Monday, 19 January 2015
My Winter Time Saving Tips
I may be slightly late with this post (again!) but hey, better late than never, right?! With it being a bit chillier in England at the moment, despite it getting darker just that bit later (anyone else noticed how it's still light at 4pm?!) I thought I'd share with you a couple of my time-saving tips. I've recently started a new job which as bought the joys of getting up at 6am to do Pea and returning home whilst it's still dark (that was a new one!) as well as getting to the yard at 6pm to bring him in & ride = no home time until around 8pm! I hate early mornings but I like to get Pea's stable done in the morning so that at night I can just turn up & ride, well in essence!
- The power of sprays
Luckily Pea doesn't have breakfast so my first job is swapping his rugs & chucking him out in the field. To help save time in the evening, someone on twitter told me a tip about the NAF Silky Mane & Tail Spray, which is that you can spray it over the body to help the mud slide off easier. So I know you can actually get sprays for this, but hey why fork out for two sprays when you can just use one?! I have already done a product review on the NAF spray (you can read that here) but I honestly cannot recommend it enough! Pea's tail gets a good spray with it at the weekend and then all week his tail is easy to brush through, and now that I've discovered it's new talent I love it even more!
- Find a bedding you love
Pea is bedded on Easibed and he doesn't have rubber matting, however I find that he really doesn't need a great big muck out and often in the morning he just gets skipped out & if there's any really wet patches then they get taken out too! This means that for two days he just gets mucked out into a skip bucket which I'll empty every other night if need be (or if I'm running early it gets done in the morning). I really like Easibed as I don't have to continuously put new bedding in, in fact I put two bales in every other week to give a big bed which lasts the two weeks really well! The wet doesn't spread and it makes a good bed. Pea is quite a clean horse which helps but I would definitely recommend Easibed if you're looking for a new bedding to try!
- If possible, get rid of haynets or have plenty
Pea doesn't have a haynet anymore as some of his hay gets left & I prefer to just chuck it on the floor as it's more natural so this helps save time as I'm not having to fill haynets. However, you could always buy a bunch of haynets and fill them at the weekend if you have somewhere to store them. Pea's on a mix of hay and haylage as he's rather fussy over his hay so he has a bit of hay down and a slice of haylage which is easy to just chuck into his stable and luckily he doesn't get it everywhere (except every now and then when he has a party in his stable!).
- Persuade someone they love bringing your horse in!
Okay, this is obviously not very helpful however I'm quite lucky that Dad will sometimes bring Pea in for me as he normally finishes work at 5 whereas I finish at half 5. This doesn't always happen so times I do go off on a trip at 6pm in the dark attempting to find my horse in the dark in a very large field which clearly doesn't save time at all!
- Learn to cope with a mucky horse
I have a grey, therefore it is really hard for me to ensure he's not groomed to near perfection all the time. However, I have learnt that leaving a bit of mud on his hind quarters really isn't the end of the world and it does mean that I can get home that little bit sooner! As long as his face, legs and saddle area are groomed and his feet are picked out, I can cope with a bit of mud!
- Get the most out of a 30 minute schooling session
Your Horse magazine have been doing a feature for a while called '30 minute expert workout' which gives great exercises to get the most out of your schooling session in a shorter space of time. Pea normally works about 30-40 minutes in the evening as sometimes all I really want to do is get home so I'll work on just one main thing such as bend rather than try and work on lots of things. Other nights, I might just stick him on the lunge for a bit with his side reins on or he'll just have the day off.
This has partly turned into 'my daily routine' type of thing, but hopefully you'll get some tips on how to cut down a bit of time :)
Thanks for reading,