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!

Must-Watch Live Streams in May

Before some of the major summer horse shows begin, the month of May includes several exciting hunter, jumper, equitation, eventing, and dressage competitions both nationally and internationally. Learn about some of BarnManager’s favorite upcoming horse shows and where to watch them no matter where you find yourself this month.

Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association National Championship: May 5-8, 2022 – The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championship takes place at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA. Collegiate riders who have qualified for the championship will compete in Hunter Seat and Western classes.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

International Jumping de La Baule: May 5-8, 2022 – This international competition takes place in La Baule, France, and includes five-star show jumping competition. The two main classes will be the Nations Cup – Ville de La Baule on Friday, May 6, and the Rolex Grand Prix Ville de La Baule on Sunday, May 8.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

Marbach International Horse Trials: May 8-10, 2022 – The Marbach International Horse Trials are held in Marbach, Germany, at one of the oldest stud farms in the world, The Marbach Stud. This event will have both four-star and two-star eventing competition.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival: May 11-14, 2022 – The I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival will take place in Hickstead, England. The show has three arenas featuring international top-level dressage competition.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Madrid: May 13-15, 2022 – The Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Madrid is the first European event on the circuit. The show is held at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. LGCT Madrid will have an international field of show jumping horse and rider combinations and feature Global Champions League competition on a beautiful grass arena.

Where to watch: GCTV

Old Salem Farm Spring Show Week II: May 17-22, 2022 – The second week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Show in North Salem, NY, includes hunter, jumper, and equitation competition. The show will be a World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) event and also offer four-star show jumping classes. Junior equitation riders will compete for the top prize in the Governor’s Perpetual Hunt Seat Cup.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

Devon Horse Show and Country Fair: May 26-June 5, 2022 – The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is one of the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competitions in the United States. Located in Devon, PA, this event will showcase some of the best hunter, jumper, and equitation competition in the country. Thursday, June 2, will feature two highlight classes, the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as well as the Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon.

Where to watch: USEF Network

 

 

 

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!

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’s Grooming Necessities

There are several important products and tools that should be in every groom box and ring bag to ensure a clean and shiny horse at the barn and during competition. Keep reading for some of BarnManager’s grooming essentials for at home and in the show ring.

Groom Box Supplies

Most Important Items

Your grooming box at home should have all the necessary tools you need to thoroughly clean your horse. To begin, make sure you have a hoof pick, curry comb, hard brush, soft brush, and mane-and-tail brush. Hoof picks should be used before and after you ride to ensure there are no rocks or objects stuck in your horse’s hooves and to remove footing and dirt. For curry combs, there are several different options; some prefer a mitt while others like to use a regular rubber one. The style does not matter as long as you are able to successfully remove dirt and old hair. Having two different types of brushes is helpful because a hard brush is perfect for getting dirt or mud off of your horse’s legs, and a soft brush is great to use on the face. While many people do not brush their horse’s tail every day in order to help to keep it full, having a mane-and-tail brush or comb is good to have to gently remove tangles or debris.

Once you add brushes into your grooming box, the next step is to make sure you have a towel, tail detangler, and fly spray. Towels are always handy for wiping down a horse after brushing them. A towel can catch any leftover dirt and add a little extra shine. A tail detangler is a definite necessity to brush a tail without pulling too much of it out. Fly spray may not be needed during the colder months, but it is definitely important in the summer and if you travel to warmer climates in the winter.

Extra Small Items

Lastly, your grooming box should have scissors, wound cream, and rubber bands. Scissors are nice to have close by for trimming a mane. You may also use them to cut off extra Velcro on a polo, remove a tag from a new saddle pad, or to trim the ends of your horse’s tail. Horses tend to get scrapes and nicks easily, so having a wound cream is essential. Rubber bands are a useful tool to keep on hand for braiding over an unruly mane. Also, if a keeper breaks on a bridle, a rubber band can be a good temporary fix.

Click here for a checklist

 

Ring Bag Supplies

Most Important Items

Several components of your groom box are also tools that you should keep in your ring bag. For example, a hoof pick, scissors, hard brush, towel, and mane-and-tail brush are necessities for a quick clean-up before entering the show ring. You never know when you might need a hoof pick or pair of scissors at the last minute. For this reason, having them in your bag is key. A brush can be useful for cleaning off the footing or dirt on a horse’s legs. A towel can be used to clean off the rider’s boots as well as the horse’s mouth. Quickly brushing through a horse’s tail can help maintain their picture-perfect look in the ring, especially for the hunters.

