If there is one thing that people who do not own horses don’t realise, it is how much time having a horse takes up.
Unlike any other hobby where you maybe turn up for an hour, maybe two, maybe even three a week, owning a horse is an entire lifestyle in itself. Not to mention that over winter many horses are stabled which means your daily routine is drastically increased. Factor in a 9-5 job, a social life, general life admin and you’d be forgiven for feeling a little bit overwhelmed when it comes to working out how on earth you will have time for it all.
But there are a few things that you can do to save time as a horse owner.
Here are my 5 top time saving tips for horse owners:
Get all of your jobs done before work
If there is one thing that saves me time in the winter as a horse owner, it is making sure that I muck out, get my haynets made, my water buckets filled up, and any feeds made up before I leave for work in the mornings. It means that when the end of the working day rolls in, all I’ve got left to do is ride and I can actually enjoy it without having to clock watch!
I'm also far more productive first thing in the mornings and can get things done much faster than I can after a long day at work.
Make your feeds up in bulk
If you’re strapped for time in the mornings or you would rather clock up a few extra minutes of sleep *cough* like I do *cough*, then take a few minutes out over the weekend to make up your horse’s feeds in bulk. I personally have seven bags that I keep in the feed room that I then make all of the feeds into, so that when it comes to the day itself all I need to do is pour that bag into the bowl and I’m good to go. It might not seem like it’s going to benefit you much but ticking off small tasks like this in one go makes a big difference to your daily routine. The same goes for making your haynets up in bulk if you have enough haynets (and space) to do so!
Put a ball into your water buckets in winter
Frozen buckets are often a regular sight for horse owners during the winter and breaking the ice can sometimes take some doing. Pop a small ball such as a tennis ball into your horse’s water buckets to stop them freezing and save yourself the task of having to break the ice in the mornings.
Keep a change of clothes at the yard
I used to head home after work to get changed before heading back out to go to the yard. Now, I save myself time by keeping a change of clothes in my car or at the stables so that I can make my way straight there from work and it saves me about half an hour each evening with very minimal effort on my part!
Never do anything empty handed
I was once told that the best thing you could do to save yourself time is to never do anything empty handed and it has stuck with me ever since. Whether I am going to get my mucking out items, to fill up haynets, to the tap, to the feed room or to the tack room, I make sure that I always do something else en route there if I’m strapped for time. It’s amazing how much time you’ll save yourself if you don’t have to keep going back and forth from one end of the yard to the other.
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