Reprinted from March issue of Show Horse Today
By Gabrielle Sasse
The sun is shining, the days are getting longer, and your horses are a mud caked ball of four legs and shedding hair… spring is in the air! As you get the urge to start shaking off those long, cold winter nights by cleaning up your home, don’t forget to clean your barn, tack room, and trailer! Those days of “Oh-my-god-I-can’t-feel –my-toes-why-is-this-water-bucket-frozen-I-just-want-to-feed-and-go-home” make you effective at doing chores quickly, but we often skimp on the longer, but still necessary, chores.
It’s best to break it down into days when tackling projects. That way, one is done and over and you don’t have a million half-finished tasks spread across the barn.
Clean! Cobweb, dust, mob, scrub, disinfect, you name it. This could even be your first task as you are looking for things that need repairs. Use the time to air out the must and dust from cold winter months, and really get the place looking spotless! This will not only keep horses and people healthier, but lets people know that you really care about your facility and the animals. Make sure all cleaning products are safe for animals if in an area where it can be ingested, and be sure to properly store all products. Use a broom attached to a long pole to reach cobwebs in those high up places.
Make a list of things that need repairs around your facility- fence posts, holes, replace stall mats, clogged drains, broken gutters, etc. Don’t skimp on what needs fixing! What you think may be able to go a month or two more may just turn into a much larger problem, such as a roof leak, loose horse or broken leg. Take the time to go over your entire property and see what kind of winter damage there is. Did you notice more flooding? See about digging more irrigation trenches, or adding gravel to places to help slow water.
Did you notice evidence of mice as you were cleaning and repairing? Now may be a good time to invest in different feed storage, or in mouse traps. There are several types of grain bins available, which may even make your life more convenient…
Check out the rest of the story, including lists of what to have in your first aid kit and show grooming kits, here!