Equissistant and Horses
Morning all, this is a two part blog, the first part is all about my new business Equissistant and why I developed it, what it is and how it can help any yard, the second is part is about the horses.
Equissistant is a program that I have developed in conjunction with my business partner Dan Cross, Dan is an exceptional programmer who has written it, I'm just the annoying person who keeps saying "can we change this, we need to do this, how about adding this..." Dan is now in therapy.
Joking, between us we have designed and developed the most outstanding piece of software about in the horse world.
I used to use another subscription based software to keep all of my horse details and do my invoicing on, it did the job but I found myself getting frustrated with the things I needed that it didn't do, so I decided I was going to develop an app to do just that.
Obviously I had no experience or knowledge in how to do this, so I taught myself and paid for a subscription to a site to start. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, however I did get quite a lot of ideas and a road map whist learning about what people need and how it should be set out.
I had a morning at the yard for the Go Racing Green people and one of them was Dan's lovely wife Heidi. I was telling the guys what I was doing with the app and Heidi said that was amazing as her husband had seen a niche in the market for just what I was doing, Dan had also had a go but from the invoicing side. Dan has huge amounts of programming experience but I have the horse and yard experience, hence the meeting of minds and Equissistant was born.
We have been developing and testing for 2 years now and today is the launch day!
What does it do?
It allows me the ability to keep the horse's details, the owners' details, how much each owner has of each horse, and invoices accordingly.
The vaccinations are stored and the program works out when the next jab is due and reminds us when it is approaching.
I can upload any drug administration and keep vet records.
I keep a work diary and equipment list so I know when we try a new bit or noseband etc on a specific horse.
I keep the feed list on there, which staff can access when anything changes.
The farrier list is there and it automatically uploads to invoicing every time one is shod. The same for the chiropractor and physio etc.
We can track weights of horses, we can record breeding scans and reminders.
We keep worming records, racing records and notes as to how they ran and what tack they used, what jockey rode, what the ground was like and also a mileage calculator for the invoicing.
I run my invoicing at the end of each month and I can email the owners directly from the site, it also links perfectly with accounting software.
So that is all routine stuff, however where Equissistant is different is we can give our staff logins, they can only see what we allow them to see, such as the feed list of work list, the same for owners, they can only see their own horse's information and we have an owners comms area which allows us to upload photos and videos for those who aren't on social media.
We can also record farrier and any extras the horse has in real time for the owners to see during the month, they can see the work list too if we want them to, which would be a great addition to a livery yard for both the owner and the yard owner.
The farrier has a log in too, he can then add the horses as he is going, at the end of the month I can print a list for him to check against his diary and hopefully none will be missed.
The program can be bespoke to your yard, so we can tailor the work headings for the work diary to suit what you do with your horses, be it flat work, galloping, grid work or hacking.
We have a QR code for every horse and they will be put on the stable doors as soon as we finish painting (its like the Fourth Road Bridge, never ending!). The QR codes enable a member of staff to scan and a picture of that horse comes up, what it's fed, what tack it wears and any other details I want them to see. Can you imagine how helpful that will be in a big yard??
We have staff time sheets, staff records and holidays in a calendar, staff have to book their holidays via Equissistant and it counts the number of days they are allocated and tells me when they reach their limit.
Dan has been a genius and designed a colours builder, which enables us to add colours to the owners and their horse's pages, that way when they run the travelling head lad or lass would be able to log in, see the colours, tack and equipment that horse needs for that day.
We have a lite version in development for the one to nine horse owners and at the moment there are packages to suit different sizes of yard, you can choose what features you have in the package. We are also developing a booking system for those who teach or hire out facilities.
The site is slick and impressive, I cannot stress enough how helpful it is and what a difference it has made to my yard, the launch is today and whilst we are targeting racing today, the other disciplines will follow, that's the great thing about Equissistant, it can be tailored to suit any discipline, so have a look guys and spread the word....www.equissistant.com
On to the horses...
We are gaining momentum again after what has been the worst few years, however if you look from a different mindset, it has been changing, at times the positives have been hard to find but I can now see a light at the end of a very, very long tunnel.
Our new Martin Collins canter surface is outstanding, it is incredibly hard work, very deep BUT stable. The first time they set foot on it, we can barely do more than a lap each way, however the fit ones are now up to 3 and slightly faster than a hack canter.
This surface is invaluable for teaching a horse to use it's core, and has helped massively with back problems. However it must be ridden right, so many deep surfaces cause the horse to hollow and try to pull itself along, which is why I would think a lot of trainers put bungies on them. Not something I would do, we work tirelessly to get the horse to balance and hold its self, hard work and can be exhausting sometimes but when we see the results of horses with issues getting stronger, so worth it.
We have a few lovely young horses coming through now, it will be a slow process as I hate to rush them but I think it will definitely be worth while in the long run.
Beccaccino turned a corner thanks to the blinkers (I think Sammy would actually live in the blinkers if he could) and ran a lovely race on ground that was too fast for him to finish 6th, he will improve massively for a hurdle and even more when he goes chasing.
I am beyond proud with how Fiamette ran this week, I know 6th in a juvenile hurdle is not really anything to get excited about, but she has come from a dark place physically to be a sound, happy filly who now has a future. She is still very weak but that will come with time. At least I now feel confident about having her in training, I would hate to keep a horse in work that is not worth the owner paying for, I would far rather rehome it and save the owner money.
Its for Alan is off to his new home next week with Charlie, I am so glad we found the right person for him, he is a very special horse to us. He used to be a real handful and it's testament to my staff's care and love that he can now be ridden normally and he is a happy, healthy horse who has another life.
Alan is currently channelling his inner hippo whilst having a rest, going out in the paddock everyday and wallowing in the mud, good luck with him Charlie, we will miss him!