How do you keep track of your horse’s important information? And maybe some other non important stuff, too?
As horse owners and caretakers and grooms alike, we need to know when our horses are due for various “things”. With some planning, and some careful note taking, we can also start to see patterns emerge that may (or may not) need to be changed. More on that later.
Old school spreadsheets are good too. Make sure your horse's records are available to your barn owner, just in case there's an emergency.
A few critical things to know in advance and have some sort of "heads up" about:
- Worming schedule. This will vary from region to region. Your Veterinarian will have the best dosing schedule for your area of the country.
- Vaccination schedule. This is especially important if you need to pre-medicate your horse.
- Dentistry schedule. This can often be combined with a vaccination schedule for easy of making appointments and checking those chompers out.
- Show schedule. This helps you plan for packing, Vet visits, and Farrier visits before your big event.
- Farrier schedule. Some horses have different intervals for farrier work, depending on the season. You also need to coordinate around show schedules and “field trips”.
Big calendars are nice, and easy to reference for appointment due dates and farrier visits.
Some things to note in hindsight:
- Injuries. When did those stitches get put in?
- Medications. When did those antibiotics begin?
- Feed changes. Note when you began to switch hays or grains, just in case your have a “gastro-intestinal disturbance”.
- Lamenesses. Often, you may find yourself asking “hhhmmm…..” a few days before some lameness appears. Noting the circumstances can help you and your Veterinarian figure something out.
- Training notes. You may find it helpful to jot down what went right as you work with your horse.
Journals are great for recording lessons, training notes, progress, shows, etc. but harder to find information in.
How do you keep track of these very important horse things?
- You can use a journal. This is great for training notes, not so good for reminders as it’s not very calendar style.
- You can use a calendar. You can see a day, week, month, or year in advance. A big wall mounted calendar can help you plan shows very easily!
- You can use your smart phone. A reminder system can help with what’s coming up, and a calendar program can help with keeping appointments and the like. BarnManager.com has great software for your phone, tablet, whatever that keeps you in check.
There are a few apps out there designed for horse record keeping, also. Easy, right? As long as you use it!
What works for you in terms of record keeping?