Come spring, everything is wet and muddy. There’s water everywhere, making barn chores quite the hassle. In the long run though, keeping up with every day barn tasks, along with a few easy tips and tricks will make this spring much easier.
One of the most important things you can do to avoid mud in the spring is to remove hay and manure. When your horse is done eating and has picked through their hay, clean up the stick and whatever isn’t going to be eaten. Dispose of it just like you dispose of manure. Doing this will assist you in making stall cleaning easier every day. Part two to this piece is one of the most obvious when it comes to owning a horse: mucking out! We all do it daily, but when everything is saturated it becomes extremely important. When you continuously muck out one to three times a day, no matter the weather, the amount of mud your endure every day lessens. Manure can be walked through and trampled into mud if it isn’t cleaned up every day. When this happens, the mess you have to clean up is almost double what it could’ve been.
Another helpful tool to keep handy around the barn in order to keep everything as dry as possible is investing in either pellets or shavings. Both of these items are fantastic absorbents and can help dry out mud and wet spots quickly. Not only that, but they can also assist in absorbing urine. Either pellets or shaving are typically inexpensive, retailing for around $10 to $15 a bag. These products are cleaned out and replaced every day and each bag lasts for about five uses, being well worth the money.
A third way to keep your barn clean and functional this spring is rotation. If your horse is in a stall all day everyday their stall has no time to dry out, but rotating stalls and turnout pastures can be a huge help in letting both stalls and pasture dry out. An example of this rotation method is keeping your horse in a stall for a couple hours a day only when feeding. When they’re done eating, turn them out in pasture or paddock. After two or three days, or when it starts getting muddy, switch to using another pasture/paddock. This allows all the spaces around your farm to dry out and stay doughty.
Spring is always going to a rainy and treacherous season, but taking the necessary precautions and measures to ensure that your farm stays dry and functional should be of utmost priority.