How can I save some time at the barn?
Most of us have those days when we are just too busy to do our full blown routine at the barn - but you still want to spend every minute that you can with your horse. How can you cut corners and still do all of the important stuff? (Just so you know, I really dislike cutting corners at the barn, but on days when I’m pressed, I knock out the important stuff and start putting off some of the minor stuff. Like laundry.)
Some ides on how save some time on those days the clock is working against you!
- Your horse’s tail and mane can skip a day from grooming and brushing. Some Grooms don’t ever brush the tail, they just pick.
- You could consider cleaning only the bridle and girth, and not the saddle. Make bridle cleaning faster by dunking the bit into water as you are untacking. Then you only need to wipe it down! Skip the detailed tack cleaning for another day. I'm ok with skipping the saddle, as it sits on a pad, but the bridle touches your horse's beautiful face.
Skip this on days you are squished for time.
- Your own boots can skip a cleaning and polishing. (Hahahaha!!! This is most days for me!!)
- Use the vacuum if you have one! This makes grooming super fast AND thorough.
- If you regularly ice your horse (this is a good thing!) and are pressed for time, consider doing a shorter and lighter workout, or go hit the trail! A shorter ride will allow for ample icing time, and while your horse is chilling in the cross ties you can put your stuff away and do other miscellaneous chores in the cross tie area. Don’t skip icing if your horse needs it!
- Have your horse’s grains pre-measured and bagged. This saves bunches of time in the daily bucket making routine!
- If you are also your horse’s stall cleaner, consider trying the deep litter system. This makes daily picks fast and easy.
- If you just don’t have time to clean and dry your horse’s feed and water buckets, stash a clean set to use as you soak the dirty ones overnight. You will stay a bit drier, and your horse won’t be eating from a gross pan!
Trade chores with your barn mates! Ask for help and return the favor on a day your buddy is pressed for time.
What not to cut corners on:
- Taking your horse’s temperature. Horses are notorious for running fevers and acting like nothing’s going on!
- Bit and bridle cleaning. Would you want to use a crusty fork?
- Hoof picking, before and after riding and turnout.
- Using both hands to do a complete body inspection, especially on your horse’s legs! This is your first line of discovery of your horse’s bumps, lumps, cuts, swellings, you get the idea!
Have a stash of clean bucket to use, so you can skip a day or two if needed.
How do you cut corners at the barn?