Five Time Savers for Winter

Credit: Thinkstock Breaking ice in water buckets and/or water troughs or carrying water when water tanks are iced over is time-consuming and back-breaking work.

For many parts of the country, temperatures will hover at or below freezing for days or weeks on end. Likely cold days will be accompanied by inches or feet of snow.

These five time savers can help you get through your daily checklist as efficiently as possible to get you back in the barn office to warm-up.

Set a timer It’s easy to become distracted or preoccupied with a task that doesn’t require a lot of effort. Avoid wasting time on a mindless task by setting a timer and challenging yourself to finish the chore before the alarm chimes. Bonus: Most cell phones have built-in timers so there isn’t any additional baggage for your pockets.

Color code Encourage boarders and clients to choose a color scheme for their halters, lead ropes, blankets and equipment. It allows you and staff to quickly identify which halter, blanket, etc. belongs with each horse, ultimately saving you time needlessly searching for equipment. This works well with lesson horses, too.

Install electrical outlets Breaking ice in water buckets and/or water troughs is time-consuming and back-breaking work. Install outlets close to stalls and paddocks and use heated buckets or purchase appropriate heaters for your water troughs to keep water sources defrosted. Bonus: Warmer water encourages horses to drink more.

Secure a deicing source Try shopping for salt, sand or other deicing products in the middle of a storm. Chances are your local supplier will be out of product or have limited choices if you wait until the last minute. Order enough in advance to get you through one storm. Check with your local highway department, some towns allow residents access to municipal bulk products.

Double-up On days you have time to prepare a meal at home, double the recipe and freeze the extra portions. Next time you head to the barn you’ll have a meal that’s easy to reheat and eat on the go.

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