Spring is coming! That means the amount of riding you do often increases, and you have several months of horsey fun ahead. To ensure you can maximize your riding time and make the most of the beautiful spring weather, there are a few spring cleaning chores you will need to get on top of after the long winter months.
Spring cleaning can be tedious, but with a list and can-do attitude, you will have them done and be on the trails with your horse in no time! We are here to help you master the art of spring cleaning this year, which includes:
- Cleaning (and storing) your winter gear
- Getting ready for Spring conditions
- Take advantage of the great weather and plan ahead!
Cleaning (and Storing) Your Winter Gear
Winter often means you are using more equipment than you do during Spring. For example, you may have heated water buckets or additional blankets to help your horses cope with the cold weather. Winter is also often quite hard on this equipment, so Spring is the perfect time to give it a once over and store any equipment you will not need.
Clean and store your blankets: Blankets often become filthy during winter. Between the mud and the hair being shed by your horse, they are usually in dire need of a good clean. To clean your horse blanket, you should:
- Brush off any excess hair and mud
- Wash them in a washer using our instructions for cleaning horse blankets.
- If you can’t use a washer, grab a scrub brush and use a bucket of soapy water on the concrete
- Hang them on the clothesline or the nearest fence to dry
Clean your grooming kit: Your grooming kit should be cleaned regularly, and I find Spring to be the perfect time to do it. The weather is nice outside, and the brushes dry pretty quickly.
Clean everything in your grooming kit (including the bucket) in warm soapy water and leave them in the sun to dry.
Clean your tack ready for the season: Tack is often neglected through winter. It either ends up muddy from being used during winter or dusty from sitting on its stand for weeks without being touched. Regardless of the reason, it needs some TLC. Your tack should be cleaned (and oiled if it is leather) to keep it in good condition. Springtime is the perfect time to condition your tack so that you are ready for those fantastic spring rides!
💡 HINT: If you have working students, riding lesson students, or staff at your barn, the US Pony Club has a great resource for teaching about proper tack cleaning.
Do a deep clean in your tack room: Tack room cleanliness is often neglected as horse owners rush through daily horse chores, but it shouldn’t be! When dust mixes with sweat, it forms a gummy layer on leather and synthetic equipment. This grimy layer can be difficult to clean and may even cause tack to wear out sooner. A tidy tack room minimizes dust on your equipment. Here are some tips on how to deep clean your tack room.
Deep clean your stalls and disinfect the stall mats: Chances are your horse spent a lot of extra time inside during winter, which means your stalls will be extra dirty. Let your horse into the pasture on a nice spring day and deep clean your stalls. Make sure you also disinfect your stall mats if you have them.
Clean the feed room: The nicer weather is also an excellent time to clean out the feed room, follow our tips for organizing your feed room. Moisture can get into the feed room and food during winter, so it is best to clean out the mold and start fresh for a new season. Also, doing it in Spring instead of summer means it is a bit cooler for physical labor.
Store your winter gear: Winter gear takes up a lot of room! Store it in an out-of-the-way place to clear the clutter. For example, you can consider storing your heated water buckets, thick blankets, heaters used in the stable, etc.
Ensure you store them in clean, cool, dry places, so they do not get moldy or damaged before next winter.
Get Ready for Spring Conditions
Spring brings amazing weather, long rides, and lazy days. However, it also brings new weather conditions, equipment needs, and shopping cravings. To help you transition between winter and Spring, we’ve listed a few things to look out for.
Springtime flies: Certain bugs love springtime almost as much as they love biting your horse. So, in preparation for the springtime files, get your horse’s fly mask, fly spray, and fly sheets ready for use. Make sure they are clean and easy to access for those days when the bugs seem to be everywhere.
Gather all your equipment: To give you an idea of what you need to clean, what you need to budget for, and what you can sell for extra cash, follow these three simple steps.
- Go through your tack trunk and take inventory of everything you own.
- Assess any damage your equipment has acquired and needs replacing.
- Take note of anything you no longer use.
Update your gear: Updating your equipment can be a good idea at the beginning of Spring. I love to upgrade my gear whenever I am about to be riding a lot. So, in the lead-up to Spring, I almost always browse the local sales, online stores, and even online marketplaces like Craigslist. Nobody here will blame you for wanting shiny new things!
Take Advantage of the Great Weather and Plan Ahead!
Spring offers weather that isn’t too hot or cold, making it the perfect time to do extra cleaning/maintenance tasks that are otherwise impossible. Some of the things we recommend you do at the beginning of Spring are:
Check the barn for damage: Winter can be harsh on buildings and equipment, so if you own your barn, you need to check if any maintenance is required. Inspect your fences and barn roof and arrange for any needed repairs to be completed.
Get your fans out: If you know that this year’s summer will be extra hot, go ahead and get your fans out of storage and attach them to the stalls while it’s not too hot to be doing manual labor. You’ll sweat your way through that task if you wait until the weather heats up and the fans are already needed.
Finals Thoughts on Spring Cleaning
Try not to view Spring cleaning as a horrible task you have to do, instead, view it as your first step to enjoying a long Spring full of rides and quality time with your horse. By ensuring you have access to clean, good-condition gear, you can easily handle almost anything Spring throws at you.