Take this 7-day equestrian spring cleaning challenge: Day 4

 

Take this 7-day equestrian spring cleaning challenge: Day 4

Spring has sprung so it is time for you to get your rear in gear for the 2018 season. Some riders have already begun their competition seasons, others are just preparing to start and some are relocating from their Southern winter bases to their Northern homes. Regardless of whether or not you even compete your horse, spring is the perfect time for cleaning and organizing. Spring cleaning can be a little daunting for equestrians because we tend to have heaps of stuff spread out over various locations. From your tack room to horse trailer to garage – there are horsey items in desperate need of cleaning and organizing. Fortunately for you, I have broken down your spring cleaning tasks into a straightforward seven-day challenge. We will be publishing spring cleaning tips every second day because let’s face it, no equestrian has seven days straight to clean! Simply dedicate seven days that suit your schedule to complete these tasks and you will thank yourself for it…

Don’t forget to start the challenge from the beginning: 

Stay tuned for the next six days (we are publishing spring cleaning tips every second day) to tackle your spring cleaning done like a pro.

 

Day 4: Tackle the outside areas of your stable

Thanks to the snow, ice and bitterly cold weather it is basically impossible to keep the outside areas of stables looking pristine during the winter. Once the snow has melted and the weather is warm enough to bare being outside for a reasonable amount of time, it is time to start cleaning up. When people first pull up to a stable the first thing they see is the outside of it and first impressions always matter. Plus, keeping things clean and tidy outside will make it a safer and healthier environment for your horses and also all the people around the barn. Follow these steps to turn the outside of your stable into a clean horsey paradise:

1) Muck out paddocks. Get the dirtiest job done first. Mucking out paddocks is far from glamorous but it has to be done unless you have MASSIVE pastures. You can muck into a good ole fashion wheelbarrow or you might be able to drive a tractor with a manure spreader or other trailer through the field.  Just make sure the fields aren’t so muddy that you will ruin them by driving around them. Work on making sure you get all the manure and random bits of loose hay out. If you have a large farm then just make it your mission to tackle one paddock a day until the job is done.

2) Clean up general yard clutter. Somehow it seems that random things always end up scattered about the barn during winter. Clean up everything outside, putting things away in their appropriate homes or throwing them in the garbage if they are beyond repair. Clean up all fallen branches and other bits of things the wind might’ve brought to your barn too. You don’t want your barn looking like a natural disaster zone.

3) Scrub water troughs, buckets, hay feeders. Drag all buckets, troughs, and feeders to a location where you can scrub them down thoroughly. People tend not to clean these things often during the winter because the cold weather keeps them from getting too gross. But now that spring is here, it is time to give everything a thorough cleaning. Then work on staying on top of everything during the spring/summer months by rinsing them out regularly.

 


 

4) Dig trenches to divert water flow. As the snow melts and spring rain falls your farm might become flooded in areas. Digging small trenches and ditches to divert water flow where it will make the least impact can be helpful. You may want to consult with someone knowledgeable on this kind of work because otherwise, you might just waste a lot of time wielding a shovel only to make a bigger mess. But having water flow under control will keep your farm looking in much better condition.

5) Make sure the manure pile is being managed properly. Over the winter, many manure piles have continued to grow to mountainous proportions. Different barns have different methods of managing manure and there is not just one ‘right’ way. But you don’t want part of your farm becoming a giant manure heap that continues to expand its territory. Consider having your manure removed by a farm that can use it, spread it at your own farm or get a manure dumpster to offload some. Make a plan to deal with your manure pile now and follow it accordingly.

6) Pressure wash the outside of the barn and fences. A little pressure washing can go a long way at a barn. By pressuring washing your barn and fencing you will make the place look brand new. It can take a bit of time to pressure wash everything but it will be worth your while when you see the finished results. After things are pressure washed, you may want to go one step further and repaint the barn, fencing or both.

7) Do a bit of gardening. Yes, you are a busy equestrian, not a gardener but a touch of landscaping can make your stable look like a million bucks. Throw down some grass seed in areas that are looking a bit sparse. Hang up a few potted flowers by the barn entrance. Buy a bag of soil, some flower seeds or bulbs and find some stones to make a cute little garden outside of the barn. Tend to pre-existing gardens and trim bushes nicely. Gardening isn’t overly hard or expensive but it can really bring an okay looking stable to an impeccable one. Get creative and find your green thumb to give your stable that special touch.

 

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