Each month, Riders of a Certain Age has a theme that’s planned to give you useful information to make life around the stable easier and safer. This month:
Winterizing and Barn Safety!
Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and some folks have already used their snow shovel, poor souls! Mother Nature is giving you a warning to get ready before she body slams us with a season of snowballs and Frosties – and I don’t mean the ice cream goodies at Wendy’s.
It’s time to work through the autumn ‘chore-and-prep-for-winter’ checklist. So many little things fade into the background over the summer, if we notice them at all. A day of barn ‘due diligence’ can prevent a wintertime disaster.
- Start with the integrity of your barn. Are there loose or rotted boards or siding that’s starting to flap in the wind? Do the barn doors slide easily in the channels? Do the windows close easily and is the weatherstripping still intact?
- Now’s the time to thoroughly sweep out the tack and feed rooms. Get the junk that’s accumulated in the corners, like piles of dead insects, forgotten candy wrappers, leaves, and stray bits of hay. Fly spray, leather cleaner, and other liquids become useless after they freeze. Store them someplace warm. Benches, flowerpots, and other outdoor décor should probably be stashed inside to prevent damage from the elements.
- How’s your fencing? Replace those loose boards and double-check the stability\security and reliability of any wires. Are the gates secure? All hinges and latches oiled and operating easily? You can be sure that if any of that fails, it will happen in the middle of an ice storm.
These are the quick and easy tasks you can do in the afternoon. If you have a squad of ‘barn rats,’ you can turn it into a weekend project with pizza after the job is done.
Next week, it’s a much more serious topic: barn fires. Trust me; you don’t want to go through that. Ask me how I know. I have pictures…