and feed room should be swept and neat. It is also important to consider how clean the stalls are kept. Check stalls to see if they have been mucked recently and if the shavings are clean. Inspect water buckets and grain tubs to see if they have been cleaned recently. A dirty water bucket is never a good sign and can have a negative impact on your horse’s health. In the tack room, make sure there is no moldy tack. Bridles that are used less might not look freshly cleaned, but you do not want to see tack that has not been cared for in a long time.

2. Organization

Beyond cleanliness, a definite sign of a well-run barn is organization. You should be able to get a feel of how organized the barn is by simply walking around. Details such as labels in the tack room, a well laid out feed room, and tidy grooming stalls can reveal how important organization is at the barn. If blankets or stable sheets are piled in random places, the barn may not be as organized as one where they are neatly folded on doors or in a specific room or area.

3. Teamwork

A barn where all staff members are communicating and working as a team is always a good sign. This is a must, even at a smaller local barn that does not attend horse shows. When employees are not working together, it can result in issues such as the wrong medication being given to a horse, turning out a horse that is supposed to stay in, or daily tasks being missed or forgotten. To get a feel for the level of communication and teamwork at a barn, try asking different employees a couple of questions about topics like turnout, medication, or feeding times. By spending a little time at the barn, you can observe whether people are only working on their own or if there is a solid flow of communication among employees.

4. Healthy Horses

The care of the horses should always be the top priority. Their condition is often a reflection of how well the barn is managed. Some horses are naturally leaner while others are easy keepers and retired horses will have less muscle than a top-level jumper, but their overall condition should be good no matter what. The horses should not be severely underweight or overweight, they should have a healthy-looking coat whether or not they are clipped, and they should have a bright demeanor.

When a barn has healthy looking horses, it shows that the staff is observant and able to come up with a routine that works for each horse. Especially with feeding, it is important that the barn allows for horses to have individualized programs with differing amounts of hay and grain, types of grain, and supplements depending on specific needs.

5. Reliable Routine and Schedule

A well-run barn should have a fairly clear daily schedule. Grain and hay should be given around the same general times every day. Lesson times should also be clearly written down so that, depending on the type of barn, boarders can schedule a time to ride. Certain instances are difficult to predict, such as timing for a veterinarian coming to check a horse, but overall there should be a schedule for everyone to see and plan around.

Running a well-managed barn is no easy job and an undertaking that should definitely be praised. It is important to see the signs as a rider so you can be sure your horse is in the best care. Understanding the qualities of a well-run barn as a manager can help you up your game and provide top care for the horses at your facility.

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: Samantha Lyster

The BarnManager Q&A With:

Samantha Lyster, Head Groom at Artemis Equestrian Farm, located in Wellington, FL, and Greenwich, CT

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

I always have a leather hole punch, a pair of scissors, and Band-Aids. They seem a little silly, but they are the things I’m most often asked for at the ring, both by the people I work for and by other grooms who don’t have them handy.

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

Patience. It is still something I struggle with, and it is often easy to forget. It can be applied in all situations, with both horses and humans.

Samantha Lyster with her own Dame Amour. Photo by Ashley Neuhof Photography

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

This can be difficult unless you’re lucky enough to have a group of people that get along instantly. I think it is important to keep everyone informed of the day’s plan, even if it doesn’t necessarily apply to them, because it keeps the whole team feeling involved. Also, make sure to be aware of how everyone does things a little differently and make an effort to include their ideas.

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

If you think you’ve curried enough you haven’t, and you should keep going. Also, try to use different types of curry combs. The best way to get a horse to shine is to really stimulate their skin, get those natural oils working to your advantage, and remove all that dead hair and dirt. I learned that from my coworker, Jose Rios. He also pointed out the importance of having multiple curry combs like a mitt, a thick rubber one, and a metal one. They all have their own job.

 What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

I’ve only been once, but I really liked Lake Placid. The show itself had a great atmosphere, and the town was super neat. The surrounding areas had lots of places to explore!

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

If I were a horse, I would probably be someone’s quarter horse they trail ride. I really like to be out and about and explore new areas and sights!

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!

Five Tips for a Shiny Summer Coat

As an equestrian, nothing beats someone telling you that your horse has a beautiful coat. Now that spring is here and horses are beginning to shed out, it is time to start thinking about how to get their coat looking healthy and shiny for the summer. Keep reading for a few of BarnManager’s favorite tips for a fantastic summer coat.

