Make the most of your Christmas break and enjoy spending time with your horse and your family by following these easy time-saving tips.
Buy extra haynets and fill them all at once, then store them until they are needed.
Deep litter your horse’s bed during the week. Take the wet out once a week, disinfect the floor and leave it to dry before replacing the bed.
Before bringing your horse out of his stable, pick his feet out into a rubber skip this will save you sweeping the yard.
Use a cotton summer sheet under your horse’s stable rug to protect it from grease and dirt. A cotton sheet is easier to wash and dry than a thick quilted rug.
If your horse needs his hay soaked, consider feeding haylage over the winter months.
Make up all your weekly feeds on one day and store them individually in clean, rodent-proof containers with lids.
Get together with another horseowner and draw up a rota to turn out and bring in for each other on set days.
Keep a torch handy – it’s invaluable for investigating wounds and other injuries if there’s a power cut
Keep your horse clean and warm by investing in a hood or neck cover.
Invest in a hose to bring your water to wherever you need it rather than struggling with heavy water buckets.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and take precautionary measures if sub-zero temperatures are predicted by sprinkling plenty of rock salt around areas that are likely to bcome slippery.
Invest in a set of overalls to wear over your daytime clothes. This will save time changing or going home.
A small plastic football floating in your horse’s field trough or a small plastic ball floating in his water bucket stops water freezing over and allows access to fresh water in all but the coldest of weather.
If your horse is out during the day, muck out, refill water buckets and tie up your haynet in the morning so your stable is ready for your horse when it comes in at night.
Lunge your horse to add variety to his work – a 20-minute lunging session is the equivalent to one hour ridden work.
Consider installing rubber matting in your stable – although the initial cost is quite expensive over time you will save on bedding costs and time taken to muck out.