A Spring Cleaning Checklist

Your Barn Spring Cleaning Checklist

The weather is finally warming up across the country, which means it’s time to open the barn windows and get out the cleaning supplies! The fresh start that spring brings is the perfect opportunity to clean and organize not only your home, but also your barn, your tack, and your horse.

Here are a few things that we recommend checking off your spring cleaning list!

Tack and equipment

Get to the bottom of your tack trunk. When was the last time that you actually took everything out of your trunk? Whether you’re coming off a winter show circuit or just gearing up for your first show of the season, the spring is a great opportunity to take everything out of your trunk, deep clean, re-organize, and maybe even re-locate that glove you thought was long lost!

Evaluate, eliminate, and replace tack as needed. As you’re going through your tack trunk, also evaluate all of your tack and equipment. If there’s something that you no longer need or want, consider donating it to a horse rescue or therapeutic program or taking it to a local equine consignment shop. Now is also the time to replace any broken or overly-used tack or equipment or stock up on new items for the summer.

Send blankets out for cleaning and repair. By the end of the winter, it’s likely that your horse’s sheets and blankets are in need of a deep cleaning! Depending on your area, some exceptional blanket cleaning services are available to clean and repair your blankets and then carefully wrap and pack them for safe keeping until cooler weather returns.

Your horse

Get spring vaccinations. Make sure that your horse is up to date on all vaccines and has a recent coggins test.

Have those teeth checked. While your vet is there for vaccinations, or if you use an equine dentist, now is the time to have them float your horse’s teeth and check for any potential dental issues.

Stock up on fly repellant products. In most parts of the country, the onset of warmer weather also means the onset of more flies! Stock up on fly sprays and any fly masks or sheets.

Around the barn

Check your fire extinguishers. If you have your own barn, your spring cleaning check list can grow immensely! Consider including things like checking your fire extinguishers or

having them serviced. Don’t have a fire extinguisher? Add getting one to your spring list, as every barn should have at least one!

Clean out gutters and downspouts. Clear out any leaves or build-up that may have accumulated over the fall and winter months.

Inspect your pastures. Walk the perimeter of all pastures to check the fencing and locate any weak or broken spots. Thoroughly clean any run-in sheds, and walk your fields and fill in any holes.

Have BarnManager help!

BarnManager makes it easy to simplify your spring cleaning and organization!

After your horse gets its spring vaccines, snap a picture of the shot records, and upload it straight to your horse’s profile in the BarnManager app!

Have a long list of spring cleaning to-dos? Make the list within BarnManager and even share it with fellow barn members, clients, or staff to assign tasks or accomplish the to-do list together!

Plan your spring and summer show schedule directly within BarnManager’s calendar for easy access by everyone within your barn!

Sign up to try a free trial here!

Equine Technology Collaboration

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford  

Competition moves us forward, but collaboration transforms us.

It is a very exciting time to be working in the equine technology space. New companies seem to be launching almost daily, and we all share common goals of moving the equine industry forward, improving horse care, and making the lives of horse people easier, safer, better, and more efficient.

However, the launch of new equine tech companies also means that we are all competing for the same resources and attention within an already hectic niche industry. I know that, through BarnManager, we have built a great tool for barn managers, horse owners, riders, and other equine enthusiasts, but with so many new companies, how can we make sure that we aren’t getting lost in the noise? And more importantly, how can we make sure that we are continuing to deliver a product that makes our customer’s lives easier? My answer is through collaboration.

Equine Tech Collaboration

As more and more companies seek to use technology to solve the equine industry’s problems and close the gaps, we need to be aware of what impact we are going to have on potential customers and what impact we are having on one another.

This is the foundation for the collaboration between BarnManager and our equine technology partners, currently including Equo, JumpFax, Stableguard and Electronic Vet. We as equine tech founders and owners want to communicate with each other, grow together, and work to bring better solutions to our customers than any individual startup can do on its own.

