Anyone got any tips for streamlining equine duties in the mornings?
I'm living in Kent and have to get up at 5.30am most mornings in order to get everyone clean, fed, watered and warm and still have time to make it to the train station. Due to the wintery conditions, there is more work to be done, and therefore more time taken up. I just wondered if anyone had any great tips for making the process a little faster? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
We took old coffee cans w/lids wrote names on them, pre-measured out everyone's feed and set them outside the stalls (we did a weeks worth for each horse at a time). Correct amount of hay was set out in front of the stalls nightly. In the morning, just grab and dump.
Each horse had 2 heated buckets plus a heated trough went in-between every 2 runs (each horse had a stall that opened into a run) so there was no need to water in the morning.
We didn't clean in the mornings, since every horse had a huge run off their stall it wasn't necessary. I cleaned in the afternoons when I turned everyone out.
Premixing feeds like Delfina mentioned really speeds things up. When we used to have other people help with our horses in the morning (we'd do one day they'd do another) we'd put the rugs we would use in the day time on the horse first, and the warm night one on top. So then you just pull off the top layer and they're good to go.
Also, do you have to clean the stables in the mornings? Are they in there all day or something? You could always just move all the mess into the corner and do a really good clean in the afternoon. Have hoses for each water bucket, and a multiple connector so they can all be filled up at once, or share two between stables.
Thanks guys, I do premix feeds and the horses live out most of the time but as the weather is so bad they have to stay in during the day and usually the morning if the ground is too hard. As my aunt and me are out most of the day, at work and university, we try to spread the work load out so as not to come home to loads of work. The multiple hose connections is a great idea so I will definitely put this forward. Thank you for all your suggestions :) !!