Gloucestershire-based eventer Beanie Sturgis, 43, knows a thing or two about running a slick yard.
She gained her best-ever Badminton result and four-star placing in 2016 (11th with the recently retired Lebowski) and in 2017 she was awarded an Armada Dish (the prize awarded for completing the competition at Badminton five times).
Beanie is also a field master for the Duke of Beaufort’s, a listed show judge and a cross-country course-designer.
Here she shares her no-nonsense tips for saving time and money on the yard:
“These [tips] might not suit everyone, but they work for us,” says Beanie.
1. A loose tail-bandage after washing off helps stop horses breaking out [in sweat].
2. A loop of string on a hoof pick is a perfect one-man twitch. Put it on and push the pick, pointing out, through the nose-buckle of a headcollar. It saves you being clonked on the head by a wooden-handled one, too.
3. For hoof oil, mix one-third Stockholm tar with two-thirds cod liver oil. Both are good for feet and it is shiny and cheap.
4. For tail conditioner, we use supermarket own-brand furniture polish.
5. Use long-nose pliers for pulling the sides of tails.
6. For saddle soap, melt four bars of glycerine saddle soap, then add three-quarters of a pint of milk and quarter of a pint of water and let set.
7. Travel saddled up with stirrups pulled down [when you’re going hunting] — it saves ruining saddles and rugs when horses lean on partitions.
8. Use a summer sheet under your rugs which can then be washed weekly to keep horses clean.
9. Use the wheelbarrow handles to hook haynets on when filling.
We asked you what you love or dream of on your livery yard and this is what you came up…
Here are a few time saving horse care tips to make life at the yard run that little bit more…
10. My secret weapon is a neck strap. I ride everything with one, even when I’m judging show horses. I’m sure everyone thinks I’m terribly windy, but if they want to follow me around Badminton, they can.
11. How to save time around the yard? Don’t have coffee breaks. By the time you’ve made a cup, you could have been riding a horse.
Don’t miss this week’s hunting special of Horse & Hound, where Beanie Sturgis gives her tips for introducing horses to the hunting field, plus you can take a quiz to find out how hard-core you are when it comes to hunting — and much more