24 Hours for our School Horses
Our school horses day starts early. Seven days a week, 365 days a year we are responsible for taking care of these wonderful critters. From our barn staff to stall cleaners to our Barn Managers, everyone plays a huge roll in their daily care. Each part is critical to their well being.
Here is how the average day goes for our horses and ponies
7am or earlier – the horses are given their morning ration of hay. Each get 10 pounds or more. Hay is very important as it is the main component in their diet and is full of the fiber. Horses need to eat roughage, and their digestive system is designed to use the nutrition in grassy stalks. We also need to have hay in their system before they get their ration of grain. It acts as a buffer to keep their stomach happy. Some of our older horses whose teeth are worn get a pelleted version of hay so they can chew easily and digest it well.
8am – the horses are given their grain. Each horse is different and we feed them what they need by assessing age, teeth, work load and more. Some breeds have a faster metabolism, some slower. Supplements are typically given in their breakfast. Water buckets are then cleaned and filled.
8:30am – turn out time for our boarder horses and if it is a weekday the school horses get turnout as well. If it is the weekend our school horses are groomed and tacked by our barn staff. Weekend lesson begin around 9am and can run til around 6pm. Then possibly a team practice after that. We keep close track of the horses hours so the work load is well paced and work limits are strictly adhered to. Today is a week day for our purposes. Turnout time is great for our horses as they get to play and graze and just relax.
While the horses are out our barn staff take care of stall care, barn cleaning, treat any medical issues, maintain tack, worming and vaccinations…you get the idea. Lots to do!
11:30am – Lunch time!! Some of our school horse need the extra calories/nutrition of an extra feeding. It can be more grain or a hay extender like “Bonanza” which is an easily digestible product for these guys. Those needing lunch are brought it for that meal.
3:30pm – our horse are brought in from turnout. Their stalls are clean and loaded with another 10 pounds or more of hay and water is double checked. Clean, full buckets are a must! Any boo-boos from turnout are attended to as they can play rough sometimes :))
4:30pm – dinner is served and typically consists of grain or senior feed depending again on the horses individual needs.
5:00pm – Saddle Club and evening lesson begin. The horses being ridden are groomed and tacked and ready to go.
5:30pm – barn chores are done while lessons are going on.
7:00pm – the barn staff hay all the horses again and refill water buckets. The barn is again swept so it is tidy for the next morning.
7:30pm – some of our horses get a night snack, just for that extra level of care.
8:00pm – everyone is securely tucked into their stalls. Our barn staff take a final tour inspecting of all the horses in their stalls to make sure they have water, hay and are behaving normally. If we have someone acting oddly, we have the Barn Manager on Duty see what is going on and start medical treatment, if necessary. We stay until we are sure the horse or pony is out of the woods. If needed our veterinarian is called in.
Caring for these wonderful creatures is a huge labor of love and it takes a dedicated team to keep them happy and healthy. Stamina too as it is a long, but satisfying, day.
If we give them our best…they can give us theirs!!