Wouldn’t it be helpful if a horse could say “Help! Something hurts here!”? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Galloping, leaping and sliding to a stop all can put an overwhelming amount of stress on a horse’s legs. Joints are made of up bone, cartilage, soft tissues and protective fluid- all of which can break down as joints absorb shock by bending and giving.
Sliding strains joints.
Running strains joints.
Jumping strains joints. pc: Practical Horseman
There are several reasons why equine veterinarians may need to inject medicine into a horse’s joint. One is to assist in lameness localization by anesthetizing, or blocking, a joint. In this case, the vet will inject a local anesthetic inside the joint cavity and then assess whether or not the joint is a source of pain to the horse. Another common reason is to administer medicine directly into a joint to make it feel better, or as part of proactive management to help a horse be comfortable and maximize his performance.
The former helps to diagnose a lameness. The latter helps to give relief to a painful joint condition.
The two most common conditions that are often treated with joint injections are acute arthritis and osteoarthritis. Acute arthritis implies that the injury and pain happened recently, and can usually be helped by joint injections by reducing inflammation.
Osteoarthritis involves bone and is generally chronic, meaning it has gone on for a longer period of time. Osteoarthritis can’t be cured, but can be helped. This recent study http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evj.12383/full showed that with joint injections, 90% of the horses studied had improved within 3 weeks. Horses can expect to get a few months of relief from a joint injection, but most likely it will not be a long term fix.
Outside of joint injections, there are three types of FDA-approved injectable joint therapies used in horses. Intra-articular (IA), intravenous (IV), and intramuscular (IM). Examples of these might include Adequan and Legend. Your veterinarian may prescribe one, none, or a combination of these types depending on your horse’s use, soundness problems, and which joints are affected. There are also various supplements, oral medications, and therapeutic treatments that can help ease the painfulness of joint problems in horses.
It is important to note that a complete lameness exam, likely to include joint flexions and joint blocking (described above), should be performed prior to administering joint injections. This can help to rule out other causes for the pain which would prevent unintentionally aggravating a non-joint related underlying injury. Also, there are risks of infection and long term side-effects which must also be evaluated prior to injecting joints. In some cases, veterinarians prescribe a course of less invasive therapeutic medicines (like Adequan and Legend) or therapeutic treatments to help horses feel comfortable without undergoing joint injections. If you do pursue joint injections for your horse, it is important to remember that adequate restraint is absolutely essential for a safe joint injection, and therefore only an experienced handler should be allowed to perform a joint injection.
Stable Secretary makes it easy to track a complete history of joint injections, as well as therapies and medications, for every horse in the barn. This enables owners, veterinarians, trainers, and barn managers to form logical conclusions about the best treatments for each individual horse.
In December, we talked to New Jersey based trainer, Amanda Steege. Amanda is the owner and head trainer at Ashmeadow Farm. She and her students have won tricolors at all of the biggest shows in the United States – and they also have a lot of fun in general! Ashmeadow nurtures a wonderful feeling of camaraderie for the customers and staff in the barn, and it also provides the very highest level of care for the horses. Honestly, I’d love to be a horse in Amanda’s barn!
Amanda has been using Stable Secretary since 2014. We sat down with her to find out about her, her barn, and how Stable Secretary helps her care for her horses and run her business.
Amanda with Duvall, one of the horses in her stable.
Q: Why does your barn use Stable Secretary?
Amanda: We use Stable Secretary to help us stay organized, and it also saves me time and money!
Q: What do you love about Stable Secretary?
Amanda: I love that it keeps track of when my horses are due for the farrier, vaccinations, worming, etc, and that it sends me notifications. I also love that I can enter in my services right from my iPhone in the moment before I forget what I have done. Before Stable Secretary, I did everything by hand and I think that I lost a lot of money because there were a lot of things that I forgot to bill for. I also love that through Stable Secretary I can accept credit cards.
Q: What would you say to other trainers considering subscribing to Stable Secretary?
Amanda: I would highly suggest Stable Secretary for any size business. In fact, I have recommend it to several of my friends.
Q: What types of horses and riders do you have at your barn?
Amanda: We have 12-16 horses in our barn, and we focus primarily on hunters. We mostly work with young hunters and with amateur clients.
