Wow...where has this year gone already! Who else has noticed the leaves changing colour and dropping on the ground already?
It feels like our horses have only just got their summer coats and now their winter fur is on its way back, with fur looking denser than ever clipping season is only just around the corner!
So with the weather starting to change, here are my 6 jobs at the yard to do at the end of August:
1- Make way for hay! - Now is the time to give the barn a good sort out and rotate any hay you have left, sweep out the old dusty remains and make space for new hay this winter (old at the front and new at the back), you can usually tell which bales are newer as they will be greener and less dull in colour however if it's a bit dark in the barn and you struggle to see the different shades, tie a piece of coloured string onto each old bale so know which ones to use first.
2- Deep Clean the stable - Whilst the weather is still relatively warm in the day I find its a great opportunity to deep clean the stable, Take all the used old bedding out, remove all licks and buckets, lift the stable mats and give it a good scrub using a stiff yard brush with soapy water or disinfectant, make sure what you use is safe for animals and has been thoroughly rinsed and fully dried before putting everything back down again.
3- Clippers at the ready! - As 'clipping season' is rapidly on its way, it's a good time make sure they are in clean working order with sharp blades, don't forget to make sure you have enough clipper oil to take you through the season.
4- Go through all your horse rugs - If you haven't already, make sure you have enough rugs to last you over the next 6 months, from the lightweight turnout rug for the end of summer showers, to the medium-heavyweight turnout rug for the cold, wet winter months.
If you can, have a few rugs spare as you may need to do a rug change and have one rug hanging up to dry if it has rained so much it has got wet through, also you never know when your horse is going to great you with a broken or ripped rug from all the abuse it has given it in the field!
5- Hi-Vis - Now, I am a firm believer in wearing hi-vis for both horse and rider all year round, so this time of year I usually go through all the gear and give it a good wash brightening up the colours especially as the evenings will get darker earlier, I can't resist adding new pieces to the horsey hi-vis collection - my newest addition being a flashing tail band that rechargeable via USB - thank goodness for no battery changes!
6- Stock up on towels - I highly recommend stocking up on clean fresh towels at the yard, they have multiple uses and are handy for towel drying your horse when he/she comes in soaking wet.
Not forgetting my lunatic labrador, I always make sure I have my amazing Henry Wagg dog towel in the car and seat covers at the ready for when he comes back stinking, wet and muddy - not to mention very happy with himself too!
If you have any other tips or suggestions on what to do at the yard this week, comment below!
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