Rider of the Month: Sarah Watson

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.

Stable Secretary Announces Convenient Invoicing Upgrades for Clients and Collaboration with Equestrian Payment Solutions

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.

Streamlined Record Keeping

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.

The Future Is Here

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.

 

QuickBooks

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.

 

Happy riding!

Are you ready for Winter Circuit?

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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.

 

hitsthermalschoolingarea
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).
hitsocalahunterring
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!!

What is the best strategy to keep your horses worm-free?

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!

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:

  • “Parasitism” is the most common equine disease.
  • The susceptibility of any horse to worms depends on its age, location, and stress level, as well as the time of year, and the condition of its pasture.
  • Horses typically become infected with worms when they have been in contact with an infected horse, or have grazed in a contaminated pasture or paddock.
  • The four most common types of internal parasites are Strongyles, Ascarids, Tapeworms and Bots. Each parasite needs a specific type of deworming medication to terminate it.
  • Some parasites have built up a resistance against some of the more commonly-used medications, so those medications are no longer very effective.
  • It is advised to deworm often enough to keep your horses healthy, but not unnecessarily often which would increase the likelihood of resistance developing.

    I recommend the following deworming strategies:

  • Seek your veterinarian’s advice to create a deworming program that is tailored to your horses. This should take into account the age and condition of your horses, your location, and the time of year.
  • Clean your paddocks and pastures frequently. Internal parasites spread primarily through manure, so muck out your turnout areas at least twice a week.
  • If you choose to administer deworming medication based on a predetermined schedule (rather than based on results of a fecal test), use deworming medication that is specific to the time of year and to your location. Also, make sure to give your horses the full recommended dosage.
  • If possible, consider deworming your horses based on individual need. Ask your veterinarian to test fecal samples every 3 months, and then give each horse deworming medication to specifically target any parasites found.
    I encourage you to ask your veterinarian for advice on the best way to control worms.   Whatever your deworming strategy is, Stable Secretary can help you to keep track of your worming records.   Below are some web sites that present a general overview of how to protect your horse from harmful worms:
    www.horse.com
    www.drsfostersmith.com
    www.lathamdvm.coml
    www.valleyvet.com
    www.horsechannel.com
    Please leave a comment below to share your deworming strategy with our readers!

Tips from the Experts: How to Keep Horses Sound

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.

pokey_show

 

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.

Press Release: Stable Secretary releases enhanced features, welcomes new partner

Stable Secretary releases enhanced features, welcomes new partner

In today’s world, multitasking is no longer a skill – it’s a requirement. From riding multiple horses to teaching lessons, keeping track of blanketing and turnout, farrier visits; vet appointments and more, trainers and barn managers have their hands full.

StableSecretary.com founder Kate Rice knows that life well; after more than two decades of work experience in busy stables, she created StableSecretary to make the jobs of barn managers and trainers more manageable.

StableSecretary’s cloud-based record keeping software simplifies life for equestrian professionals at all levels of the business. This month, it released new features that provide instant access to lease agreement details, registration numbers, bloodlines, insurance information, categorized comments, and more.  It enables users to customize calendars and reports to show past and future health and service events for one, some, or all horses. It also tracks payments and invoice balances to ease billing.

“StableSecretary has been a lifesaver for me,” says young professional Hayley Barnhill. “Before, I struggled to find the best way to track my rides and make invoices. I’d forget things because I didn’t write them down, and I’d waste a whole day off at month’s end trying to make invoices. Now all I have to do is pick up my phone and click on the horse’s name that I rode or showed. Billing at the end of the month is just as easy.”

Easy-to-use and tailored to users’ specific needs, StableSecretary’s intuitive software enables users to access and manipulate health, billing, and operational information for their stables. Supported by the most advanced technology, it can be operated from any mobile device or computer.

Most recently, Stable Secretary acquired the expertise of existing software Show Barn Manager. Show Barn Manager contributed to the latest updates and now supports Stable Secretary. The combined experience of Rice and Cathy Warner Goodwin, founder of Show Barn Manager, now operate together under Stable Secretary to create a leading system that reduces oversights in horse care and incomplete invoicing.

“Stable Secretary is an invaluable tool for every horse person who knows how hard it is to keep track of all of the records for your own horses and for your clients’ horses,” says grand prix rider Debbie Stephens. “It allows you to spend your time with the horses, but at the same time never lose track of precious data which can be life-saving to our equine partners.”

