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:
Fecal Egg counts and results, follow up fecal egg counts
Soreness and lameness
Life events – new barn, shows, etc.
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:
Gum color and feeling
Capillary refill time
Gut sound normals
Other “normals” that your horse has:
Pooping location, frequency, color, amount of moisture
Daily water intake
Behaviors and quirks
Training routine and exercise plan
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.
Type and dosage
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.