Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Obsessively compulsive horsekeeping

Early on in my horsekeeping history, I realized that keeping a horse healthy and happy was an art and a science. To make this challenge a little less daunting, it made sense to me to keep a spreadsheet of all things horsey.



I can look back to the day Lyle was born eight years ago and see how much he weighed and how fast he grew. I keep track of the boys' deworming and vaccination schedules. Every time they've been sick or injured is dutifully recorded, along with notes from conversations with the vet. There is software you can buy to help you manage all this information, but my home-grown spreadsheet works just fine for me.



Since Lyle has been a notoriously hard keeper all his life and his time under saddle has been consistently inconsistent, I can refer to the information in his "lessons" tab to help me start him after a layoff.



Our most recent re-start started off pretty rocky, but we're in a really good place now and I couldn't be happier. Riding him is fun again. I can only hope he stays sound and that I have more to keep track of in the lessons tab than the illness/injury tab.

There is one part of his upkeep, though, that I am unable to track in a spreadsheet. How do you quantify goofiness?

18 comments:

  1. I guess we are obsessively compulsive too. We do the same thing as you to track everybody's schedules. As far as the goofiness goes, just add another column marked humor!

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  2. OMG --- you are ON TOP of things! I've just finished a fantastic course, online, taught by the world's veterinary expert on horse nutrition, Dr. Eleanor Kellon, VMD. Loved the class and now I look at nutrition much more than "just a flake" and a huge bill for supplements at the feed store. I can feed my guys a good hay and very little else, just a few minerals to balance the ratios.

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  3. The goofiness just makes you smile at the end of the day ... nothing better then that!

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  4. How to quantify goofiness: You know those silly little emoticons? There's one that's a smiley face sticking out its tongue. On a scale of 1-5 silly smileys ...

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  5. Linda, it doesn't surprise me at all that you are so organized!

    Sandy - so funny to see you here - I was in your class. :)

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  6. Too funny! With pictures just the way you are doing :)

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  7. Wow! You are very organized! I actually thought of doing a spreadsheet like yours, a long time ago!
    I do a good job of filing everything in my animals files. I kept a journal on Brandy's progress when I first got her, but eventually quit doing it. It was fun to go back and read what I wrote about where she was in her training.
    Love the funny face!

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  8. I use spreadsheets to track farrier and vet appointments as well as illnesses and injuries too.

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  9. Very cool! This is inspiring me. I should do a post on my record keeping next week, you'd laugh. Although I suppose it is better than nothing! :)

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  10. The goofiness is the most important part!! I have a big book that I keep all the info in, separated by horse. I have forms that I designed in Excel but I handwrite the info in. I'm on the computer all day at work so handwriting the entries is just fine for me. I just went back and read all of Jet's info and found some things that I had completeley forgotten about. I even have envelopes for each horse in the truck with copies of vaccine certs and Coggins so that I don't have to remember to bring it with me for shows.

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  11. You're a good horse Mom. That shows how deeply you care for your boys and want to make sure they're healthy & happy. I'll bet their vet appreciates your record keeping too.

    It may also be a sign that you spend too much time alone, but hey, what do I know. ;o)

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  12. From the comments, it looks like quite a few people are much more organized than I am. I have forms I created to keep track of things but forget to fill them out. I tend to tell the vet, "Do whatever you did last year." At least I have good intentions...

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  13. Lynn Brooks5/8/09, 5:32 PM

    I think this is a great idea. I keep a calendar log on things but I love Excel and I think I will start doing it this way..BTW how did you get the horses weight?

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  14. There is one part of his upkeep, though, that I am unable to track in a spreadsheet. How do you quantify goofiness?


    YOU BLOG ABOUT IT :) hes great I am so in love with him :)

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  15. Lynn, I use a weight tape - it's like a tape measure but it's calibrated for horses. You can usually find them at a tack shop.

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  16. Excellent charting! Our barn also keeps very detailed records ... my memory just doesn't do the job.

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