As any horse owner will know, there are never enough hours in the day during the winter months and it can often be a case of prioritising which job is the most important.
Time-saving doesn’t have to mean cutting corners and anything that can make life a little easier – especially as we head into Christmas and family will be eagerly waiting for you to return from the yard – has got to be a good thing.
Being organised is the number one time saving tip, having a routine that works like clockwork will ensure that you are in and out of the yard in no time.
To be organised, weekends are for planning and making sure that everything is in place. For horse owners that juggle a full-time job with caring for their horse, this is vital as they will only ever see their horse in the dark between Monday to Friday during the depths of winter.
Ensuring you are well-stocked up with essentials such as hay, feed and bedding is also key to being organised. Obviously here at Terravesta Equine we would recommend buying your bedding by the pallet load to avoid a last-minute dash to buy a bale of shavings that is awkward and bulky to transport by car.
Simple jobs that can be done in advance include:
- Invest in enough haynets to be able to fill a week’s worth in one go, so they are ready to grab in the morning.
- If you have enough buckets, mix a few days feeds. You can buy bucket covers to ensure the feed stays fresh and can’t be contaminated by rodents.
- Mucking out is arguably the most time-consuming task when it comes to owning a horse in winter so make sure you do a big muck out at the weekend and just skip out the dropping and wet patches during the week. Regardless of whether you are bedding down on straw or shavings you still might need to top the bed up during the week.
- Give your horse a good groom. If you do get the chance to ride during the week don’t beat yourself up if you only brush the mud from essential areas to prevent rubbing, such as where the saddle and bridle go.
Being prepared for the changing weather conditions in winter is also important to keeping things running smoothly. Make sure you have a stock of grit to salt any walkways when the temperature starts to plummet. Arriving at the yard to find solid ice on pathways is certainly going to make the simplest job take much longer.
Make sure that everything has its place and return items such as water buckets to the same place when you have used them. There is nothing worse than hunting around in the dark for something that hasn’t been put back in its rightful place.
Owning a horse at this time of year can be tough but we all have to get through winter to enjoy the long summer days!
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