With summer here now is the time to take action, especially if your horses and ponies are turned out, and to get your stables, tack and feed rooms sparkling.
The long winter months with endless dark nights, mean less time out on the yard, and this may have left it needing some care and attention to get it back to looking pristine.
Your equipment may need a good sort through as well, so that items that will not be used through the warmer weather can be washed and put away ready for next winter.
Your stable is a good place to start and a thorough clean is a great way to begin the season and a hygienic environment is healthier for your horse. Start by lifting and removing any rubber matting and thoroughly wash them using a stiff brush, water and disinfectant. Then do the same for the floor of the stable and also the walls and doors.
A pressure washer is ideal for lifting dirt and grime and giving a powerful water supply to produce a great finish. Let the floor and mats dry and the stable air before replacing the mats. If your stable door has become swollen with the rain over the winter, use a handheld plane to take a bit off the width until it opens and shuts easily.
If your stable looks dull and in need of freshening up why not try painting the inside or smartening up the door with wood preservative or paint? Do take care as some products are toxic to animals so they need to be kept away for a certain periods. However other products are safe for animals but can be more expensive.
Next look at your tack room and if necessary give it a clean and tidy up. It is a good idea to sort out all of your rugs and send the winter ones for washing and then pack them up to put in storage. If there are any rugs you no longer need, take some photos and list them on Tack Room Trading!
Your lighter rugs should be clean and in good working order by now to keep coats clean and flies at bay. If you are back out competing this summer, check your kit and make sure you have everything you need and all is in good condition. If there is a list of emergency contact details, make sure that everything is correct and alter if necessary – if you don’t have a list, it is very wise to make one.
Feed rooms and hay stores can always do with a good tidy up so give them a thorough sweep and remove any cobwebs. Check that all feed bins are hygienic and regularly check rodent traps if you have them.
If you have any plants or grass around the yard, make sure they look smart by weeding any beds and mowing the grass. Hanging baskets with dead plants in should be emptied and potted up with new ones.
When everything is looking neat and tidy, take the opportunity to check the fit of your horse’s saddlery equipment. He may have changed shape over the winter and spring meaning his tack may need adjusting to ensure he stays comfortable.
Cleaning your yard is a great way to kick off the summer season and is sure to make you and your horse feel better!