I have a confession: when I was a teenager I was a huge slob. I’m talking the you “can’t even see my bedroom floor, I’ve never cleaned out my car” kind of chaos. But now, disarray drives me crazy. I can’t come home to dirty dishes in the sink and I get frantic when I can’t find things I need. So I try to have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. I’m not a neat freak, but I do like to know where stuff is. For example, I got really upset with myself when I mysteriously misplaced my USEF membership card last week and I almost had a heart attack when I couldn’t remember when Miles was last visited by the farrier. So in 2015 I’ve vowed to at least keep all things equine neat and tidy. Here are my best tips to organize your equestrian life:
I started by putting together a ‘Miles’ file in our filing cabinet, which has all of his records including membership cards and health records. I also added a folder to our family’s Dropbox account to keep digital records of important documents, such as a copy of Miles’ bill of sale and Coggins results; that way I have immediate access whenever, wherever. But even then, I was constantly rummaging through the file to find what I needed. Which brings me to my next topic…
I might not need access to Miles’ Coggins test on a regular basis, but I do need to know when he was last shod. So I started using the Printable Pony Horse Binder to keep track of everything, from vet and farrier visits to feed changes. Plus, the Emergency Care and Contacts sheet is perfect for when I go out-of-town; I simply hand it off to barn staff so they have everything they need — just in case. Additionally, one of my big goals has been to keep my equestrian spending on a tight leash. To accomplish this goal, I’m using a comprehensive equine budget worksheet to track my purchases and ensure that I’m staying on budget.
For Horse Shows
If you’re anything like me, you bring a lot of stuff with you to horse shows and it’s easy for something to get left behind. As for paperwork, I’m just as likely to leave it at home as I am to destroy it on the way by spilling my coffee on it. So I’ve devised an ingenious way to ensure that not only I have my important paperwork with me, but that it stays legible. I have a fabric stall card holder that I put up on my stall at every show, which includes a printable stall card with all of Miles’ information on it, including my contact information. It lives in my horse show box, so I never forget it. And I’ve hidden copies of my membership cards, Coggins tests and Miles’ membership cards behind his stall card, in the holder. It’s absolutely brilliant, I know!