7 Tips to Effectively Manage Horses and School

The school year may look different in the fall of 2020, but it doesn’t mean students are any less busy than during a typical school year. From classes and assignments to college applications and outside tutoring sessions, it can be hard to find time to ride and care for horses. BarnManager is here to help you navigate the transition back to school while ensuring your horses’ care and programs don’t slip through the cracks.

1. Enlist a team you trust.

Everyone knows that behind every successful duo in the show ring is a knowledgeable, capable, and devoted team. We’ve all heard the phrase, “it takes a village,” and with horses, it’s no different. From the trainer, to the groom, vet, parent, chiropractor, sibling, and everyone in between, it’s crucial to develop relationships with the team surrounding you and your horse to know he or she is in the best of hands when school gets too demanding. Trusting individuals with your horse’s care will allow you the peace of mind to devote yourself to the most important task at any given moment and not worry about your horse’s care or training.

2. Maintain regular communication.

Even with your team in place, you still need to communicate among all team members to ensure everyone is on the same page and nothing gets overlooked. If you can only come ride two days per week, let the trainer know when you will be there and when you expect your horse to be ridden by someone else. This way, you avoid mix-ups and assumptions that can leave everyone frustrated. Communicate about all the little things, as well, including supplements, vet visits, and other details about which you would like to stay informed.

3. Keep it digital.

We live in a constantly evolving digital world, but we can use technology to our advantage to better track what’s going on with our horses. Using a platform like BarnManager allows for consistent messaging and communication. The advantage to a digital space for communicating is to be able to refer back to a conversation that happened. This way, you won’t wonder if you forgot to mention something to your trainer or groom about your horse, and you will be able to review what your trainer may have already relayed to you.

4. Stay on top of your (and your horse’s) goals.

Have a conversation with your team at the beginning of the school year about your upcoming riding goals. Whether it’s wanting to move up, qualify for finals, or just have a good time getting to know your horse in the show ring, this will adequately prepare everyone to manage time and resources most effectively to accomplish these goals. If you have specific goals in mind for your horse, make sure your trainer knows this from the get-go and be sure to check in on how those goals are progressing throughout the year, even if you can’t be there to see for yourself.

5. Keep watching the sport.

Another benefit of the digital world coming to life in horse sports is the utilization of live streams at competitions across the country. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to ride or compete as frequently, be sure to tune into some live streams when you have time. You can learn so much from watching others navigate a course, and most platforms let you watch for free and even allow replays. If you’re a good multi-tasker, have a competition on in the background while you finish schoolwork; if not, reward yourself for finishing a daunting task by turning on a horse show.

6. Prioritize.

Perhaps the most important, yet most difficult aspect of being a horse owner or rider is prioritizing tasks. Begin each month and each week by analyzing what you have to do and what is most important to you and your personal goals. Do you want to make good grades and get into the college of your dreams? Maybe riding needs to take a back seat. Do you want to qualify for indoors and maybe ride in college one day? Then perhaps riding should play a bigger role in your everyday life. Of course, prioritizing your time is a conversation that must happen with your family and everyone involved in your efforts, both riding-related and academic, but it is important to know what matters most to you, so you can know how to effectively allocate your time.

7. Manage your time.

Perhaps the most important tactic in maintaining good grades while also riding and competing is effective time management. Make every hour count by scheduling your ride times and making efficiency a top priority as you go about your day. If you have a solid grasp on your time and don’t let it slip away chatting with barn friends or scrolling through social media, you’ll have more time in your day to devote to schoolwork and riding. Being a student also requires creative solutions for getting your work done, whether it’s in transit to or from a horse show, in between classes at a show, during free periods at school, or any other pockets of time you can use to your advantage.

Above all, this year is a time to emphasize safety while navigating both school and riding, so be sure not to forget safety protocols when going about your busy days. Focusing on safety, studying, and riding is a tough balance to achieve, but keeping all these factors in mind will help you on the path to accomplishing goals in everything you do.

 

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!

Setting Riding Goals for 2020

The start of a new year is the ideal time to step back and look at your goals and plans for the year and to map out what you need to do to achieve them. Whether you’re reading this in January or June however, there is always benefit in taking time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and hope to accomplish.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when doing so and a few things to consider when setting your riding, training, and competition goals for 2020.