So what does this all mean?

Integration and Inter-operability

We are committed to looking for ways to integrate our services and offerings and to make them compatible with other products and services. Each equine tech company is creating value for its customers in its own unique and specific way. Maintaining that focus on a specific problem or challenge enables each company to perfect their approach and to continue to evolve and improve over time. However, many of our customers are shared, so it is on us to make the use of all of our products seamless.

Our software and applications should communicate with one another and enable you to get the most of each product. They should minimize data entry so that you are not entering the same information in multiple places and programs. And they should work together to identify opportunities that arise from working together, opportunities that neither individual may have been able to identify or achieve on their own.

 

Cross-Promotion

No one wants to be constantly bombarded by salespeople, advertisements, sponsored posts, and e-mails. As start-up tech companies though, we must all utilize these channels in order to grow our businesses, reach new people, and share our stories. We want to tell you how our products can help you with that thing that drives you crazy, that thing you know you could do better, or that thing that you love but never have the time for.

If we as equine tech companies work together, we can have more meaningful conversations and create greater long-term value, while also taking less of your time. We can be in more places, learn more, share more and grow more as a team.

 

 

Innovation

It is no secret that the greatest innovations come from diversity of opinions, perspectives, backgrounds and thought processes. As we work together, we hope to bring you new ideas, discoveries, and inventions. Creativity is born from collaboration, and the best creations often come when you least expect it.

We at BarnManager look forward to serving our customers alongside our equine tech collaboration partners! Together, we are stronger than we are apart!

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! Sign up to start your free trial and to find out more here!

 

501(c)(3) Feature: Hickory Hill Farm

Through our ‘Free for 501(c)3’ program, our team at BarnManager has had the opportunity to learn more about incredible equestrian non-profit organizations from across the country. Each month, we’ll be featuring one such organization here on our blog!

In 2016, two Tennessee horsewomen, Shea Hutsenpiler and Jenna Gibbons, felt called to do something to serve both the animals and the people in their community, but neither of them knew what – nor did they know each other. However, when mutual friend Jennifer Clymer heard both of their dreams of bringing people and children together to experience farm and horse life and of rescuing horses, she quickly connected the two women, and not long after Hickory Hill Farm was born.

Today, the organization’s mission is to provide a retreat where people, animals, and children alike can find peace, happiness, and healing through the farm’s three basic functions, reflected in the organization’s motto: “Rescue, Play, Heal.”

The rescue division of Hickory Hill Farm exists to rescue, rehabilitate, retrain if needed, and rehome each equine or livestock animal that comes through their barn doors. The play component of Hickory Hill Farm involves the fun activities that happen there, including kids’ camps and public events and activities. The final important aspect of Hickory Hill Farm is its’ ability to provide healing. The farms are a peaceful ‘retreat’ for people and animals alike. Everyone is welcome, regardless of race, religion, or past hardships, and the organization strives to have events that will accommodate specific needs as they arise.

“We feel that serving people and farm animals under one mission makes our organization unique,” said Hutsenpiller, Hickory Hill Farm’s rescue director. “The animals that enter HHF get to interact with the people we serve while they themselves are healing.”

With many horses involved in their efforts, the use of BarnManager through the Free for 501(c)3 program was something too good to pass up for Hutsenpiller.

It is a very needed program, and we are extremely grateful for the savings,” said Hutsenpiller. “It is helping us keep our vet records and appointments in one place. I really like that you can set it to automatically send a reminder email when new vet work or farrier work is due.” 

To learn more about Hickory Hill Farm, please visit www.hickoryhillfarmtn.org.

To signup for a Free Trial of BarnManager click here, and to learn more about out Free for 501(c)(3) program click here!

