When I got my first horse, part of the deal I made with my parents was that I had to do partial care. As an eight grader who was taking honors and high school classes and working (thankfully at my barn), I didn’t exactly have a whole lot of time on my hands. This is true for many students and working riders who have non-horse related time commitments. With the help of some other riders at my barn, I was able to make partial care work or me. Here’s how we did it.
Our Plan and Situation
At the barn, we had some live in working students as well as some that lived elsewhere. Because we worked there, we all got partial care and some other things for free in exchange for so many hours a month. All of the non-live in workers, though, were high school students that couldn’t come out everyday to clean their stall and water buckets.
We developed a rotation system that allowed each of use (I believe there were 5 people total) to only clean our stalls 2 times a week. Each person took one day and they cleaned everyone else’s stalls and then everyone cleaned their stalls on Sunday. My school didn’t give homework on Wednesday so I always had a lesson and took stall cleaning then. If someone was out of town or had a change in schedule, they changed days with someone or they paid someone else to take their day.
Do Things in Bulk
If you have to make your own feed or mix your own supplements, do it in bulk. Take a day and make a week’s or month’s worth in one sitting. Give yourself a “barn chore day” every so often where you deep clean your stall, tack, and other supplies as well as make up any grain or supplements you need to. If you don’t want to totally mix supplements together so far in advance, at least measure each piece out. It’s easier to add stuff in later if there is a change than it is to make smaller batches on a more frequent basis.
Partial care is a great way to cut the costs of having a horse. It may seem like a total time sucker, but it doesn’t have to be. Hopefully these couple things can help you make partial care a possibility!