1. Reflect on the past year.

Look back on the past 12 months. What worked? What did you accomplish that you are proud of? What didn’t work? What do you feel needs the most improvement? What did you learn? Draw from your answers as you begin to make your plan for the year ahead.

Look back on the past year to help you plan your year ahead.

2. Make S.M.A.R.T. goals.

One great way to avoid defeat on the way to accomplishing your goals is to make them “S.M.A.R.T.” or “specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timeline-able.” Here are some examples of what that looks like:

Specific – Focus on making your goals precise. For instance, a goal such as “improve my riding” is rather ambiguous and could be made more precise, such as “improve my scores in the equitation ring.”

Measurable – Goals like approving scores, completing a competition, jumping a new height, or finishing all of your cross-county rides within the optimum time are all examples of measurable goals.

Attainable and Realistic – These two go hand-in-hand. If you were competing in the 0.80m Jumpers last year, the 1.40m may not be an attainable or realistic goal for you or your horse. Understand you and your horse’s capabilities and avoid setting yourself up to fail.

Timeline-able – Put a time frame on your goals. With horses things are often bound to change, so give yourself the flexibility to adjust your timeline if needed, but try to keep your eyes on a goal date.

3. Set short-term goals that lead to the long-term goal.

In order to not get overwhelmed and to have a realistic chance at achieving what you’ve set out to accomplish, break down your large goals into smaller steps and map out an action plan to make the big goals happen. Short-term goals can even take as short as a day to complete, such as “confidently jump a 3’6” course at home.”

Take small steps toward your larger goal.

4. Record your progress.

It’s inevitable that you’re going to have ups and downs throughout the year on the road to your goals, no matter what they may be. When you hit a low, it can be encouraging to look back at where you started! Track or journal your activity, such as your workouts or rides, that relates toward your goals. There are a number of goal-tracking journals, worksheets, and applications, specifically designed for this purpose.

5. Take advantage of available, value resources and those around you.

Planning out your competition year and your horse show goals? Check out Jumpfax. Striving to achieve your barn management organization in 2020? We might have an idea of an extremely helpful tool for you! (Hint: It’s BarnManager! ;))  For more specific ways that BarnManager can help you achieve your equestrian goals, be sure to check out this list we compiled!

No matter what your goal may be, there is likely to be a tool available aimed at helping you achieve it. In that same vein, there are likely going to be people who want to see you succeed! Connect with others who can hold you accountable, have similar goals, or can help mentor you or steer you in the right direction.

6. Celebrate your successes!

As you achieve even the baby steps along the way toward your big goal, take a moment to recognize your progress and celebrate the fact that you’re making headway – even if it feels like you have quite a way to go! Recognizing your accomplishments, no matter how big or small, can go a long way in building your confidence and commitment toward achieving what you’ve set out to accomplish!

Good luck as you go after your goals this year! Let’s make 2020 the best year yet!

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!

Winter Equestrian Festival 2019 Destination Guide

With the start of the new year comes the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in one of the BarnManager team’s favorite places: Wellington, FL!

For the Wellington first-timer, it can be hard to know where to begin your visit. (There are just so many beautiful horses everywhere!) That’s why we’ve compiled a few of our Wellington favorites into this destination guide to help you plan your next weekend visit or your full-season stay in the ‘winter equestrian capital of the world.’
 

 

Where to Eat

Agliolio – Agliolio’s pasta is made in house and, by our vote, is the best in Wellington! They also offer a number of gluten-free pasta options, delicious bread, tasty signature drinks, and even convenient carry-out for when you’re in the mood to carbo load at home. Check out www.Agliolio.com/menu.

Buccan – While not located in Wellington, Buccan is a favorite for WEF and AGDF goers looking to enjoy an evening on Palm Beach! Buccan is known for its delicious small plates full of big flavor that range from warm octopus salad to spicy pork tacos. Buccan offers communal seating or individual tables, but be sure to make a reservation as the restaurant fills up quickly during the winter season! Visit www.buccanpalmbeach.com.

The Farm Stand – The Farm Stand is one of the newest food additions to the WEF showgrounds – and it’s one of the healthiest! Located on the walk between the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring and Pony Island, The Farm Stand offers craft coffee from Pumphouse Coffee Roasters, plant-based cuisine and juices made by Meraki Juice Kitchen, and clean, nutritious food from Tess & Co. Visit www.farmstand-pb.com to learn more.

