Sweep the Feed Room
Sweep out all of the old, spilled feed and dust that have accumulated over the winter. While you’re at it, sweep out the hay loft and get rid of any old hay. Be sure that you only sweep while your horses are turned out – the dust you stir up could irritate their respiratory systems.
When you’re sweeping out the feed room, check the feed that you’ve stored to make sure that it’s not spoiled. Take a look at the expiration dates on supplements, and check feed bags for holes where mice may have chewed into them. Throw out any feed or supplements that have spoiled or expired.
Remove any cobwebs that have formed over the winter – along with making your barn look messy, they are a fire hazard. While you’re at it, check your fire extinguishers and smoke alarms. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and make sure that your fire extinguishers have not passed their expiration dates.
Check Your Saddle Fit
You should check your saddle fit frequently throughout the course of the year, but make a point of checking its fit every spring. If your horse’s workload decreased during the winter, his muscles and back shape can change, altering the way that his saddle fits. You may need to adjust the pads that you use or, if you have a saddle with interchangeable gullets, change your saddle’s gullet size.
Repair Your Fencing
Winter weather and its freezing and thawing can take a toll on your paddock fences. Take the time to check your fences and make any repairs necessary. Your horse’s safety could depend on it.
Schedule Your Horse’s Vet Appointment
Your horse’s spring appointment with his vet is an important one. Schedule it early to be sure that your horse receives his necessary vaccinations. The appointment can also be a great time to discuss the proper deworming program for your horse, and to ask the vet about any questions you may have.
Clean and Condition Your Tack
In preparation for the increased riding that you’ll be doing throughout the spring and summer, clean and condition your tack thoroughly. As you clean, look for any areas that may need repair and have them professionally repaired before you use the equipment.
Wash Your Horse’s Blankets
In preparing to pack away your horse’s winter blankets, wash them all so that they’re ready for next season. If you choose to wash them yourself, be sure to only use a soap intended for use on horse blankets so that the blankets’ waterproofing remains intact. You may also choose to send the blankets out to have them professionally laundered.
Restock Your First-Aid Kit
Make spring cleaning the time that you assess your First-Aid kit. Replenish any supplies that are running low. Check the expiration dates of any medications that you have, and replace those that have expired. Your First-Aid kit will be ready and waiting when you need it the most.
Update Your Emergency Contact Information
Check all of the phone numbers that you have listed for your horse – are they all still current? Update any numbers necessary to make sure that you, your vet, and your farrier can all be reached in the event that they’re needed.
What other tasks do you include in your barn spring cleaning?