5 Things at the Barn to Clean Before Winter


Why wait for spring to get in some serious barn cleaning? Instead, use some of those last remaining autumn days to prep your barn for winter. Here are five things at the barn to clean before winter officially arrives.

1. Trailer

Photo by Leslie Potter

After a summer full of trail rides and horse shows, your trailer might be a bit of a mess. Why wait and let old manure, straw, shavings, hay, and other debris become a dusty, musty mess, not to mention a fine place for mice, rats, and other unwanted animals to make a cozy home? Take out the broom and muck bucket and get sweeping! Open the trailer windows or keep the back door open to help ventilate and when you’re done sweeping, hose it down, allowing plenty of time for the trailer to completely dry. You’ll thank yourself when the first show of the spring is right around the corner and you have a sparkling trailer waiting for you. That’s one less item on your to-do list in a few months.

2. Feed bins

The feed room is a rodent haven, especially in the winter. Late fall is a good time to inspect and clean up feed bins for this reason. Check containers for holes or bite marks and inspect container lids for proper, secure fit. Sweeping loose spilled feed that has fallen around and behind bins is a must and be sure to throw out old empty feed bags.

3. Winter blankets

Winter Blankets
Photo by Leslie Potter

Start winter off right with clean blankets. A blanket check prior to freezing temps is always a good idea as this allows you time to make any needed repairs. Check buckles and attachments, especially where they connect to the fabric. Are there any holes that need mending? Even with blankets in good structural shape, a cleaning is a good idea before winter. If the blankets have been stored properly all summer, they may need only an airing out or some spot cleaning.

4. Water buckets

Cleaning water buckets and troughs just isn’t going to happen when the mercury falls below freezing. While you still have some warmth, give the water containers in your barn a good drain and scrub to get rid of the scum the hot summer sun has created in your horse’s drinking water. Mild dish detergent like what you would use for your own dishes is a great disinfectant that cuts through grime and slobber and rinses away easily. Cheap disposable sponges are perfect for this chore to get the scrubbing done.

5. Grooming kit

Your curry comb will come in handy during the winter as your horse’s long winter coat builds up sweat from riding and mud from the pasture. Take a few minutes in the fall to clean out your grooming kit. The dust from the summer can settle in brushes and combs, making them less effective and dry winter air combined with the static of a furry coat can make dusty grooming a test of patience. For curry combs and hard body brushes with synthetic bristles, a soaking in soapy water can help break down the dirt that’s really caked and not easily tapped out.

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  1. Great tips, and if you live far from the feed store, remember to have a weeks worth of grain, (if feeding) and supplies for your others and other animals.


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