After taking about 6 months off to have a baby, it felt great to get back up on the proverbial horse. As soon as the doctor said it was okay to ride, I rode a few times at home, and then helped my dear friends at Newbury Farm at the 3rd week of the Vermont Summer Festival in Manchester VT. Despite the blistering heat and my slightly achy muscles, I was happy to rejoin the horseshow community. This most recent hiatus from the horse world was one of several, and as usual I was interested to notice what had changed (not much) and what stayed the same (almost everything):
- Fashion changes, but not dramatically. Since 1994, the developments I’ve noticed are sweat-friendly fabric for riding shirts, safer hard hats, half chaps instead of full chaps, and no more rust britches.
- Transportation modes around the show evolve. Since 1994, the golf cart has become ubiquitous. Many horse shows have created “lanes” to separate the horses from the golf carts.
- The most important and interesting development (in my humble opinion) is that horse people are starting to welcome and adopt technology into their work and personal lives. Many trainers and barn managers use their phones as an important tool to help run their businesses. In addition to using them to text, call, and email, they also use apps to help them stay organized while they are on the road. Stable Secretary, a barn management software with a web app and a mobile app that makes it easier to track and view equine health records, log equine business service records, and create and track invoices for horses in your stable, has received excellent feedback from users. Stable Secretary enables trainers and barn managers to access all of their equine records anywhere, anytime – and they really appreciate it! ShowNet is a HUGE help for tracking ring updates at shows, and it also records videos and tracks results. Equestrian Connect streamlines submitting entry forms. These three programs, created by horse people, resolve some of the biggest pain points for professionals in the horse industry – creating invoices quickly, submitting entries, keeping equine health and service records organized while at the horse show, and keeping the schedule running smoothly on competition days.
I enjoy being a part of the horse world in many different capacities. It’s been fun to watch these improvements happen, and I look forward to seeing more!
Leave a comment – what changes have you noticed over the years? What other technologies have become useful for horse trainers and barn managers?
Give yourself a break – let StableSecretary keep your equine records organized!
As I mentioned in my introductory blog, I had a baby girl, Emma Rose, on May 25th. To me, the first month of infant care was analogous to caring for four hunters at indoors that all show on the same days and nights. You spend all of your day and night trying to keep up with feeding and watering them, cleaning up their poop, bathing them, brushing them, riding them, taking them to the ring, waiting for jogs, taking care of them after they show, etc. Taking care of a baby or a show horse ends up being a non-stop, cyclical, completely-full-time job that is very exciting and rewarding, but also exhausting. As you become more sleep deprived, the feed-clean-exercise-clean-sleep cycles all start to run together, and you might feel confused about what day it is, when you last fed them, whether you remembered to medicate them, when they had their last bath, how much they’ve pooped or peed that day, etc. Exhaustion seems to take a toll on short-term memory… and it can certainly negatively impact your mood, too!
Back to my experience with the baby – I’m lucky because I’ve had a lot of help. My mom comes to help me for a couple of days during the week to give me some time to work (and shower). My fiancé shares the load in the evenings, nights, and on the weekends. We also use this awesome software program called BabyConnect. It’s a web and mobile app that helps all of the caregivers (me, Emma’s dad, and my mom) track and view the important events in Emma’s life: when was the last diaper change, when did she last eat, how much did she eat, when and for how long has she slept, and medical information like weight, height, and vaccinations. We literally use it all the time, and I truly believe that it helps us take the best care of the baby.
