Posted in Horse Care By Lucy Johnson
Christy McLean, is an amateur rider and full time groom who lives in Gloucestershire. She currently competes her Welsh section D Coalman and will move up to elementary next season, and will be backingher three-year-old youngster this winter.
Here Christy gives her top time saving tips for the winter
- If you need to take hay to the field, rather than use a wheel barrow, use an old chaff bag, so that you grab it as you take your horse out to the field. It will save you making two journeys.
- Head torches are a must. They are big investment and a time saver. When you’re running late, it’s dark, your horse is out in the field, or you don’t have light, a head torch is brilliant as your hands are free.
- I always aim to ride in the morning so that I am not riding in the dusk which is a dangerous time on the roads.
- Keep spare riding clothes at the yard or in your car so that you don’t have to go home to get changed.
- Make up morning feeds the evening before which will give you an extra few minutes in the morning
- If you have five minutes there and then, do an extra job, like an extra bit of poo picking or topping up troughs as you’ll resent it if you leave it to the next day.
- Waterproof trousers are perfect for keeping you clean if you need to do the horses and then get to work.
- If you want to ride and your horse is covered in mud, make sure you have a clean path for the saddle and bridles, and thehn go and enjoy your horse.
- If you don’t have access to a hose, turn out boots are a really good option. Try and get two sets as if you have a really wet day they won’t dry very fast.
- Lycra hoods are also brilliant for helping to keep your horse clean.
- If you have a grey horse with a white tail, plaiting it will help keep it clean.
- Make sure you are well stocked on high viz which will have keep you safe on the roads.
- If you use haynets, fill enough for the week ahead.
- Look at options to reduce costs and save time mucking out. Wood pellets are great for a dirty horse and rubber mats are essential.
- Let the weather app be your best friend so that you plan your riding around it.
- Sharing duties- if you dont have the option of paid assistance on the yard, then speak with others, chances are someone will be rushing just as much as you. Often plans can be put together to help each other out with turning out/bringing in.
- Leaving rugs on to dry- although we love the feeling of putting a horse in pj’s, it’s actually quicker and easier to leave the turn out on. Horses will also dry their own rugs with their warmth, even if you can only leave them on for an hour.
- Save sweeping time and risk of standing on stones by picking feet out into an allocated bucket. Leave the hoof pick tied around the handle so you don’t lose it.
- Leave hairbands in your car- the office might be warm but it’s blowing a gale at the yard!
- Apply pig oil to your horse’s legs, the mud just slips off and its super easy to keep clean.