Cleaning out the barn is much more fun than cleaning the house—nobody likes to dust behind the kitchen appliances. Putting energy into cleaning the barn not only makes you happy, but it’s a great way to pamper your horse to help keep him healthy.
Freshening up your barn is more than just organizing and sprucing up the feed room, there are other areas of your barn that could use tending when you start spring cleaning. Here are six tasks you don’t want to overlook this spring.
Scrub Tanks and Buckets
Clean water will help encourage your horse to drink and will help to prevent bugs from laying eggs in the water. Vinegar and baking soda are safe cleaners to use when cleaning tanks and buckets. For large tanks, a long-handled scrub brush will help to complete the job. Grab a spare dish scrubber from your kitchen to clean the smaller buckets—leave the scrubber in the barn for future use, you won’t want it back in the kitchen anyway!
Clean Out the Hay Area
While your hay supply is at its lowest, take time to move out the remaining bales to sweep out the loose hay that has accumulated. Check the area to make sure it’s free of moisture, as this could be a sign of a leak in the building that needs repaired to prevent the hay from molding and having to be thrown out. When you restack the hay in the area, make sure to put the oldest hay where it can be used first.
Muck Stalls and Paddocks
Use a broad shovel to strip the bedding in your stalls. This should be done regularly and not just during spring cleaning. When your horse’s stall isn’t cleaned on a daily basis, ammonia can start to irritate his lungs and cause respiratory issues. Standing in manure can also be a source of hoof problems, so even if your horse has a large paddock, be sure to clean it out often so you don’t find him standing in his waste—this will also help keep the fly population down as the weather warms up.
[RELATED: 7 Steps to Easier Stall Mucking]
Maintenance and Barn Repair
As you’re cleaning out your stalls, look for areas in the stall and barn that could use repair. Check for protruding nails and rotting wood, as this could cause injury to your horse or you. If you find a spot that needs repaired and you’re unable to fix it at the moment, find another place to temporarily put your horse, so that he can remain safe.
Sweep up Cobwebs and Dust
Cobwebs and dust have no place in the barn and can easily spread a fire, if such a tragic event were to happen. Grab a long-handled broom and sweep away all of the cobwebs that are nestled into the corners of the barn. If a dusting is long overdue, start by using your broom to knock most of the dust off and then you can use a leaf blower to remove the rest of it. Remember to take your horse out of the barn while you do this and to wear protective coverings for yourself, so you don’t inhale the dust.
[READ MORE: TLC BLOG]
Clean Your Tack
Using a cleaner and conditioner on your leather tack will give you the opportunity to inspect your tack to ensure it's in working condition, while also making sure the leather is properly taken care of. Take note of anything that could potentially cause discomfort to your horse and try to repair or replace the piece of tack before you saddle up for a ride this spring—this will not only make your horse happy, but also keep you safe.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to the TLC blog, sponsored by Manna Pro, where we’ll share tips about the extra, pampering things you can do for your horse…just because you love him. Our pointers will help you foster your horse’s wellbeing by boosting his health…or just making him happy.
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