It’s finally spring! The warm weather is here and for every horse person that means horse shows, baths and spring cleaning! Here are some quick tips for getting your barn and horses in tip top shape for the summer.
One of the first things I do is clean out the barn. For this, I take everything out of each room, all the tack, grain and shavings get piled outside. Each room then gets the cob webs removed, the floors swept and the windows washed. All the dirty winter blankets are washed and packed away in boxes, ready to be used again next winter. I go through all my supplements and medicine to see if anything is expired and needs to be replaced. All the fly masks and sheets get washed in preparation to battle the nasty summer flies. And finally, I wash all my grooming tools. This keeps my horse cleaner and easier to maintain. I always take a long walk around the barn and fence line to see if anything needs to be repaired. I find doing this helps prevent larger problems that I easily could have caught sooner.
After I have finished giving the barn a deep clean, it’s time for the horses to get a bath. The first time I bathe them after the winter I usually have to shampoo twice to get all the dirt out! A stiff curry comb helps to get any excess hair and dirt out of every nook and cranny. I always make sure to condition their manes and tails to keep them tangle free during the summer months. Always remember, if you don’t put your horse inside after a bath they may end up dirty again! Without fail my horse, Nate, rolls in the dirt after every bath.
One of the final things I like to do during my spring cleaning is check my horse trailer. I typically drop it off at the mechanic for a day, so he can tune up the brakes and electrical components. I want to make sure the first time I take my horses somewhere I’m safe. After it comes back I sweep everything out and wash it down, all the while checking for any holes or mystery cracks that could have crept up during the winter. Once the trailer is clean, I refill the hay nets and double my first aid kit (both human and equine) to make sure I have plenty of supplies. This way when you head out on the road to your first horse show or trail ride, you don’t have to do any last minute preparations or worry that you might have forgotten something.
Now that the weather is better I know I’ll be riding until dark and spending my weekends at horse shows!