Stable Secretary offers proactive, dependable, and friendly training and support.  It is available for purchase at http://stablesecretary.com.

CONTACT
Kate Rice
StableSecretary
Email: pr@stablesecretary.com Phone: (617) 564-1241

Start using Stable Secretary now!

You have time now to let Stable Secretary manage all of your equine records, so that you can focus on your horses and what you do best.

Working in the horse industry can be chaotic.   Actually, that’s a huge understatement – being on the working side of the horseshow scene is much more than a job, it’s a lifestyle.  This horsey lifestyle consumes most hours of every day, most days of every week, and most weeks of every year.  You’re packing, unpacking, and repacking all the time.  You’re hopping from hotel to restaurant to show – week after week.  You’re dealing with the here-and-now while planning for the known and unknowns.  Meanwhile, your biggest job is making sure that the horses in your barn are happy and healthy.  You’re continually multitasking, and managing your business at home and on-the-go. cara_training
farm-trail November and December provide, for some, a bit of relief from this busy-busy-busy.  After indoors, but before winter circuits start, you may find a few moments to pause.  Take advantage of them!  Do something for yourself.  Whether you go to a spa, go out on the town, curl up by the fire, or exercise, do something that’s just for YOU.  Check in with friends and family.  Read a book or go to a movie.  And consider giving your horses a change of pace, too – turnout and trail rides can keep them fit while giving them a mental and physical break.

Use this time to evaluate the way you run your barn and business.  Make fundamental changes to your business like the way you do your equine record keeping.   Get started with barn management software Stable Secretary now!  With Stable Secretary, you will save tons of time by adding and viewing health records on a mobile app on your phone, or on the web app on a tablet or computer.  You will also save time and money by adding and viewing service records on your phone, tablet, or computer.  This centralized database of service records makes invoicing easy for your equine business, and you can track payments too!  Stable Secretary eliminates the nuisance of mailing multiple day sheets, med sheets, and other expense sheets back and forth with a secretary to create invoices that are often still wrong!

Take time while you can to recharge your batteries.  Also, set up Stable Secretary for your equine business to manage all of your equine health and service records, so that you can focus on the most important part:  the horses.

Press Release: STABLESECRETARY LAUNCHES WINNING FEATURES

Stable Secretary Logo

Innovative Barn Management Solution Releases Useful Web and Mobile Features to Boost Productivity

 

Natick, Mass. – October 21, 2013 – Today, StableSecretary, the popular barn management software, announces the release of several new features that make barn management more efficient and cost-effective. Based on customer demand, these new features help resolve some of the most problematic areas of barn management, including invoicing.

With these new features, barn managers, trainers, and stable owners using StableSecretary are now able to:

– Track additional information about the horses in their stables, enabling instant access to lease agreement details, unlimited registration numbers, breeding records, insurance information, categorized comments, and more;

-View a customizable calendar showing past and future health and service events for all of their horses to facilitate planning and logistical paperwork;

– Run reports for individual or multiple horses to see an instant, accurate, and customized list of whatever information is necessary at that moment; and

– Record payments and track balances for invoices to further facilitate the billing process.

Less than a year after its launch, StableSecretary has already impressed the equine industry, earning rave reviews from clients who deem it easy-to-use and a boon to their productivity.  With today’s updates,  StableSecretary is addressing some of the most pressing needs facing barn managers, trainers, and stable owners in the operation of their business.

StableSecretary has been a lifesaver for me,” said Hayley Barnhill of Uphill Farm.I used to spend so much time trying to find the best way to track my rides and send out invoices, and I’d end up forgetting things because I didn’t write them down. Stable Secretary has made my life so much easier, and much more organized. It only took ten minutes to enter my horses names and information, and now all I have to do at the end of the day is pick up my phone and click on the horse’s name that I rode or showed. Billing at the end of the month is just as easy.”

Designed to help barn managers operate more efficiently and prevent costly mistakes, StableSecretary is easy-to-use barn management software, optimized for mobile devices, that enables horse trainers, barn managers and stable owners to manage health, billing, and operational information for their horses and their services. 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.

StableSecretary offers proactive, dependable, and friendly training and support.  It is available for purchase at http://stablesecretary.com.

To find out more about StableSecretary, please visit us at http://stablesecretary.com.

###

CONTACT

Kate Rice

StableSecretary

Email:  pr@stablesecretary.com

Phone:  (617) 564-1241

 

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