With Winter now creeping around the corner, it is important that we maintain our horses fitness and routine through these cold coming months, even when the nights are getting both darker and the temperature is dropping. In this blog post, I am going to be telling you how I balance riding with college and some time-saving tips that may just help you out.
The first thing goes without saying at this time of year, but clipping can be so helpful if your horse gets sweated up when ridden, particularly if their winter coat is coming through quick. Clipping of course has to be suited to each individual horse and their workload. Be it a full, blanket, chaser, hunter, bib clip of any others, they all have their own benefits. The main purpose of clipping if that your horse doesn't get too hot, so therefore will cool down and dry faster after a ride, therefore saving time that would otherwise be spent on this. The only thing with a clipped horse is that you will need to be sure that you rug them up plenty, to avoid them catching a chill. If it is particularly cold on a given day, an exercise sheet will keep your horses quarters warm whilst you exercise them.
Another time saving tip is to fill Haynes in advance for the week ahead. This means that just on one day a week (normally a weekend) you fill lots of Haynets to use over the week ahead. This will saving you time each day and means that you can use this time to be riding your horse or doing other useful jobs.
On a similar note, you can make all of your feeds a week in advance. By bringing carrier bags to the yard, you can make a weeks worth of your horses feed to save you additional minutes each day. This will soon total up and you can get used to the mere convenience of having the feeds at the ready. However, make sure that they are stored in a container, to avoid any rodents getting into it.
Keep on top of grooming you horse, even if they are clipped, to ensure that they maintain that healthy coat. A clipped horse may appear more clean but it is still important to maintain your regular grooming routine to keep the horses coat in top condition. I like to use the Eqclusive Universal Pack to do this, just a little brushing each day can help you to stay on top of it and keep your horses coat shiny and clean. However, if your horse isn't clipped, it's important to keep on top of shedding their coat, as this gets rid of any dead skin and hairs that would otherwise take a while to shed off themselves. The SleekEZ is an excellent grooming device to assist with this, the results are phenomenal and it really does improve the condition of your horses coat.
Plan your horses workouts in advance. This will help you to decide what days your are going to do certain exercises and to set up appropriately. This means you can get the maximum efficiency out of each workout and can help you to work on your horse fitness plan, using the same equipment to do different exercise and to work different muscle. This can just be changed weekly to a different exercise.
In summary, Winter nights aren't too bad if you are prepared and ready to take them on.
See you next month!