A (very) Basic Guide to Daily Care & Maintenance – for Equipment and Horses!

In the long run, taking good care of the equipment for your barn and horses will save you time and money.

 

The basics of daily HORSE care:

Start by investing in products that work well for you and your horse.  Wash your re-usable products (like brushes and curry combs) regularly and store them in a dry, covered place.   Keep track of your liquid inventory (like shampoos, fly sprays, ointments, and creams) so that you don’t run out.

 

Then use these products to groom your horse regularly.  While you are bathing and grooming your horse, pay close attention to its body.  Is there any heat or swelling anywhere?  Is the back more sensitive than usual?  Are there any rashes, or is there any hair loss?  Know your horses’ bodies as well as you know your own, and address any abnormalities promptly.

Brushing Horse

Daily Grooming and Inspection

 

The basics of daily EQUIPMENT care:

inspect_tack Use products that effectively clean and condition your tack, horse boots, and other equipment.  Clean your tack after every use, and check other equipment regularly.

 

Inspect while you clean.  Is the stitching getting frayed on part of the bridle?  Is the elastic on the girth starting to tear?  Is a bandage getting too thin?  Is the Velcro on a boot too weak?  Pay close attention to these details and you will prevent accidents from happening, and also save yourself money in the long run.

Keep your other tools and equipment clean and dry.  Clean your wheelbarrows and buckets regularly, and replace pitchforks and brooms as they become used-up and ineffective.   Keep smaller hardware items like studs, snaps, screw-eyes, and other items clean, organized, and easily accessible.  Invest in a shelving or drawer system to stay organized and to keep all of your tools and equipment sheltered.

 

Keep a health care SCHEDULE!

Some elements of horse care are predictable.  You can plan for many routine health events like vaccinations, deworming, dental visits, and shoeing.  Put your horses on a regular schedule for those appointments.  You can also plan for therapeutic procedures like massage, chiropractor, acupuncture, icing, and performance enhancing procedures like joint injections.

It’s easy to keep track of equine health appointments and dates by using stable management software like Stable Secretary, which also provides you with alerts and reminders.   It’s important to record these services and procedures so that you have a complete health history for each of your horses at your fingertips for whenever you need one.

 

Other basics?  Leave a comment with other ideas to keep your horses and your equipment in GREAT condition!

How to maintain order in your barn – keep the horses and the aisle under control!!

5 Easy Rules for Maintaining Order in your Stable

 

Whether it’s for turnout, a hand walk, the treadmill, or a ride, your horses should get out of their stalls multiple times a day.  Even though it’s good for the horses to get out of the stall often, it can be bad for your aisle – shavings, hay, hair, and dirt get tracked everywhere…  Keep your horses healthy AND the barn clean by following some very simple rules:

 

Rule number 1:  Leave the shavings in the stall!

Before you take a horse out of its stall, pick its feet, remove the shavings from its tail, and brush off its blanket.  This saves a messy trail to the cross ties!

 

Rule number 2:  Hang up blankets and other equipment properly.

Do not throw a horse blanket on the floor of the stall or leave a halter on the ground.  First of all, equipment suffers from exposure to dirt/moisture/manure/urine.  Second, you will waste time looking for your blanket or halter while it’s crumpled, dirty, and in the wrong place.  Third, it just plain looks messy.

 

Rule number 3:  Publish a schedule.

Especially when you have multiple horses, grooms, and riders, you should display an updated schedule or calendar.   That way, your staff and clients know what to expect throughout the day and can organize themselves accordingly.

 

Rule number 4:  Keep track of your activities and your horses’ activities.

You’ll try to remember what happened throughout the day, week, or month, but you’ll forget items unless you have a way to keep track of vet work, shoeing, and billable services.  Use barn management software with a mobile app like Stable Secretary to conveniently track horse health and farrier appointments, equine services, and other equine business records.  Keeping careful track of each horse every day is very helpful for health reasons, owner questions, and invoicing.

 

Rule number 5:  Organize your barn logically. 

Make it easy to access and clean the equipment you use frequently.  If possible, arrange your feed room, tack room, laundry room, blanket storage, grooming areas, wash stalls, office, tack trunks, and first aid and medical supplies cabinets in a way that accommodates the work flow of the barn.  Always put equipment back CLEAN and in their correct places – it saves time when things are consistently stored in logical places.

 

What are some other rules-of-thumb to keep your barn organized?  Leave a comment to share what works for you in your stable!

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