Q: We have noticed that you’re particularly talented at developing young horses. What are some techniques you use with young horses that you could share with our readers?
Amanda: The most important thing with young horses is being consistent. We spend a lot of time working on flat work and gymnastics and giving our young horses the tools and confidence they need to enter the show ring.
Q: Could you share any health and wellness practices for horses that you think are the most important?
Amanda: We have a team of people at Ashmeadow that spends a lot of time making sure our horses are happy and healthy. It all starts with our barn manager, Tim Delovich, who creates an individual Feed and supplement program for each horse based on their needs. We also rely on our vet, farrier, chiropractor, massage therapist, and dentist. By working together, we keep our equine athletes at the top of their game.
Also, I am a big believer in the mental health of the horses, so they spend quite a bit of time eating grass outside in our pastures, and going for rides on our trails and in our hayfields to balance out their training time in the ring.
Amanda with Tim and their newly adopted dog!
Q: In your opinion, what is the most rewarding thing about being a trainer?
Amanda: The relationships we build with the animals.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most challenging thing about being a trainer?
Amanda: The fact that it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no downtime.
Q: What would you say is your biggest strength?
Amanda: I think that my biggest strength is being able to listen to the horses and to make relationships with horses.
Q: You have had a lot of success in hunter derbies. What is the most challenging aspect of doing hunter derbies?
Amanda: I love the derby classes… I love how each one is different and has different challenges built into the course. That is probably what makes them the most challenging – you’re never quite sure what to expect from class to class!
Did you know that ulcers can affect up to two-thirds of all performance horses? Gastric ulcers, technically known as Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS), are very common in horses of any age. This is because horses have stomachs that are much smaller than other species’ stomachs and generally cannot handle large amounts of food. Horses are, by nature, continuous grazers who eat coarse grasses 16 to 18 hours a day in natural settings. They are meant to graze and eat small portions more frequently. But for many horses, especially performance horses, this is uncommon. Many performance horses have significantly restricted grazing access and often require additional caloric supplementation to meet their energy requirements. These types of eating habits can lead to ulcer development.
Unfortunately, the signs of ulcers in horses can be subtle: a slight attitude change, decrease in performance, or general reluctance to train may be the only signs you see. Teeth grinding, poor appetite and lying down more often are also symptoms of ulcers that some horses may show. The only way to know for sure if your horse is suffering from a gastric ulcer is to have a vet perform a gastroscopy.
photo credit: ReadySupp
When it comes to keeping your horse healthy, ulcer free, and at the top of his game, prevention is key. The most effective strategy that vets have found to prevent ulcers is a combination of feeding, time management, and water. In order to decrease ulcers, many veterinarians recommend allowing free access or long periods of grazing, constant hay access when they are confined for more than six hours, feeding frequent small grain concentrate meals, replacing calories from carbohydrates with fats and fiber-based diets, offering alfalfa hay/cubes/pellets, and providing constant access to fresh, clean water.
There are also other factors to consider when trying to prevent ulcers. These include minimizing stress relative to housing, common routines and transportation. Horses that are permanently housed on pasture with light exercise are six times less likely to get ulcers than stalled, moderately exercising horses. Horses with constant access to forage are four time less likely to get ulcers. Research has also shown that installing mirror in stalls and trailers can help reduce blood cortisol, a stress hormone, thus potentially lowering ulcers.
If you think your horse may have an ulcer, have the vet evaluate the symptoms and discuss next courses of action. Typically, the two medications that work well to treat ulcers are Gastrogard and Ulcergard. These treatments are not inexpensive but have been proven to have good results and treating ulcers in horses.
Use Stable Secretary to track your horse’s activities, behaviors, and health events. Having quick and easy access to a complete overview of health history can help you and your vet determine how best to treat any condition your horse might develop.
From her start on the East Coast to her successful professional career at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Sarah Watson is no stranger to the stress of running a show barn. One of Stable Secretary’s first users, Sarah has experienced first hand how helpful Stable Secretary can be. We sat down with her to discuss her background in the horse industry and to find out how she implements Stable Secretary in her business.
Q: Tell us about you and your barn!
