Every student pursuing an equestrian degree at William Woods University takes EQU 221 Stable Management because in this course, students learn the management skills that every equine professional will use on a daily basis.
Stable management involves several distinct areas:
- Health and safety
Associate Professor and Equestrian Studies Division Chair Jennie Petterson says that stable management practices prioritize facility safety for both horses and humans.
“A facility that is designed and run with the physical and mental needs of the horse as the greatest priority” is the most important thing in running a successful stable, says Petterson.
In a previous post, we emphasized that “maintaining a barn with high safety standards will not always result in an injury-free environment, but it will make the avoidable ones more rare. A well-kept barn means you can spend less time dealing with accidents and more time in the ring, on the trail or just hanging out with your horse.”
- Design and organization
We’ve mentioned before the importance of a tidy tack room to, not only prolong the use of equipment, but to also ensure safety for both horses and people. But organization goes beyond a place to hang your tack.
Western Clinical Instructor Liz Haben teaches the Stable Management course at William Woods University. Haben notes that functionality of design is also very important to stable management.
There is logic involved in designing a stable. A successfully managed stable has thought of everything — deliberate stall assignments, intentional workout and feed schedules, a proper place for everything, etc.
It’s important for equestrian students to know that included in organization is also the ability to keep systemized equine health records, farm income and expense reports, budgeting, and scheduling.
Haben also says that proper management skills are vital to running a successful equine business. This includes professionalism and strong communication skills.
“Although one may feel that all they have to deal with is horses as a stable manager, each horse has an owner, who is their paying client, that the stable manager must keep happy in order to build client loyalty and to run a successful equine business,” Haben said.