Stable management basically encompasses everything which is not covered by the actual act of riding. It includes all aspects of owning a horse or looking after one and this can include grooming, mucking out, saddlery and care of the horse – although this list is by no means exhaustive.
There are also a wide range of qualifications open to those people who would like to further their stable management knowledge. This ranges from exams taken by children to show they are learning about what it means to look after a horse, all the way to degrees and even further. Stable management can be an excellent way of teaching children responsibility towards others – animals and humans.
What is Stable Management?Done properly, stable management is a full time job – and a demanding one at that. It is all about looking after horses, prioritising them and their welfare and making sure they are not left to fend for themselves. If you have your horse fully liveried you will have people to do your stable management for you but you should still know what they do and why they do it. Furthermore, it is the duty of a horse owner, whether they have their horse liveried or not, to know exactly what their horse’s needs are at any one time.
Stable managers take on full responsibility for all horses in their stable. If there are several, this can be a challenge – making sure each individual horse is turned out and fed at the right times, that none of them get bullied by more dominant horses and that any medical or other special needs are met.
Domestic horses rely on humans for all of their basic needs – their food, water, health and shelter. Therefore, we should respect the fact they need us and make sure they are kept clean, safe, warm and dry at all times, or as much as possible in the case of the last two.
A horse needs a person to look out for it and this is what stable management boils down to. It does not switch off, be it Christmas or the summer holidays and therefore a stable manager’s job never ends either.
Why Should I Pay Attention?You may think that because you pay a considerable amount of money to have your horse fully liveried, you do not need to know about stable management – but you would be wrong. Every horse owner should know the basics of stable management. It is only fair to the horse, even if it is fully liveried, that the person who rides it every day knows how to care for them. There are plenty of Pony Club and British Horse Society training courses that anyone can enrol on to find out more about stable management.
Children especially, can get plenty out of stable managing. When they are looking after someone else, namely their horse, they are putting that someone else first. They will also start to appreciate how big a job it is to look after a horse and, moreover, it will improve relations between the child and their pony.
Get on a course about stable management as soon as you can. You never know, you might decide you enjoy it so much you want to take it further. If you do, and gain qualifications, you can start to build a career in stable management. It could be the start of a whole new world for you and a whole new way of life.