The Stable Secretary Blog

Stable Secretary Featured User – Stone Columns Stables at Elmendorf

Located in the rolling hills of Lexington, Kentucky, Stone Columns Stables at Elmendorf Farm is a haven for horses in all life stages. The facility provides a comprehensive retirement program, layup and rehabilitative services, a breeding program, as well as a young horse development program for show horses. The property also has historical importance as the birthplace of both the first triple crown winner and the famous Thoroughbred, Man o’ War.  

A Comprehensive Equine Program

With over 350 acres and 85 stalls at Elmendorf Farm, an additional 375 acres and 74 stalls at Rosemont Farm (a recently acquired farm just down the road) and concierge services for every client’s horse, Melanie Peterson Ramey, co-owner of Stone Columns Stables, knew she needed a strategic way to keep on top of managing the health of every horse under her care. “I grew up working in barns to pay for lessons. I learned from the ground up and was fortunate to learn good horsemanship from some exceptional people along the way. Whether running a 5 acre farm with 12 horses or this farm that is 350 acres and 85 horses, you must be organised in order to care for all of them properly,” Melanie explained. In 2018, a friend recommended that Melanie try StableSecretary to organize her horse health records, client billing, and management practices, and it has been her barn management tool ever since. 

Because Stone Columns Stables is not only a boarding facility but also contains rehabilitation, breeding, and young horse development programs, there are a lot of additional management practices that need to occur. Providing top management for so many horses with varying needs requires a lot of organization – which is why StableSecretary is so beneficial to Stone Columns Stable’s management team. Melanie shared, “It keeps all of my records in one place along with integration for billing customers and processing credit cards. We can see a snapshot of what is going on with all of the horses at one time in one place. All of my employees have it downloaded on their phones so everyone can see all the information for all of our horses. When you have 85 to care for, that is important.”

A Lifetime of Experience

Melanie worked as a professional in the industry for 20 years, specialising in developing young horses for amateur owners in the hunter and jumper rings, as well as for the western pleasure discipline. After taking time off to rehabilitate from several serious injuries, she decided to focus on dressage and moved back into amateur status to compete with her two dressage horses. 

Melanie also has pursued an interest in breeding, including using Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) to produce offspring from her international level mare, Zinca. “I bred her last year to Everdale, who was recently in the Tokyo Olympics on the bronze medal team for Great Britain. Her first filly is very promising and we are expecting two more foals in 2022. I am excited to produce foals for my future as a dressage rider as well as help make dreams come true for my clients and their breeding aspirations. We had a very successful 2021 breeding season and are accepting new mares for breeding all the time.”

Although her proudest achievement under saddle was winning her first class at the Global Dressage Festival aboard her mare, Zinca, Melanie feels many of her accomplishments come from starting and bringing along quality horses for her clients who go on to succeed in the show ring. 

Providing Quality Service with StableSecretary

StableSecretary contains many features for each segment of Melanie’s operation. She can easily access horse records at the touch of a button, use the breeding reports feature to stay on top of ovulation or foaling dates, manage client billing from her desktop or phone, and so much more. “Stone Columns Stables is a culmination of all of my equine experience over a thirty year period in one place,” explained Melanie. As Stone Columns Stables continues to grow, Melanie is determined to continue to offer top services to clients and to grow the client base for people all over the country – an achievement made easier with the StableSecretary barn management tool!


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