20 Things No Horse Owner Should Have in Their Barn

Learn what horse owners should never have in their barn before you start your next spring-cleaning escapade.

Maybe you’ve been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix and decided your barn needs some sprucing up. Well, we came up with 20 things no horse owner should have in their barn. Now, get to cleaning! 

[READ: Tips to Keep a Fresh, Clean Barn]


1. Torn and broken blankets: Get those fixed or pitch ’em! They’re collecting dust and cluttering up that corner of your barn. Pro Tip: Clean them up and donate them to the local animal shelter for warmth for the animals in winter!

2. Expired medicines: Time to clean out that barn fridge or medicine cabinet. Don’t expose your horse to last year’s vaccines or yellowing Banamine.

3. Half-used vet-wrap: If it’s been aging in your barn for more than a few weeks, it’s probably lost its elasticity and is far from sterile for being close to wounds.

4. Dirty saddle pads: If your saddle pad looks like there is another horse growing on the underside it is time to deep clean it. Do your horse a favor and keep your saddle pad clean to protect his skin.

[READ: Saddle Pad Care]

5. Open horse feed: Open feed containers are an all-you-can-eat buffet for little critters. Store feed in a closed container in your barn to keep rodents out.

6. Manure-filled wheelbarrow: Dump the wheelbarrow every single time you use it. Manure attracts flies. Having a clean wheelbarrow in your barn will guard your horse against flies.


7. Moldy hay: You don’t like to eat moldy food—neither does your horse. Throw out moldy hay and store hay in a dry area.

8. Broken thermometer: Check your thermometer to ensure it is working, if not throw it out and buy a new one. You don’t want to be in an emergency and have a broken thermometer.

9. Filthy water troughs: When your water trough looks like a pond, it needs to be scrubbed and cleaned. Your horse will appreciate fresh water. As the temperatures cool off, also make sure that your horse’s water isn’t frozen!

[READ: Horse Water Tank Cleaning Tips]

10. Unlatched stalls: Double check that you latched the stall doors before you leave the barn. You don’t want your horse making his way into the feed room in the middle of the night.

11. Ripped fly masks: Throw these out! Torn fly masks serve zero purpose and are only taking up space in your barn.

12. Broken electrical cords: This hazard should be nowhere near your barn. If the external insulation of the cord is broken and the internal electric cords are showing it needs to be replaced immediately. Pro Tip: Run cords away from where horses step or can chew on them. 

13. Sandals: Proper attire should be worn at the barn at all times. Sandals are for the beach—not the barn.

14. Coggins papers from 10 years ago: Clean up the clutter by throwing out old coggins papers. It’s understandable to want to keep records, but your horse’s coggins is renewed every year. You should be okay to throw out Blackie’s coggins from 2009.

15. Worn-out splint and bell boots: They could do more harm than good if put on a horse, and a tattered boot has caused more than a few wrecks in the arena.

16. Twine: Pick. Up. The. Twine. If you want to store it for emergencies, we promise you don’t need five bundles worth—a little stash will do. Find somewhere to recycle it!

iStock Photo

17. Broken spray bottles: No, you might not use it someday for something. These recycle easily and don’t need to clutter up the barn.

18. Old ointments: There’s something to be said for that trusty wound dressing you’ve had around for years, but make sure it’s not expired or contaminated. If so, toss it. It will do more harm than good on an injury.

19. Empty barn-cat food cans: It’s easy for these to fall off shelves, fall behind bales of hay and collect dust to infinity and beyond. These also recycle easily, so do some easy clean-up before the barn goes to the dogs!

20. Stress: The barn is a happy place, so there is no room for stress. Leave your worries at the door—your horse is here to help take your troubles away. 

[READ: Horses Take Owners’ Stress Away]

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