1. Groom Properly

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to give your horse a shiny coat is to groom them properly. This is especially important if they were not clipped during the winter and are shedding out. Grooming your horse is not only good exercise and helpful for their coat, but it also gives you time to check for any new bumps or scratches. Start with currying your horse, which loosens all the dirt and dead hair and brings out the natural oils. This step is essential for a healthy-looking coat. Next, use a hard brush to get all of the dirt and dead hair off of your horse and also distribute the oils. Going over your horse afterwards with a towel will grab any dirt or dust that was left behind and ensure that your horse’s coat is lying flat. It is also important to clean your grooming tools regularly because dirt builds up quickly, and you do not want to spread it while brushing your horse.

2. Good Diet

A shiny coat often starts from within. A balanced diet is key to making sure your horse has a gleaming coat this summer. It is important to feed good hay that has a nice green color and is not dried out or dusty. Hay is an extremely important part of a horse’s diet because it provides nutrients. Adding supplements into your horse’s feed can also be beneficial. For example, Vitamin E and selenium are two supplements that can help your horse’s coat. If you are not sure your horse has a balanced diet or is getting proper nutrients, consider talking with a nutritionist.

3. Do Not Over Bathe

When it gets warmer it is easy to bathe horses too frequently, especially if they are grey. While it may seem like a good idea to keep them clean, it can dry out their skin and coat. Also, legs that are are not dried properly can be susceptible to scratches and other skin conditions. If your horse does get warm after exercise, try sponging and toweling off where they are sweaty or putting fans in front of them so they dry faster. For owners of grey horses, spot removers are useful for removing stained areas without doing a full bath. If you must bathe your horse during the hot months of summer, consider using conditioner instead of shampoo. This will help moisturize the coat instead of drying it out. When applying, avoid the saddle area as this will make it very slippery. Also, do not put conditioner in the mane or tail if you plan on braiding your horse for a competition in the near future.

4. Protect From the Sun

During the spring, summer, and early fall a horse’s coat can often get sun bleached from being turned out, especially if the paddock is not well-shaded. This can be solved by either doing night turnout or getting a fly sheet to protect your horse from the sun as well as flies. A fly sheet may also help keep your horse a little cleaner so you can avoid daily baths.

5. Invest in a Coat Shine Product

To add a little extra gleam to your horse’s coat, purchase a coat shine product. There are many options that can help make your horse’s coat soft, shiny, and healthy. These sprays often contain conditioner that moisturizes the coat. Make sure to check the ingredients and avoid any products containing silicone, which can actually dry out the coat. Similar to applying conditioner during a bath, be careful about avoiding the area where the saddle goes.

Whether or not you plan on showing, a beautiful, healthy, and shiny coat is something that all horse owners can achieve. Test out these tips this spring to get your horse’s coat looking its best.

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!

Spring Cleaning Your Barn: The Jobs That Are Often Overlooked

By Emily & Sarah Harris, Sisters Horsing Around

Those of us who live in areas with cold winters look forward to warm weather, sunny days, and more riding. Now that spring is here, it is also time to do some barn cleaning. Even though spring is a great opportunity to get some much-needed deep cleaning done, there are a few jobs that are often overlooked. Some of these jobs can be tedious, others seem unimportant, but either way, they make a big difference in the long run.

Disinfect the Stalls

Thoroughly cleaning the stalls and disinfecting them is a task that is recommended and important but one that not many do. If the stall has a dirt base, then this will be more difficult, but there are ways to work around that. Make sure to empty the stall completely before starting. This includes removing horses, manure, bedding, stall mats, food, water, etc. Kentucky Equine Research suggests washing down the entire stall with a “10% bleach solution first to help remove biofilms that can protect bacteria from disinfectants,” and let it dry. If using stall mats, be sure to thoroughly clean them as well. Then spray the stall with a veterinarian-approved disinfectant and leave it to dry. Once the stall is completely dry, sprinkle the bare floor with some barn lime or a stall absorbent, put everything back in, and add bedding.

Clean the Wash Stall

The wash stall is a place that is used frequently and can easily fall into disarray. Your best bet is to completely strip the area and wash down the surfaces. Remove tripping hazards and anything that can cause entanglements. Throw away any empty bottles, broken tools, tattered sponges, and rags. Then replace all the necessary items neatly. For indoor wash stalls, if space allows, keep everything well-organized by adding a shelf or hanging basket to hold bottles and tools. For outdoor wash stalls, a good barn hack is to use milk crates to keep wash items together. The holes in the milk crates will prevent water from collecting inside.

