The Stable Secretary Blog

Simplifying your Barn Management Practices

Whether you’re a horse owner keeping your horses at your personal farm or if you’re a manager who oversees a busy show barn or boarding operation, there is a good chance that you got into the role because of the fundamental reason that you enjoy spending time with horses.

If you’re in one of the aforesaid positions, or one that is similar, you likely know that spending time with horses will generally get obscured with the scheduling of vet and farrier visits or lessons, completing horse show entries, or creating feeding schedules. This is not to exclude the record keeping of all important information, organizing tack and equipment, maintenance up-keep, and planning each day. While these pertinent details cannot be eliminated completely, as some are crucial to the importance of a happy and healthy horse (and maybe business), there are several ways to streamline paperwork and simplify your barn management practices to allow you to step away from your white board and be back with the horses more frequently. 



1: Implement Time-Saving Barn Hacks to your Routine

Do you spend what feels like forever watering horses? A simple hack would be to add a second water bucket to each stall, fill them up simultaneously, and they will last longer and save you a refill. Are you using polo wraps throughout each day on the horses you ride? Have you ever thought of using scissors to cut a design, like a zig-zag, into the ends of matching polo wraps to save time matching up pairs. How many trips to the feed room do you make at feeding time? Instead of going back and forth, prepare meals for your horses and put them into a wheelbarrow or a wheeled cart with compartments so that you can roll down the aisle, stopping to feed each horse along the way. 


2: Get Organized and Plan Ahead

By staying organized and continually looking ahead to planning in advance, you can save yourself a great amount of time in the long run! Two time-saving tips that include 1) setting yourself up for the upcoming day the night before, and 2) staying organized with the tasks to be completed. For example, creating lists of what tack and equipment is used with each horse (either within an app like StableSecretary or a physical list which could be hung in the tack room) will help to eliminate questions that students or other staff might have if they are unsure of what to use – and it will save you time having to assist them. Leaving the barn unorganized at the end of the day only sets you up for frustration and a harder day the next morning! If you are away at a show, it might be smart to think about what equipment you will be using the next day, and in what order, so that it can be put away in a manner that makes it most accessible for the next day’s plan.  


3: Go Digital with StableSecretary! 

One of the best and most all-inclusive ways to streamline your management responsibilities is to cut back on the paperwork and binders of information by using StableSecretary!

Through utilizing StableSecretary, you can house all of your horses’ health records, feed schedules, and training comments in one location rather than in binders or folders, and notes on a white board. Within the StableSecretary software, you are also able to organize activities, records, and information for all of the horses within a stable. The whole team can be given access to stable information, if desired. Invoices can be created and sent, as well as paid by clients through the software. All in all, StableSecretary is simplistic in ability to be customized to fit the individual needs of a stable. 


4: Maximize your Down Time

If you are in a position where you are managing a barn full-time, remember to take advantage of any free time in your schedule to complete tasks that will make your life simpler later. This might mean picking stalls throughout the day so that the piles don’t add up and make the stall cleaning process more time-consuming later, or perhaps topping off water buckets, or polishing tack. Most importantly, when you do have a few spare minutes, give yourself a little bit of extra one-on-one time with your favorite equine friends to remind you why you’re doing this in the first place!


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