I just got back from a warm get-a-way to Florida. It felt amazing to feel the sand under my toes, soak in the sun and escape the cold for a bit. But I am sure all of you horsekeepers can relate; leaving your horses is hard! Here are 5 things I do before vacation so I can get away with peace of mind.
1. Stock Up on Feed and Bedding
I always make sure to have plenty of feed and bedding. I purchase enough to get the horses way past my return date. That way if I experience travel delays, there’s still enough feed to go around.
2. Choose and Train Staff Carefully
I want someone who is reliable, capable of handling an emergency situation and knows enough about horses to recognize signs of illness and injury. If they are already familiar with my horses, facility and chore schedule, that’s a big bonus! Once I choose my chore help, I walk them through chores at least once so they know what to expect and can ask questions.
3. Leave Clear Instructions
I don’t expect my chore help to remember everything from our one time walk through. Even if chores are extremely simple, I always write them down. Then I post the instructions in the barn aisle for easy reference. Read more about how I write clear chore instructions in this blog post.
4. Post Emergency Numbers
I always post emergency numbers when going out of town. This includes my number, my vet’s number and my farrier’s number.
5. Clean and Organize your barn
It’s always good to have a clean and tidy barn. However, I spend extra time making the place ship-shape before going out of town. I don’t want to cause my chore help struggle to find an important piece of equipment while they are here.
So there you have it folks, the top 5 things I do to prepare for vacation. Next time you leave your horses, don’t stress. Plan, prepare and then enjoy the experience. Bon Voyage!