Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Keeping Records

Do you keep good records on your horses? Or are you one of those people who jots notes on your calendar, day runner, checkbook, or other place it might get lost? I'd like to share a very easy method I use to keep track of important dates on my animals, and this works for horses, dogs, cats, donkeys, or any animal. All I do is take a plain piece of paper, and with a ruler, mark out columns as below:

At the top, I put the animals name, its birthdate (if you know it) and when you purchased the animal.

On the three columns, I label them Vaccinations. Worming. Shoeing.

You can easily make more columns if you need to, for breeding/foaling, etc. or whatever you need to keep track of. I give each animal their own manila folder, where you can keep this permanent record as well as papers, vet receipts, or whatever else you need.

I use this system for cats and dogs, too, and I label the columns Vaccinations. Worming. Flea Treatments. And for my donkeys, I just change the Shoeing Column to Trimming.

This system works so well for me I thought I'd share it. There's nothing worse than having to flip back through your calendar to try and find information, and if you have lots of animals, it can get confusing.

Probably those of you with big stables may have a white board up in the barn, but this is a simple method to keep those records in the house, and if you ever need a copy to give to the vet, it's all right there.

Do you keep good records on your animals? Any other tips to share?


wilsonc said...

Good idea Linda! I'm one of those calendar flippers when it comes to things like flea treatments and worming. The barn where I board takes care of the shoeing part by keeping the schedule on a white board, and I have a notebook for the two horses where I keep records but I've let it get unorganized. I have to wade through a filing system for the dogs. I think it's time I took a day to go through paperwork and sort it all out.

Linda Benson said...

wilsonc - I set this system up because with so many animals over the years, it's easy to lose track. (Did they get their shots in April or August? I've had that horse for 4 years or 5? My dog is seven years old now right?) *scratches head*

It's so easy to mark it down this way, and then there's no wondering. (Did they get a 3-way, 4-way, 7-way?) I even peel the label off the vaccine bottle now (when I give shots myself) and post it on the paper. Then I Know what I gave them! ;)

Lyme Beast said...

I like that! I keep a 3 ring binder with all of the information for the horses, and another one for the other animals. I keep copies of vet receipts and what not in there too.

I am going to add this idea as a top sheet for each horse's section. Thanks for the idea :)

Alison said...

Oh you guys are making me jealous! I have a schedule called "it's spring so it must be time to . . . "

Fortunately, the blacksmith always sets his next visit in advance. But with Lyme season here now due to a mild winter, I need to stay on top of tick treatments for the critters!

Francesca Prescott said...

Ooh, what a good idea! I'm really not very good at keeping track of things, and tend to write everything on random bits of paper, which I store in a "place where I'll remember" and of course immediately forget.

I'll get on it asap. Thanks, Linda!