We recently had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Katie Robicheaux. Katie is the Head Dressage Trainer at L’Acadiane Equine Management (LAEM). LAEM offers both Dressage and Jumper training.
Katie has been using Stable Secretary since 2015. We were interested in finding out how Stable Secretary helps her and her team manage their horses across different disciplines and in different locations. We were happy to hear that Stable Secretary makes her stable life “seamless”, and to learn about some of the other strategies and routines Katie and Vincent have adopted to maintain their top-notch stable.
Q: Can you tell us a little about LAEM? How did it start? Where are you based?
Katie R: L’Acadiane Equine Management started as a grooming business. In 2013, we grew into a full service dressage and jumper training business. My background is in dressage. Vincent’s background is in barn management and jumpers.
We are based in Medfield, MA at Cutler Farm, a beautiful facility with an indoor ring, an outdoor ring, and ample turnout. We have a Pilates studio where riders and non-riders can work on their body awareness. We offer lessons, showing, winter boarding, and jumper sales.
Q: How does it work to have dressage and jumper riders share a facility? How do you share ring time? Are there pros and cons?
Katie R: Our inspiration came from seeing this model in Europe. It’s more common for facilities to share and train in both dressage and jumper disciplines there. We see sharing as only beneficial. We believe cross training builds confidence.
For sharing ring time, Vincent and I made a deal that works for us. Since I get to winter in Florida, and he stays home and uses the indoor then, we switch in the summer – he then gets the outdoor and I use the indoor.
Q: Tell us about some of the horses in your barn and your training program.
Katie R: I have a new horse, just imported from Holland, which I’m very excited about. He is a 7 year old dutch warmblood Uphill x Donnerhall, named Grandiose. And Vincent has a handful of young jumper sales horses.
We keep an open mind for every horse, and pay attention to the needs of each horse and rider. All of our horses work on cardio training on the race track. We have easy access to trails, which gives both horse and rider a nice change of scene. Our jumpers practice flatwork because Dressage is a fabulous basis for jumpers. And our dressage horses practice cavalettis. Our Dressage horses and riders especially benefit by having seen some diversity at home because the outside world at horse shows is quiet unpredictable. This variety makes our horses and riders adept.
Q: What has been the top challenge(s) in managing a barn, and how has Stable Secretary helped make your life easier?
Katie R: Stable Secretary tremendously helps our record keeping. Our top challenges include the elements in barn life, and the distance between being at home and away at shows. I don’t have to worry about the wind blowing papers, or coffee spilling on binders. Everything is in one place, and easy to access from anywhere. Our staff uses the program too. This all helps with the continuity of us managing a barn.
Q: What is one of your favorite features of Stable Secretary?
Katie R: The ability to recall exact dates immediately. Whether I’m standing with a vet or client, I can use the app on my phone to recall exact dates on the spot. This helps me answer questions quickly and confidently. And in turn, we can make informed decisions efficiently.
Q: Give me one word that describes your stable life after becoming a Stable Secretary subscriber?
Katie R: Seamless
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