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!

DIY Equestrian Holiday Gift Ideas

The holiday season can be an expensive time of year, especially when shopping for equestrians. Instead of buying lots of pricey, store-bought items, consider making personalized gifts for your horsey friends. Read on for some DIY equestrian holiday gift ideas from BarnManager.

Homemade Horse Treats

If baking is your specialty, then gifting your friends, trainers, managers, or grooms with homemade horse treats is a wonderful option. For an extra-special touch, put the horse treats in a decorative box or mason jar and add a bow. This is a great gift to pair with a card and maybe a few chocolate treats for your human friends to enjoy.

Ornament

Deciding to make horse-themed ornaments gives you the flexibility to try lots of creative approaches. One option is to cut a horse figure or head out of felt and decorate it. If you are good at sewing, you could add stuffing between two pieces of horse-shaped felt to create a stitched ornament. Constructing a horse figure out of corks and decorating it with materials such as yarn and craft pipe cleaners is also another way to make this present. If you would like to make it more personal, buy a tiny picture frame, insert your friend’s favorite photo of their horse, and glue it on a string to make it an ornament.

Horseshoe Wall Hanger

Try out your woodworking skills by making a homemade horseshoe wall hanger. Start by collecting a few old horseshoes and nail them to painted wooden boards. This gift can be as simple or creative as you choose depending on how crafty you feel and how decorative you want it to be.

Wooden Grooming Box

This DIY present is also best for those who enjoy woodworking. If you have some time and enjoy making things, this is a great gift for your favorite groom. If you are not skilled enough to make your own, consider buying a premade one and painting or decorating it for a personal touch.

Decorative Picture Frame

If you are not the best at arts and crafts, consider buying a plain picture frame to decorate. You could paint the frame and even add your friend’s horse’s name at the top or bottom. Paint little horseshoes or ribbons on the frame, or glue on a few tiny equestrian-themed items from the craft store. If you purchase a larger frame to hang on a wall, consider adding a string to the bottom where ribbons can be hung.

Photography Session

If photography is your art of choice, a personal photography session can be a very special gift for your friends, trainers, managers, or grooms. After the session, choose a few special photos to print out and frame for them. If you photograph several people at the barn, you could even make a scrapbook for everyone.

Instead of buying run-of-the-mill presents this year, go the extra mile and gift your friends, trainers, managers, and grooms with homemade and personalized goodies.

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: Hadley Wheaton Lamond

The BarnManager Q&A With:

Hadley Wheaton Lamond, rider and trainer located in Connecticut

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

I always carry small microfiber cloths in my bag. I use them for last-minute touches on my boots, horse, or tack before I go in the show ring. They are really convenient to put in my bag and do a better job than regular towels. I also try to keep a crop and spurs in my bag. I recently went to a show and accidentally forgot spurs. Luckily, I had a friend there who let me borrow a pair, which saved the day. I can’t stand riding without gloves or a hairnet, so I always make sure to have extras of those in my bag as well.

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

Photo by SEL Photography

Being consistent is the most important and helpful habit I practice right now. I’m definitely less motivated in the winter since I live in Connecticut and don’t go south. Keeping myself and my horses in a routine is crucial. I try to keep on top of things like having my tack and equipment organized, making sure my horses still look show ready, etc. I find this creates less stress and anxiety down the road.

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

When I travel to teach or groom, I try to have a positive mindset. Working 10 to 12 hours a day is exhausting and the days can be unpredictable. I try to keep team spirits up by smiling and having a sense of humor. I find that even small things like saying thank you can have a big impact on someone, especially if they are not having the best day.

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

Until recently I always bought the more generic and less expensive brushes. I started buying HAAS brushes and they’re completely worth it. I saw someone using that brand in a TikTok so I decided to try them.

What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I really loved showing at Tryon International Equestrian Center. The layout, amenities, and vendors made the show very convenient and enjoyable. The rings and stables were also nice. I would definitely like to show there again, and hopefully, I will be able to show in a derby. Their recent derbies have looked like a lot of fun.

