Spring Cleaning, Stable Style

There are many different types of disinfectants that can be used to clean horse barns and facilities.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Although the weather in some parts of the world might not show it, it is officially spring in the Northern hemisphere. Thatmeans warmer weather and more time spent at the barn. Spring is also a good time to get your barn and tack spic-and-span just in time for the riding season.

Here are some spring-cleaning tasks and tips from our Facebook fans, as well as reference articles to help you get started. Happy cleaning!

Disinfecting Stalls. Stall walls, often made of porous wood or concrete, can hide and trap pathogens that cause infectious disease. This becomes increasingly relevant if you are at a boarding barn, or travel with your horse to different facilities. “I keep the dusty walls swept all winter long, but as soon as it is warm enough outside (70-degrees-plus), I disinfect the walls with a pressure sprayer,” said Erika Robinson. 

For more information on disinfecting stalls, you can visit TheHorse.com/10363, or watch a video to learn more about choosing a disinfectant for barn use.

Manure management. Along the same lines, manure management practices are important to maintaining your horse’s health. Many disease-causing organisms lurk in feces and stall bedding. Dragging or raking pastures, as suggested by Natalia Yuma, can help not only control the accumulation of manure in certain areas, but can also reduce the number of parasite eggs in the horse’s environment. 

Parasite Control. Re-evaluating your horse’s parasite control program is an important annual task. Karen Nesbitt said she does “a little internal cleaning” by deworming her herd (we suggest following the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ parasite-control guidelines) and also helps control flies by “hanging fly traps as soon as the last frost date is gone.”

Spider Webs Be Gone! Many users indicated that they would be knocking down spider webs and cleaning out the extra dust that had accumulated over the winter, which can pose as fire hazards

Fencing. Spring is also a good time to take note of any repairs or maintenance items on the farm. “Fencing is always my first spring item on my list,” says Rhonda Nickerson. Taking a closer look at your barn and property will help you to ensure that it's safe for horses and handlers. 

Out with the old, in with the new. “I turn the horses out then put the remaining hay from the loft downstairs and clean the chaff and dust and webs out,” says Katherine Drenski. “I take the hose up there and mist to keep the dust from getting too airborne, and get it all ready for the new batch.”

Don’t forget the tack room. “I vacuum the tack room, all the cupboards and drawers in there, and scrub the sink,” said Laura Moss, “I love it when it's all done and my barn looks gorgeous!” 

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