Tips To Balance School and Horse Showing

Managing a busy school schedule can be a challenging task, especially when you are also trying to horse show. Read some tips from junior riders who are able to successfully balance their schoolwork with their competition schedule.

Stephanie Garrett of New York, NY

10th Grade

Photo by Sportfot

What are some of your biggest challenges in balancing school and your show schedule?

My biggest commitment outside of school is riding yet my closest friendships are with friends outside of the riding world. So, my biggest challenge isn’t balancing school and riding, because I find that just comes down to time management. For me, it’s balancing my life with friends outside of the riding community. Since I am away most weekends competing and I miss a lot of the social events, making sure I stay involved is an equally important part of my life. I especially try to make an effort to socialize with my friends on those weekends that I am home.

What are three things that you do to successfully stay on top of schoolwork while showing?

I’m super fortunate that my school allows me to miss Fridays during the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit, as long as I keep up with my grades. I try to get most of my schoolwork done when I am flying back and forth between Florida and New York. Time management is also extremely important. I try to look at my schedule in the beginning of the week to see what work I can get done ahead of time. That way I usually will not have as much to do on weekends when I’m busy showing. The last thing I find extremely beneficial is communication.  Whether that is with classmates or teachers, I think staying in touch with everyone is key. On days that I miss school, I try to reach out to a friend to send me the notes, and I really take advantage of meeting with my teachers for extra time if I ever feel confused or behind on certain material.

 

Lila Nelson of New Preston, CT

12th Grade

What are some of your biggest challenges in balancing school and your show schedule?

One of my biggest challenges is that a lot of the time I have school when I am showing. I go to a boarding school so we have class on Saturdays, which can be hard to manage. School takes a lot of mental focus, and showing also demands that same mental focus. Sometimes it is hard to concentrate on both things at once. School can be exhausting and having to show right after can be a lot, but it is worth it and necessary to be successful in both things.

What are three things that you do to successfully stay on top of schoolwork while showing?

Photo by Sportfot

The first thing I do to make sure I am staying on top of my work is to have a planner. This is essential to keep my life running smoothly. At the beginning of every week, I write down what classes I have, what homework I have to do, and when I can ride and show that week. The second thing I do is I meet with all my teachers during conference blocks to discuss when I am going to take tests and quizzes, and also make sure I am staying on top of all my work. Most of my teachers are very understanding, which definitely helps. Lastly, I make sure to set time out of my day to get my work done and still have time to hang out with my friends. It is important to do well in school and in the show ring, but it is equally as important to maintain a good social life and have fun.

 

Gabrielle Sokolow of Westlake Village, CA

12th Grade

Photo by Shawn McMillen

What are some of your biggest challenges in balancing school and your show schedule?

My biggest challenge in balancing school and my show schedule is finding time during the show day to sit down and get my schoolwork done. On an average day I show at least two or three horses, so finding time can be difficult depending on when my horse show classes go. Luckily, I do online school so my schedule can be a little more flexible.

What are three things that you do to successfully stay on top of schoolwork while showing?

I try to get my schoolwork done early in the week before my show schedule starts getting busy toward the end of the week. I also try to plan ahead on weeks that I’m not showing. During those weeks I try to get as much schoolwork done as possible. That way I don’t have work piling up when I’m busy showing. Another thing that I find important is planning out my school and show schedule every week. I write down everything I need to get done for school and when I’m showing. I then make a detailed plan so I do not feel overwhelmed.

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!

Six Household Items To Use at the Barn This Winter

Riding or working in a barn during cold winter weather is never an easy task. Read about some of BarnManager’s favorite winter hacks using products you can find in your own home.

1. Crockpot

A crockpot or slow cooker is very helpful to have at the barn when the temperatures are below freezing. They do a great job of keeping water warm for grooming or cleaning tack if you do not have access to hot water. You can also dip your horse’s bit into the crockpot before putting the bridle on to make it more comfortable for your horse.

2. Hairdryer

Even if your horse is clipped, they can often get sweaty after a ride. You always want to make sure your horse is dry before putting their blanket on, which sometimes can take a while. Bring your hairdryer from home to speed up the process. If you do a combination of blow-drying and toweling, your horse will be dry in no time.

