Six Tips To Organize Your Feed Room

One of the most frequently used places in a barn is the feed room. Keeping this area organized is necessary to ensure that horses are receiving the correct grain and supplements. Keep reading for some tips from BarnManager on how to keep this room clean and neat.

1. Keep an Updated Feed List

One of the most important parts of a feed room is an updated list of what grain, supplements, and medications each horse is getting. Although most barns usually have one or two people who make the grain, it is crucial to keep a list in case they are away or not able to do the job that day. Providing horses with correct grain, supplements, and medication consistently is key, so start with a well-written feed chart or list. White boards are often useful for these types of lists because they make it easy to add, change, or remove items; however, whiteboards can make it more difficult to keep track of any changes being made. You should also include important special circumstances on this board such as a note about a horse needing water added to their grain or if the supply of a certain item is running low.

(Did You Know? BarnManager allows you to create, download, and print a feed chart! BarnManager also creates a Feed Change Log to document all changes made to a horse’s feed, supplements and medications over time.)

2. Put Grain in Bins

If you are feeding a large number of horses and have multiple types of grain, consider putting the grain in large bins instead of keeping it in the original bags. This can help make your feed room look neat and tidy. Also, multiple grain bags often fit into one bin so it can help save space. Invest in bins or containers that are sturdy and have lids to keep animals and insects out. When refilling the containers make sure that they are completely empty before adding in a new bag so the grain at the bottom does not stay there too long and go bad.

3. Label Everything

The next step in organizing your feed room is to label everything. If you do put your grain in bins, make sure to clearly label each lid. If a horse has a specific medication, it is helpful to write the horse’s name on the bottle or box along with the administration instructions. Some clients may have certain supplements or medications for their horses, so you should write their name on those containers as well. Also, label all the grain buckets. Clearly write the horse’s name along with the time of day the grain should be given on each one. Another tip is to have buckets in specific colors for each feeding time such as morning, lunch, and night grain.

4. Organize Medications and Medical Supplies

Keep extra medications and medical supplies like syringes and needles in a separate trunk, wall box, or container in the feed room. Storing these items separately from day-to-day supplements can help avoid confusion. Although these items are stored separately, make sure that they are still easily accessible and organized in case of an emergency.

5. Keep Medications Properly Sealed

It is important to make sure that any medications or supplements that would show up on a drug test are well-sealed and securely stored. These types of medications and supplements may include regumate, flunixin meglumine, acepromazine, or methocarbomol. Keeping these items isolated will help prevent accidentally contaminating the grain of a horse that is not receiving those medications or supplements. While contaminating grain can be a major problem in a show barn where the horses might get drug tested at a competition, it can also be an issue at any stable. Accidentally contaminating a horse’s grain with medication or supplements that they are not on can sometimes be dangerous. Keeping these items well-sealed and organized can help prevent this problem from happening.

6. Sweep and Wipe Surfaces

Another way to prevent contaminating feed with supplements or medications is to thoroughly sweep and wipe down surfaces every day. Making grain can be a messy task, so cleaning the room afterward is key. Along with preventing contamination, cleaning the feed room will keep the area neat, pleasant to work in, and also reduce the likelihood of insects or animals entering.

When organizing your feed room, it is important to make everything as clear, obvious, and simple as possible so you can rest assured that the feed is made correctly. When a good system is in place all employees can feel confident about successfully preparing the feed, even if it is not part of their daily routine.

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!

6 Tips to Organize Your Tack Trunk

Tack trunk organizing may only happen once in a blue moon, but if you are going to take the time, you want to do it effectively. Follow these tips to give your trunk a thorough cleaning and re-vamp to save yourself unnecessary trouble down the road.

1. Begin by emptying your trunk out completely. Being at the barn and around horse shows, tack trunks can collect a large amount of dirt without you even realizing. Take everything out and thoroughly clean the base and walls of your trunk.

2. Weed out what you don’t need or use. If you don’t routinely clean out your trunk, odds are you have a few things that aren’t of use anymore. Ask yourself if you will use it in the next year and if not, donate or toss it. The same goes for older items – if something is too worn or too old to be effective, it’s probably time to let go.

3. Clean the items that are left. If your trunk is newly cleaned, you don’t want to toss dirt-covered items right back into it. Give everything a thorough cleaning before finding a place for it back in the trunk.

4. Prioritize your most used items. Not everything needs to be taking up space in your trunk. Set aside items you only use seasonally or a few times a year, such as fly sheets or winter gloves. Find a closet in your barn or house to store these items so they don’t spend the year gathering dust and dirt in your trunk. When the seasons change, or you find a need for a rarely used item, you can make the necessary swaps.

5. Organize for convenience. When putting your trunk back together, do yourself a favor down the road. While it may be tempting to play a game of Tetris to see how nicely things fit together, this may not be the most practical strategy. Make sure the items you use daily are the easiest to access. The last thing you want is to dig for your gloves and crop as you walk your impatient horse to the mounting block.

6. Use storage containers and dividers. Often trunks don’t have dividers built in, so head to Amazon or The Container Store to find some appropriately sized baskets, drawers, and boxes to fit certain items to prevent them from disappearing, especially the small ones. You can even save money by reusing containers from other sources, rather than buying them new. Trunks can get tossed around in transit to and from horse shows, so storage dividers will help keep things in place and make your organization efforts worthwhile.

 

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!