A: I started my professional career in Greenwich CT at Country Lane Farm, a really great family business that had loads of ponies and kids. There, I started to learn the ins and outs of running a business but never thought I would have one of my own. I went from there to Washington DC where I worked at Meadowbrook Stables with Miranda Scott teaching lessons and attending shows around the DC area. Also while in DC I traveled into Maryland and rode for Stacy Schaeffer and Kim Stewart riding horses at home and schooling at shows for Scott Stewart. I moved to Colorado in 2008 and after being an assistant for a few more years a dear friend and mentor, Nicole Webb, encouraged me to branch off on my own, and that is when Watson Equestrian LLC was born. I felt like I had learned what to do and what not to do from so many others that I really focus on keeping my business small so that I can give each horse and rider equal amounts of attention for the Hunter, Equitation, Jumper, and Pony rings.
Q: What is your favorite Stable Secretary feature and why?
A: I love that I can keep track of the horses Coggins and health records with Stable Secretary. Who really looks at a Coggins that often to know when it expires?! It’s so helpful to have Stable Secretary tell me when one is going to need to be redone so it’s one less thing I have to write down and remember.
Q: How do you use Stable Secretary on a daily basis?
A: I use Stable Secretary for the health record feature the most because it allows my brain to have a little more space! I can’t remember every date of every injection or medication given, so it is so helpful to just plug it into my app on my phone and be able to reference each horse’s records with a few finger taps.
Q: How has Stable Secretary improved your role in managing your barn?
A: Stable Secretary has improved my role in managing my barn because it saves me time for riding and teaching by making everything so accessible. When the vet or farrier comes for a horse, I can just pull my iPad or phone out and open the app, plug in what horse had what done, and then move on with my day. Stable Secretary reminding me every Monday of what I have coming up the next 2 weeks helps me stay on top of every horse’s care just the same.
Q: Would you recommend Stable Secretary to other trainers?
A: I would DEFINITELY recommend Stable Secretary to other professionals, and even just horse owners who like to be involved, or barn owners who manage grain etc. It’s just so easy to use and so much more convenient than just writing something down on a white board etc. Stable Secretary makes a horse trainer’s life easier, and I imagine it would make a barn manager’s a breeze! Having this information no matter my location makes running a barn full of healthy horses simple.
Find out more about Sarah at the Watson Equestrian LLC web site or Facebook page.
For Immediate Release
Kim Beaudoin for Stable Secretary
New London, NH- October 5, 2017 – Stable Secretary, the innovative equestrian record keeping software system, is proud to announce the inception of its newest invoicing technology upgrades for Professional users. Originally created to assist barn owners and managers with record keeping needs, Stable Secretary offers easy-to-use applications to help improve the productivity of equestrian facility management.
Stable Secretary has partnered with Equestrian Payment Solutions, to create a faster and more effective payment process. The improved technology saves time, prevents mistakes, and eliminates paper waste, by recording directly into the App via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Invoices are generated quickly, and tracking of payments and balances is just a click away. The key features of the invoicing section of the app include tracking services, creating bills, tracking payments, and accepting credit card payments online.
Robin Wertlieb Schwartz, of Equestrian Payment Solutions commented, “What we are trying to do is create a number of improvements that help trainers and stable managers, to not only get paid more efficiently, but also in a timelier manner. The emphasis is on the fact that they still have to run their day-to-day business, but cash flow will be improved now that they have this vehicle to provide to clients.”
The company is also working on tools for exporting records and income to QuickBooks, and hopes to launch this pro-active feature by the end of October.
“The feature also offers options for their customers,” continued Schwartz, “So they are able to use multiple forms of payment, via check or credit card. In the future, we hope to incorporate a place for fixed fees, where customers can be put on automatic recurring billing. The fixed fee is for services that are current, while the invoicing focuses on services that have already been provided.”
The invoicing also features new and innovative details, that include links from invoices to payment opportunities, as well as linkage to individual company websites that syphon to direct payment plans.
For more information, and to learn more about Stable Secretary, please visit www.stablesecretary.com.
The objective of Stable Secretary is to improve the health and performance of horses, enable communication between clients, staff, and vendors, and ultimately increase revenues for businesses. With the activation of the newest invoicing system, Stable Secretary is able to increase this mission in a positive way.
