Now the weather is getting better (apart from a few apocalyptic storms, of course!) it’s nearly time for the annual stable clean. Every stable needs a deep clean once a year, we all dread it but here are some tips and helpful pointers to make it that little bit less traumatic and more efficient!
It’s all in the preparation so here are Horse Scouts’ top tips and advice:
On a good warm, sunny day with no chance of rain follow our 11 tips (well, 10 really, the last one isn’t so much of a tip, it’s an order!)
1) First of all, tie those locks back into a bun or cover your hair (Silly shower caps are a great way to cover your hair – and look ridiculous – even if you do look like a cabbage patch kid), get yourself a pair of goggles and some old scruffs, the ones you don’t mind throwing away afterwards…
2) Get your tools ready before you start (and someone to help if possible to hold ladders, lift matting etc.) Here are some ideas of the kind of things you’ll need: ladders, barrows, good brooms, buckets, disinfectant, hose or pressure waster (pressure washers are a god-send, perhaps try to borrow one if you can!)
3) Take everything out of the stable before you start. Don’t be tempted to leave your bedding in the stable otherwise you’ll only be worried about dust getting in it.
4) Give roof areas and trusses a good sweep or, even a hoover, to remove dust and cobwebs (I always empty afterwards; in case the spiders climb back out of the tube!)
5) Clean and check all light fittings and windows, we recommend some white vinegar to clean the windows, less chemicals for the horse and much cheaper and leaves your windows spotless! Or even better go chemical free an duse damp newspaper followed by a dry piece.
6) Clean out buckets and/or water feeder thoroughly, remember to scrub. “Milton” is a good chemical to clean things your horse will eat/drink out of, it’s used for infants and is less smelly than bleach and less harmful. Another great one is the ecover range, no harsh chemicals and smells…
7) Disinfect the floor and hose down. This can be done with a dedicated disinfectant or simply a mixture of water and bleach. Allow plenty of time for your stable to dry after you’ve hosed it down and make sure it’s thoroughly rinsed, horses don’t like the smell of bleach 🙂
8) The grimmest part of the clean, are you ready?!: Put a peg on your nose, scrub the rubber matting clean and hose down the underside whilst it’s out of the stable side … Yuk! (Or pay your little brother or sister £5 to do it for you!) You’re welcome!
9) Allow it to dry thoroughly – we mean really thoroughly!
10) Put everything back, only if you’re sure it’s truly clean, ie that there’s no smell of ammonia
11) Finally have a cup of tea and a bar of chocolate, check the Horse Scout Twitter Page and dream about the months of great summer riding ahead!