Spring is in the air – the nights are lighter and hopefully some warmer weather is on the way. Now is the perfect time to turn your attention to your yard and stable. Horse care during the long, cold and dark winter can leave your yard looking less than perfect, so pop a date in the diary to make sure that everything from your muck heap to your ménage is in tip top condition.
- Stalls. Stalls can often look messyafter a long winter, especially if your horses have had to spend an extended amount of time inside.The best way to clean out your stalls is to remove, sanitise, and allowed mats to dry in the sun, while anything underneath is removed, sterilised and the floor levelled. At the very least, stalls should be stripped and everything scrubbed with a non-toxic solution that can break down organic matter and kill pathogens.
- Varnish and paint. Once stalls are cleaned youcan see which stalls need a re-touch of varnish. The varnish helps protect and preserve the wood, and horses tend to avoid chewing on the varnished areas.Paints used on metal, such as stall grates, may have toxic fumes—so remove horses until all surfaces are dry.
- Buckets. Check water troughs and feed buckets. These can sit for a while and go stagnant and even mouldy so it’s a good idea to check these regularly and properly sterilise them to reduce pathogen build up.
Flowers and gardens. Flowerbeds and maintained lawns can have a massive impact upon the overall appearance of your yard. So why not grab a trowel and do the weeding this spring.If you want to brighten up your stables,adding a couple of hanging baskets is a low hassle way of doing so. Just make sure any plants you use are not poisonous!
- Painting. Now is a great time to give stables a fresh coat of paint. There are a wide range of antibacterial stable paints on the market that help reduce the spread of bacteria and of course once painted, stalls can look much cleaner.
- Fire extinguishers. Everystableshould have at least one, placed in an easy-to-access spot. Check once a month to confirm that the pressure is at the recommended level. Once a year, fire extinguishers should be serviced by a local fire service provider.
- Equipment. Consider having a sort through of your equipment, such as your grooming essentials. Often things can get forgotten about and the extra clutter isn’t very helpful. Once you do this you may notice that some of your equipment is used more seasonally than others so they can be stored neatly until needed next.
- Feed Rooms. Feed rooms and bedding rooms could often do with a thorough clean. Check water and feed bins for holes. Keep an eye out for any rodent droppings and clear up any cobwebs. Make sure you’re keeping your feed and bedding dry.
- Tack room. As tack rooms are used for storing many different items,athorough sort out can unearth many forgotten wonders. Try and be honest about what you need to keep because over time items pile up and this creates a place where you may not be able to find an item you need.
- Safety Check. Safety equipment is vital both for you and your horse. Take this time to thoroughly check all your equipment and make sure that it still follows the correct guidelines. This is also a good time to check your first aid kits are up to date and properly stocked. You never know when you may need it.