Fly spray, a tail detangler, and wound cream can also be put in your ring bag, along with baby powder, hoof oil, and baby wipes. It’s good to have fly spray and a tail detangler nearby when you are at the ring. Fly spray is very important to have in the summer heat when the flies are bad. Horses can often nick themselves or grab themselves in the schooling area. For this reason, you should try to have a wound cream close by. Baby powder is a great product for whitening socks before a hunter hack or model. Hoof oil should be applied right before a horse walks into the ring. Baby wipes are perfect for quick touch-ups to ensure a clean look.

Extra Small Items

The last few small items that should be kept in a ring bag are safety pins, a hole punch, boot polish, rubber bands, zip ties, and duct tape. Safety pins hold a jumper’s number in place on a saddle pad can sometimes come loose, so extras are helpful. A hole punch can come in handy for last-minute tack adjustments. Your rider will appreciate you having boot polish if their boots get extra muddy or they run out. Rubber bands are great for fixing a jumper braid. They can also serve as a quick fix for broken tack, along with zip ties. Duct tape can be useful to have if a horse pulls a shoe at the ring.

In order to make sure that your whole team knows what to bring to the ring, you can use BarnManager’s list feature to create a checklist of all necessary grooming supplies for a ring bag.

Click here for a checklist

Depending on the level, discipline, and type of barn you work for there may be other important items to consider, but the supplies above are the core tools that can ensure your horse will be looking its best at home and in the show 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!

BarnManager’s Favorite Equestrian Podcasts

Equestrian podcasts are more popular than ever these days. They are perfect to listen to on the go and can be educational, entertaining, and inspiring. Since there are so many to choose from, we have compiled a list of some of our current favorites.

 

Horses in the Morning

Hosted by Glenn Hebert of Horse Radio Network and equestrian Jamie Jennings, Horses in the Morning is a long-standing podcast that is all about equestrians. Listeners will get their daily dose of the horse world through entertaining conversations with guests. The show includes several regular horse-related segments in addition to listener call-ins and contests.

Click here to listen: https://www.horseradionetwork.com/category/9am-live-horses-in-the-morning/

 

Sport Horse Podcast

Sport Horse Podcast is the newest show in this lineup and is hosted by BarnManager’s founder Nicole Lakin and Dr. Tim Worden, a sport scientist and member of the Equine High Performance Sports Group as well as the Sport Horse Research Foundation. During this new podcast, Lakin and Dr. Worden talk to leading equestrians and researchers about the science behind training and management techniques for equine athletes. Listeners will learn how science and horsemanship can work together to improve equine performance results.

Click here to listen: https://www.sporthorseseries.com/podcast

Equestrian B2B Podcast

The Equestrian B2B Podcast features conversations with business leaders and entrepreneurs in the equestrian industry. Hosted by Jennifer Wood and Jennifer Connor of Equestrian Businesswomen, this educational podcast gives listeners important tips on starting, maintaining, and enjoying a successful business.

Click here to listen: https://www.eqbusinesswomen.com/equestrian-b2b-podcast-show-notes

The Plaidcast

On The Plaidcast, Piper Klemm of The Plaid Horse speaks with top hunter, jumper, and equitation riders, trainers, horse show managers, and industry experts. Klemm is joined by several co-hosts, including Traci Brooks of Balmoral Farm, mental skills coach Tonya Johnston, Michael Tokaruk of Tokaruk Show Stables, and several others. Guests discuss topics such as how they became successful in the industry, horsemanship, and tips for riders.

Click here to listen: https://www.theplaidhorse.com/the-plaidcast/

Young Black Equestrians

The Young Black Equestrians podcast is hosted by Abriana Johnson, an equestrian, author, and entrepreneur. This podcast shines a spotlight on significant Black people who are part of the equestrian world. Johnson aims to educate, promote diversity, and increase access to the horse community through her podcast.

Click here to listen: https://youngblackequestrians.com/podcast/

Equestrian Voices

Noelle Floyd’s Equestrian Voices is hosted by Caroline Culbertson and brings up some of the deeper topics of life as an equestrian. Guests talk about issues such as over-competing horses, mental health, and the realities of becoming a professional in the industry.

