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LetAGrlShowU 08-26-2010 10:47 PM

For those with horses at home, whats your routine?
Hi all! I have been very lucky to have my horse full-boarded at a great facility since just after I bought him. I am familiar with having to muck stalls, fill waters, organize feed and hay for morning feeds etc.
I am moving next Friday and Cooper comes up on Saturday to our new home in North Carolina, where he will be in my front yard! (YAY!!!) I was wondering what everyones routines are, especially those of you who may work 40 hr weeks and have kids.
Ther are 2 homes on the property and 3 horses owned by the other home-owner. She does not feed or give hay, so there isnt much maintenance on her part. She simply lets them graze and stay out in pasture 24/7. I have nothing against that, its just not what Cooper and I are used to. So whats the trick? Just getting up super early? I will have to wake my 5 year old to come to the barn every morning and afternoon. What do you do on rainy days?
On the positive side, I will not be working right away so I can kinda get it down pat as I go. But I do plan on going back into my 40 hr work weeks.
I'd love to hear any time saving suggestions or a trick 'learned over the years.

smrobs 08-26-2010 11:41 PM

I've never really had the same time constraints you do but when I still lived at home and was in school (I think can be equated as similar to having a job), I would get up in the morning with enough time to feed and water and give the horses a good once-over just to make sure that they hadn't managed to hurt themselves or develop an illness/colic overnight. That didn't usually take but just a few minutes per horse. In the afternoons when I came home is when I would spend my time with them, riding when I could, cleaning, and just general horsey play. I would usually feed again and fill all the waters before going in the house for the night. I usually stayed out at the barn until nearly dark though LOL. Past that, I really can't help much.

kmacdougall 08-27-2010 12:14 AM

I also had two at home while I went to school/worked.

I got up in the morning (they were inside), and let them out. If the day wasn't fit for them to be outside, I threw them out for a minute while I arranged hay/grain/water. My gelding NEEDS daily turnout, even for 10 minutes, or he goes shackwhacky.
At 4:30 they get fed, both stalls get cleaned, and if they've been inside they go out again for a few minutes.
Evenings are free to ride or whatnot.
10 o'clock the stalls get picked, if they've been inside for the day they go out again, and they get a flake of hay to munch on in bed. All in all, for my two horses, I would say it probably takes a little less then an hour a day to look after them. Having a good routine makes it really easy.

Alwaysbehind 08-27-2010 07:00 AM

2 horses that have stalls that open into individual paddocks, those paddocks can open into a pasture. Both owners have full time jobs with a 40 minute commute time.

I get up very early and head right out to the barn. Yes, in my PJs.
Small hole hay nets are hung under the over hang (this time of year they only have one flake of hay in them).
Stalls are cleaned.
Outside water is topped off.
Grain is fed.
Fly masks put on, fly spray put on, horses given a quick once over.
Doors from stalls out into paddocks closed (do not trust horses to not have a disagreement inside one stall, which could lead to injuries so no stall access when horses are together).
Gates open/closed so horses have access to pasture and each other.
Check fans (make sure fan under over hang is on, etc).

Evening when I get home from work:

Make four hay nets. Hang one under each over hang (summer only one flake of hay, winter they are really full). (Other two made hay nets are for AM.)
Do whatever stalls require (put bedding back over wet spot areas left open for the day, etc).
Scrub water buckets, etc.
Fill all water.
Separate horses into appropriate paddocks open/close gates so mare has access to pasture, gelding is closed in his dry lot type paddock.
Open stall doors.
Feed grain.
Prep grain for AM feeding.
Clean manure from paddocks.
Turn on barn fans.

Night check happens whenever Mr. AB wakes up from his evening snooze in his recliner. Usually around 10PM. In the winter more hay is given at night check time. In the summer fly masks are removed at night check time.

What do I do when it rains? Same thing. If heavy rain is predicted for the whole day I put a little bit more hay in the hay bags. Yes, I get wet and muddy picking manure from paddocks when it is raining, but it still needs to be done. Keeping the manure build up down helps a great deal with pest control.
Routine is pretty much the same in the winter. When we have an ice storm or a really bad snow storm where the snow is blowing into their stalls (hate it when the wind comes from the 'wrong' direction) the horses are closed in their stalls at night. Some bad days I do not let them together, just leave them with stall access all day and access to their own spaces.

