Saturday, June 13, 2015

summer barn routine

With temps this weekend going into the mid-90s and then up to 97 by mid-week, I'm into the full-bore summer barn routine. 

I'm  always pretty meticulous about the water tubs and troughs but I notch that up during summer heat. I don't want any of them having any excuse not to drink! Keil Bay notches this up from his end too - he uses the troughs to self-cool by sticking a hoof in and splashing wildly. His herd gathers around him, soaking up the cool water while he splashes.

The millipedes this time of year also make daily water trough cleaning a must. 

I try to get the waters done first and then move on to making sure the barn is closed up on the sunny side, that stalls and aisles and back covered area are tidy, and then it's on to tick checks.

We're finding fewer ticks at this point than we did in May, and even at the worst this has been a pretty light year in that regard, thankfully.

Every few days I put tea tree gel in horses' armpits and groin areas and along the mid-line of their bellies. Then I massage it in, hose them off, and all the itchy parts are soothed. It seems they get less ticks and less gnats when I do this, so while it takes extra time, it's worth it.

They all get a quick brushing and fly spray, and this week the fly masks came out of their bin. 

They come in and hang out in the barn with hay and fans usually from 10-11 a.m. until 7 p.m. - that's when the biting flies go to bed. And with this herd of easy keepers, it keeps them off the grass during the peak sugar time!

I try to do de-webbing inside the barn a little bit each day. I mix a bucket of Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and water and go around the stalls with a micro-fiber mop head that fits the telescoping light bulb changer. The metal stall guards and ledges I do with a cloth by hand. It smells heavenly. 

By the time I get back inside, it's time for a shower and lunch! And it looks like we'll be entering 2-shower days with this heat wave. On days when it goes above 90 I go out in the afternoon and offer cold hosing. For horses, pony, and ME. :)


Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like you've got it covered. The barn must smell wonderful. You might want to hang a sign over the barn doors " The November Hill Hilton"! They are privileged. Love that Keil Bay helps everyone stay cool.

billie said...

Arlene, I was just out feeding dinner and it is awful out there! 85 degrees at 8:30 p.m.!

Forecast is 99 degrees on Tuesday and I am truly dreading it. So hard to keep them happy when it gets this hot.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

It's been wretched here too... I think the heat index was 107 today and tomorrow will be comparable. Val has a brand new fan and were into the midday shower + watermelon treats ritual already.

I love reading about how tidy your barn is. I'm sure the residents are very appreciative. :D

billie said...

Well, it goes over 100 and the barn routine goes all to hell!

All I did today was keep them in clean cool water, in tubs and onto their bodies, and feed them soaked hay so they could get more moisture in the gut than from dry.

Cody's sheath is swollen and I think it's because he's just not moving as much. Have checked for bug bites and ticks, there seems not to be anything going on except the swelling. We're walking him several times a day and cold hosing and tomorrow I'll start some homeopathic treatment.

Keil tipped a bucket in the barn aisle, there is hay everywhere, and I just gave up trying to keep it clean! :0

Tomorrow morning when it's only 75 degrees I'll get it tidy and put in some shavings and we'll go at 3 digits one more time. Sigh.

Put me down as being ready for fall.