Clean Stall Fans

Cleaning stall fans is important not only to make the barn look clean but also for safety reasons. Stall fans have become a popular tool used throughout the hot summer and early fall months. Begin by reconsidering the type of fan you are using to keep your beloved equines cool. Some fans are not well-suited for the barn because of the potential risks they pose. For example, light-duty box fans can be purchased practically everywhere, but they can be a major fire hazard in a barn due to their open motor compartment. Agricultural fans are the safest because they have a sealed motor compartment and can withstand dust, dirt, and debris. These fans will only need a quick blow with a leaf blower or air compressor to get them clean. Make sure they are unplugged before starting.

Pressure Wash the Barn

Cleaning the outside of the barn is something that is often overlooked. Using a pressure washer is a quick and efficient way to clean remove dust, dirt, mold, and mildew. Trust us, the results are quite impressive and very satisfying. After a good cleaning, the barn will have a refreshed and like-new appearance. Be sure to clean on a sunny, dry day because pressure washing will result in a lot of water outside the barn.

Managing the Manure Heap/Dump Station

Managing the manure heap is an ongoing task but turning it over at least once will help in composting. If turning it is not an option, cover it with a tarp to speed up the process. The composted manure can be used to fertilize a garden or help with landscaping plants on the property.

Recharge/Replace Fire Extinguisher

Recharging or replacing fire extinguishers is something that should be done regularly. Check each gauge to see what is needed. If the needle is on red, recharge it or replace it right away. If a fire and safety equipment company is not easily accessible, it may be cheaper to replace the fire extinguisher than to recharge it.

Check Gates

This task should never be neglected. A gate that is in good repair not only looks nice, but functions much better than a gate in poor condition. Remember that gates help to keep horses contained and safe, while providing us with access to them. Since many clever equines learn how to manipulate gates as an escape route, make sure that they are all in good condition. Check paddock gates to make sure they do not drag on the ground, tighten up any loose nuts or bolts, fix or replace latches, add a wheel for easier opening, and touch up with paint wherever needed.

Another task to add to your spring-cleaning list is oiling the hinges. Nobody likes creaking hinges and poorly moving doors, so don’t forget to lubricate the hinges to keep the doors and gates working smoothly.

Replace Equine Activity Signs 

Making sure the Equine Activity signs are always visible and easy to read may not seem like that big of a deal but don’t neglect this task. If the sign is dirty, clean it up. If it is broken or missing a piece, replace it. Add extra signs in various places and at multiple entrances to the barn to ensure that people are well informed about equine liability laws and what their responsibilities are as a participant.

It is very easy to get so lost in cleaning up that some jobs will completely fall of your to-do list in the usual scramble to get things done. We hope this list will help tackle those jobs that often escape our minds to do. After completing these tasks, you will be ready to take on the rest of the year with a fresh clean start. Happy cleaning!

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: Lindsey Bailey

The BarnManager Q&A With:

Lindsey Bailey, Groom at Louisburg Farm, located in Wellington, FL, and Boston, MA

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

I always have water, horse cookies, and a towel.

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

Keep it simple and build a program with purpose. At the end of the day, they’re horses and they need to be horses. This means letting them roll and be dirty or giving them opportunities to buck and shake their heads. I’m also a huge believer that a good feeding program, a great farrier, and a knowledgeable vet make grooming horses a simple and straightforward job.

Photo by Jump Media

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

Always be willing to lend a hand and always be ready to learn something new.

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

Listen to your horses and they’ll tell you what they need. I’ve learned a lot about horses from my mom. She’s an amazing horsewoman and has always been great at opening my eyes to how horses think and how their bodies work in a way that you really don’t find in the show world. My sister and I grew up riding our ponies with halters and lead ropes in the fields they lived in and taking care of them ourselves. I had no idea having a groom was even an option. My mom is incredible, and she is constantly seeking out new knowledge. What I’ve learned and continue to learn from her has always been the foundation of my grooming.

What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

I had the opportunity to groom at World Equestrian Center – Ocala a couple of times this season, and I don’t think any other show really compares to it. The facility is designed intuitively, it is so easy to work out of, and the crowds are amazing. The atmosphere on Saturday nights is unreal.

