8 horse care tips and tricks to make life with horses even better – including how to keep your vet and farrier happy when they visit, and how to keep a bored horse on box rest entertained…
Extra horse care tips and tricks…
1) If your horse is unfortunate enough to be on box rest, or your yard restricts grazing, keep them occupied with double/triple layered haynets to slow down eating, and toys or homemade boredom breakers, such as making holes in carrots and threading them on a string to hang up. You could even invest in a safety mirror for the wall of your stable to give them extra to look at (even a few chickens on the yard can provide them entertainment!)
2) To keep your car tidy…ish (a tricky task when you have horses!) put a large plastic tub in the boot of your car for dirty boots and clothes, and keep a spare pair of shoes for driving. A dehumidifier in the boot will also help to stop damp
3) Keep fuel costs down by keeping the tyres pumped up, and your foot light on the gas, in your car, and horsebox (and stable your horse as close to home as you can!)
4) Look after visitors to your yard – being on good terms with your vet and farrier means they’ll be more likely to squeeze you in when they’re busy! Make sure your horse is clean and ready (for example farriers have busy schedules – they hate nothing more than having to wait for a horse to be brought in, and then deal with wet or muddy hooves!). Be there to greet them and help if needed, and pay them on time. Offers of tea, coffee and biscuits go a long way too… make your yard a nice place to visit!
5) Buy in bulk. Wait for the sales, and don’t be afraid to buy second-hand to save money (just dont comprimise on safety)!
6) Make the extra effort and take time to store things properly to avoid damage and waste – stack hay bales and bedding undercover and on wooden pallets to keep them off the floor, keep feed in vermin proof bins, keeps rugs that aren’t being used in clearly labelled sealed containers, make sure your tack room is well ventilated and an ambient temperature to keep tack in good condition
7) Grow your own carrots and plant an apple tree, or buy the ‘wonky’ ones from farmers that they can’t sell to the supermarkets to save some pennies
8) Have a go at making some DIY jumps and obstacles for your schooling sessions – plain wooden poles are cheaper than ready made ones and you can have fun with a paint brush. Tyres make good fillers and road cones make a great gymkhana course – use your imagination and save some cash – just make sure everything is safe!
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