 

3. Rubbing Alcohol

This winter hack is also for quickly drying your horse’s coat after a ride so they do not catch a chill. Put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, apply it to your horse’s coat, and then towel off the area. Alcohol evaporates quickly and also takes the water with it so your horse will dry off a lot faster. By the time you finish cleaning your tack, your horse will be dry and ready for their blanket.

4. Cooking Spray

If you live in an area where it snows a lot, you might want to bring some cooking spray to the barn. Horses often have balls of snow and ice form on the bottoms of their feet when they are turned out in the snow, which can make walking uncomfortable. Apply cooking spray to your horse’s feet after picking them out to prevent the ice balls from forming.

5. Vacuum

Since giving a bath during the winter is often not an option, getting your horse clean can be a difficult task, especially if you are trying to get ready for a horse show. Some barns have horse vacuums to help, but if your barn does not you can always use your vacuum from home. This hack may not be for every horse, but if your mount is brave enough then you can run a vacuum over them using the brush attachment to get rid of dirt and hair.

6. Dryer Sheets

Accidentally shocking your horse because of static electricity during the winter is never a pleasant experience. Before you put the blanket back on your horse, rub them and the liner of their blanket with a dryer sheet to get rid of static electricity. You can also rub it through their mane and tail to prevent any shocking.

Start searching your house for some of these useful items to bring to the barn for an easier and more enjoyable winter experience.

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: Kiira M. Lizza, Manager at Grafton Ridge

The BarnManager Q&A With:

Kiira M. Lizza, Manager at Grafton Ridge, located in South Salem, NY, and Wellington, FL

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

Kiira: A towel, hoof oil, and extra earplugs.

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

Kiira: At Grafton Ridge, we practice a gold standard of horse care habits. I like to say we practice FEI-level care at a national level. Coming from an FEI background having worked for both Anne Kursinski and Leslie Howard, I love different therapies and am always looking for extra things we can do for the horses to help them feel their best. I am also big on proper turnout time and rest for the horses. They work very hard for us, and we like to make sure they have some downtime in the paddock after showing. All of our horses, no matter if they do the leadline or the upper-level jumpers, get some type of therapy on a daily basis. This could be the laser, the UltrOZ™, magnetic blanket, TheraPlate, etc. We’re very passionate about horse care and making sure the horses are healthy, fit, and most importantly, happy!

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

Kiira: A great team environment is something we pride ourselves on at Grafton Ridge. Michael Delfiandra and Vanessa Roman have built an incredibly organized, systemized, and positive work environment that is truly the best show barn I have ever worked in. We hold weekly team meetings, encourage open communication, and celebrate the small wins. These practices have fostered a trusting team that allows us to depend on one another and find joy in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of a busy show barn. A large part of the curriculum in my MBA studies at Warwick Business School in England was focused on self-introspection and how to develop high-performing teams. I like to bring what I learned during my MBA and put it into practice in the barn.

Kiira Lizza competing in the hunters.

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

Kiira: I am a big fan of currying! Currying is a great way to not only loosen dirt and hair off your horse, but also gives the muscles a nice massage and gives the groom an opportunity to look over every inch of the horse. I am also big on baby powder on the legs. I am crazy about the legs being dry after baths, clipping, etc., to prevent scratches. For horse care in general, you have to let them be horses. Proper turnout time, good nutrition, and an excellent vet and farrier are the foundation of great horse care.

What is your favorite equestrian competition and why?

Kiira: This is tough! I love Lake Placid in New York but am also a big fan of the Middleburg Classic in Virginia. Both these shows have great hospitality, beautiful facilities and jumps, and are in a great location for non-horse show activities.

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

Kiira: I’d like to think I’d be an amateur’s upper-level jumper. This way I could be someone’s forever horse and receive all the pampering I need to do my job 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!

The Best Horse Treats You Haven’t Thought Of

There’s something so rewarding about the way a horse looks at us post-ride, eagerly awaiting their treats after putting forth their best efforts. We hate to disappoint them, so here is a list of ideas to give your horse as a treat if you’re looking to mix things up from the standard mints, carrots, and store-bought horse treats.

