Hey guys I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and new year! I am sure that many of you like myself were working or busy looking after your own horses, despite this I hope you managed to spend some time off with family and friends, I know I have definitely eaten far too much!
So I thought I’d kick start the year off with a blog about planning and preparing for the year ahead.
I think being able to plan the year ahead has got easier, I know most organisations now run so efficiently that they know show dates months and sometimes a year in advance, this is certainly true for the more advanced and high profile shows. British dressage for example have a list of all major competition dates available on the website (high profiles, premier leagues, regionals and nationals) and then in the magazine are printed the show dates and venues for the upcoming months.
Its good to invest in a wall planner so you can get a good overview of the year ahead at a quick glance, I’m also a big fan of a family planner calendar, we use this at work and it makes life so much easier as each member of staff has a column and the horses and its so clear to see exactly whose off when and when the horses are booked in for anything, we also write up a daily diary so we know what’s gone on each day and any changes of routine for example feeds, tack, turnout, vets visits, farrier, Physio, dentist, saddler etc and anything of note can be written down and referred back to if needed.
I think it’s a good idea to set out any goals or training plans you have for the year ahead and you can plan which shows you want to do and have it all written on the calendar and/or wall planner, once you’ve got these sorted you can then arrange annual vaccinations, teeth, Physio, saddler and farrier visits around these dates to avoid clashes.
What else can you do to try and get the 2018 off to the best start?
Before we get underway and swept up in the hustle and bustle off another busy season it’s a good time to take stock and check everything is in good working order on the horse box before you need to use it. Iv’e given ours a good Christmas clean and scrub ready to go. If you have separate show kits, brushes, plaiting kit, vet kit, first aid box etc on board then check its all clean and stocked up (hopefully you wont have had to use the vet or first aid kits).
Get your horses reclipped if you haven’t done so already. The later you leave re clipping then you’re at risk of ruining their summer coat as they tend to start coming through around feb/march time. Once you’ve done your last clip get the blades sent off for sharpening and clippers away to be serviced if needed.
Have a good clear out and get rid of anything you no longer use or need. I myself am a massive hoarder and my own ponies have far too many rugs and they definitely cannot wear more than one head collar at a time so my 4/5 spare as ‘just incase’ aren’t really necessary! It’s a good opportunity to make some extra cash, or a nice idea is to take any unwanted items to a local horse sanctuary or charity, they will always be needed and greatly appreciated.
If you are a fellow groom make sure if you haven’t done already get your BGA membership! Brush up on any rule changes for the upcoming season and double check the FEI banned substances list, and if you haven’t done yet do your groom clean certificate with the BGA.
So with that best of luck to everyone for 2018! I’m very much looking forward to a busy season and seeing what the year ahead has in store.