Anyone who has managed even a small barn knows there is a lot of record-keeping involved. Keeping track of the vet, farrier, and feed deliveries can be quite complicated. If boarders and barn workers are involved, billing and payroll suddenly become part of the task. The horses themselves have a lot of information that has to be tracked and stored, particularly if they are involved in showing, breeding or sales. Developing and tracking a show or sales prep program for a single horse can be a daunting task; multiply it by 50 horses, and it's obvious that software would be better suited to the task than the traditional battered notebook or random scraps of paper.
Many barn managers have been using general-purpose business software for billing and payroll purposes for years. Excel spreadsheets have been drafted for other barn management uses that are unique to the horse business. After all, the work of running a barn doesn't seem like a task that would attract much attention from software designers. But yes, there is app for that. In fact, there are several software packages specifically designed to assist barn managers.
Two of the most commonly used, highest rated software packages are Paddock Pro and equineGenie. These packages are both specifically designed for running horse businesses and have a lot to offer. They cover both the business side of barn management and the horse record keeping side.
Equine-specific barn management software can make any barn manager's life easier. Having all of the horse records stored in one place in an easily accessible format makes life easier. No more fumbling around looking for the scrap of paper listing the horse's supplements or the date of the last visit by the dentist. Many of these packages also provide reminders of when each horse is due for the farrier or vaccines. Some also assist in planning show and sales prep programs.
There are many other software packages available to assist the barn manager. Most focus on the business management part of the job. Before buying one, ask for a free trial and make sure it does everything you need and want. Also make sure it is easy enough to use that it won't become a frustrating time-suck instead of a helper. For small barns that might not want to spend funds on software, Rendaivu offers a free web-based barn management application.
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