Tricks of the trade: top riders’ tips for saving time around the yard

  • We all know the feeling of having a seemingly endless list of jobs to do on the yard — and not enough time to do them. So how do our top riders manage to fit everything in?

    Nigel Hollings, showing judge

    Get up early and you won’t be disturbed by telephone calls.

    Dan Moseley, showjumper

    Have a good routine; I have a diary that everything is written down in, so the whole team on the yard know exactly what the plan is for the day with each horse.

    Joe Clee, showjumper

    Organisation. I make sure that everything is sorted out on the yard the night before and always make a plan for the next day.

    Louisa Milne Home, eventer

    My horse walker. My horses go on this before I ride them and while it’s no substitute for being ridden it’s a bonus that they have been exercised for half an hour before I start schooling them.

    Sophie Wells, para dressage rider

    Be organised. On my yard all my horses each have their own designated colour so everything is colour coded — that way there are no mix-ups. Valerius has red, Pinnochio blue, Fatal Attraction purple and Touchdown has pink.

    Matt Frost, dressage rider

    Put things back!

    Yazmin Pinchen, showjumper

    Buy a Segway.

    Becky Edwards, dressage rider

    Don’t walk empty handed and always think ahead. Have a loose structure of what you want to achieve throughout the day by a certain time, and use your time efficiently.

    Andrew Gould, dressage rider

    Having good staff that are well organised makes a huge difference on the yard. I hate being late.

    Richard Johnson, National Hunt jockey

    Do things right the first time and you won’t have to go back again and rush them. More haste less speed.

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    Joe Clayton, showjumper

    We pack the lorry for a show the night before so that we can concentrate on doing the horses that are staying behind in the morning.

    Oliver Hood, showing producer

    Buy a bigger broom.

    Camilla Kruger, eventer

    Don’t get distracted by standing around chatting. There’s plenty of time for that when the yards duties are finished.

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