Of Horse

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Tricks of the Trade: Making Barn Life Easier
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Tricks of the Trade: Making Barn Life Easier

“You’re bored with breathing. I know that, but it matters to your horse, so get interested. Do it for him, there is no more important cue.” - Anna Blake, Author and Equestrian

I am always on the lookout for hints to make barn life easier, so I thought I would share a few random things that I have found work great for me. I get a lot of advice from Anna Blake like the one above, so I was excited to try an app that would help me remember to breathe when there are a hundred other things on my mind.

-- You can use the “Paced Breathing” app on vibrate or have it whisper “Breathe in” and “Breathe out” alternately every four seconds to you through your earbuds. This is a great reminder for me because if I’m really distracted I might hear the command “Breathe out” and realize that I had forgotten to breathe in on time. Many of us hold our breath or defer to shallow breathing far more than we realize, so it helps to have an outside force regulate us. 

-- Horse-trainer Warwick Schiller knew an equine dentist who was a die-hard bachelor. Warwick had the same problem I had of remembering which side of the feed bag to start tearing open. The dentist showed Warwick that when you look at the top of the bag, there is double stitching across the back of the bag and single stitching across the front, which should be facing you. Then the dentist said, ‘Being single is right!’ because 1) he truly believed that and 2) you tear the single stitching away from the right-hand side. The bag opens easily.

 -- The haunting question “Did I leave the stove on at home?” has nothing on “Did I lock the gate to the pasture?” Instead of having to either worry about it all evening or go all the way back to check if I have locked a gate or not, I take an up-close picture of it to prove to myself that the horses are safe and secure whenever I second-guess the fact.

What makes your barn life easier? The more life-hacks we share, the more we can enjoy our time there!


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