9 jobs you can get done over the festive period to get ahead

  • Of course, eat, drink and be very merry, but as the Christmas period is one of the few times most amateurs get an extended break from work, it might be wise to schedule a few hours to complete some chores you’ve been putting to the back of your mind.

    Here are nine things you could do over the Christmas break to get your ducks in a row and storm into 2022 ready for success.

    1. Tidy your tack room

    A classic. As the year progresses it’s likely that your tack room has become a dumping ground for anything and everything, while the storage system you implemented last time you gave it a clear out has fallen to the wayside. Why not have a big sort out and get everything in order, so you can actually find that bit when you need it?

    2. Service the lorry

    Your horsebox has probably been sitting in the driveway for a couple of months already, and when you do decide to venture out there would be nothing worse than being unable to start it. Make sure everything is in working order and all services are up to date. Once the exterior is all checked over and ready to go, give the inside a good spring clean as well as the horse area.

    3. Clean your competition clothing

    You’ve worn your jacket throughout the season, including for hours in sweltering summer heat, so now is the time to check it in for a deep clean at your local dry cleaners. Now is also a good time to give your boots a good clean and oil, and ensure all your other competition kit is in working order and doesn’t need replacing.

    4. Give your horse a tidy up

    If you are someone who lets yourself — and your horses — go during winter, so make use of the daylight hours to give your horse a clip, trim up and bath (weather permitting) so he heads into the New Year as fresh as a daisy and ready for work.

    5. Wash your rugs

    Send them off to your local rug washer, use the facilities on your yard or put your own washing machine to the test. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our helpful guide to cleaning horse rugs. It’s also a good opportunity to fix any holes or tears, and decide if any of his kit needs replacing.

    6. Pay off any bills

    This can really help you go into the new season with a clean slate. Finalise any vet, farrier or physio payments and ensure you don’t owe anything equestrian related so that’s off your mind.

    7. Plan your competition schedule

    While schedules won’t be out yet, most of the championship and county show dates are already in the diary so you could take an hour or so to mark off select days you’ll need to book off from work so you can attend, especially if you work shifts. Consider if you’ll need to book accommodation, too, and if you’ll need to ask a friend or relative to tag along as groom. The earlier you ask the better!

    8. Join your societies

    Similarly, getting all your relevant paperwork in line to send off to the necessary member society is something which you could do while you have some spare time. Deciding which ones to join, gathering documents and filling in forms is the perfect task to do while sitting in front of a Christmas movie with a box of chocolates. Some societies also offer a discount if you join in January, so it’s the perfect job to tick off the list.

    9. Make a training plan

    Want to source a new trainer in the New Year? Make contact with the people you have in mind. Haven’t decided when to bring your horse back into work after his winter break? Pop a deadline in the diary. If you have certain aspirations in mind then it’s a good idea to draft some sort of plan, however brief, so you can achieve those goals. Dreams don’t work unless you do!

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