Why do I have a blog?
I am starting this blog for a few reasons.
First, I actually enjoy writing and one of my (many) ideas for supporting-myself-while-doing-something-I-love has been to write a book. I’ve started a few times. Writing a book proves to be very difficult, so maybe this will be good practice for my eventual book!
Second, I’m going to try to blog mostly about information that I think will be helpful for trainers and barn managers. I would like to help the organizational part of the horse industry, which is why I created Stable Secretary (http://www.stablesecretary.com). Stable Secretary is barn management software that makes it easier to do record keeping for the horses in your stable. You can use it to easily keep track of vaccination records, worming records, farrier records, service records, dental records, joint injection records, medication records, and other health records. Stable Secretary also facilitates other aspects of running an equine business by making it easier to make invoices, store contact info for clients, vendors, and others.
I know firsthand that working in a barn is really hard! Right now, in addition to continuing to improve Stable Secretary, I’m a part-time trainer and a full-time mom. I’ve been a full-time trainer, assistant trainer, barn manager, office manager, groom, judge. You name it, I’ve probably done it… While I still LOVE it, I know how grueling it can be to be away from home, family, friends, and to give up any sort of personal life. It’s pretty normal to work 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and to have a workday from 6am til 6pm. That makes for a pretty crazy work-leisure balance – maybe 95% work 5% life. But we hang in there because we love it. Being outside all day, working with horses, and doing something that you care deeply about is motivating. I’d like to use this blog to provide resources and advice to try to make those workdays more organized and efficient so that horse trainers and barn managers can spend some time doing non-horsey things – family, hobbies, spa days, and social events, for example!
What will I write about?
I’m going to write about ways to make barn management easier – better tracking of vet records, service records, invoicing records, customer records.
I’ll also try to provide resources on topics like logistics for shows; routine and special horse care; working with vets, farriers, vendors; managing and growing your horse business; taking good care of clients and staff; and whatever other topics come up.
What do you want to hear about? Please leave a comment – share your 5 biggest BARN MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES?
Who is Kate Rice?
|That’s such a tough question to answer… But here goes! I’m a 37 year old woman who has gone down many interesting paths in her life! I trust that things happen for reasons. Steve Jobs puts it eloquently in his Stanford speech, “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
What’s my story right now?
|Right now, I live in MA and I just had a baby! I am so excited to start this amazing parenting journey with my boyfriend and our dog!
I do a bunch of different things to afford life:
|I am a freelance horse trainer and rider (see my Onyva Show Stables web site). I have my own clients, and I help out some professional friends when they need help riding and teaching at home or at shows. It’s great!
I tutor a little, mostly in French but also in Spanish, History, and English.
I am the founder of a product called Stable Secretary – see the Stable Secretary web site. Stable Secretary is software in the “Cloud” that makes barn management easier. It lets you store and access horse health records and service records for all of the horses in your stable, and it helps you do a bunch of other Equine Business related tasks. I released the first version in January, and it’s been very well-accepted and welcomed so far. It’s a great feeling to know that you’re helping people!
What’s my background?
I’ve done a lot during my 37 years – here goes a quick chronological summary:
I started riding in NH when I was about 4 or 5. I rode English and Saddle Seat – my specialties were trail class and costume class. Fun!!!!
When I was 6, I moved to France for 5 years, to a suburb of Paris called St.Germain-en-Laye. It was pretty awesome. I took riding lessons there, too. I was pretty small for a 6 year old, but the local riding schools only had horses. It was exciting (my poor Mom was terrified!)! My Dad had to put the saddle on for me because I couldn’t reach. We eventually found a Pony Club when I was in 4th grade.
||Then I moved to NJ for 6th grade. I rode at The Ridge, with Nona Garson, and showed in short stirrup and children’s pony hunter. It was a blast!!!! We had a great group of kids, and we all had so much fun together.
|A year later, I moved to MA. I rode with Peter Wylde and showed in the junior hunters and the equitation. I learned a TON, had lots of fun, and made amazing friends on the show circuit.
||I had the best horse ever: Redsox.
After high school, I went off to Dartmouth College in Hanover NH. I experienced “normal life”, and I also did do the Intercollegiate Equestrian Team. Again, I met lifelong friends, learned a lot (academic and other), and had some really fun times!
After college, I tried to be a “normal” person for few years – in Cambridge MA and in Washington DC. I worked for a software company and a web development company. It was interesting, had regular hours, and weekends off… What a novelty! I again learned a lot, met some great friends, and got some good life experience
Eventually, the horses drew me back in. I ended up working at WEF for one winter during college, working as a rider/assistant for one summer during college, and then really started back in as a part-time pony rider while I was getting a Masters of Teaching at Simmons College. Once I got my Masters, I went to work full time for a trainer in Northern VA.
With the exception of 2 years teaching High School French and Spanish in Arlington VA, I’ve been back at the horses ever since. I’ve had the amazing fortune to work for some of the best in the industry (Thank You to Sandy Ferrell and Peter Wylde). I’ve been lucky enough to spend lots of winters in Wellington FL where I’ve learned the best from the best. And I’m so grateful to have made great personal and working relationships with some of the best people I’ll ever meet.
What do I want to do?
My main concern is to be happy and to enjoy life. To me, I suppose that means being involved in and passionate about one or more activities – whether it’s your job, your family, your hobby, or whatever motivates you to get up in the morning and do your best.
New software solution helps Show Horse trainers and barn managers stay organized
Natick, Mass. – May 7, 2013 – Today, StableSecretary announced that its new software is available to horse trainers, barn managers and stable owners worldwide. StableSecretary, the mobile and Internet software application that enables horse trainers, barn managers, and stable owners to manage health, billing and operational information for their horses and their services, soft launched in January 2013 and has quickly become a go-to solution for barn management.
Designed to help barn managers operate more efficiently and prevent costly mistakes, StableSecretary is easy-to-use barn management software that is optimized for mobile devices. Created by Kate Rice, a veteran of the show horse industry with more than 20 years of experience both as a rider and a trainer, the software application makes it easy for trainers and barn managers to store and access information about horses and to track services, appointments, and records.
Despite the abundance of technology today, the Show Horse industry has until now lacked an effective software solution to help barn managers and trainers keep track of the records for their stables. Although show horses may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and receive health care and services on par with professional human athletes, research shows that many stables have had ineffective, inefficient, or nonexistent systems for tracking horses’ health and service records, resulting in inadequate horse care and incomplete invoicing. Trainers and barn managers, who are often traveling and outdoors, need to store and access complex health and service records in a reliable, secure, and convenient place.
StableSecretary‘s initial customers find it useful, relevant, intuitive, and a real boost to their productivity and efficiency. Amanda Steege of Ashmeadow Farm commented, “For all of my horse professional friends, if you are looking for a great way to help you save time and money, look into Stable Secretary…..I did not think I needed a new system but I gave it a try and I am loving it. I can keep track of all of my horses and owners basic information as well as vaccinations, worming, farrier appointments, injections, feed and medications, and do my client invoices all from one place. I love that I can access it all from the app on my iPhone or iPad and can easily keep everything up to date. At the end of the month I can do my bills with a click of a button and I can email or print out and mail the invoices. I also love that all the info is backed up on the server so I don’t have to worry if my computer crashes or I drop my phone in a bucket of water.”
StableSecretary offers proactive, dependable, and friendly training and support. It is available for purchase on its website, at http://www.stablesecretary.com.
To find out more about StableSecretary, please visit us on the web at http://www.stablesecretary.com.
Phone: (617) 564-1241