BarnManager’s Favorite Summer Barn Activities

Summer is a wonderful time to hang around at the barn. There are also lots of productive and fun jobs you can do with your friends while enjoying the warm weather. Keep reading to learn about BarnManager’s favorite activities to do at the barn during the summer.

Paint Jumps

Summer is a great time to repaint jumps. Start by gathering your standards, poles, and planks together so you can easily make a plan for the colors and patterns you want for everything. Set aside any wooden boxes or jump fill that need touching up as well. This is a great activity to do at the end of the day when everyone is done riding. You can order a pizza and make it an afternoon painting party. Also, remember to check the weather forecast so your freshly painted jumps can dry safely overnight.

Revamp Flower Boxes

Flower boxes often take a beating in the ring. Begin by checking to see if any need repairs. Wash them thoroughly by removing any flowers that can be separated from the boxes. Do your cleaning in the wash stall or outdoors so you can really scrub off dirt and footing from the larger pieces. If the boxes are wooden, it may be a good idea to repaint them.  Consider purchasing some new fake flowers online or at a discount store to replace any that are getting old. It’s also a great time to replace old and worn-out green felt or turf that covers hunter poles or boxes.

Take a Group Trail Ride

Take advantage of the warm weather and plan a trail ride. This a great barn family bonding activity and a nice opportunity for the horses to enjoy time outside of the arena. You can also organize a group lunch or picnic after the trail ride back at the barn.

Plant Flowers Around the Barn

Spruce up the outside of the barn by planting some flowers. You can either purchase pots to put them in or plant them in the ground if you have a nice area in mind. If you really want to go all out, consider setting up a vegetable garden. Of course, make sure to plant a lot of carrots for the horses!

Plan a Photoshoot

Pick a nice summer afternoon to stage a photoshoot with some of your barn friends. Although hiring a professional photographer is an option, you can also take turns going behind the camera yourself. Even if you do not have professional equipment, iPhones can take great photos with proper editing.

Make Horse Popsicles

It’s always nice to have a cool popsicle waiting for you after a ride in the summer heat. This summer, try creating this treat for your horse to enjoy too. Popsicles for horses are easy to make and a great way to help them stay hydrated. Be sure all of the ingredients you use are safe for horses to eat. There are many variations of horse popsicles online with easy recipes to follow. Check out a few horse popsicle recipes HERE.

Summer always goes by too fast so make sure you are taking full advantage of the warm weather and sunshine and enjoy the time with your horse and barn friends.

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!

Heat Stress: Know the Signs and How To Help

By Glenye Oakford

BarnManager is the Official Barn Management Software of US Equestrian.

Summer’s sultry weather can be more than uncomfortable for your horse or pony; it can be dangerous. It’s important to know the symptoms of heat stress and how to respond to them.

Horses that don’t sweat enough or who are engaged in a lot of physical exertion — like three-day eventers, polo ponies, or horses in sports that involve a fair amount of galloping — are most obviously at risk of overheating in hot, humid conditions, says Dr. Laura Werner, a surgeon at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, KY. Werner specializes in equine emergency services and also has worked as a Fédération Equestre Internationale Veterinary Delegate at three-day eventing competitions in the United States.

But your horse or pony doesn’t have to be an Olympic-level competitor to be at risk in summer conditions, Werner notes.

“Horses can get overheated if both heat and humidity are high, and with the physical exertion that we ask them to do, that can happen pretty easily, just as it does with people,” said Werner. “Certainly, if the heat is in the high 80s and the humidity is about the same, it’s pretty easy for horses to get overheated quickly.”

Things To Consider

One thing to consider is whether the animal is accustomed to the particular climate.

“Some horses are more acclimated to warmer temperatures or higher humidity than others,” explained Werner. “Horses that are imported from Europe, for example, might not be used to heat and high humidity straight away. Just like with a person, it might take them a little bit to acclimate.”

Continue reading on US Equestrian.

Did you know? Users can keep track of horses’ vital signs with BarnManager’s list feature.

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 June and July

The summer show season is getting underway with several exciting events slated for June and July. Continue reading to find out where you can watch top show jumping, hunter, equitation, dressage, and eventing competitions during the next two months.

Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials

June 14-18, 2023 – Watch the world’s best eventing riders take on all three phases of competition from start to finish at the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials in Luhmühlen, Germany. This event is one of seven CCI5*-L tracks in the world and includes CCI4*-S divisions as well.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

World Equestrian Center – Ocala Summer Series II CSI3*

June 13-18, 2023 – Don’t miss out on top hunter, jumper, and equitation competition at World Equestrian Center – Ocala in Ocala, FL. The event will also host exciting three-star classes with the $150,000 IDA Development Grand Prix taking place under the lights on Saturday night, June 17.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Paris

June 23-25, 2023 – LGCT Paris is set against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The show will include two-star, five-star, and Global Champions League show jumping competition. The Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Paris will be the highlight event, taking place on Saturday, June 24.

Where to watch: GCTV

CHIO Aachen

June 23-July 2, 2023 – CHIO Aachen is a favorite international event held each summer in Aachen, Germany. Spectators can enjoy the best of the best in show jumping, dressage, eventing, vaulting, and driving. Highlight events include the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup on Thursday, June 29, and the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen on Sunday, July 2.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

Adequan®/US Equestrian (USEF) Junior Hunter National Championship – East

June 27- July 1 – The Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championship showcases the best junior hunters in the nation. Watch the top junior hunter riders go head-to-head for coveted titles. The event is held at Traverse City Horse Shows in Williamsburg, MI.

Where to watch: USEF Network

Lake Placid Horse Shows

June 27-July 2, and July 4-9, 2023 – Lake Placid Horse Shows hosts two exciting weeks of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition in Lake Placid, NY. Enjoy top competition on the grand prix field including the $75,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix on Sunday, July 2, the $75,000 Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix on July 8, and the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on July 9.

Where to watch: USEF Network

The Equestrian Summer Cup, Moerzeke

July 20-23, 2023 – The Equestrian Summer Cup, Moerzeke is held in Moerzeke, Belgium, at the beautiful facility of Sea Coast Stables. The event features three-star competition on a grass field.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

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 Shopping Guide: Summer Essentials

Entrepreneurial equestrians are always coming up with new products for both the horse and rider. Testing out every new invention is more than most people can handle, so keep reading for BarnManager’s favorite summer must-haves for equestrians and their equine partners.

For the Rider:

Long Sleeve Sun Shirts

Protecting yourself from the sun during the summer is a necessity. Long sleeve sun shirts with ventilation are a great way to stay cool while also helping to prevent skin damage. These shirts often have a collar to protect your neck from the sun as well. Go with a brand that makes the shirt in a light or moisture wicking material. Have fun choosing from lots of fun patterns and price points to suit your needs.

Mesh Show Coat

Over the years, show jackets have evolved from heavy wool to lighter technical materials. These changes have been wonderful for summer horse showing. Many jacket manufacturers now also offer styles featuring breathable mesh material that are also machine washable. Mesh show coats are very comfortable to ride and compete in due to their lightweight and stretchy material. Mesh coats are on the pricier side but they can be a worthwhile investment for long, hot, and humid horse show days.

Sun Visor

Although many helmets now offer styles with a larger brim, consider the option of purchasing a clip-on sun visor. Clip-on visors provide more coverage from the sun’s rays and allow for the flexibility of removing them when riding indoors. One thing to remember about them is that they can fly off in windy conditions, so plan accordingly.

Sport Sunscreen

Sunscreen is extremely important whenever you are outdoors, but especially during the summer when you spend all day outside at the barn. Finding a good sunscreen to use while riding can be challenging. Some sunscreens feel too heavy or can wash away when you sweat. Look for products that are specifically designed for sports. They will protect you longer and continue working even if you are sweating. Sunscreen sticks are a good option for equestrians because they are easier to apply on the go and do not drip in your eyes when you sweat. Consider zinc- and mineral-based sunscreens that are better for your skin and the planet. If your horse has a pink nose you may want to put some on them as well!

For the Horse:

Ice Boots

Ice boots have a variety of benefits for horses and can be used throughout the year, but boy, do they feel good after a workout in the heat of summer. Icing your horse after exercise can help reduce and prevent any swelling, cool their tendons, and aid in treating injuries.

Soundproof Ear Bonnet

Unfortunately, summertime often means a lot of flies. Ear bonnets help keep flies away from your horse’s ears. Consider looking into soundproof ear bonnets, especially if your horse tends to be a little spooky. Although you cannot use these in the hunter or equitation show ring, soundproof ear bonnets can be used in the jumper ring. They are also a great idea if your horse is sound-sensitive while trail riding.

UV Protective Fly Sheet and Mask

Flies can make summer turnout problematic. Depending on the location of your farm and the paddocks themselves, the fly population can cause your horse to be very agitated while in turnout. Investing in a fly sheet and mask can help minimize the annoyance of flies while your horse is in the field and while you hand graze them. There are also UV protective fly sheets and masks that help protect your horse’s coat and eyes from the sun.

