By CHRISTINE RIVLIN – Taking care of the horses and preparing for a show:
The best way I can say we take care of all the horses at my barn (we have on average 25 horses) is to start with myself, Stacy, Kendall, Christy and Juan! Let me explain. With an average of 25 horses to care for on a daily basis, things run smoothly and the horses are well cared for because we each have a job, a time frame, and know our job!
We have a full service barn Monday through Saturday each week. Which means the following is provided for each of the horses: graining, unblanketing, tacking up to ride for myself and the clients, some lunging of the young horses, handwalking, untacking for the clients, icing or cold hosing legs, washing the horses, turn out, blanketing in the evening, and cleaning tack from the day!
Stacy, my assistant that has been with me 12 years rides four horses every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, starting at 5AM. Christy, my barn manager, tacks, untacks, lunges and cleans tack for her until Juan my regular groom shows up at 7:30. Stacy leaves for her full time job, that pays much better than me, at 8AM! Christy then takes her lesson, and Juan, my groom of nine years takes over at 7:30 until the day is done!
Juan then tacks, and untacks for myself and my other assistant Kendall who has been with me for two years. Kendall rides three to five horses a day for me.
I show up around 7AM, ride 5-6 horses each day and teach all the lessons -usually four to six per day. Many of my clients work full time jobs, so having a grooming service and full care barn works best for them to maximize their limited time.
We also have a farrier that is there three times a week and our vet is out every Thursday, so sometimes Juan’s job also includes holding horses for the vet. He is amazing and we could not operate without him. I make sure I tell him this on a regular basis. He is wonderful with the horses, able to lunge , medicate, wrap, poultice, whatever they need!
So, with all of us knowing our job and everyone being self-motivated the horses are cared for very well.
In this same fashion, we get prepared and organize for the shows. We normally do about one show a month in the fall and winter months, and two per month during the spring/summer show season. We normally take anywhere from 3-13 horses to each show. So, preparing is quite a challenge! Owners are responsible for preparing and sending in their entries. As the show date gets closer, we figure out who is actually going, how many mares, geldings, stallions we are taking, and who will be hauling what horse(s). We always haul our own horses. Christy, the barn manager is the super organizer. She gets all the grain for each horse ready and packed in per day bags and loads into the trailer. The day before we pack the trailer. We all check the tack. We have many horses in double bridles, and they all have their own saddles, so we make a big check list on the board to make sure it all gets packed, since we all help.
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