When you are flat out working and also have family commitments there are sometimes you barely have time to ride, let alone catch up on the many chores around the stables that should be done.
Your gear needs a clean, you saddle cloth and bandages need a good wash, the manure in your paddock is piling up and the mice love the amount of grain on your feed room floor.
The weekends are busy with kids to organise, competitions and other commitments. Sunday night comes around and you feel like there are more horse chores to do there were at the beginning of the weekend
It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the horse chores there are to do.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to catch it up all at once.
Just focus on the most important task until you have a well-run, efficient stable. That way, you can relax and enjoy your riding so much more. After all, isn’t enjoyment the reason you ride and have horses?
Change the routine.
When you are riding and training and your horse goes well, finish a few minutes early. This might give you enough time to sweep the feed room floor to pick up all the old feed. Then each time you feed after that, be careful! If you do spill feed or make a mess, clean it up immediately so the old feed doesn’t build up again.
Be efficient with your work!
You can have a couple of saddlecloths and sets of bandages and put them in a tub of water to soak when you finished riding. Then the next time you visit your horse to feed, take out your washing and hang it out to dry. Your work gear may not be spotless if you do it this way, but it will mean that the excess sweat and dirt has been washed away, making it more comfortable for your horse. If you can hang your washing out under cover then it won’t matter if it rains and it will be saddlecloths and bandages will be clean and dry when you are ready to use them.
Mix your family time with your horse chores.
When you are picking up manure in your horse’s paddock, make it into a game with your children. The ‘treasure’ is a new pile of manure and the rewards are based on a full bag of manure. If you make this into a regular routine picking up manure becomes a game and also combines family time with horse chores.
Organise your bigger tasks for the weekends.
Don’t make a huge list and plan to have it all completed in one day. Be realistic and prioritize. Organise equipment and other people to help beforehand if other people are available to help. You may have some friends who do not have horses any more who would just like to spend time around them.
Combine you enjoyment of horses with a sense of achievement by following a well-organized routine. Avoid overwhelm by prioritizing your workload to the most important thing for you (and your horse) for that day.
Are you a highly paid professional?
If you are flat out working full time, you may place a higher value on your time that what it would take to employ a local horse mad school student to do your extra chores. Work out how much per hour you are paid in your professional job and then how much you could pay some local labour to do the horse chores you would prefer not to. Sometimes it is just a good idea to outsource these jobs so you can focus on the thing that you want to do most, which is probably spending time with your horse.
The main thing is to remember why you have horses.