Everyone wants extra time in the saddle during the riding season. With warmer weather quickly approaching, it’s important to get your barn ready. Make a plan to ensure your barn is refreshed and ready to go!
Organize & Declutter
Start with decluttering your barn. This will make it so much easier to evaluate what equipment you still use and what equipment needs to be repaired or replaced. When you have separated your items, It’s time to add some much-needed organization. Consider adding wood coverings to the bare and opened walls in your barn. Having a solid surface to work with means that you have more room to hang knobs and hooks to make your storage space look cleaner.
You can also use blanket bars and hangers to hang your saddle pads and blankets. Blanket hangers are very useful when you have more than one horse. You want to be able to see all of your equipment and tools in front of you, and specifically for each horse so that you don't have to go searching. If you don’t already have a mount specifically for your saddle, wall mounts are vital. Leaving your saddle on flat surfaces can ruin the leather. A wall-mounted saddle rack with padding can be nailed into any wall in your barn.
Deep Clean Your Equipment & Stalls
Take the time to clean your horses’ buckets, and their stalls. Use natural cleaners like natural dish soap or organic laundry detergent to wash the inside and outside of their buckets to ensure their safety. Depending on the feed you provide your horse, there can be a build-up of residue and dust inside their buckets from mealtime. If you feel that your horse's buckets may need stronger disinfectants, we highly recommend replacing them.
For the inside of their stalls, take out any old bedding and replace it. Make sure that when the stall is empty that you scrub down the floor and remove all debris that is there. Ammonia from urine can be dangerous for your horse to inhale. Try adding a stall refresher to absorb moisture and eliminate any harmful odors. At the minimum, you should be changing their bedding so that it's a clean area for your horse to happily thrive in.
Keep Your Grooming Station in Check
Do you have your grooming tools stuffed in unorganized boxes? It’s easiest to buy several grooming totes to separate by season or activity. Shedding tools, wintertime grooming tools, and show kits can all be organized into their own boxes. After separating your tools, discard any tools that need to be replaced.
It's also helpful to label your grooming boxes by horse; if you have more than one so that you won’t have to waste any time sorting through them. This is important to consider when you are traveling for shows as well. Having everything at your fingertips is crucial. Sorting your brushes, combs, hoof picks and polishes into designated totes will make sprucing up your horse before each time you enter the ring effortless.
A tack box may also be something to consider if you are regularly traveling with your horse. A tack box is a trunk where horse owners store their saddle, bridle, and grooming items all in one place. This is something you can DIY or customize through a tack trunk company.
If you have a specific grooming station, consider adding stall mats to it because they are easy to wipe and clean during all seasons. In addition, you can update your grooming station by installing tacks or hooks so that you can hang up your saddle and grooming tote.
Get Your Area In Shape
Your horse is going to be outside more often during the warmer months. Make sure that your fence lines are ready to go and replace broken sections and repair any unsafe areas. Unsafe areas include holes in your pasture that need to be filled in with dirt or gravel. Low and uneven surfaces can put your horse at risk for sprains and strains.
If you are planning on purchasing new sand for your arena, even out the ground beforehand with proper tools like a ripper and an arena drag. An arena ripper is a great tool that is used to break up and loosen compacted horse arenas and return the dirt back to its looser footing. It can also be used on gravel driveways or in gardens. These tools rip through the dirt and old sand and the arena drag then evens out the ground.
Equine Medical and Surgical Associates
Don’t forget to stock up on all of your favorite Equine Medical and Surgical Associates supplements and products! Our job is to help ensure that you can enjoy your time with your equine friend. We are dedicated to helping educate you as an owner and helping your horse be the healthiest of their ability. Use these tips to get your barn in shape for the spring and the warmer months so that you can spend more time riding rather than trying to rush repairs. Check out our website for more information about our products and services.