This week’s installment to my blog will continue my mini-series of posts designed with the beginner horse owner in mind or as gentle reminders for those more experienced owners.
Organization for the Sake of Your Horse
Whether traveling to a horse show or a trail ride, having records readily available for both you and your horse can save time and frustration. It can also be a life saver in the event of an emergency. A good way to keep track of your records, as long as you remember to update them, is a three ring binder with dividers which can be picked up and taken with you each time you need it. For the technology inspired, some mobile phones offer apps with similar record keeping abilities. Whatever your choice for record keeping there is a minimum amount of information that should be documented. Let’s take a look at what your records should include.
- Veterinary and farrier contact information. This information should include their names, physical and e-Mail addresses, mobile and land-line telephone numbers, FAX number, plus identical information for a backup plan should your first choices be unavailable.
- Horse health records. These should be divided individually by horse and include the following: Coggin’s test certificate, a list of vaccinations your horse has received and the date they received them, information on your horse’s de-worming schedule that provides the product used and the date that it was administered, and a record of your horse’s dental exams and findings along with their treatments. Suggestions for other data might include baseline pulse and respiration rates and temperature for each horse, the date, treatment and results of any disorder or condition your horse may currently have or has had in the past, and copies of your horse’s insurance papers. If required for travel, you should also include a health certificate.
- Farrier records. These should include the name of the farrier, date visited, and remarks about the visit including information about trimming and shoeing techniques or anything unusual noted and/or treated.
- Other records (horse). Behind each horse’s health care and farrier records I also keep copies of each animal’s registration papers, pedigree, identification numbers, show record and list of other awards if applicable, in addition to current photographs.
- Other records (owner/rider). Finally, in a separate section of the book, I keep records of a more personal nature. This information should include your medical information card, a copy of your breed or sport registry’s membership cards, if applicable, and a list of and copies of any paperwork for programs you or your horse may be enrolled in.