Monday, September 21, 2009

and finally, the tack room is clean

Yesterday I spent nearly 12 hours cleaning the tack/feed room, with the help of my dear husband, who was cheerfully willing to pick things up and carry them to the barnyards, lest I accidentally touch a spider. He also washed things down - with the barn aisle being dirt floor and the tack room dirt with crushed stone, there's a lot of dust.

There were a few spiders, but none alarming. No black widows! We did, however, find a snakeskin, about 30 camel crickets lined up on a wall behind a big sheet of wood paneling (which is now gone), and many dung beetles.

We took every single thing out. I washed down the walls and all the nooks and crannies with Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap to get the dust and cobwebs out. I leveled out the crushed stone floor while husband rescued the camel crickets and released them elsewhere. A few managed to leap at me and elicited small shrieks.

Meanwhile, the horses stood munching their hay and watched from stalls as all this went on. Cody had the best view, and at one point he was waving the lunge whip around. Then he tossed the dressage whips, one by one. Keil Bay was hoping this break from routine had something to do with extra food.

The donkeys kept poking their noses into the crack in the barn doors. Rafer Johnson, especially, was wanting to come in and help.

Around 5 p.m. my husband went to buy two big boards to make a shelf on one side of the room, up high, to get the blanket bins and other bins of stuff we don't use regularly out of the way. He also took all the tools and assorted "junk" back to the garage so the tack/feed room could cease doubling as a storage unit. Over the past year, it's become easier to put things in there 'so we'll have them next time' - but it had become too much. I suspect finding the snakeskin did it. There was so much excess stuff in there we'd created the perfect spa for critters.

I cleaned all excess tack that doesn't get used on a daily basis and put it inside a bin so it will stay clean. I labeled bridle racks and saddle racks. My husband fixed the extension cord for the fans so it isn't lying on the floor. All my feed cans are now sitting on the pallet, and I have the shelves clear for the vitamin/minerals and the supplements.

There's also a bin of stuff to sell.

The one drawback is that the room is now so clutter-free all my "stands" for feed tubs are gone! I need to work on a solution, as mixing them on the ground is tedious. What I really need is a long counter-top that stays clear. We talked about one day making the feed room a dedicated space, and adding on a dedicated tack room. There's no obvious place, so I'm not sure that plan will ever materialize, but it was fun to dream as we worked.

I realized when I came inside and took my boots off that the bottoms of my feet were sore - I barely sat down all day long!


Grey Horse Matters said...

It's a big dirty job but someone had to do it right? I'll bet your glad you got it all done and are now more organized. Instead of a counter top we use a folding table with a white plastic type top on it for mixing feed and supplements. We leave it up but it's nice that it can be folded and put out of the way if need be. Take a rest and go riding today if possible.

A snake skin...ewwww!

billie said...

Arlene, a folding table is a great idea. If I can find one the exact right size that is the perfect solution. Thank you.

The one good thing about that snakeskin: it motivated dear husband to get all the non-tack/feed stuff OUT and it got my shelves up. I'm counting my blessings and expressing gratitude to that snake. :)

Michelle said...

Mmmmm.....I got chills just hearing about it! Nothing is more satisfying than fall cleaning in the tack room! Doesn't it just make you feel so accomplished? And you get bonus points - all in one day! I'm in awe....

billie said...

If you knew how long I've put this off, you might take away those bonus points!! :)

It was so great going out this morning and opening that door.

ponymaid said...

Billie, I just know how much R & R wanted to help you - if you let them in the newly-tidied room I'm sure they could still contribute. A board on hinges that folds down against the wall is just the thing for dinner prep. Be sure to make it donkey height in case you require assistance.

billie said...

Another fabulous idea - thank you Sheaffer. I should have known you would be right on top of anything to make dinner prep efficient! :) Rafer and Redford say thank you for keeping it at donkey level!

Matthew said...

It was definitely a feeling of satisfaction when the last item went back into place as the sky was darkening into night!

billie said...

There are still a few items in the barnyards but I am not counting those... :)