Equine Tech Companies Form Collaboration

Wellington, FL – Equine technology companies BarnManager, Equo, Jumpfax, and StableGuard have come together to form the first equine technology collaboration of its kind, aimed at supporting one another, better serving the equestrian industry as a whole, and ultimately creating greater inter-operability between the equine applications and software.

Watch more on the equine technology collaboration here!

 

Launched by BarnManager founder and CEO, Nicole Lakin, the innovators working together on the equine tech collaboration include Lakin, Equo’s Steven Bluman, Alicia Heiniger of Jumpfax, and Alexa Anthony of StableGuard.

With the formation of the equine tech collaboration, the four companies are able to work together to develop improved solutions for the equestrian community, while also each continuing to provide a unique service and value to the equine industry. 

 For BarnManager, that service is a cloud-based software that offers digitized record keeping for the many facets of horse care, as well as intuitive and simple business tools to make small business management easier and more accessible. For Equo, it is offering what has been described as a “mix between Uber and Expedia for horses,” taking horse transportation to the next level by connecting riders, owners, and trainers with certified drivers through the Equo mobile app.

 For competitors, Jumpfax offers a complete, dynamic calendar of events, a comprehensive horse show guide that includes programs, start lists, results, key contacts, and more, as well as a sports data center updated daily with show jumping’s statistics. And StableGuard is often compared to the “Nest home security camera for horses.” Through the StableGuard mobile app, users can watch live-stream feed of the horse in their stall, receive emergency alerts, watch event play-back, and track human interaction. Unlike other equine monitoring devices, StableGuard constantly tracks the horses’ well-being without needing additional wearable devices such as smart blankets, Bluetooth halters, etc.

 “They are all very complimentary, and they all really could be used on a daily basis by any show jumping rider,” said Jumpfax founder Alicia Heiniger.  “I’m a rider myself, so I’m a natural user of these apps, and we all really share a vision, a passion, and a wish to make our industry better and stronger.”

 Lakin added, “We’re all trying to improve and advance our own specific area of the industry, but ultimately, we’re all using technology to help horse people have peace of mind at the end of the day and to allow them to focus on why we’re all really doing this in the first place: the horses.”

 Lakin studied entrepreneurship and received her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Babson College, and it was her experience there that sparked the idea for the equine tech collaboration.

 “At Babson, I was constantly surrounded by other entrepreneurs,” explained Lakin, whose BarnManager application is now the Official Barn Management Software of US Equestrian. “It was a really inspiring atmosphere, and we were constantly thinking of ways that we could help each other – even though we were in completely different industries. It was a really great way to integrate together and to support each other, and I find it extremely important to have community like that.”

 

Steven Bluman of Equo, Alicia Heiniger of Jumpfax, Nicole Lakin of BarnManager, and Alexa Anthony of StableGuard have partnered to form a new equine tech collaboration. 

Photo by Jump Media

In addition to forming their own community to help one another as equine technology start-up founders and better serving the equestrian industry, Anthony, Bluman, Heiniger, and Lakin hope that their collaborative effort will encourage equestrians to embrace how technology can help them navigate in their industry.

 “It’s really an exciting time,” said Anthony, CEO of Magic AI, the company behind StableGuard. “Now is a great opportunity for all of us to join together and create awareness surrounding technology in a traditional industry. I believe it will make the adoption a little bit easier if all four of us work together – we’re stronger that way.”

 Equo CEO Bluman echoed Anthony’s sentiments: “Just like in any other life aspect, when Uber came out and Airbnb came out, everybody said, ‘No way! I will never get in a car with someone that I don’t know,’ and, ‘I would never go in an apartment that I don’t even know who owns the place.’ Now, people are realizing they’re both great options. It’s the same with us. People are a little bit skeptical when it comes to using apps for whatever it is for their horses. By our companies coming together and acting as a force, people are going to begin to pay more attention to what’s happening. We’re trying to update the horse industry and really bring it into the 21st century.”

 In addition to collaborating to grow and improve together and to introduce equestrians to applications to simplify their daily responsibilities, Lakin hopes that the equine tech collaboration will ultimately lead to greater inter-operability between the applications.