 1. Granola Bars

Granola bars are full of ideal ingredients for horse treats, and you don’t have to spend any time baking. Specifically, Nature Valley granola bars, which we all love to hate because of their crumbly consistency, are an ideal post-show or post-ride snack for your horse. An added bonus is, if you like them too, there is one bar for each of you to enjoy inside each packet. Horses don’t care if they leave crumbs in their stalls, and you can always let them lick the crumbs off your hand as an extra reward. If your horse really takes a liking to these granola bars, stock up on them in bulk at Costco!

2. Fruit

 

Everyone knows horses love apples, but have you tried offering your horse other fruit varieties? Many hors

es love bananas, and some will even eat the banana peel! Others

like oranges and some will even eat watermelon (including the rind on occasion). Be sure to check whether it’s safe before feeding your horse an unusual fruit, but in limited quantities most fruit makes for a great equine treat.

3. Pop-Tarts

Another snack you can occasionally share with your horse, Pop-Tarts are the perfect amount of sweetness without being overwhelming for your horse. They’ll provide a boost of sugar and the contrasting textures will give your horse something to think about, too. An interesting trick would be to determine if your horse has a favorite flavor of Pop-Tart. Try a few flavors and see how your horse responds to each one.

4. Potato Chips

Potato chips aren’t something commonly thought of as a delicacy for horses, but they pack in all the elements horses are looking for. They’re salty, flavorful, and have that nice crunch horses seem to love. Just beware if you give your horse one potato chip out of your bag, they may expect many more as you finish your snack. You may want to bring two bags of chips to the barn.

5. Popsicles

Save these for those hot summer days to cool your horse down with an extra pop of flavor. You can buy popsicles in any flavor or even make frozen fruit bars at home for an extra serving of fruit for your horse. Just be careful they don’t also take the popsicle stick if they try to eat it in one bite!

6. Doughnuts

Not every horse will go for a doughnut, but some can down a whole doughnut in one bite. Maybe start small by purchasing a bag of doughnut holes to see if your horse likes them and to avoid too much sugar at once. Doughnuts can be a fabulous end-of-show dessert to thank your horse for a job well done.

Of course, not all horses are going to like every treat you offer them. Remember to always keep your horse’s health as the top priority by staying on top of ingredient lists and monitoring for anything that may be harmful or that may upset your horse’s stomach.

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!

4 Ways to Bring Your Horse with You Everywhere You Go

4 Ways to Bring Your Horse with You Everywhere You Go

4 Ways to Bring Your Horse with You Everywhere You Go

There are endless ways to honor the horses that leave prominent marks on our hearts and in our lives. You can spend a small fortune on commemorative items that showcase just how much you love your horse. But sometimes you just want something small you can keep with you at all times to always remember your heart horse(s), whether they’re still with you or they’ve moved on.

1. Keychains

There are so many ways to carry a piece of your horse with you jingling on your key ring everywhere you go. Some companies will make a keychain or jewelry out of your horse’s tail, so you can, quite literally, carry a piece of him and her. Others will make beautiful gold-plated name tags or acrylic imagery depicting your horse so you can see his or her face all the time.

2. Jewelry

Whether your jewelry style is minimalist or not-so-minimalist, you can always find a piece of jewelry that suits your taste to honor your beloved horse. You can even find something as simple as a charm for a bracelet or necklace with your horse’s first initial to wear every day. Equine-specific brands can put your horse’s full name on a bracelet to wear, and you can find even more options for unique jewelry customization just by searching marketplaces such as Etsy.

3. Belts

We’ve all seen the riders, both young and old, with belts that have more plates than belt loops featuring all the horses they’ve ridden and/or owned. This is a great way to carry each horse with you all the time, and could even help you remember all the valuable lessons they each taught every time you step into the show ring.

4. Phone cases

Growing increasingly popular are custom phone cases, depicting subject matter such as initials, imagery, and even custom artwork. If you’

re looking for something more subtle, some companies sell phone cases with a single initial, and others go all out by turning a photo of your beloved horse into digital art for the case. Nothing is more unique than putting your own horse’s face on the back of your phone!

 

 

 

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 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!

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