August 30, 2010 13:09
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Tell HorseOwnerToday.com about your journey in developing Show Barn Manager version 2 to where it is today.
As the manager of, on average, between 20 and 30 horses at an 'A' hunter/jumper and sale horse barn, I know the importance of being able to keep track of information pertaining to a revolving door of horses. Typically, this information has been scrawled in a tattered notebook on a random basis. But with horses continuously arriving and leaving, it can be difficult to keep up with records on who is due for what as far as shoeing, Coggins, dentist, vaccinations, etc., as well as medications and treatments for different health issues, and even feed supplements. As a lover of anything computer-related, I naturally decided to get this information organized on the computer. I tried adapting several different general software programs to my needs, but none of them proved as useful as I hoped. With the roster of horses in the barn changing frequently, those programs still required storing a lot of old information on the chance that a horse would return to the barn at a later date, as they often do.
So I decided to start from scratch to develop a system that met my needs completely. The result is Show Barn Manager software. When peers heard about the software I had written, they convinced me that it was just the thing that had been missing in the horse world to keep simple, informative, and pertinent health care records. The software was designed around the ideas of one person, but all are encouraged to contribute ideas to improve the product and make it useful for many. The intention of releasing the software for public purchase is that it will fill a void in an industry that is moving quickly to embrace technology. It is designed to be user-friendly and to make it simple to retrieve information literally "at the push (click) of a button." Although written originally for a hunter/jumper show barn, Show Barn Manager software is applicable to any equine operation of any discipline, or even to a handful of horses kept at home. Version 2 adds some features that people had commented were missing from the original version that would make the software pertain to more diverse types of barns, rather than just hunter/jumper show barns. These new features include being able to enter 4 additional recording numbers for horses and people in addition to USEF and passport information, breeding records and mare cycling charts, and pedigree back to grandparents. Also added for any barn type- much improved records for vaccinations that give more control over the information, several forms of reminders lists, and individual customization for the next due date for each record, rather than only a single due date interval for the whole category.
What changes have you seen in the barn manager software market in the past?
Honestly, I did not look much at the barn manager software market in the past. I started from an idea in my head and used that vision to end up where I am today with the software system I created and currently use. Because the software system is set up to use the ideas I had about how it should work, it is the system that works for me and I have not had much experience with any other software.
What changes do you predict for the future in the barn manager software market?
As to the future of barn management software, I think it will become more commonplace as technology takes over more and more. The upcoming generation is growing up using technology for everything and so they will be more inclined to use barn management software than any people in the past, who are used to using some other way to keep track of records, if they do at all. Also, as more vets, farriers, and horses shows move their recordkeeping onto computers, being able to keep up with one's own barn's information becomes more important than ever, and the best way to do that is on a computer.