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Afire At Night
Jun. 10, 2011, 03:03 PM
Hi! I'm going to be a stable manager at the upcoming pony club rally at the Kentucky Horse Park (D level eventing rally), and I was wondering what sort of advice or tips you guys may have to offer? :D
I've printed off feed/stall cards and the required equipment list, am waiting to get into contact with some of my fellow team mates (I'm on a composite team) and have been reading over the different manuals for horsemanship, rally, and eventing.
I've heard you have to take a test at rally, as stable manager what should I expect?
What sort of attire should I wear? Paddock boots of course, but a white polo and khakis? What length?
Thanks so much!

JWB
Jun. 10, 2011, 04:00 PM
Have fun! Is this your first rally?

Paddock boots definitely, but I would probably wear shorts and a shirt that you don't mind getting a little dirty. Maybe bring your polo and khakis for awards.

Don't worry about the written test too much. It is a general knowledge sort of thing and will ask questions appropriate to your rating level. They may also ask questions about the rules of the sport (in this case eventing) but they'll most likely be appropriate for the level you're riding at - at a D rally would probably be along the lines of legal tack (snaffle for dressage & no martingales or boots, no standing martingales for jumping type stuff) or how many faults you would get for a refusal or a knocked rail.


As for your role: remember you are the horse manager, not the groom. No one should be making you do all the stall cleaning, etc. That said, it's nice if you can help out (pick the stalls while the riders are riding if there is time)

Wear a watch and know everyone's ride times. You're the "manager" so make sure everyone gets where they need to be on time.

You'll be busiest when the riders are getting ready to go to their formal inspections.

Have a rag, a hoof pick, a brush and maybe a lint roller that you keep in a bag. Carry it with you and walk the riders to their inspections. Make sure the horse's feet & rider's boots are wiped off, and be ready to help knock off any dust or lint they may have picked up en route from stables to inspections.

It's also a nice gesture if you can meet them at the end of their rides with water (if some is available) since it's going to be HOT!!!!

Other than that, make sure things stay nice and neat around the tack room. Make sure everything gets put away properly and the barn area stays neat. Keeping the aisles raked, trash emptied and water buckets topped off makes a huge difference.

Remember YOU ARE NOT THE GROOM and shouldn't be expected to do all the dirty work but a good HM is someone who is willing to look around, see what needs to get done, and pick up the slack. It's a fantastic learning experience and a great way to meet new people. Good luck.

easykeeper
Jun. 10, 2011, 04:19 PM
Congrats on being a Stable Manager! It is a VERY important part of the team. It sounds like you are moving in the right direction...it is very important that you have ALL the required equipment and that it is in good (and clean!) shape. Make sure that all x-tra equipment (bridles, girths, etc.) will fit all horses/ponies on your team. If you need different sizes, then you make sure you have them and that they are clean and safe (make sure the xtra stirrup leathers are properly stitched too!)

Your job will be to manage the stable....(not be a slave to your other team members!) It is a vital support role. Make sure everybody knows their riding times, and formal inspection times and that they are ON time! Try to keep a smile on your face even when your team mates are nervous and a bit snappy (sorry but it happens...lots of pressure!)

As for the test, it will cover general knowledge at the D level, so just study up on the stable management portion of your ratings standard (kind of like know down, do they still call it that?)

As far as your turn out...polo shirt (or shirt with short sleeves, no tank tops) tucked in with a belt. Khakis are nice...I would say long pants, no shorts in the stable area (that is just me...I would check if you want...but as a former SM Judge, I think long pants are the safest) Your hair pulled back in a pony tail or better yet, braid if it is long. Required protective foot wear for sure! Neatness counts!

Have a GREAT time! And don't be afraid to ask questions. The judges are there to HELP. It is all part of a invaluable learning experience as well as a FUN experience!

Highflyer
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:43 PM
We always just wore a polo or t shirt and shorts in the barn and took khakis and a polo (or at least a polo and clean shorts) for awards. Think clothes that would be acceptable at school--nothing too short or with inappropriate slogans. Definitely not white unless you are a total neat freak! You don't HAVE to have paddock boots but you need some kind of leather boots that are over the ankle. And a pony club pin. And definitely a watch.

With Ds, keeping them calm and organized and on time is half the battle. Plus make sure they remember to drink water and offer it to the horses consistently.

clm08
Jun. 10, 2011, 11:52 PM
First of all, THANKS for being the stable manager. As others have said, it is a vital role and your team mates will appreciate having you there. You already got some really good suggestions, so I will just add that having a clock and a whiteboard in your tack room can be very useful. Write down times for every team member (formals, jog, dressage, XC, etc) and have the clock with the official rally time in a visible place so everyone is aware of their time. Another board with feed schedule for each horse with details of how much and type of hay, grain, and supplements in a table format. Have fun and enjoy the experience!