We all want to be organized, right? It’s no fun to search for a Coggins in a cluster of random dusty papers, or to rifle through old text messages to figure out who got shod when… Enter Stable Secretary, the easy-to-use barn management software created by horse people who understand how hard it is to keep track of “office stuff” since most of us are usually out in the barn. Stable Secretary makes it simple to keep all of a horse’s documents in one place – accessible via mobile app or computer – which you can then easily access and share with whoever needs it then and there.
One of our users, Kristin, found out that her horse needed colic surgery while she was away on a business trip. Because she had access to all of his records on her phone and laptop through her Stable Secretary account, she could send all the necessary insurance information and health history to the vets taking care of him. Thankfully, the horse made a full recovery and is now back to work and showing with Kristin. Accidents happen, often at the worst times. Stable Secretary can minimize your stress by keeping you prepared for those emergencies.
Another user, Cathy, explains how Stable Secretary has made record keeping easier: ”Everyone should keep health records organized. It’s easy to enter info as it happens into Stable Secretary, and then it’s great to have so many different ways to view everything once it’s entered. You and your team members can instantly see whatever you need to know about the horses in your care, and you can update that info conveniently. Vets/farriers appreciate having a barn manager or trainer who can answer their questions accurately and quickly.”
Stable Secretary will upgrade your record keeping system so everything is organized and accessible anytime, anywhere. The era of file cabinets and binders is over… Say goodbye to the inconvenient mess of paper and streamline your records today.
Equestrian Payment Solutions
We have teamed up with Equestrian Payment Solutions to make billing and payment easier for trainers, barn managers and their clients. Robin at Equestrian Payment Solutions helps trainers and managers to set up their accounts to accept credit cards. Clients appreciate the convenience and ease of paying their bills online, and business owners enjoy being paid faster.
Health Provider Updates
It is challenging to keep track of the health needs of all of the horses in the barn. With our soon to be released update, health providers like vets, farriers, chiropractors, etc. can be invited to access horse information and health records through Stable Secretary. This will allow health providers to view health histories to better determine what each horse needs. Our goal is to facilitate communication between trainers, managers, and health providers to better serve the horses’ needs.
Stable Secretary is working to make it simple to export records from Stable Secretary into Quickbooks for those barns with more complex accounting needs. This update will enable trainers and managers to do all of their record keeping in Stable Secretary but also take advantage of the advanced accounting features offered by Quickbooks (payroll, tax information, etc) without having to do any duplicate data entry. We aim to have this integration released by Summer 2017.
We are dedicated to improving the quality, efficiency, reliability and accessibility of your experience. We are here to serve you and all your barn management needs, and we welcome suggestions and feedback.
|Winter circuits start in January all across the world. The main winter circuits in the United States are HITS Thermal in California, HITS Arizona, HITS Ocala and the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, and the Gulf Coast Winter Classic in Mississippi. Horses and riders have warm weather options for showing from coast to coast.
There is so much to do to get ready for these first horse shows of the year. Not only do the horses need to be fit and ready to compete, but entries, veterinary work, transportation, and other details all need to be planned well ahead of time.
|Each series of competitions has different requirements for entries and facility admittance, but most of them have some general requirements. Below is a general checklist to help you make sure that you’re ready to go:
- – Entries submitted by deadline (deadlines vary depending on competition);
- – Deposits sent with entries;
- – Required current vaccinations (i.e. Flu/Rhino within 6 months, EHV 1 and EHV 4 within 3 months for HITS Thermal – remember these must be valid/ updated through the final competition);
- – Current Vaccination Certificate (proof of vaccinations);
- – Current Coggins and Health Certificates;
- – Current Registrations for Horses and Riders for national and international federations (USEF, USHJA, and FEI).
|In addition to the documentation and paperwork required by the competition, you will probably also want to address the following items to insure a pleasant and hassle-free experience for you, your staff, your clients, and your horses:
- – Confirm that your entries were received;
- – Confirm the total number of stalls reserved (including horses, tack, feed, and other storage stalls);
- – Confirm housing (hotel rooms and dates, rental information, or camper parking and logistics);
- – Confirm transportation for horses (check timing, route, number of horses, paperwork, etc);
- – Place an initial feed and bedding order;
- – Finish all routine vet work well in advance (joint injections, vaccinations, worming, etc), especially if your horses have a long trailer ride;
- – Communicate plan for shipping (feed before and during trip, watering, blanketing, any special medication, etc.).