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

I would like to say I would be a laidback, super-chill quarter horse, but in reality, I’m probably more of a high-strung dressage horse that’s a total perfectionist, and the grooms draw straws to take care of.

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!

Why Did You Become a Barn Manager?

Kelly Campbell

Manager for Eight Oaks Farm Inc., based in Middleburg, VA, and Wellington, FL

What is the story behind you becoming a barn manager?

Photo courtesy of Kelly Campbell

I went to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, and grew up just 30 minutes away. I was on the IHSA team and fully immersed in the riding program. When everyone else would go home for breaks or for the summer, I lived close enough that I continued to ride at school full time. My coaches (Cindy Ford, Belinda Colgan, and Karen Hurff) were always kind enough to let me show one of the school’s horses, and I worked off my show bills. Even during the summer, we still had a barn of around 40 horses that needed care. I did a lot of horse care, turning out, rehabbing horses, and —honestly—a ton of laundry. When we would go to shows, I would do basic grooming duties, stall cleaning, getting horses ready for the ring, etc. As the summers went by, they gave me more responsibilities.  The college required my coaches to take time off during the summer, so I was always there to help when they were away. These years were when I realized that horses were all I wanted to do. After college, I started off as a groom and slowly worked my way up through different jobs to where I am now, the barn manager at Eight Oaks Farm Inc. for Johnny and Kitty Barker.

What is your favorite part about being a barn manager?

My favorite part of being a barn manager by far is the horses. I can’t even think of what another answer could be! I am very lucky to work with a great group of horses at Eight Oaks.  It is so rewarding to get to know each horse, figure out what keeps them happiest, and watch them succeed.

 

Krista Goosens

Manager for Brianne Goutal LLC and the Propp Family, based in Wellington, FL, and Long Island, NY

What is the story behind you becoming a barn manager?

Photo by Giana Terranova Photography

I rode competitively as a junior and as an amateur through college and grad school. After school, I worked a corporate 9-to-5 job in alternative energy. While I found my job interesting, I hated the lifestyle, and I really missed the horses. I had almost no free time for riding, and sitting in an office every day just wasn’t for me. I reached out to some old friends in the horse industry, and someone connected me with Jill Shulman at Back Country Farm. She happened to be looking for a new manager/assistant trainer at the time, and everything fell into place very quickly. I started with the Shulmans in the fall of 2012 and haven’t looked back!

What is your favorite part about being a barn manager?

My favorite part of being a barn manager is definitely seeing the progression of horses and riders over time. I love getting a new horse into the barn and seeing how they change and develop. I’ve been working with Brianne Goutal and the Propp family for about three and a half years now, and I’m very proud of the fact that our program prioritizes the horses’ health and happiness above all else. We really try to take our time to get to know each horse and what works or doesn’t work for them in a competitive program. Some need more structured flatwork and fitness regimes every day, while some prefer a more laid-back approach. I really enjoy seeing how the horses thrive in our barn and how the kids grow with them and develop as riders. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with such amazing animals, and seeing them win at the highest level never gets old.

 

Kiira Lizza

Manager for Grafton Ridge, based in South Salem, NY, and Wellington, FL

What is the story behind you becoming a barn manager?

Photo courtesy of Kiira Lizza

I’ve been involved with horses my entire life and have always been very passionate about horse care. I was lucky enough to grow up as a working student for Nona Garson, which gave me a taste of the top level of the sport at a young age. After graduating from Skidmore College, I went on to work for Anne Kursinski, Amanda Steege, and Leslie Howard grooming, managing, and riding up to the five-star level. I took a break from horses in 2017 and worked in corporate America. I moved to England in 2019 to earn my MBA from Warwick Business School. After graduating with another corporate job, COVID forced the company to close down. I was in Wellington at the time, so I started freelance working with horses again. A friend was working for Michael Delfiandra and Vanessa Roman at Grafton Ridge, and they happened to be looking for a barn manager. The rest is history!

What is your favorite part about being a barn manager?

My favorite part is the horses! I love treating each one of our horses as if they were my own. I love learning different ways to make the horses happier and healthier in their day-to-day lives and in their jobs. A close second would be working for Michael Delfiandra and Vanessa Roman. They have been an amazing pair to work for, and I feel lucky to be a part of their business. I think it is really important to find professionals that respect your expertise and time. Being a barn manager—especially at this upper level of the sport—can feel like a 24/7 job, so it’s important that the people you’re working for acknowledge the time and effort you are putting into their business. I’m very fortunate to be part of such a great team.

