How to keep track of your horse’s records

 

It’s likely you won’t need to know the exact date of your horse’s last booster, but you do need to have lots of information – just in case. And yes, your vet and farrier and chiropractor and all sorts of people all have that information – but do you have it all in one place?

 

  • Why is this important? There may be a day when you are unavailable, and your barn manager needs to interact with a vet or farrier. Maybe that vet or farrier is the on-call professional and doesn’t have access to your horse’s records.  

Horses records to track yourself

 

Most horses follow a pretty solid routine about vaccinations and dental exams and floatings and stuff like that. Here’s a more comprehensive list to note:

The basics: 

 

Vaccinations

Fecal Egg counts and results, follow up fecal egg counts

Deworming protocols 

Dental exams

Dental floatings

Farrier schedule

Chiropractic visits

Saddle fittings

 

 

Medical records:

 

Allergies 

Joint injections

Colic episodes

Soreness and lameness

Diet changes

Life events – new barn, shows, etc. 

Antibiotic use

Anti-inflammatory use

Go into details! You may start to see trends. For example, does your horse colic at about the same time every year? Does he need the chiropractor after a few weeks of showing? What quirks does he have? 

 

Horse information that you should also log

 

Your horse’s vital signs: 

 

Temperature

Pulse 

Respirations

Digital pulses

Gum color and feeling

Capillary refill time

Gut sound normals

Other “normals” that your horse has:

Pooping location, frequency, color, amount of moisture

Urination location

Daily water intake

Eating habits 

Behaviors and quirks

Training routine and exercise plan

 

Food:

 

How much forage and what type of forage

Turnout schedule on grass, does he need a muzzle

Treats, even if occasional

Grain or feed meals, how much by weight, type, etc. 

Supplements:

Type and dosage

Purpose

How to keep your horse’s records

 

  • You have lots of options to keep the details about your horse! Each of these is easy to use, but the people who need them must have access. It’s never going to hurt to have a paper copy in a logical location at the barn.  

 

  • Digital record keeping. Several fancy digital services track horse records. Some barns use them to track all of the horses there; other services are perfect for a single horse.  

 

  • Old fashioned brain cells. This method seems like a good idea. But, in reality, the important things are hiding with your keys.  

 

  • Spreadsheet. Who doesn’t love a good spreadsheet? LIKE, they are AWESOME and everyone needs many of them. Handy to have, but you need to update, print, and post somewhere logical.