Using Stable Secretary makes barn management easier, whether you’re on the road or at your home stable. Among other things, Stable Secretary will provide alerts for all Health-related due dates: Coggins renewals, farrier appointments, worming, vaccination, and dental due dates, and will give you reminders about joint injections and therapeutic appointments or procedures. View past Health events and enter new ones on-the-go. If you are away for an extended period of time, it’s easy to stay connected with your team at home so that nothing slips through the cracks.
Use these checklists to help take care of the logistics and details, and then let the packing begin! From everyone at Stable Secretary, have a safe, fun, and successful winter series!!
|I received a wide range of responses when I asked some Stable Secretary users how they deworm their horses. Many barns deworm all of their horses every 6 to 8 weeks, rotating between different dewormer medications each time. It is common for people on the show circuit give a Panacur Power Pak to horses that look a little questionable (not shiny enough, not fat enough, etc). Some users have their veterinarian test a fecal sample from each horse for worms every 3 months, and then they treat any infected horses with the targeted deworming medication. A few people add deworming powder medication to their horses’ daily feed to try to prevent worm infestations; others add garlic to the daily feed to control flies and worms. Everyone seems to do it differently – what is the right way?
Keep your horses healthy and shiny!
Even though I’ve worked in barns for many years, I didn’t feel like I really knew much about worms and proper deworming practices. I decided it was time for me to get some facts about this (gross) issue.
Through a little bit of (disgusting) research about worms and horses, I learned that:
|I asked several Stable Secretary users who are respected and successful barn managers and trainers to tell me what they think are the most important elements to keeping their horses sound. Their answers were remarkably consistent. Every person cited the importance of factors such as:
– good footing;
– a proper and consistent fitness program;
– good nutrition;
– a team of experienced people caring for each horse.
Amanda Steege, a top hunter/jumper trainer based in Bedminster NJ and Ocala FL, keeps her horses sound by providing them with good nutrition, consistent exercise, and a team of people to keep them healthy and going well. She says, “Horses are a lot like human athletes – if you put the best feed, supplements, and medications into them, the sounder and healthier they will be. Instituting a good consistent exercise program for your horse will make him strong and well-muscled, which will prevent injuries and also make it easier for him to do his job in the ring. Having a great team of specialists (farriers, vets, grooms, trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, and others) makes it possible to notice weaknesses before they turn into injuries. I have had many experiences where my chiropractor or massage therapist has found a potential problem with a horse, and has notified me to back off a little on that horse’s work while they sort it out. Between their working on the issue, and my taking it easy on the horse’s activities, we have prevented weaknesses from turning into serious injuries.”
Debbie Stephens, a top hunter/jumper trainer from FL, emphasizes how crucial it is to have a top blacksmith, a top sports medicine vet, excellent fitness and nutrition plans, and the best footing to train on. She also remarks, “You need a lot of plain old common sense, too. The rule of thumb that I use with my horses is to always assume the worst scenario possible, and to have plans b, c, and d ready. I never settle for anything but the best care, footing, nutrition, and exercise for my horses.”
Nanci Snyder, a top barn manager, also credits good shoeing, a good fitness program, and excellent footing to keeping her horses sound, besides the important factors of genetics and good luck! Nanci recommends, “Make the best decisions for your horse that your circumstances allow. For professionals, it’s about finding a balance between what is ideal for the horse, and what keeps the business thriving. It is important to create a program and manage your stable down to the smallest detail.”
Stable Secretary would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to Jennifer Frank of Wyndsor Farm, Annie Dotoli of Tibri Horses, Amanda Steege of Ashmeadow Farm, Debbie Stephens of Centennial Farm Inc., and Nanci Snyder of Mullenders & Wylde, Inc. for sharing their wisdom with us and our readers. Hopefully, your words will help keep more horses sound!
Stable Secretary is barn management software that is designed to make it easier for barn managers and trainers to keep track of the health and service records for the horses in their stable. By keeping equine health records organized, and providing alerts for horse veterinarian and farrier appointments, it contributes to the quest of keeping horses healthy and sound.