The winter seems to be dragging out more than normal, and trying to find motivation to ride in this weather is incredibly difficult! Balancing personal life, work and looking after your horse can sometimes feel overwhelming, so we have put together some top tips to make sure your horse still receives the attention he deserves.
1. Establish a consistent routine
One of the best ways to ensure your horse receives all the care he needs is to focus on developing a routine. Horses love routine, so try feeding, grooming and riding your horse at the same time each day. Not only will this help your horse feel secure, but it also means you can plan your day much easier around their needs.
2. Provide daily turnout
Of course daily turnout can be incredibly hard if you are on a livery yard, so if you do have to limit your horse’s turnout try and keep him in the stable for the shortest amount of time possible. Horses tend to get bored and restless, or even switch off if they are stabled for long periods of time. Energetic horses may turn to misbehaving during exercise if they are stuck indoors too long!
3. Make feed time more efficient
Streamlining your horse’s feeding routine can help save you lots of time (and money) in the long run. Pre-measured portions of feed ensure that your horse receives adequate nutrition without compromising on time. It is also a good idea to review your horse’s diet a couple of times a year, so speak to an independent equine nutritionist to create a balanced diet tailored to your horse’s needs.
4. Schedule regular health checks
Prevention is always better than cure, so don’t slack on your horse’s regular health checks. Make sure he is regularly booked in for the farrier, dentist, and saddler, and schedule these appointments around your busy work life. Preventative care can often save both time and money in the long run, by addressing potential issues before they escalate into major problems.
5. Develop a focused exercise routine
Your horse’s exercise routine should fit into your schedule, and if you really are struggling for time consider asking a friend to help exercise your horse. If you can afford it, investing in regular lessons with a highly qualified instructor can really help to keep you on track.
6. Create a support network
Remember you aren’t alone! Don’t be afraid to ask your family or friends for help if you are struggling with fitting everything in. It is a great idea to build a support network so that your horse is always looked after in the event of an emergency.
Remember Your Why
On the hardest days, when you are battling against the elements bringing your horse in from the field, you aren’t the only one who questions their life choices! Even if you have a busy schedule, that doesn’t mean owning a horse has to be overwhelming. By implementing these practical horse care tips for busy owners, you can maintain a healthy and happy relationship with your equine companion while successfully navigating the demands of everyday life. Remember, a happy horse makes a happy owner.