Afire At Night
Jun. 12, 2011, 10:18 PM
Thank you so much everyone for the helpful advice/tips!
Yes, this is my first rally:) I don't currently have a horse but wanted to be a part of rally, and figured stable manager was a good way in, and to get a feel for the behind the scenes.
I think with clothing I'll just go with neat/conservative, paddock boots, PC pin, dark jeans/long khakis, maybe some khaki bermuda shorts if I can find some, polos, a white polo to awards. I have short hair so I just style it a bit and its ready to go:)
I took note of your guys suggestions, and am really looking forward to rally, thanks so much again!

besum1
Jun. 13, 2011, 12:08 AM
have fun!!!

don't forget your medical armband!!!!! :)

The written test might vary by region (b/c I think Pony Club got rid of it for a while and then brought it back and now it's optional and for the region to decide...?) But here in the Carolina region it doesn't count for your score (like it did in the past) but it's more to help familiarize you with the rules for the rally (like whip length for Dressage Rally, height of jumps at SJ, etc etc etc) so don't worry about the test! It's straight forward and done as a team (or it is here)

make sure everything is labeled with the rider's name OR number and familiarize yourself with the required equipment list- when you get to the rally make sure you know where everything is (what box is what)- especially since you are on a scramble team and different clubs might be bringing the different equipment? (or however your team decides to do that) so that when they do the required equipment check you'll know where to go to find the item!

Oooo for stall cards- make sure when each member gets there they write their pinny number on the stall card! This is easily forgotten and is a silly point to lose on overnight scores :(

When you leave the barn area make sure all stall doors are closed and the area is neat and pitchforks/muck buckets/grooming boxes are put away in their respected homes for the weekend

BUT the MOST important part is HAVE FUN!!!!! (and be safe!) It's great getting to meet people outside your club and they will become your future friends/team members on your nationals team when you start trying to qualify for Nationals ;) Plus you never know where they might show up in the future!!!! (I rode in IDA (Dressage team) at college with a couple of old PC friends and it was awesome!!!)

Good Luck!!!!!

eventingismylife
Jun. 13, 2011, 01:24 AM
Have fun! Is this your first rally?

Paddock boots definitely, but I would probably wear shorts and a shirt that you don't mind getting a little dirty. Maybe bring your polo and khakis for awards.

Don't worry about the written test too much. It is a general knowledge sort of thing and will ask questions appropriate to your rating level. They may also ask questions about the rules of the sport (in this case eventing) but they'll most likely be appropriate for the level you're riding at - at a D rally would probably be along the lines of legal tack (snaffle for dressage & no martingales or boots, no standing martingales for jumping type stuff) or how many faults you would get for a refusal or a knocked rail.


As for your role: remember you are the horse manager, not the groom. No one should be making you do all the stall cleaning, etc. That said, it's nice if you can help out (pick the stalls while the riders are riding if there is time)

Wear a watch and know everyone's ride times. You're the "manager" so make sure everyone gets where they need to be on time.You'll be busiest when the riders are getting ready to go to their formal inspections.

Have a rag, a hoof pick, a brush and maybe a lint roller that you keep in a bag. Carry it with you and walk the riders to their inspections. Make sure the horse's feet & rider's boots are wiped off, and be ready to help knock off any dust or lint they may have picked up en route from stables to inspections.

It's also a nice gesture if you can meet them at the end of their rides with water (if some is available) since it's going to be HOT!!!!

Other than that, make sure things stay nice and neat around the tack room. Make sure everything gets put away properly and the barn area stays neat. Keeping the aisles raked, trash emptied and water buckets topped off makes a huge difference.

Remember YOU ARE NOT THE GROOM and shouldn't be expected to do all the dirty work but a good HM is someone who is willing to look around, see what needs to get done, and pick up the slack. It's a fantastic learning experience and a great way to meet new people. Good luck.

Like JWB said, have fun and good luck!

Most of all, make sure you are not being your teammate's groom, because after all you are a team, and as the Stable Manager you are there to manage the team.

I went to West Coast Champs in '09 as a stable manager on a scramble team. It is a really good thing you are going to be able to get in contact with your fellow teammates, as I was not, and it probably brought it down in the end. So make sure you guys are all on the same page. It will really help!

Since it is Champs I would make sure you are wearing polos (navy, hunter, dark colors help because dirt doesn't show up as easily) everyday.

Be prepared for any kind of weather. I know it is KY, and not WA, but even in the summer you may be flooded out. Its not fun not having an extra pair of khakis for awards ;) I would bring either longer jean or khakis shorts, for everyday, it looks nicer.

Big mistake we made was that none of us knew that metal trash cans for feed are what most HM judges are going to be looking for, because they will allow better air circulation :yes:. Also make sure your teammates put their grain (if it's pre-proportioned) into brown lunch bags vs plasitc bags.

Also make sure everyone knows where everything is in both your feed and tack rooms. You never know when the HM judges are going to show up ;).

It sounds like you doing a very good job of being prepared! Good luck and let us know how you do!

I almost forgot...If your region has their own pin, make sure you bring quite a few with you because others will want to trade :)