Using BabyConnect has reinforced for me just how valuable StableSecretary is to barn managers and trainers. When your customers are calling and texting, and you have the farrier and the dentist at the barn on the same day, and then a horse gets injured and the vet has to come also, and you have horses to ride and lessons to teach (which is a pretty typical day for many trainers – yikes!), StableSecretary eases your stress and improves the level of care for your horses because it makes equine record keeping so much simpler. With StableSecretary, you can enter your horses’ health records and service records right away, so you don’t have to wait until the end of the day, week, or month when you might forget the specifics (or the actual event). You can easily find out on your phone when a horse last had its joints injected, or when it last got shoes. You can see all of your horses’ basic entry blank information and all of your horses’ paperwork due dates (coggins, passport, FEI). Because everything is mobile, you can view your feed list, medication schedule, business contacts, horse records wherever you are. StableSecretary also sends you a weekly email message that alerts you to events that are coming up so that you can plan ahead for Barney to get shoes, or to pull a Coggins on Fred, or to schedule the dentist for all of the horses in your barn, for example.
I’m very grateful that a friend recommended BabyConnect to me – it definitely helps me take excellent care of my baby by staying on top of (and ahead of) her needs. For the first week of her life, Emma’s Dad and I wrote down all of her feeding times, diapers, and activities on paper. That system quickly become inefficient, unreliable, and overall a huge pain. In the same sense, StableSecretary replaces day sheets, medications sheets, binders, farrier spreadsheets, vaccination files – it helps improve horse care by making it easy for trainers and barn managers to see when they have medicated, wormed, vaccinated, shod, and injected their horses, and to view other information that is important to the well-being of the horse (and to the trainer’s business). Whether it’s a baby or a horse, these two software programs are great tools in helping you to satisfy the health and comfort needs of those who can’t talk… Be sure to recommend StableSecretary to your horsey friends – they will thank you for it!
Why did I create Stable Secretary?
I created Stable Secretary because I wanted the best of all worlds: to work in the most elite parts of the Show Horse industry; to have a little bit more free time; and to have a little bit less frustration and stress… It seems like a lot of trainers and barn managers don’t have efficient systems in place to help them run their horse businesses which means that they lose time and money, and gain stress. Most other industries have helpful software tools, so I asked myself: why wasn’t there a GOOD barn management software for the Show horse industry? I created Stable Secretary, a barn management software application, to make it easier to run an equine business.
At the end of the day, When the horses are fed, the barn is swept, and the work list for the next day is organized, it is a bummer to leave the barn with paperwork, phone calls, or other organizational logistics hanging over your head. During the day, it can be pretty frustrating to waste time and energy looking for information that should be easy to find: phone numbers, coggins files, entry due dates; or working hard to answer questions like: “When were Banjo’s last vaccines?”, or “Is Barney’s Coggins up to date?”, or “Rosie’s feet look horrible – when did she get shod?”, or “Lulu’s late on her left to right lead change. I wonder when we last did her hocks?” As I interviewed more and more barn managers and trainers, I learned that many equine businesses lose $100s – $1,000s per month because they (or their staff) forget to write down services. TIME is valuable, MONEY is hard-earned, and we should be doing our best to safeguard them both.
Since I couldn’t find any software solutions that would really help me in my horse business, I made my own!
What is Stable Secretary? How does it work? How does it help?
Stable Secretary is web-based and mobile-optimized barn management software that helps barn managers and trainers track ALL of the necessary information and records for their horses, clients, and businesses. It’s mobile, so you can use it from anywhere – the ring, the aisle, the in-gate, the car wash, the restaurant or hotel, etc. It’s comprehensive, so you can keep track of ALL of your equine records. It’s customizable, so you can fit it to however you currently manage your barn and run your equine business. It’s easy-to-use and comes with dependable technical support, so you won’t get frustrated. Check out all the features on our Features page where you can also watch a short demo of how it works.
The people using Stable Secretary love it – have a look at our Customer Testimonials. As the Founder of the software, I keep in close touch with the trainers and barn managers using the software to find out what they want and need, and release Enhancements and New Features regularly to meet their demands. Stable Secretary will just keep getting more and more useful and helpful for anyone managing the care of horses.
Are you a barn manager or a trainer? What do you look for in barn management software? Do you need a better system for tracking equine vet records and managing your equine business?
Please share 3 barn management software wish-list items to be entered in a drawing to win a free month of Stable Secretary! Click here to register!