Winter does not have to be all about dark nights and early mornings. In this issue international rider Gary Foggon of Team Black Country Saddles provides some handy hints to make good use of precious time throughout the autumn and winter.
- Before bringing your horse in from the field, why not pick his feet out into a rubber skip which will save you having to spend time sweeping the yard.
- Always place a small plastic football or tennis ball in your horse’s water-bucket to prevent water freezing which allows constant access to water.
- Buy plenty of haynets and fill them all at once, this can save time on dark mornings and nights.
- Invest in a set of overalls to wear over your day-to-day clothes, this saves time changing and prevents unnecessary trips home.
- When turning your horse out in a morning, weather permitting, try to get your stable ready for the evening. If all the mucking out is done, water-buckets filled and haynets sorted, you won’t then need to do this in the evening leaving you more time to concentrate on your riding.
- To save time on mucking out why not deep litter your horse’s bed until you have more time at the weekend.
- When pushing a full wheelbarrow from the stable to the muck heap, be sure to throw over a sheet or blanket to prevent mess spilling onto the yard. This will save you from having to sweep the yard.
- Work together! Try and join up with a fellow horse owner at your yard and devise a rota where you take it in turns to bring each others horses in from the field or turn them out. This will give you a little more free time.
- Prepare buckets of hard feed in advance this can shave a few minutes off your daily routine.
- Save time having to brush your horse by investing in a rug with a neck cover. This is more likely to keep your horse clean and reduces time spent brushing and increases time spent riding.
- After riding, give both your saddle and bridle a quick wipe over every time it is used rather than leaving it until it is a major, time consuming task
Gary’s Favourite Saddle
Gary rides in the Dante Dressage Saddle from Black Country Saddles.
Says Gary: “As soon as you sit in the Dante you feel so comfortable due to the very soft and supple calf leather and memory foam incorporated into the seat, skirt and knee rolls. This helps eliminate pressure points and acts as a shock absorber which really has made a difference to how I feel schooling and training at home, or in the arena at competitions.”