We don’t know about you, but our area has gotten a lot of rain in the evenings (and on the weekends) in the past month or so, with more on the way.
We used to use these monsoons as an opportunity to clean our tack, but since we made the switch to beta biothane, tack cleaning doesn’t take much time anymore. There are, unfortunately, a number of other tasks inside that can use attention before the winter freeze sets in a few months from now. Check out this handy list:
- Send out your blankets for cleaning and repair (now, before your repair shop gets swamped with work in fall)
- Give fly masks a boots a good soak with a gentle soap (we use the generic dish soap from the grocery store) and rinse/air dry
- Add more shelves in the tack room–you know you’ll use them.
- Wipe down insides/outsides of tack trunks. Murphy’s Oil Soap is great for wooden trunks.
- Update your equine and human first aid kits. Pitch materials that are expired or ruined.
- Clean and disinfect brushes and towels. Brush therapy is a great cleaner, and white vinegar is a good natural disinfecting agent.
- Sweep away cobwebs in the tack room and around the inside of the barn
- Use a damp cloth to clean light bulbs–don’t ever spray with water.
- Rinse box fans and allow to dry thoroughly before remounting and using
- Check all straps for damage, especially reins and stirrup leathers (not likely a problem if you’ve picked up beta leathers)
- Put everything back in spots where you’ll find it later, and label containers as needed
There, doesn’t that look better? 🙂
We love driving our horses, both as a cross-training exercise (it’s great lateral training for dressage horses in particular), and as an awesome way to get new people interested in horses.
Recently, we had the chance to go to a convention of carriage horses at a local park and enjoyed the opportunity to practice the finer points of our steering by moving through an obstacle course of cones. The small rubber cones are especially good for this because they can be run over without doing damage to the wheels or the cone itself, and they’re easy to move and store.
One of the instructors suggested using frisbees for a DIY course at home–what a great idea! Frisbees are of course, easier to find, just as durable, and simpler to store.
If you’re sure your horse is chewing and not cribbing, the first step is to make sure your horse’s diet isn’t lacking. Horses sometimes develop tastes for odd substances (called “pica”) that are rich in vitamins or minerals their diet is missing. We’ve noticed that as the summer grasses die out, our horses become more interested in chowing down despite those expensive diet balancers and supplements we buy them (no, we’re not sure that they aren’t working for Purina).
There are several sprays on the market to stop wood chewing, but our favorite trick is a much cheaper one.
Take a bar of soap (we like Irish Spring) and rub it on the areas of the stall or fence that the horse is chewing. It won’t hurt them but they’ll rethink their choice of snack real quickly.