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

I always tell my students I would be the worst horse to ride. I think sometimes we forget how patient and willing horses can be. I personally don’t see myself being the most “tolerant” horse. For this reason, I would probably be sitting in a field somewhere.

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: Stephanie Nell, groom for Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa

The BarnManager Q&A With:

Stephanie Nell, groom for Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa


What are three things that are always in your ring bag?
Stephanie: I always have the safety vest, sugar cubes, and a towel!

What is the most helpful habit that you practice at the barn?
Stephanie: Routine – things don’t always go according to plan with this job, but it’s good to have some sort of consistency for the horses to keep them level headed (and for the people).

How do you foster a great team environment in your business?
Stephanie: Communication, all the way. Unfortunately, we aren’t all mind readers, so if we need something or have any concerns, we need to speak up. If we need to know something, ask!

What’s your best tip or hack for grooming and horse care? Where did you learn it?
Stephanie: A mixture spray of witch hazel and vinegar for irritated skin. At my first job, I took care of a chestnut mare with highly sensitive skin, so every now and then we would have a rash breakout. To suppress the rash, I would spray that mixture once or twice a day. I swear it’s magic in a bottle!

What is your favorite equestrian sport and why?
Stephanie: Show jumping through and through. I’m always in awe when I watch horses, especially the ones I care for, compete at the highest level of the sport. It makes me feel luckier to do what I do every time I’m on the side watching them go.

If you were a horse, what would you be and why?
Stephanie: I think I’d like to be a wild Icelandic pony. They live in a beautiful part of the world and are known to be tough and sturdy, yet kind and curious.

 

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!

7 Gift Ideas for Your Barn Owner, Manager, or Groom

1. Gift cards.

Everyone can appreciate a gift card, especially if it’s presented in a fun way. For example, you can give it inside a coffee mug or a thoughtful card. While it may seem like the easy route, gift cards let people buy what they may need, rather than gifting something they don’t want. Go the extra mile and buy a gift card from a local business to help them out during this difficult time.

2. Work boots.

Those who work in the barn are always on their feet. With the number of hours spent walking, trudging through mud, and caring for the horses, it’s likely that their work boots have well worn. Find out what size and type of shoe they prefer, and gift them some foot relief for the coming year.

3. Fill a barn need.

There is always something needed in a barn full of horses. Take a burden off the owner or manager and offer to pay for items to make their lives easier. Maybe it’s new lights for the arena or repairs to the barn. With all the gift-giving, Christmas is a stressful time to have to pay bills, so this would be a tremendous gift to any barn owner.

4. Barn first-aid kit.

If anyone is likely to get hurt while at the barn, it’s probably the ones who are there 24/7, 365 days a year. While everyone can benefit from a first-aid kit (for humans) packed with proper antiseptics, bandages, and more, the majority of cuts and bruises are likely suffered by the vital staff dealing with difficult horses and sharp objects all the time. Hopefully, it won’t be used too often. But this is a great item to have on hand.

5. Horse treats.

These are always necessary to have on hand, especially when it comes to the unruly horses that don’t want to come in from the field or cooperate with an activity. No groom or barn helper wants to spend extra time in these situations, so grab them a large bag of treats and help them take charge of the unruly behavior throughout their day.

6. Weatherproof gloves.

Even though most of the country is facing extremely cold temperatures and snowy days, the work still must go on for barn staff. What gets really tricky is everything you have to do with your hands once your hands go numb. Do your research and find a trusted pair of weatherproof gloves to help your barn’s team make the best of tough winter conditions.

7. Warm jacket with farm logo.

A barn worker can never have enough warm coats. Even if it’s a lighter layer to wear underneath a heavy coat, anything warm will surely be appreciated. An added bonus would be to have the barn logo embroidered on the jacket. Just take an image of your farm logo to any embroidery shop and they can have a vector file made, which will then allow embroidery and printing to be done in bulk.

 

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!