 

 

Field of Greens – If you’re looking to grab a salad or smoothie on the go or for a quick lunch, look no further than Field of Greens. The Wellington location is just minutes from the show grounds, and packed with healthy options including acai bowls, protein shakes, and juices in addition to the delicious salads! View the full menu at www.fieldofgreensonline.com.

The Oasis Café, Tiki Hut, or Tito’s Tacos – There are a number of additional dining options located onsite at the WEF showgrounds for those looking to grab a quick burger, sandwich, salad, or taco while enjoying the show or before their next round. For salads, wings, burgers, and more, visit the Tiki Hut located next to the International Arena. For a wide variety of options for breakfast or lunch, visit the Oasis Café, located in the Vendor Village, and for Mexican cuisine, stop in to Tito’s Tacos, open Thursday through Sunday just across the bridge from the Tiki Hut.

 

The Tiki Hut is a perfect place to catch the jumping action


 

Oli’s Fashion Cuisine – Oli’s is a popular hotspot for horse show goers, located just a short drive from the show grounds. The menu features an array of beautifully presented entrees and salads, as well as flatbreads, sandwiches, and more. If you’re enjoying a Monday off from the horse show, consider Oli’s for a boozy brunch or an enjoyable evening with friends, as all bottles of wine are half-off on Mondays. Visit www.olisfashioncuisine.com.

What to Do

Watch the Horse Show of Course! – WEF and AGDF run from January 9 through March 31, with a wide range of hunter, jumper, equitation, and dressage competition ongoing every Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free each day with the exception of Friday nights at AGDF and Saturday nights at WEF.

 

The International Ring lit up for Saturday Night is a sight that can’t be missed!


 

‘Saturday Night Lights’ – Parking admission to WEF is charged on Saturday nights ($20/car, with free parking also available across the street at the AGDF) because it’s the most anticipated night of the week, ‘Saturday Night Lights’! Throughout the 12 weeks of WEF, each Saturday night features a FEI-rated grand prix or a special, featured event, including the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes during the show’s opening week. Come early to enjoy the carousel, petting zoo, shopping, and dozens of food vendors offering delicious dinner options and treats ranging from kettle corn to crepes to cheesecake on a stick!

‘Friday Night Stars’ Freestyle – Much like Saturday nights host WEF’s largest, featured events each week, Friday night is the night to be at AGDF! During Friday Night Stars spectators are able to watch some of the best dressage horses and riders in the world perform their freestyle tests! Find the full AGDF schedule online here at gdf.coth.com.

 

The AGDF Derby Field is a another great place to soak up the Florida sun


 

Go to a Polo Match – In addition to many of the world’s best hunter, jumper, and dressage competitors, Wellington, FL, hosts the finest international polo players each winter at the International Polo Club (IPC)! For a Sunday afternoon of high-level sport and high-level socializing, put on your Sunday best and head over to IPC for a match, beginning each week at 3 p.m. A wide variety of tickets, including brunch options, box seats, and more, are available for purchase online at ipc.coth.com.

Go for a Drive – When you’re done at the horse show, continue down South Shore Boulevard or Pierson Road to take in some of the stunning properties and horse farms for which Wellington is known!

Where to Shop

Dover Saddlery – A popular, nationwide source for equestrian tack, supplies, and apparel, Dover Saddlery opened a Wellington, FL, location in 2014, offering just about any and everything you may need from a tack shop. In 2018, they also unveiled a location onsite at WEF for even greater convenience – and for another place for us to spend lots of money on our horses! Visit www.DoverSaddlery.com for more information.

Onsite at WEF – WEF hosts more than 100 food and retail vendors onsite each season in locations including Vendor Village in the middle of the showgrounds, Hunter Hill just above the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, the Shoppes at the International Club inside the large International Club, and more. Be sure to check out some of our favorites including EquiFit, Equo, Hermès, Hunt Ltd., and Fab Finds by Sarah!

 

 

The Tackeria – Located directly across from both WEF and AGDF, The Tackeria has been a Wellington equestrian staple for years! The spacious store offers not only tack and supplies, but also a large selection of equestrian gift items and home décor pieces.

Worth Avenue – After you’ve visited Hermès at WEF, if you’re looking to continue your high-end shopping spree, be sure to continue to downtown Palm Beach to shop along the iconic Worth Avenue, home to unique boutiques, Chanel, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, and much, much more. Find a full directory online at https://worth-avenue.com/.

