Springtime is often met with a sigh of relief as the cold, dreary winter days move behind us and warmer, productive days lay in wait. With the changing of the seasons, however, brings a routine of chores that are vital to keeping a well-maintained homestead. Here is a list of what Saratoga Stalls feels are 5 of the most important spring farm chores.
- Outside Barn, Building and Land Inspection – Winter storms have blown through and, if it was a hard season, can leave a path of destruction in their wake. Springtime is the best time to get out and do the annual inspections of your land, barn and other important buildings. Clean the paddocks of the dangerous debris that has blown in or limbs that may have snapped off in the winter ice storms. Stroll around the barns and other storage buildings to make sure their hull is still solid and the items inside are safe and dry. Take advantage of the thawing grounds to dig trenches in the high water areas. This will help divert heavy spring rains and keep your pastures and lots as dry and drained as possible. Do a close inspection on your gates and ride your fences and high traffic areas to make sure everything is in good order.
- Water Supply Maintenance – While you’re out doing your inspection rounds, be sure to pay special attention to your water supplies. If you have natural rivers or ponds, make sure they are still safe, unobstructed and haven’t jumped bank on you. Clean and inspect your water troughs and make sure your rainwater collection systems are properly set. Check all wells, pumps and pipes for any sign of damage or deterioration. Water is the most vital part of a working farm and deserves a close watch.
- Barn Spring Cleaning – Your barn may be the most important building on your property so when spring farm chores and cleaning comes around, make a list of things that need attention so you don’t miss anything. Let your winter weary horses out of the stalls and get down to work! There are many different way to take on a job like your barn spring cleaning but we like to start with the basics and strip the stalls for a thorough scrub down. During the scrub down, check over stall doors, panels, rubber pavers, and make sure the stalls are sturdy and in good condition. Make lists of things that need repair or replacement. Then check the walkways, corners and supply rooms. Pull everything out and decide what stays and what needs to go. Store all your winter supplies and blankets to keep them safe and clean through the spring, summer and fall. While everything is out, do a general inspections on all work stations, appliances, and rooms. This includes the refrigerators, wiring, lighting, any automatic feeders, and more. And don’t forget to take a quick look over the rafters, loft, paddock doors, side sheds and hidden rooms that you rarely use. After it’s all clean and put away again, it may be a good time to deploy fly predators and think about rodent prevention. These steps will help prevent disease in your barn and reduce the number of those pesky horse flies!
- Deep Clean All Tack and Equipment – In an ideal world, all tack and equipment is cleaned properly after each use and there is no need for an annual deep clean. Yeah… well, that isn’t always the reality in our barn, or the barns of our closest friends. That being the said, a springtime chore routine is a great opportunity to break out the saddle soap and put some elbow grease into the task of cleaning and preserving your bridles, saddles, and other horse equipment. Clean tack lasts longer and will save you money in the long run… we all know that so get to it! Take all of the unwanted gear from the barn and tack cleaning and consider hosting a tack swap for your family, friends and neighbors. After the tack your keeping is reorganized and put away, you can take on the horse trailer, vet and farrier stations and even check-in on the human first aid kits. For tips on deep cleaning gear, check-out ProEquineGrooms tips page!
- Order Repair Parts and Fencing Supplies – Most years, there will be repairs to do and supplies to order. Make a list of everything that needs upgraded or replaced so you can put your order in ahead of the crowds. The best time to start the list is during the initial inspection of your land, at the start of your spring chore routine. Then, the order will be process and hopefully ship while you’re getting everything else taken care of!
Spring is a beautiful, busy time of year. If you keep your thoughts organized and take the most important spring farm chores on one-by-one, however, you and your beloved horses will be able to sit back and enjoy a clean, safe barn and pasture throughout the rest of the year. 😉
Every barn, farm and stable is different so tell me… what spring farm chores did I miss?
Saratoga Stalls is a premium national supplier of horse and barn products. For more information on custom barns or horse stalls please contact Curtis Gardner, CEO, at (800) 918-6765.