 

Liv’s Tip of the Month – 8 Spring Cleaning Must-dos for Your Barn

Liv’s Tip of the Month

Time to do a few things around the farm to get ready for warmer weather!

horse rolling in the flowers

  • Have a professional check your electrical wiring, especially if you use fans in warmer weather.
  • Clean, repair, and carefully store your winter blankets.
  • Take your trailer in for yearly service, including tire safety and braking systems checks.
  • Clean out your grooming supply buckets – all of that spring shed hair loves to collect in there!
  • Schedule your spring vaccinations (BarnManager can be very helpful with this!)
  • Implement a tick control program.
  • Collect manure samples for a worm check from your vet’s office.
  • Clean and condition tack, as well as double checking stitching and buckles.

BarnManager can help you make your spring cleaning list, set due dates, and assign tasks to your team members. To try a free trial of our barn management software click here. Then go out and embrace the fact that spring is finally here! Time to celebrate riding without those huge winter jackets!

Liv Gude, a former International Dressage Groom for years, founded proequinegrooms.com as a way to unite Grooms in the horse industry. The educational website also serves to entertain and inform horse owners across all disciplines about horse care, grooming, and health. Click here to check it out!

Managing Horses in Multiple Locations with Laura Kraut

A month ago, Laura Kraut rode on the U.S. Nations Cup team at the CSIO5* Ocala in Ocala, FL. Three weeks ago she was contesting the Sunshine Tour in Spain, and this week, she is back in Wellington, FL, to compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) – only to go back to Spain again on Sunday, March 18.

It’s a busy travel and horse show schedule that could feel difficult by anyone’s standards. For Kraut however, it’s made easier – and even what she describes as
(almost) somewhat relaxing – thanks to the team behind her that understands and exhibits a few key components and characteristics. She shared with BarnManager what a team needs to make managing horses across continents a simpler task.

Compatibility

“You’ve got to be compatible with your team first of all no matter what. I’m very fortunate in that I have my sister who is like having me. I know that what she’s doing is what I would want done. When she’s at a different location than I am, I don’t really have any worries.”

Kraut’s sister, Mary Elizabeth Kent, is the one on the ground in Wellington, FL, where she oversees the approximately 14 horses that they currently have competing at WEF. In Spain, it’s Kraut’s lead rider, Julie Welles, who is in charge of the 18 horses there when Kraut is back in the States.

“They have to be people that you want to work with. I think that’s one of the reasons that Julie has worked really well – because we are all compatible.”

Credentials

“They’ve got to have the credentials. If they’re going to be a rider than you’ve got to respect the way they ride, and if they’re going to manage, you have to have the basic same philosophy of how things are done.

“You’ve got to have people riding your horses that you feel will, at the very least, keep them where you left them or for the better improve them and keep their condition good and their flatwork good.”

For Kraut, she can trust that her horses will all receive the constructive, positive rides that they need from her sister and Welles, who rides the horses in Spain and many of the young horses throughout the year.

Care

In addition to having Kent and Welles at the wheel when Kraut is not on site, the horses are all under the care of well-qualified and knowledgeable grooms.

“It works perfectly. We’ve got enough grooms in each location to help keep the horses looked after the way that they need to be”

And whether it’s a groom, Kent, or Welles, there’s one thing that it is crucial for all of them: “The health of that horse. They’ve got to be on top of that. They have to be paying attention to whether they feel good or whether they feel a little stiff or if one is lame, and they have to be able to make a decision about that. Obviously they consult with me, or my sister, but at the end, you have to rely on them to make a good decision.”

Making those decisions, consulting one another, and all staying on the same page leads to one of the most important components that make everything possible:
communication.

Communication

Kraut, Kent, Welles, and the entire team stay closely connected no matter what location they each are in, and they are constantly communicating and consulting with one another on the day-to- day, what is best for each horse, and how each horse is
performing.

“You asked me about what the difficulties are with managing horses in different locations, and I think the struggle would be if you didn’t have the staff in place to communicate with and to execute the whole thing. For me, I’m very fortunate in that I have that, so it eliminates any worries.”