 

 
 
Have other Wellington favorites and recommendations that we missed? We’d love to hear your favorites in the comments!

Enjoy your next visit or stay in the ‘winter equestrian capital of the world!’

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 Achieving Your Equestrian Goals in 2019

It’s about to be that time of year again: that time where we suddenly go from consuming approximately a dozen cookies a day and possibly one too many glasses of wine to vowing that we’re only eating kale salads and drinking green juice for the whole next week. And also, we’re giving up the sleeping in and instead starting all of our days at 5 a.m. And we’re not buying Starbucks every day or any more pairs of breeches because 2019 is going to be the year we start really saving lots of money.

Maybe that’s not quite accurate for you, but we can bet that you’ve been there too—looking back over what you did or didn’t accomplish in the past year and swearing that you’re going to do things differently in the year ahead!

If you feel like you’ve been saying, “Now THIS year is really going to be my year,” every year since 2002 and nothing has changed – or even if you feel like 2018 was a really great year, and you’re on exactly the track that you want to be on – we have a few tips that could help you accomplish your goals in the year ahead and make 2019 one of your best years yet!

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

It’s said that “if your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough,” and we agree that it’s important to set big goals and to have high aspirations. However, you also want them to be realistic and attainable so that you don’t get discouraged on your way to achieving your goals and dreams!

One great tip for avoiding that sort of defeat on the way to accomplishing your goals is to make them “S.M.A.R.T.” or “specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timeline-able.”

If you’ve been competing in the 0.80m jumpers, odds are that it is not realistic or attainable to make your goal competing on the same horse in the 1.40m in 2019. Instead, your S.M.A.R.T. goal may be something like: “Move up to the 1.10m on Sherlock by the end of the Vermont Summer Festival.” This gives you a very clear objective and a timeframe to aim toward.

2. Develop an action plan by breaking your large goal down to smaller steps.

Suppose your 2019 goal is to qualify your amateur-owner hunter for indoors or maybe it’s to lose 20 pounds in the process of improving your riding fitness and performance. Depending on where you are currently, either of those could seem pretty daunting.

In order to not get overwhelmed and to have a realistic chance at achieving what you’ve set out to accomplish, break down those large goals into smaller steps and map out an action plan to make the big goals happen.

For instance, qualifying for indoors goal could get broken down to a large number of baby steps, starting with a weekly goal such as: “Aim to ride three to four times a week so that I’m in better riding shape and ready for the show ring.” Then you can set goals of which shows you are aiming for and an action plan of how many shows you can realistically attend and how many may be needed to achieve your qualifying points.

For the weight loss and fitness goal, maybe you start somewhere such as: “Do physical activity outside of the saddle three times a week,” – a smaller, attainable step that will ultimately point you in the right direction of your larger, overarching objective.

3. Record your progress.

It’s inevitable that you’re going to have ups and downs throughout the year on the road to your goals, no matter what they may be. When you hit a low, it can be encouraging to look back at where you started! Track or journal your activity, such as your workouts or rides, that relates toward your goals. There are a number of goal-tracking journals, worksheets, and applications, specifically designed for this purpose. For equestrian goals and riding and competition journaling, check out View Halloo!

4. Take advantage of available, value resources and those around you.

That brings us to the next point: use your resources and the tools available to you! Planning out your competition year and your horse show goals? Check out Jumpfax. Striving to achieve your barn management organization in 2019? We might have an idea of an extremely helpful tool for you! (Hint: It’s BarnManager! ;))  For more specific ways that BarnManager can help you achieve your equestrian goals, be sure to check out this list we compiled!

No matter what your goal may be, there is likely to be a tool available aimed at helping you achieve it. In that same vein, there are likely going to be people who want to see you succeed! Connect with others who can hold you accountable, have similar goals, or can help mentor you or steer you in the right direction.

5. Celebrate your successes!

As you achieve even the baby steps along the way toward your big goal, take a moment to recognize your progress and celebrate the fact that you’re making headway – even if it feels like you have quite a way to go! Recognizing your accomplishments, no matter how big or small, can go a long way in building your confidence and commitment toward achieving what you’ve set out to accomplish!

Good luck as you go after your goals this year! Let’s make 2019 the best year yet!

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!