I am one of those people that enjoys record keeping the old fashioned way using hard copies. I find gathering, sorting, labeling and filing to be very satisfying. Don’t judge me. Of course, if the record keeping and organizing is horse-related? Even better!
I divide my horse paperwork into four main types and keep each type in a different location:
*Standard horse paperwork like vet and farrier records are kept in a special filing folder on a particular shelf at home
*Paperwork related to horse transportation and first-aid articles are kept in a binder with my truck
*Horse care, riding and training articles are organized in a binder also on a particular shelf
*Emergency horse-care instructions stay in a clear plastic page container on a magnetized clip attached to my refrigerator
If you don’t have unused binders or even photo albums lying around, most dollar store have inexpensive assortments. Same thing goes for labels. Clear plastic page containers are sold through office supply stores. I find them essential for keeping everything clean, neat and crisp. Let’s say those three words again, shall we? Clean, neat, crisp!
Several years ago, I came across the CEO or the Complete Equine Organizer. I wouldn’t normally splurge on something like that when an old binder would have worked. But I had a discount offer and found this organizational system so appealing that I couldn’t resist. The case is a soft plastic with a handle on the top. It came with file folders that were decorated with horse art work and pre-printed labels. Unfortunately, I can no longer find a web link to the company that made the CEO. I suspect they are no longer in production, but you could easily buy something similar at an office supply store and customize it.
To the CEO, I added a horse-health chart. The specific chart that I use comes in the back of a free calendar that I get from my veterinarian’s office every December. I can clearly see all vet care, farrier care and deworming at one glance for the entire year. Very handy.
The longer you have kept your horses and the older your horses get, the more you will appreciate having your paperwork organized. As the years and vet visits pile up, it is hard for me to recall off the top of my head when the last time my horse had a coggins test or how long its been since he last had an abscess. And when are his vaccinations due again anyways?
Are you interested in setting up an organizational system but don’t have an organized bone in your body? Here is your step by step guide:
1. Make a list of needed supplies
2. Obtain the supplies
3. Unearth all your horse-related paperwork from around your home, barn, trailer and vehicle
4. Divide the paperwork up into piles according to category
Sample categories include: Registration papers, veterinarian records, farrier records, horse trailer maintenance, farm equipment maintenance, nutritional information, horse show records, horse club records, upcoming events
5. Place them in your system of choice (like file folder, binder, etc . . .)
6. Choose a designated area to keep said paperwork
7. Finally, take a few photos of key documents to keep on your cell phone- you never know if you might be asked to provide proof of ownership or health records when you are out and about with your horse.
Voila! You are now organized. Congratulations!