 “We all are cognizant of thinking about how the applications are talking to each other, because at the end of the day, if we’re all making a million different products for people, and they have to have 17 apps on their phone, you’re not improving anything, you’re making it worse,” explained Lakin. “If we can work together and make our products work together, we’re not only better together for ourselves, we’re delivering better products for the end user.

 “When each company can focus on their own specific piece of the puzzle, but then we can all also put those pieces together, we’re really able to create something great for the consumer,” concluded Lakin. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Learn more about BarnManager, Equo, Jumpfax, and Stableguard by visiting each of their websites, and watch here to hear more about the equine tech collaboration.

To sign up for a free trial of BarnManager click here!

 The “Stronger Together” equine tech collaboration video was produced by the new Creative Studio by Jumpfax.

Second Chance Thoroughbred - user of BarnManager for barn management software and equine management software

501(c)(3) Feature: Second Chance Thoroughbreds

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!

Everyone deserves a second chance, or, at Second Chance Thoroughbreds, at least every retired Thoroughbred race horse.

Collette Duddy started the registered 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2012 after she had made her first trip to the backside of the Finger Lakes Race Track in Farmington, NY, in September of 2011. There, Duddy was struck by the quality of the horses – even those who may not have been successful on the track – as well as by the lack of post-racing options in the area

Today, Second Chance Thoroughbreds’ board of directors includesDuddy and fellow lifelong horsewomen and volunteers, Karen Faillace and Robyn Hancock-Null. The organization is dedicated to providing OTTBs with a soft landing after the end of their racing careers, giving them ample down time and retraining before transitioning the horses to a new career.area for those horses. Soon after Duddy’s initial visit, six off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) traveled to the Duddy’s farm in Spencer, NY, to be re-trained and re-homed.

One of 64 organizations nationwide accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Second Chance Thoroughbreds also works to educate and demonstrate to the public how versatile and trainable Thoroughbreds are by offering clinics and participating in shows, parades, and community events. The organization is also unique in offering riding lessons and a summer horsemanship program using some of the OTTBs.

“OTTBs receive a lot of training while they are on the track, both under saddle and on the ground,” said Duddy. “Most Thoroughbreds are very good at loading, tying, and standing for the farrier and vet, and they are easily transitioned into a new career.”

With many horses coming into the program or leaving to be adopted and re-homed at any given time, BarnManager has been a welcome addition to the non-profit in helping them keep track of each horse’s paperwork and schedule. BarnManager’s cloud-based software allows the staff of Second Chance Thoroughbreds to input information and seamlessly communicate about the details of each horse’s care.

BarnManager helps keep us organized,” explained Duddy. “It’s very helpful to be able to store Coggins and other health papers in one site. When a horse is adopted, it’s easy to print out all of the info to send with the new owner, including the dates of the last farrier visit, worming, and vet exams, etc.”

To learn more about Second Chance Thoroughbreds, visit www.SecondChanceThoroughbreds.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!

What Makes a Great Barn Manager?

“Behind every great barn is a great barn manager” – or at least, that’s what we at BarnManager believe! But what does a barn manager do that makes the role so important? And what makes someone a great barn manager?

While those answers vary from discipline to discipline and program to program, we’ve found that no matter what kind of horses they’re taking care of, a great barn manager is a great barn manager.

Managing Horses, Managing People

First and foremost, almost all barn managers’ top priority is the proper care and maintenance of the horses they’re responsible for. Depending on the barn, that can mean overseeing:

  • feeding, supplements, and all of the horses’ nutritional needs and any medications
  • turn-out schedules
  • horses’ exercise routines
  • the cleaning of stalls, as well as barn cleaning and maintenance
  • vet, farrier, and specialist appointments and scheduling
  • the ordering of supplies and feed
  • and more!

If the barn has a competitive show program, the manager is also likely in charge of all aspects of the horse show schedule, including arranging transportation for the horses, making packing lists, submitting horse show entries, ensuring the horses are up-to- date on health matters such as vaccinations required by show managers, and organizing the necessary veterinary paperwork and/or passports.

The horse care aspects of the job can themselves fill up a rather lengthy list, but the tasks of a typical barn manager don’t stop there! In fact, for many barn managers, the management of people is as much, or even much more so, a part of the job as the management of horses.

