The Stable Secretary Blog

Stop Wasting Time and Resources! 3 Ways to Run your Barn Efficiently

There is always something to do in a barn.   Whether you’re the trainer, the barn manager, the groom, or the rider, you can always keep working…  Between keeping the barn and horses clean, maintaining your property, calling clients, vendors, vets and farriers, organizing day sheets and vet records and receipts – the list is literally endless.  Continually working long-hours takes its toll on you physically and emotionally and also affects your coworkers, your horses, and other important relationships.   It seems like the horse industry is often tough on its people – it can feel like being successful requires you to sacrifice your entire life…  Stress and burnout causes a high turnover rate for barn staff – you may feel like you’re never able to get any time to yourself because you’re always at the barn, or with people from the barn!

castaway Is this what you look like at the end of every day? Check out our 3 suggested ways to save time and resources at the barn without sacrificing horse care!

 

1. Be Efficient:  Use a System for Everyday Tasks

In my mind, a good system represents an efficient way to do something without sacrificing quality.  Systems are especially effective when you incorporate reminders, tools, and delegation of tasks.  You can have a system for almost everything at the barn:  daily chores;  keeping track of the shoeing schedule; handling turnout; keeping records of lessons and other services you provide, or of medical or therapeutic appointments for your horses? A good system can save you time and resources without sacrificing quality.

 

Having a system can benefit even the simplest chores. For example, I sweep before I water if I’m using a hose in a barn aisle. This prevents the hose from getting dirty and needing to be cleaned before rolling it up, so it saves me time and energy.  Also, if I have to change the course in the ring, I design the course, drag the ring, organize helpers, and use the truck to get the job done well and quickly.  To save time, money, and stress in managing my equine business, I use barn management software called Stable Secretary (https://stablesecretary.com) to keep track of all the health records, service records, and client and invoicing info for my stable.   The Stable Secretary mobile app makes it convenient and easy for me to record events and get reminders on my smart phone throughout the day so that I don’t have to try to remember what happened at the end of the day, week, or month. Look at the Customer Testimonials at Stable Secretary to see how it helps others!

 

 

2.  Make a Schedule:  Create Routines for Repeated Tasks

Incorporate these systems into a routine.  Include daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, and annual tasks.  Find a logical time/day/week/season for every task, and stick to your schedule. Set up reminders for these tasks with alerts from barn management software like Stable Secretary to remind you of upcoming health appointments for your horses or Coggins, passport, and FEI renewal dates, and other important equine logistics.  Scheduling tasks enables you to relax a bit because you know that things will get done…  Barn management software like Stable Secretary relieves you from trying to manage all of that stuff in your head, and from keeping track of a lot of messy (and sometimes unreliable) post-it notes!

 

 

3. Delegate:  Ask for Help, and Pick Helpers Wisely

Choose the best person to handle each task in your system or routine.  For example, if one of your employees used to work at the Gap and loves to be neat and organized, then maybe he/she should be in charge of folding the laundry and making sure the aisle and tack room are tidy!   Or, if one of your employees is a body builder, then maybe he/she should move the heavy jumps in the ring! Also, remember that you are only human and that it’s okay to receive help and ask questions!   Ask your staff, peers, and coworkers when you need advice or help with different aspects of your job. Whether it’s finding or using new barn management software, fixing a difficult lead change, dealing with a spooky horse or a difficult vendor/client, or figuring out a good system for daily chores, utilize ALL of your resources ALL of the time!

 

 

What systems do you have? How do you save time without sacrificing quality? Please leave a comment and share what works for you!

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