The dark comes ever earlier as the summer passes into autumn, and it can become difficult to finish all the barn chores before the sun goes down. Try these timesaving tips to finish up during daylight:
• Prepare evening meals in the morning. Measure out grain and scoop supplements into smaller buckets or plastic bags labeled with each horse's name. Then, in the evening, you need only to dump each container into the appropriate feed bucket.
• Set out evening hay in a wheelbarrow. After you've readied the evening meals, count out all the flakes that you'll need that evening and place them in a clean wheelbarrow. That evening, you'll need to make only one trip down the aisle to deliver each horse's hay.
• Hang an extra water bucket in each horse's stall. If each horse has two buckets, you may be able to skip refilling the water in the evening. But do check the buckets each evening to make sure they're not empty or filled with dunked hay or other debris.
• Skip sweeping. Put the broom down and leave that chore for the morning after the horses are turned out for the day. Not only will this save you time, but more importantly, it is better for a horse's respiratory health. Sweeping kicks up unsafe levels of hay, dust and debris that can hang in the air for hours.