Summer time often means vacation time and whether that is going to a weekend horse show or actually taking time off away from horses, the word “vacation” is one that often makes us horse owners uneasy. That’s because, if you’re like me, you worry about someone else undertaking the huge responsibility, with all its little and big idiosyncrasies, of caring for horses, farm or ranch, dogs, cats, etc.

Matt and I just went on a week’s vacation and we returned refreshed and to a wonderfully well-cared for ranch–as well to a huge compliment! My friend Diana, who I had hired to horse/ranch sit for us while we were gone, told us our place was “easy to care for.” Chore-efficient, in other words. That also translates to safer, cleaner and less likely to have horse issues. When chores are too much like “work,” whether it’s us doing them or a caretaker, they are simply less likely to get done. And the more manure that piles up, then the more flies, odors, runoff and mud that’s going to follow suit.

Want some ideas on chore efficiency to help you get out the door on vacation? Here you go:

  • Review equipment needs for daily chores. Having the right equipment for chores not only makes things more efficient but also ensures that chores get accomplished when you’re tired, it’s late or when someone else is filling in. Consider getting a manure cart that’s easy to push and dump into the compost pile. Is your manure fork half broken?  The heavy-duty plastic-tined type with a bent edge is made specifically for cleaning horse stalls and paddocks.