Is a horse lovers fall chore list more involved than that of a regular farm? Maybe! We work extra smart to ensure the often neglected needs of a horse farm are met and dealt with before the cold days of winter are on us.
Now that the temperature is dropping and vibrant autumn leaves are making their annual appearance, it’s obvious that fall has arrived. The cooler weather is welcomed by those riders who dared to ride during the summer’s unforgiving heat, and all of us admire the autumnal foliage. Whether you own or board, we’re sure you’re well into your fall chores, as the blustery days are upon us. However, there are some important things that a horse lovers fall chore list should include – chores that go neglected, year after year.
This fall, make sure you remember these 5 important tasks. They should be on every horse lovers fall chore list!
- A Complete Inspection of Horse Barn and Stall Doors
While we often settle into the coziness of fall, it’s important to use this time to prepare for the winter days ahead. One of the first, and most obvious things that can go overlooked year after year, is barn and stall doors (and windows!). We recommend this year, you carve out a little time to check that your barn and stall doors are still up to par. Whether you have to call the property manager for maintenance or arrange for your own, make sure your beloved horses have sturdy and weatherized spaces to rest through the upcoming winter. It is a lot more manageable to change barn doors out in the fall instead of waiting for colder, snowy days to hit. With reliable doors that function properly (every time you open and close them), everything inside your barn will be safe from the upcoming Jack Frost weather conditions.
- Checking Interior Horse Stalls and Walls
Another one of the essential fall chores that’s better to complete before the days get shorter is an overall check of your interior barn and stall divider walls. Having aged stalls can cause many problems in the arctic days to come, especially when the weather’s intensity picks up and horses have to be kept inside more of the time. We advise that along with checking the condition of the stalls and walls, you also examine the bells and whistles that are attached to them. This would include things like their attached hardware, like bolts, locks, hinges, and automatic waterers and feed systems. Creaks, leaks, and mishaps can spring up at anytime in busy barns, sometimes going unnoticed. Fall is the ideal time to prepare your barn for anything that could go wrong during wintertime.
- Horse Barn Flooring
With fall already hinting that snowy days are ahead, having weatherproof flooring in your barn is a must. Inspect your flooring, inside and around the outside of your barn. Make sure your inside flooring is sound for the busy activity that goes through your barn, then check if it is weatherized properly. Rubber pavers are the best option for cold, rainy, or wet weather, as they’re easy to clean and safer from slipping dangers. Along with the flooring you walk on, consider placing rubber floor mats in your horse’s stall. They’ll be spending a lot more time in their stalls during the winter so rubber floor mats will help ensure their comfort and safety, while making cleanup much easier for you and your farm hands. Outside the barn, freshen your footing materials in high traffic areas. Check gutters and downspouts to make sure they’re aligned with property runoffs. Now is the time to replace your horse flooring and potential water runoff problems, if something is not quite right.
- Barn and Arena Lighting
When daylight savings time ends, we savor that extra hour of sleep, especially after a hard working day around the barn. But the earlier nighttime provides little natural sunlight to help you complete your fall chores. Your daily evening chores are hard enough in poor lighting and emergencies are the worst. You will want to have trusty lights in your barn and arena – lights that work well and illuminate all you have left to do. Barn lighting has improved so much over the years, it now can save you a ton on your energy bills in addition to delivering a healthier, higher quality of light. Go ahead and replace inadequate or unreliable lighting and make sure that the electrical switches and wiring are cleaned of the debris that naturally occurs in a horse barn.
Overall Horse Property Check
Fall is a time of preparation and recovery. We check our property over and bring the horses in from pasture, to let the pasture recover a bit of its protective foliage before the frost. We look over our farm equipment and manure management systems to make sure they’ll work for us through the chill. And not to be missed, we also make sure we have enough hay storage to last the winter through. When completing our overall autumn tasks, make sure to keep your eyes open for any damage that may have occurred during the rainy season. Each horse property layout is unique and nobody knows your spread like you do so, remember to check up on certain features specific to your land and horse barn.
We know that a horse lovers fall chore list can seem never-ending. There is a lot to be done during fall to be ready by winter, but don’t become overwhelmed. By remembering these 5 simple but sometimes overlooked chores, you will already be more prepared! An overall property check should find any problems but if you keep a short list that includes your barn doors, stalls, lighting, and flooring, your horses will love you for it. So enjoy the cooler days and changing of the leaves because they tell us that the blistering heat is gone and the brisk winter is on its way.
Do you have a horse lovers fall chore list? We’d love to hear what you think is often overlooked or neglected!