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! Sign up to start your free trial and to find out more here!

Liv’s Tip of the Month – Laminitis Signs

Liv’s Tip of the Month
Laminitis is not just a springtime issue – although it seems to be more common in the spring, it can happen year round! Here are some sure-fire signs your horse needs a vet – pronto!
  • An increased digital pulse at the fetlock. This means something is brewing in the hoof.
  • A reluctance to walk or turn. This is easy to see when asking your horse to step from a padded stall to a harder surface.
  • Heat in the hooves – again, this means something is brewing and should be looked at.
  • A mild colic or symptoms of a mild colic. Sometimes pain in the hooves mimics pain in the gut.
  • A curling or wiggling of the horse’s upper lip. Some horses show the flehmen response when in pain.

Stay ahead of the curve and check your horse for these symptoms, including heat in the hooves and a digital pulse, every single day!

BarnManager can help you catch these issues early by giving you an on-the-go way to record and track these symptoms for every horse on your phone through our mobile app. Sign up for a free trial of our horse management software here.

Liv Gude, a former International Dressage Groom for years, founded proequinegrooms.com as a way to unite Grooms in the horse industry. The educational website also serves to entertain and inform horse owners across all disciplines about horse care, grooming, and health. Click here to check it out!

501(c)(3) Feature: A HEART for Equine Aid

A HEART for Equine Aid

If you travel the hunter/jumper horse show circuit – like many of our BarnManager users do – you may have noticed an eye-catching red and orange horse trailer situated somewhere not far from the main ring. That specially outfitted horse trailer belongs to the Humane Equine Aid and Rapid Transport (HEART) equine ambulance service.

Initially founded in conjunction with the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, HEART was created to provide emergency transportation services for injured or ill horses, and today, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization is an important part of horse shows up and down the East Coast, including many frequented by BarnManager users, such as the Old Salem Horse Shows, the Kentucky Horse Shows, the Devon Horse Show, the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, Capital Challenge, the Washington International Horse Show, and numerous others.

The BarnManager team had the privilege of catching up with HEART employee Erick Nagy at a recent horse show, and Nagy gave great insight into how HEART works, how and why you can support the non-profit, and how having BarnManager as a tool could be extremely helpful should you ever need to utilize HEART or a similar service!

How HEART Helps

Each year, HEART is hired by more than 40 horse shows throughout the country to be on site and ready to properly transport horses in the case of an emergency illness or injury. In the case of an injury where the horse is unable to stand, HEART’s highly-trained staff is able to utilize a specially-designed sled to load the horse into the customized HEART trailer that then allows the attending veterinarian ample room to consider treatment options.  

“Everyone that works for HEART has taken a technical large animal rescue class,” explained Nagy, who has worked within the equine industry for more than three decades and is now one of HEART’s regular part-time employees. “We learn to properly put them on the sled, to safely hobble them, to safely transport them when they’re down – everything for their own safety and well-being.”

Nagy was also quick to point out that when at a horse show, the HEART ambulance and staff are not only available during the competition hours, but rather are on call 24/7 and readily able to assist in the case of colics or other after hours emergencies – a valuable resource that has proved vital in several unfortunate situations.

 

How BarnManager Can Help

In the case of an emergency situation, the HEART staff member or members assisting the horse will require the horse’s basic information. Additionally, should the horse be transported with the HEART team and without an accompanying owner, rider, or trainer, as is often the case, the HEART staff will need further additional information on the horse upon arrival to the veterinary hospital or clinic.

That’s where BarnManager is able to provide a resource that simplifies the process amidst a stressful situation! With all of the horse’s information stored within the BarnManager application, the user can quickly pull up the records and show or send them to the HEART driver, saving valuable time in an emergency.  

How You Can Help HEART

And while BarnManager can help those who must use HEART’s services, there is more that can be done to help HEART.

