Some days it seems like there isn’t enough time in the world! It can be hard to juggle regular life with your horse world. Riding is the last thing on your mind when you have a horse covered in mud, can’t find your missing bridle, and have more dirty stalls than clean…but fret not! Follow these tips to stay ahead in the barn.
- Plan your horse’s turnout around your schedule. If you ride in the afternoon, you can have him turned out in the evening and then leave him inside during the day. This works good if he is on 12/12 care (stalled 12 hours and outside 12 hours).
- Try a turnout sheet in the fall and winter or a fly sheet in the summer. It will prevent him from getting as muddy and help you spend less time grooming.
- Put his tail in a bag or wrap it up to keep it clean.
- Labeling your tack will help others stay off it. If you’re having trouble finding tack because it keeps disappearing, a name on it will prevent that.
- Organize your tack locker and only keep the essentials.
- Keep important items right on your stall, such as grooming brushes, a halter, lead ropes, and blankets.
- Ask friends at the barn to rotate stall cleaning. If you clean their stalls on certain days, than they’ll clean yours the other times.
- Stall mats make cleaning stalls much easier and quicker.
- Pellet bedding is a great alternative for messy horses.
- Automatic waterers make filling troughs a thing of the past!
- Use protective boots, rather than polo wraps. They are much faster to put on.
- Keep tack clean so it will be ready to go the next time you use it.
- Riding sessions can be kept short and focused. Reward your horse by stopping on a good note.
On top of following these time-saving tips, try writing a to do list for the barn. Stay on top of it and avoid lingering or idle chit-chat. Barn time can be fun without the stress of rushing around!