Invest in a few of these summer essentials to make sure you and your horse are ready to handle the sun, heat, and flies this season.

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!

A Day in the Life of Stephanie Kramer

Stephanie Kramer works as a head groom for top amateur jumper rider Vanessa Hood and U.S. Olympian Kent Farrington. Keep reading for a day in Stephanie’s life at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Week 5 during the CSI5* Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) Team Competition in Williamsburg, MI.

Friday, August 5, 2022

6 a.m.

My first alarm goes off around six in the morning when we are starting at the barn at seven. I like to give myself time in the mornings, so I don’t feel rushed or stressed starting out the day. I usually make myself a coffee to go and grab some sort of granola bar or something light to get my day started.

Photo by Boss Mare Media

7 a.m.

I have three horses in FEI this week. I have one horse showing in two-star classes and two horses competing at the five-star level. No matter how many horses I have showing every day starts the same. We begin by feeding hay, then grain, and then moving on to the chores. When I have horses showing, they wear the Sport Innovations magnetic blanket in the morning.

8 a.m.

Once chores are done, I start getting my horses out for a hand walk and some grass. One by one I groom them and hand walk or graze them for 15-20 minutes to let them stretch their legs before they go to work. Cascalretto is the only horse I have showing today in the MLSJ Team Competition at 5:30 so when I take the first horse out I put the magnetic blanket on him and set the program and massage to run as I walk the other horse.

11 a.m.

My two other horses, Easy Girl and Conner, aren’t showing today so they will just flat. Once Vanessa is ready to ride one, I pull them back out and fully groom them again. I start with a good curry, then a flick brush, and I finish with some Santa Fe spray and a soft brush to protect their coat from the sun and keep them nice and shiny. As they go out, I like to keep their stalls picked as well so they’re always coming back to a clean stall.

12 p.m.

We feed lunch hay and top off water buckets at noon. Since Cascalretto will not get ridden until later in the day, I take him out for another quick walk and some grass between the two others getting ridden. Cascalretto will also get a short flat to loosen up a bit before the class tonight. As the other two come back from being ridden they both go for baths and grass. Before going for grass, I like to bring them back to the barn and towel dry them, brush their manes down, and put conditioner in their tails if I washed them that day. Then we are off to the FEI grazing area until they are dry and can go back to their stalls.

2 p.m.

At this time, I usually like to start my afternoon chores depending on what my day looks like. I get my stalls cleaned one last time and top off their water buckets. Then it is time to get Cascalretto ready for his quick flat before the class. He gets a full groom again before getting tacked up. He then heads out to loosen up. Once he’s back I give him a few minutes in his stall to get a drink and go to the bathroom before I pull him back out to get cleaned up.

3:30 p.m.

Photo by Boss Mare Media

The horses get dinner hay and then I like to tidy up the barn one last time before the end of the day. I usually sweep, dust, and all of that fun stuff. Today after they get their grain and are finished eating it is time for Cascalretto to come out and start getting ready for the ring. Vanessa’s team, which is Team Lugano Diamonds, is going first so that means he needs to be ready and at the ring by 4:45. The first thing I do is braid him. He doesn’t have the best mane for braids, so it always takes me a bit to get them to look good. Then I groom him one last time before tacking him up with his show tack. I put on his jump boots and grab boots, I double-check that my ring bag is ready, and then we head to the ring.

5 p.m.

I get Vanessa on, we do our pre-boot check, and I go grab a jump so we can warm up. Today wasn’t the best day for Team Lugano Diamonds but that just comes with the sport.

6 p.m.

Once Cascalretto is finished showing we go back to the barn and he gets untacked. I like to ice him in his stall so he has time to relax by himself before I continue with his aftercare. I leave the ice on for 20 minutes. Once he is done icing, he gets a good liniment bath to cool his muscles down. I take him out for a bit of grass to help him dry more quickly. Then I bring him back to the grooming stall to get wrapped. I poultice all four legs and pack his feet. Once that is done, I run a brush through his mane and tail and brush him off one last time before letting him go in his stall for the night. After he is put away, I quickly check over my other horses before heading out.

7:30 p.m.

When I get home, no matter how late it is, I always try my best to give myself a bit of time to decompress before going to bed. I’ll usually shower first, then make myself something for dinner, and then either watch an episode of a show or scroll through my phone to give myself a little “me time” before going to sleep and starting all over!

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!