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!

Five Tips To Stay Organized During a Busy Horse Show Day

Horse show days can be extremely hectic and overwhelming. The key to success during those types of days is staying organized. Read some of BarnManager’s tips to tackle a busy day at any competition.

1. Make a Plan

The first step in staying organized during a busy horse show day actually happens the afternoon or night before. If you know you are going to have a day with lots of horses and clients showing, take time to make a plan the day before. Many barns write out the schedule on a whiteboard. This way all trainers, grooms, managers, and riders are aware of what the day will look like. Ideally, this schedule includes what ring each horse shows in and an approximate time the horse should be at the ring ready to go. Noting the name of the class is helpful if the horse shows in both the hunters and equitation and requires different equipment for each discipline. Deciding who will take care of each horse and bring it to the ring can also make the plan run efficiently throughout the busy show day. Including orders of go for classes, when available, is another useful piece of information that can help keep everyone on time.
(Did you know? BarnManager has a virtual whiteboard feature so everyone can see the schedule while up at the ring and make or view any adjustments!)

2. Organize Equipment

Setting out equipment needed for each horse beforehand can save a lot of time throughout the day. If each horse’s saddle, bridle, martingale, girth, saddle pad, and number are neatly piled together, you do not have to worry about a horse arriving to the ring with the wrong equipment or an employee being late because they could not find the correct boots. It takes a few extra minutes to organize the night before or in the morning, but it will save time and energy once the day has started.

3. Be Flexible

Horse shows are known for not always running on time and horses themselves can often be unpredictable. For these reasons, you have to be able to be flexible in your plan. If a ring is running late or one of the horses pulls a shoe before a class, you must be able to alter your schedule quickly in order to deal with the last-minute changes. Last-minute adjustments in a well-thought-out plan can be overcome with a little patience, flexibility, teamwork, and good problem-solving skills.

4. Communication

Effective communication is always a necessity in a barn, especially during a hectic horse show day. The only way that all employees will know and understand the plan is through communication. Also, if something changes, everyone must be told of the alterations so the day can continue to run smoothly. Constant and clear communication throughout the day is important so everyone stays up to date. Many barns use group texts or walkie-talkies so that all staff members are updated about changes at the same time.

5. Checklist

Creating a checklist to go through at the end of the day is a great way to make sure all tasks were completed. This checklist can include specific aftercare for the horses, making feed, any tack alterations for the next day, and making sure all equipment was clean and properly put away. Make a specific checklist for each show day and add items to it as you go. Take time at the end of the day to review and fine-tune your plan for the next day.
(Did you know? BarnManager has a list feature so you can make a daily checklist. You can also share this checklist with your team at a show!)

While horse showing can be stressful and exhausting, especially on busy days, the most important tip is to remember to have fun and enjoy the successful moments both in and out of the ring.

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: Abigail Fulmer

The BarnManager Q&A With:

Abigail Fulmer, Head Groom/Barn Manager for Lynn Symansky Equestrian, located in Middleburg, VA

Abigail Fulmer and Lynn Symansky at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event.

 

What are important items that are always in your ring bag?

In my ring bag, I always have a hoof pick, rubber bands, pins, and a leather hole punch.

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

I always make a to-do list. When you work in a fast-paced performance barn, you are always having to multitask and end up doing several jobs at once, so it is very easy to overlook or forget to do something. This is why I always make a list for myself, either on the whiteboard or I make a note in my phone. This helps me make sure that everything gets done in the most efficient way possible and that I do not forget anything.

(Did you know? BarnManager’s app has a helpful list feature so you can make your daily to-do lists with your team at the barn!)

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

Communication. In my experience, most tension and struggles between people working together come from a lack of communication. For this reason, I think effective communication should be a priority in a barn.

Abigail Fulmer enjoying some downtime at a horse show.

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

For horses with dry skin or sensitive skin, apple cider vinegar is your best friend. Dilute it in a bit of warm water and it will work wonders on hives or dry skin. I learned this trick from Lynn’s previous groom that I had the pleasure of overlapping with for a few months as I was getting started in the business.

What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

My favorite event so far has been Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. It is such a beautiful facility and a hub for people from all over the world to come together to compete and enjoy the sport.

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

I would be a Shetland pony because even though I may be tiny I can still hold my own with the massive warmbloods in our program!

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