MaggiStar 08-27-2010 08:09 AM

Ok in summer ewveryone is out 24-7 on loads of grass so i generally just get up look out the window do a head count while im getting ready to go then i do a proper check when im organised.
When i get home i ride what needs to be ridden check everyone check 2gates from field to road and the water.

In the winter i only keep three in stables the rest go onto the mountain where there checked by someone everyday i see them at the weekends.
For my stabled guys -
Am-change rugs from Heavy overnight to two medium day rugs
Feed all horses concentrates and give over stuffed hay net
check water and stable/

Let out or exercise everyone
Muck out stables whilt three are in arena together
Stuff Two haynets for everyone
Prepare feeds
Give groom
Change rug

When outting the dogs to bed at 11 i recheck everyone again

Beau Baby 08-27-2010 03:05 PM

I have school {high school} and I'm the only one in the family to care for the horses. They are outside 24/7 so in the summers and for the end of spring and beginning of fall I open the corral gate at 7:45 ish to let them out in to their grazing area. I get home at 4:30 and depending on the quality of the grass they come in at either 4:30 or 6. If its really rich they come in at 4:30 because my one horse has weight issues. I start riding both of them at around 7 or 8ish.

In the winter when they need hay they get fed hay at about 7:30 and the gate to the pasture is opened at that time. They get fed more hay at 5 when they come in from the pasture and if the weather is accepting of it I ride them at 6 or 7.

MN Tigerstripes 08-27-2010 03:23 PM

Summer (or whenever they are on pasture): In the morning I give a once over, apply bug spray if necessary, put on fly mask, lead up to pasture, and refill water tank. At night I either leave them out if the weather is nice or bring in and give hay if the paddock grass is too short. Right now I'm bringing Soda into the paddock/barn area at night because the bugs are really bad and the barn area offers some protection.

Winter/anytime there isn't any grass: Morning/night - give feed, spread hay into 6-10 piles throughout paddock. Check each horse over and exercise if need be.

I usually clean up the barn area once a week or so. Manure removal is generally in the spring, but I'm working out a good compost area to start keeping the paddock cleaner.

Speed Racer 08-27-2010 03:31 PM

Mine are out 24/7 when the weather's good, although the TB has decided he's a house horse and would like to be in most of the time, thank you! :lol:

I get up at 5:30 a.m., let the dog out, and go get the horses' feed tubs from their stalls. After I measure out the horse feed and wet it down to soak, I give the cats their breakfast.

The TB goes into a stall, because I have to feed him separately from the other two. He gets a lot more than the Arabians, and it's a different ratio.

The other two go out into the front paddock with their food. I take a wheelbarrow full of hay out with their food, but don't distribute it.

The dog and I go back in the house where I feed/water her, and then I make the bed, brush my teeth, get my lunch ready, and do a few chores.

Once all that's finished I go back outside, distribute the hay into piles, grab the TB's halter/lead line, and the two Arabians' now empty feed tubs.

I put the feed tubs and wheelbarrow in the barn, and close it up for the day.

The TB goes out with the Arabians, and I hook his halter and lead line onto the gate with the Arabian halters/lead lines.

Once all that is finished, I go back inside and do my hair and get dressed for work.

It takes 40-45 minutes to get to work, and I have to be there by 8:30 a.m., so I need to leave no later than 7:45 a.m.

When I get home in the evenings, the horses are let out of the front paddock into the grass pasture, and I start the feeding/watering routines all over again, with the exception that the horses are all stalled for their evening meals.

Once they're finished, they go out on grass at night. During the summer they only get hay in the morning, or when they're in their stalls because of bad weather.

I fill the water troughs up at night, so the only animals I have to give fresh water to in the morning are the dog and cats.

None of this includes mucking, boo-boo treatment, general barn cleaning, or horse grooming. Those are relegated to evenings and weekends.

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