9 Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

As the summer months draw near and temperatures get warmer, it’s important to remember how to stay proactive and avoid overheating, for both yourself and your horse. With long days, high temperatures, and extreme humidity levels, overheating can happen fast and with little warning. Horses can fall victim to heat stress much faster than their humans, and they don’t have the words to tell us they’re overheating until it may be too late. But with proper actions on your part, you can keep your horse and yourself cool all summer long.

1. Hydrate.

This is a no brainer, but when temperatures start to heat up again and we are sweating more than we’re accustomed to, hydration levels can fall fast. Drink plenty of water both before and after your ride, and snack on hydrating foods such as cucumbers, strawberries, and watermelon. If you struggle to drink enough water, use a hydration booster or find a water bottle with labels to remind you to drink throughout the day.

Similarly, always make sure your horse has access to water to stay hydrated. A quick way to tell if a horse is dehydrated is to pinch a small amount of skin on its neck; if the skin takes more than a few seconds to even back out, the horse may be dehydrated. Electrolyte supplements are a quick way to restore a horse’s hydration if it isn’t drinking enough water. You can also encourage a horse to drink water by adding apple juice or honey to their water.

2. Ride at the beginning or end of the day.

Typically, the sun is strongest in the middle of the day, heating up temperatures to their highest points in the afternoons. If you can ride first thing in the morning, you’ll likely beat the heat and can get on with the rest of your day. If you can’t ride until later in the day, wait until the sun is down and the temperatures have cooled off slightly.

3. Ride efficiently.

Over the summer, it’s important to know how to make your rides as efficient as possible so you both aren’t out in the heat working for too long. Focus on exercises that challenge your horse but don’t physically demand as much when the heat is extreme. You can get a lot done in a smaller amount of time if you are intentional about every minute in the saddle.

4. Always monitor breathing.

If you feel your horse breathing excessively or see its nostrils flaring more than normal, it may be time for a break or the end of the ride. Also be aware of how long it takes for your horse’s respiratory rate to return to normal. If a horse is struggling with labored breathing in the heat, put it in front of the fan and spray its body with rubbing alcohol to cool it down. If labored breathing continues, you may need to call your vet.

5. Shower and sweat-scrape.

Hot days can lead to sweaty horses, so cool showers feel good and help them cool down. The most important areas are the chest, neck, and between the legs. Once you spray their bodies, quickly scrape the excess water, as it can heat up on the surface of their skin quickly and cause discomfort for an already hot horse.

6. Clip winter coats.

\Though horses naturally shed their winter coats, some might need extra help getting rid of the remaining hair that may be making them extra hot. This is particularly important on really hot competition days, as significant effort is required and extra hair could lead to overheating. Keep coats clipped throughout the summer and have a sheet handy for nights when the temperature dips somewhat.

7. Wear lightweight materials.

We all have our favorite ventilated, moisture-wicking clothes we like to wear on the hottest days. Companies like EIS, Ariat, and even mainstream sports brands like Under Armour make very breathable fabrics that are ideal for riding. While we may know what keeps us coolest while riding, we also have to keep this in mind for our horses. Use saddle pads made from thinner materials that wick moisture and cover less area on the horse.

8. Adjust the turnout schedule.

If the days get too hot, you may want to turn out at night or very early in the mornings. If the sun is shining, be sure your horse has ample shade to relax in while turned out.

9. Fans, fans, fans!

There’s no such thing as too many fans in a hot barn. They help keep everyone cool on hot days and maintain proper airflow throughout the facility. It’s important that every horse has a fan in its stall, plus additional fans in the grooming areas for post-ride cooldowns and to dry them after showers. Plus, it feels pretty good to stand in front of a fan after a hot ride.

While the cold can be uncomfortable, heat can bring its own problems, so we have to be smart about how to beat the heat and keep everyone safe and healthy. Keeping all these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a great summer with your horse. You can make the most of hot summer days without fretting about overheating yourself or your horse.

Liv’s Tip of the Month – Signs of Dehydration

Liv’s Tip of the Month

Dehydration is more than just your horse being extra thirsty – it can become a veterinary emergency.

Pulling a bit of his skin on the neck to see how fast it snaps back is not a reliable way to measure hydration. Older horses have less elastic skin!

You need to look at your horse’s gums. Pale, white, red, or blue gums are a sign of severe danger. The gums must also be slippery and slick, not dry or sticky.

In the warmer summer months, use electrolytes a few hours before you exercise your horse. This helps retain water.

Keep plenty of fresh water available and make sure your horse gets at least a tablespoon of salt per 500 lbs of body weight every day – no matter the season.

BarnManager can help track supplies, medical records, and watering reminders –  to sign up for a free trial click here!

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