Click here to listen: https://www.noellefloyd.com/blogs/equestrian-voices-podcast

USHJA On Course

USHJA On Course is the official podcast of the United States Hunter Jumper Association. The podcast welcomes top junior, amateur, and professional riders to discuss the sport as well as matters beyond the show ring.

Click here to listen: https://www.ushja.org/news/on-course-podcast

Heels Down Happy Hour

Sit back, relax, and catch up on all the horse show news with the Heels Down Happy Hour podcast. Journalist Justine Griffin, international event rider Jessica Payne, and book designer Ellie Woznica talk about all the recent events in the equestrian industry and what listeners should know to stay informed.

Click here to listen: https://heelsdownmag.com/category/listen/

The Equestrian Podcast

On The Equestrian Podcast, host Bethany Lee of My Equestrian Style talks to some of the top riders, professionals, and business owners in the equestrian world. While on this podcast, guests discuss their work with horses as well as some less conventional topics of working with horses.

Click here to listen: https://equestrianpodcast.podbean.com

Next time you are driving to the barn, getting your horse ready, or cleaning tack, test out one of these podcasts to stay up to date with the equine industry.

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 Organize Your Tack Room

A tack room can be a busy area where people are constantly in and out, looking for items, or socializing. For these reasons, keeping a tack room clean and organized is no easy task. Read about a few of BarnManager’s favorite tips on how to keep this area neat throughout the day.

1. Sort Your Tack

The first step in organizing your tack room is to sort all of your equipment. Extra pieces of tack can pile up over time, so it is helpful to go through and decide what you actually need every once in a while. Make several piles for tack that you currently use, extra items you may need, leather that needs to get fixed, equipment that can be donated, and tack that has to be thrown away. During this cleanout, look for items that do not actually need to be there and are taking up useful space. This is the perfect time to take those things out and put them in their correct spot somewhere else.

While you are organizing your tack, you should take inventory of what you have. It is always nice to know how many extra sets of reins, stirrup leathers, or nosebands you have, especially if something breaks. Make a note of where you store the equipment, so it is easy to find when you need it. You can use BarnManager’s list function to write down where the extra tack is kept and share it with all employees.

2. Create Sections

Depending on the size of your tack room and how many horses and clients you have, it is helpful to create different sections within the tack room. To do this, make sure you have a lot of extra hooks and bridle racks. If you attend a lot of horse shows, think about designating one wall for horse show bridles and a separate wall for schooling tack. This will make packing for a horse show very simple and help keep everything organized. Another option is to separate tack by client or horse. This gives each client their own spot, so it is easier to keep things neat and reduce confusion. Separating tack by client will also make it easier for all employees to easily understand which equipment goes with each horse and rider.

Create a separate spot for extra equipment so it does not accidentally get mixed in with the everyday tack. If your tack room does not have cabinets or storage spots, you may want to invest in a couple of drawers or bins where these items can go. Putting your extra tack away in storage containers will help keep the room looking less cluttered and make things easy to find. If possible, try to stay away from open shelving that can get disorganized and messy looking throughout the day.

3. Organize Bits

Similar to leather tack, bit collections can also grow over the years. If you have extra bridle racks or hooks, consider keeping a few useful bits out so that you can quickly switch to them if needed. Organize the rest of your bits by type and then store them away in a tack trunk or cabinet. Large metal binder rings can be used to keep bits of the same style all together so when you are looking for a certain type it is easy to find. If you are keeping your bits in a cabinet, it may be helpful to create hooks or sections to separate the bits.

4. Give Everything a Home

One of the most important steps to ensure that everything is returned properly and stays organized is to give all items a home. While it may be easy to keep the tack organized, make sure smaller items like saddle pads, bandages, veterinary creams, and any other supplies have a specific spot where they are stored as well. Creating a system like this will help keep things from getting left in random places or piling up in a certain spot throughout the day, especially if there are multiple people using the same supplies.

5. Label All Items

Once your equipment is in place, the final step is to label everything. This will give people a clear idea about where items are stored and help make sure that everything is returned properly. You can label bridles, saddles, bits, cabinets, and bins. Having all equipment labeled will also be beneficial when you have a new employee or client because they will immediately understand where all the supplies belong.

Organizing your tack room may seem like a daunting job, but it is worth it in the long run. A neat tack room can help make equipment easier to find while also keeping your barn looking orderly and tidy.

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!