Horse shows pay HEART for the onsite services that they provide, but, as a 501(c)3 organization, HEART is not able to make a profit. Instead, the funds received from horse show’s simply cover the HEART ambulances operating costs – not additional equipment, upgrades, or education.

“We’re trying to get the funding together to buy a third rig,” said Nagy. “Buying a truck and trailer is not cheap at all, and by the time we get done with all of the specializations and the equipment that we need inside, it’s even more costly.”

HEART is also developing a program to educate the general equestrian public on thecare of competition-level horses with presentations on topics such as “What to do Until the Vet Arrives” and “A Complete First Aid Kit For Your Trailer.” 

To learn more about HEART and how you can make a tax deductible donation, visit   www.equineambulance.com/donate.html  

To signup for a Free Trial of BarnManager click here, and to learn more about out Free for 501(c)(3) program click here!

Liv’s Tip of the Month – Keeping Your Horse’s Skin Healthy in Winter

Liv’s Tip of the Month
Keeping Your Horse’s Skin Healthy in Winter
It’s cold. Your fingers are numb. You just want to tack up and ride and go home – but you might be skipping some steps to help your horse’s winter skin stay healthy. Here’s what to do:
  • Take off blankets daily. Look for rubs. Look for sore spots. Look for pinched skin from buckles and straps. Also, inspect horses for tack rubs. On clipped horses they are easy to develop and see, and in some unclipped horses the extra hair under tack causes sores and rubs.
  • Groom your horse daily – you won’t be so cold after a good curry session! And you will be able to find weird new itchy places, scabs, hair loss, mites, lice, scaly skin, and dandruff – the list goes on. Anything new or weird warrants a quick text (and maybe a photo) to the Vet for further investigation.
  • Take sweat seriously in winter. A fuzzy horse that sweats is more likely to overheat during exercise, get skin infections from the sweat, and to take a long time to dry, possibly risking getting too cold in the process. Use coolers to help dry, feed electrolytes before you ride if your horse is sweating, and be diligent in your daily skin inspections.
  • Be prepared for stain accumulation. You won’t be bathing as often, so take advantage of dry shampoos and spot removers for those stains that pop up in winter.
  • Keep your grooming tools exclusive to your horse. Rain rot and other bacterial skin infections are easily transmitted from horse to horse with brushes, grooming gloves, blankets, and saddle pads.
BarnManager makes it super easy to jot down notes about each horse while you are grooming in our mobile app. To signup for a Free Trial of our equine management software and see how it can help you click here.
Happy grooming, and spring is coming soon!

Liv Gude, a former International Dressage Groom for years, founded proequinegrooms.com as a way to unite Grooms in the horse industry. The educational website also serves to entertain and inform horse owners across all disciplines about horse care, grooming, and health. Click here to check it out!

Picture of Bits on a Wall

Liv’s Tip of the Month – Warming Up Your Bits

Liv’s Tip of the Month
Do your horse a favor in cold weather and warm his bit up for him! It’s easy and makes bridling comfortable. Depending on your barn’s tack room set up, you might have a lot of options to make this happen!

One easy way to warm the bit is to hang it in a window of the tack room. Of course, this only works if this tack room is relatively warm, but the sun through a glass window can work wonders.

You can also wear the bridle under your jacket as you do barn chores and groom. This might take a bit of practice to not get totally tangled up though!

The bit can also be warmed up by using any sort of warm compress. There are two types you can buy – some use the microwave to heat up and some need an outlet.

Dunk that bit in some hot water for a quick second! If you have hot water from the faucet you can use that, or invest in an instant hot water kettle to create super hot water quickly.  Make sure to test the bit to be sure it’s not too hot.

Have a great winter ride!

Liv Gude, a former International Dressage Groom for years, founded proequinegrooms.com as a way to unite Grooms in the horse industry. The educational website also serves to entertain and inform horse owners across all disciplines about horse care, grooming, and health. Click here to check it out!