With the dark evenings closing in and the weather taking a turn for the wet, fitting everything into your busy schedule can feel like an impossible task. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can save a few minutes on the yard and stay on top of your chores.
Turn back time
Efficiency is key when it comes to good time management, so think outside the box and you’ll find those extra hours add up in no time…
- bulk buy feed and bedding with other liveries to benefit from discounts and cheaper delivery
- fill haynets in advance where possible
- use one end of the day to ride, and the other to get jobs done. This puts less pressure on you to get your ride over and done with quickly
- if you have two horses, have a crack at riding and leading – make sure you get comfortable in an enclosed space before you get out and about
When riding and leading, it’s often best to ride the slower horse, as encouraging him forward will likely be easier with you on board.
- reuse plastic bags to make up feeds in advance, and add water or soaked elements before feeding
- ask your yard owner whether you can set jumps up in the morning ready for a schooling session after work – or vice versa – giving you more time to ride
- if you work close to the yard, use your lunch break to lunge your horse, clean tack or plait up ready for an evening competition
- use leftover drinking water to soak haynets or to wet your horse’s feeds, saving time and reducing waste
- if your yard has one, make good use of a horse walker by popping your horse on to warm up him before a ride while you tackle other jobs
- team up with another livery to share jobs – you could feed and turn out their horse in the morning, and they could put yours to bed in the evening
- give your tack a wipe over after you ride, and use the weekend to give it a more thorough clean and condition
While cleaning a your tack doesn’t have to be done every day, make sure you clean the bit after you ride and invest in some good-quality leather conditioner to keep your tack looking its best.
- leave feed or your haynet to soak while you muck out or ride
- speak to your yard owner about co-ordinating group physio, farrier and vet visits, saving time and money on callout fees
Winter doesn’t have to mean rushing around to fit everything in before it gets dark. With some forward planning and being organised, you’ll have plenty of time to get everything done – plus a little extra for some down time.
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