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Spring Cleaning: Barn Edition

Spring Cleaning: Barn Edition

As winter weather slows and temperatures start to warm up, spring cleaning season is nearly upon us. While you may dread the deep cleaning of your house, you might enjoy the barn version of a deep spring clean.

As the warm breezes of spring have arrived, it’s the perfect time to clean up around the barn. For horse people, spring cleaning is about more than tidying up the tack room. Here are some tips for making your barn sparkle this season.

Declutter the Barn

Before you begin spring cleaning the barn, be sure to turn out all of the horses. It’s also a good idea to open all windows and doors to ensure plenty of ventilation. An aisle cluttered with tack trunks, pitchforks, and blankets is an accident waiting to happen. Take the spring cleaning as a time to designate a low-traffic area to store stall-cleaning tools and supplies. 

If you can, move as many tack trunks and storage containers to a tack room or an empty stall to a room or stall set aside for that purpose. If blankets and sheets are scattered all over the barn, it is a tripping hazard and will decrease the lifespan of your blankets. Your barn aisles should be free of everything.

Clean the Hay Room

Spring is the perfect time to clean out your hay storage because your supplies are likely at their lowest. Remove all the bales and sweep the floor thoroughly to remove dust and old hay. 

As you clean, look for signs of rodents. If you find any, make a plan to get rid of them. Remove cobwebs and bird’s nests to help reduce any potential fire risk. Then, stack the hay back near the door so the oldest will be used first after a new load is delivered.

Scrub Buckets

Water buckets, troughs, and tubs should be cleaned regularly. However, the bitterness of winter cold can keep you from thoroughly cleaning for a few months. Spring is the perfect time to attack them with a stiff brush. You can also add a sprinkle of baking soda as you scrub to break down caked-on dirt. Be sure to give the buckets and troughs a thorough rinse afterward! If you have any automatic waterers, check for leaks or corrosion.

Deep Clean Stalls

Deeping cleaning your stalls each year is one of the best things you can do for barn upkeep. To do this, strip all of the bedding from the stalls. Once the stall is empty, thoroughly look over every part of it. Start at the floor level and work your way up. You’re looking for damage to stall mats, rotting wood, protruding nails, and other potentially harmful things for your horse.

Once the stalls are inspected, scrub the walls with warm, soapy water. Allow the surface to dry, then follow up with a disinfectant, such as a bleach dilution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Once dry, you can re-bed the stall and bring your horse back in.

Inspect the Pastures

Like the barn, your pastures should also get a thorough cleaning this spring. If you have run-in sheds, muck them out and inspect them for necessary repairs. Walk along the fence line and look for any damage to the fence.

Walking the pasture to look for holes and leftover winter debris, such as branches or down trees, is also a good idea. These can be extremely dangerous and lead to an injury to your horse. If the pasture is heavily soiled with manure, use a chain-link drag to spread it evenly across the field.

Riding Areas

Once the ground is thawed, it’s the perfect time to drag arenas and round pens. As you drag the area, inspect the footing and perform any needed maintenance. If there are any trails on the property, this is also the perfect time to pick up fallen branches and check the footing.

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