Barn managers are often also in charge of the small business operations side of running the farm as well, including:

  • employee schedules and payroll
  • the hiring and training of new employees
  • accounts receivable and payable
  • lesson scheduling and coordinating.

What Makes a Great Barn Manager

With so many moving pieces and components involved with being a barn manager, strong organizational skills are extremely important, as are these three additional traits of a great barn manager:

  • Extensive horse knowledge – Since he or she is often the one overseeing each horse’s daily care and feeding, it’s important for the barn manager to have a solid understanding of equine nutrition, basic equine medical treatments, and all elements of daily horse care.
  • Great interpersonal skills – A barn manager is often the one interacting with both employees and clients on a daily basis, and therefore he or she needs to be an effective communicator with the ability to also listen to and work with others, and to deal with any conflict or problems should they arise. The attitude of the barn manager often really sets the tone for the barn environment – either positively or negatively.
  • Dedication – Barn management is not a 9-5 job. It can often mean long hours and 24/7 availability should a problem or emergency situation arise, and the horses in the program are likely never far out of the barn manager’s mind even when he or she is away from the barn. Dedication to the job and to the horses is a key to not only success as a great barn manager, but also to true enjoyment of the job.

Thank You to Barn Managers!

Knowing just how much goes into the role, we at BarnManager are extremely thankful for all of the barn managers that we’ve had the privilege of working with!

Thankful for your barn manager and want to make his or her life a little bit easier? Or a barn manager yourself looking to make your life a little easier? Consider introducing
BarnManager! Our cloud-based software is designed to streamline organization, keep records all in one place, and get barn managers out from behind the paperwork and
back into the barn with the horses they love. Signup for a free trial here!

501(c)(3) Feature: The North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center

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 1977, the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center (NCTRC) was founded by Lou Paules, Debby Lominac, 

and Dot Kohlbach, who was inspired to start the program after moving from her native Scotland to North Carolina, where she was unable to find a therapeutic riding program to continue the volunteer work that she loved. 

Now, more than 40 years later, not only is the NCTRC program still going strong as the oldest therapeutic riding program in North Carolina, Kohlbach is still involved with the program and with special events, and she and the NCTRC have served thousands of children and adults with disabilities!

For the first 30 years of its history, the NCTRC was a small, all volunteer run organization. Then in 2008, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Suzanne Case, the program moved from Durham, NC, to the Case’s Clearwind Farm in Mebane, NC. There, the NCTRC has grown into a highly comprehensive therapeutic center, accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International) and offering year-round, full-time programming.

The NCTRC aims to empower children and adults with physical, mental, emotional, and social challenges to create more active, healthy, and fulfilling lives through equine assisted activities and therapies. Some of the challenges faced by the NCTRC’s participants include autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, behavioral issues, brain injuries, and other learning disabilities and developmental delays. Over the last decade, the NCTRC has also added veterans’ programming, equine-assisted psychotherapy, and inclusive summer camps.

With many offerings and so many participants, and similarly so many horses now involved in the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center, the staff was searching for a solution to manage all of the horses’ records when they came across BarnManager.

We were searching online for an affordable software system to manage our herd’s records,” said executive director Lara Katz. “Most of what we found was way out of our budget, particularly because we needed multiple users. Multiple staff members are involved in the care of our horses, and we wanted to have a way to update horse owners who have generously loaned their horses to us. Finding out that it was free to nonprofits was fantastic and a huge benefit to our growing organization!

Katz and the team at the NCTRC now regularly utilize BarnManager to quickly and easily access the horses’ records on their phones.

 Before, we used to carry paper files out to the barn for vet visits, and this has made things so much simpler,” said Katz. “We are excited about adding our horse owners as users so they can see updates on their horse’s health any time they would like!”

For those local to North Carolina, the NCTRC is always in need of experienced horse people to volunteer! Learn more by visiting www.nctrcriders.org. For those not local, Katz encourages others to check out therapeutic riding centers in their area:

“It’s the most fun you will ever have volunteering! It’s incredible to see the changes that horses bring to clients’ lives.”

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

 

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!

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!

 

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!

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!

Protected: What’s In Your Tack Truck? – with Lillie Keenan

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