A few weeks ago I posted a blog about my weekday routine, which, like a lot of people, is generally squeezed in the winter. The weekend's are a time to tackle all the other things AND ride :)
As in the week I tend to get up fairly early. This suits the horses and apparently it is good for us to get up at a similar time every day too. So I have about 10 minutes longer in bed! As soon as I get to the horses I make their breakfast. Just as in the week. While they tuck in I get on with some other bits ....
Now that Basil is having steamed hay, things are a little bit different in the week and at the weekend. I put the haynets in the steaming bin the night before so all I do in the morning is plug in the unit and turn it on! This is really to make sure the hay has the maximum time steaming as I have to turn it off before I go to work (in the week). While they are eating I take Basil's empty nets from the night before out of the stable and fill them with hay - to put in the steamer later in the day. I have 4 nets for Basil now so that I can do this!
As in the week Tommy has usually finished his breakfast by now. Next I change the rugs, Chesney is usually still eating but he is very used to this by now. Basil sometimes has finished and sometimes is just licking the last bits from the bottom of his bowl, he also is very good. Tommy has his rug on some days if it is cold and wet :) He is getting really chilled with it now which is great.
Tommy goes out first, closely followed by Basil but I lead them both out separately. Chesney tends to take a bit longer eating his big breakfast. As time is not so limited at the weekend I often have a bigger cuddle with Chesney before he potters off.
The food bowls get an extra good clean at the weekend. I wash any left food out and give them a scrub with the brush inside and out. Then, while I skip out, I boil the kettle lots of times to fill Chesney's bowl with very hot water - and put in a bit of washing up liquid. I leave this to soak a while and it seems to work really well at getting rid of the oil he has in his bowl. I give it a good scrub around again and then pour the water into Tommy and then Basil's bowls and do the same. I leave them all to drain on the side of the yard.
By the time Chesney's bowl is full with hot water I have usually finished skipping out the stables and emptied out the water buckets. As in the week I check how much they have drunk before scrubbing them out. Chesney seems to fill his with hay and Tommy fills his with shavings. Basil's automatic waterer gets emptied out and refilled once I have finished his stable - he fills his with hay too.
Saturday is big muck out day. I don't know why but I always start with Chesney's (I do the same when skipping out.) I clear out any wasted hay before gently moving all the clean shavings back to expose the wet patches. I filmed a video of this last winter - click here to see it. I shovel them out before putting the bedding back down, adding new shavings and making the beds look nice. Basil's new shavings go under his old to try to reduce any dust.
Once I have done all the stables I fill Chesney and Tommy's haynets for the night and hang them up. I will have turned the steamer off at some point by now. Then the yard gets a good sweep and every few weeks I clear out the drains too :( They always get lots of hay and food bits, leaves etcetera in them and it is good to keep them clear so if we have lots of rain the yard doesn't get overwhelmed and the stables flood.
I usually have a cup of tea or coffee at some point before tackling one or two 'extra' jobs.
I tend to ride in the afternoon (unless the weather is better in the morning). If I am hacking out it is better as I don't meet the point to point horses that ride out in the mornings. They are not a good influence on Basil! As Chesney gets quite stressed when I take Basil out of the field he never gets a big groom before I ride. Luckily he is really easy to catch and lead and he doesn't get upset by Chesney's behaviour. I pick out his feet and make sure he doesn't have any mud where the bridle, saddle and girth sit. I put the tack on as quickly as I can and we go. Tommy is getting used to Chesney's behaviour now and tends to stay out the way.
Obviously, Basil is not fit at all at the moment so we are just going out for about 30 minutes and walking mostly with a little trot. We have to do quite a lot of roadwork around here as there is not much off road riding close by, I have to go out for a couple of hours for bridleway riding. When we get back Chesney usually calms down relatively quickly so I can untack and give Basil a quick brush and check over before putting his rug back on and letting him back into the field. I always feel like this is a good reward for his work.
Now it is getting dark so early I often get them in earlier at the weekend as it gives me an opportunity to check them over in the daylight. Checking for mud fever and any knicks or scratches. Tommy seems to be a bit accident prone, mostly in the stable and often takes the hair off on his face. I have no idea how or what on but he doesn't do serious damage. The grass is not so good at this time of year and the horses have usually been standing in their favourite spot since about 3.00pm waiting for me (apparently).
After putting Basil's haynets into his stable I follow my weekday routine and mix up their feeds before getting them in. I put the haynets I filled this morning into the steamer so they are all ready for the next morning now. I tend to check Chesney over while he is eating but if he needs his legs washing I do this after he has finished. I don't do this often but every now and again so that I can reapply his mud fever prevention cream in the morning. I did a video about this too. Chesney is the only one who gets mud all up his legs - which he does when he walks and trots up and down while I am out riding. So, checking Tommy's legs is relatively easy as they are usually clean above his pasterns.
They all have their feet picked out and I usually give them a better brush at the weekend when I change the rugs. They get a go over with the rubber curry comb and then Chesney and Basil have a body brush too. Tommy doesn't as he needs all the oils in his coat for the days he is not wearing a rug. As long as they are not wet I can give the manes a brush too. To be honest I don't do the tails that often in the winter because they are muddy and combing them just breaks the hairs and pulls them out. I also get the water buckets filled. Tommy and I usually practise something now as well. Getting him used to rugs and other things where he feels safe.
Once they are all snuggled up and clean (ish) I collect the feedbowls and give them a quick scrub. Mostly they are going away in the feedroom overnight at the moment as it is windy. They get their little treats and I leave them in peace.
Is similar except I don't have to do a big muck out. On a Sunday morning, I often ride in the arena which at the moment is not very exciting. I also have to clean out the 'box' where the hay is steamed, this doesn't take long but is a little job that needs doing each week. I also tackle one or two extra jobs today.
Next week I will let you know all the extra jobs that go along with my weekend routine.
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Until next time!