Ahh frosty mornings and dark evenings.. Just what we love about Winter right? I’m guessing for most of you that is a no but for me, I like winter.. It means that I don’t get so hot mucking out, I can actually ride my lazy horse without sweating buckets and I can wear all the lovely equestrian clothing I own! Who can relate?
As many of you horse owners will know, horses live around a routine and for most it is the same day in and day out.. This does change however, when the weather changes! So here I bring to you my horses Winter routine, I hope you enjoy!
So an average day for the horses (and me) usually starts around 8.30am when I decide to rock up to the yard half asleep and wishing I was still in bed because it is freezing cold! I have been known to go to the yard in the mornings in my onesie, dressing gown and wellies.. It is warmer than a coat! The horses are usually waiting for me with their heads over their stable doors looking like they haven’t eaten in a week. I usually start by giving them their breakfast – Adie has his first as he is closest to the feed room and I can usually hear Buddy in the background kicking his door (Naughty boy).. Buddy gets his breakfast literally seconds after, he is just impatient when it comes to food! While they are eating their breakfast I will take off their stable rugs – Adie has a Horseware Ireland standard neck medium weight and Buddy has a Loveson medium weight with a neck, both check print! They look super cute and cosy! I will then put on their turnout rugs and Buddy’s over reach boots..
The boys in their stable rugs
It is around 9am now and the horses have finished their breakfast and they are letting me know it is field time by kicking their doors and snorting.. LET US OUT! Adie gets turned out first because he has usually finished his breakfast first and he always canters up to the end of the field to see if there is anyone to play with but he is usually first out so quickly puts his head down to graze.. Buddy hates the fact that Adie goes out before him now as he used to be first out but because Adie is on a different part of the yard Adie needs to go out first so he is not left on his own.. I then turn Buddy out into the field and he usually gets over excited especially waiting for Adie to be put out that he usually canters up to the top of the field to see Adie and then gets hungry and starts grazing too! That’s the boys fed and turned out in the AM.
The horses at my yard usually stay out in the Autumn/Winter until around 3-4pm if the weather is fairly nice.. If it is raining they usually go out for a couple of hours and then the yard owner will get them in around 12-1pm as I am usually at work during the week until 5pm. She will bring them in and tie up a haynet for them until I get there around 5.30pm.
I usually finish work around 5pm, walk home and then by the time I have got changed and driven to the yard it is around 5.45-6pm and the horses are already half way through their haynets and know that it is time for their dinner (Heads over the door waiting and snorting and calling when I arrive) I start by giving Adie his dinner and then Buddy and while they are eating I will fill up all my haynets ready for the night and the next day. Once they have finished their dinner I will collect their buckets and soak them while I start mucking out!
I usually start with Adie and tie him up outside his stable as he hasn’t quite grasped stable manors and manoeuvres yet! I like to collect the droppings up with the poop scoop and then chuck up all the clean shavings and take out the wet.. I like to muck out my horses properly daily and sweep the stable clean. Once Adie’s stable is finished I will pop him back in and start on Buddy’s – Buddy is super clean and he is on chopped straw bedding but I can usually get both of the boys in one wheel barrow! Result! Buddy usually stays in his stable until I need to sweep and re-lay his bedding.. He know’s the routine so well that he will move for me around the stable before I even ask him to! Once both horses are mucked out I like to pick out their feet and give them a good groom.. Buddy will either be lunged, ridden or just have a thorough groom each night. In the Winter we do not really do much, so most nights he gets a groom and a free school maybe. Adie is unbroken so he just chills most evenings with a light groom and human attention. Both of my horses are very affectionate in the evenings and like cuddles!
Both of my horses like cuddles in the evenings
Once the horses and groomed and rugged for the night I usually do their carrot stretches – They now cannot go to sleep without them! They will wait and not eat their hay until they have had their treats! I like to use natural, low sugar treats for my horses as they are both prone to gaining weight – Especially Buddy! I will then do all my checks to make sure the lights are turned off, stable doors are locked, taps are off etc and then I will say my goodbyes to my boys – I wish I could stay with them overnight for cuddles but I would probably freeze!
My routine for my horses is really basic but they know it and are happy so that makes me happy! I would love to hear all of your horses Winter routines!
Thank you for reading, until next time..