Five ways to use your time at the yard wisely now you’re back to school…
Now the summer hols are over, and school has started again, you’ll likely be spending fewer hours hanging out at the yard. But just because you’ve got less time on your hands, doesn’t mean you have to cut the time you spend in the saddle. There’re loads of things you can do to make the most of your time, so your riding skills aren’t affected. Here are five handy tips…
- Perfect planning
Preparation is key when you’re looking to save some time. If you’ve got a super-busy day ahead, take 10 minutes the night before to write a to-do list. This’ll help you decide what order to complete the tasks in and, if you’ve got to do something really important, you can prioritise it. Write down anything extra that you’ll need, too. If you’re jumping you might need to remember a different set of boots or if you’re hacking, you’ll need your high-vis!
- Neat & tidy
Stay organised! It’s easy to waste time looking for something on the yard if you’ve put it elsewhere, so keep everything tidy and in its usual place then you’ll have no trouble finding things. Tidying up after yourself as you go will help save time, too. If you leave a big pile of mess to clear up after you’ve ridden, it’ll take sooo much longer.
- Say no to multi-tasking
Don’t try to do too many things at once! You’ll be less efficient if you keep switching between tasks. Avoid trying to get things done quicker by doing them at the same time – you’re more likely to make a mistake that way. Stick to the plan you made and tackle one thing at a time.
- Fine line
Grooming your pony every day is super-important, but you don’t have to spend hours making him sparkle if you’re just schooling at home or off on a hack. Stick to brushing key areas that need to be clean, such as under his saddle and bridle and where his boots go. If you’re short for time, don’t worry if he’s looking a little dusty or if he’s got a big poo stain on his bum – it’s best to spend your time focusing on your riding rather than bathing him. Be sure to always give your pony a good spruce up on days you have more time, though.
- One step ahead
Cleaning your tack can take ages if you don’t keep on top of it. It’s also a boring task if you’ve got to spend forever scrubbing your bit or removing dirt from your girth. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the grubby parts of your tack after each ride. Key areas include the bit, flash and girth. You might think it’ll take up more of your time if you’ve got to do this after every ride, but it’ll help in the long run and make your tack last longer, too!