Spring came a little bit late this year to fly over country, but I think it’s finally here to stay. What does that mean for equestrians? We’re knee deep in mud, our horses are shedding like crazy and show season is right around the corner [if it hasn’t started already]! To get ready for summer, which is the best part of the year in my opinion, I’ve got some equestrian spring cleaning tips for you:
Say Goodbye to Winter Blankets
With temperatures now safely above freezing at night, we’re just about done with blanket season.That means it’s time to clean and store all of your horse’s winter clothes. First, decide which items you can launder yourself; coolers, quarter sheets and lightweight blankets usually fit in standard-size washers and dryers. The rest I send out for professional cleaning [like my heavyweight blankets]. Psst: check out my tried and true method for doing your own horse laundry.
Next I make a list of any repairs that need to be made, and I store it on my phone, so that I can scoop up elastic leg straps and repair tape when I see it on sale. Once everything is nice and clean, I package it up for long-term storage. Plastic bedding storage bags are perfect for blankets and I love to keep everything together using large storage bins from Home Depot.
Stock Up on Grooming Supplies
Some grooming supplies [especially sprays] are seasonal, so I like to do a thorough check to make sure I haven’t run out of anything. What really sucks is missing the first day of the year when it’s warm enough to bathe because you have no shampoo [ask me how I know]. So look to see how much shampoo, conditioner, hair care spray and fly spray you’ve got left. If you need anything, like a new grooming blocks for shedding season, try to lump it together with some other items to save on shipping. I don’t mind ordering 3 bottles of laser sheen to fill up my online shopping cart because I know I’ll use them.
Double Check your Horse Show Gear
Remember when you ate an entire pint of ice cream when it snowed in late March? You’re going to regret that right now, because it’s time to try on your show outfit(s). Make sure everything still fits [and resolve to hit the gym hard if it doesn’t!], is in good repair, clean and is still in style. If you need anything new, now is the time to buy! Additionally, if you have any tack that you reserve just for showing , break that out and give it a good clean. Leaving leather in a box for long periods of time invites mold and cracking… which leads to breaking… on course. Trust me, you don’t want that.
It’s also not a bad time to get rid of any tack or clothing you don’t want any more. With so many folks looking for items for show season, it’s a good time to list things on various Facebook groups or take advantage of consignment tack stores, like Equus Now. Also, for those in the Central Ohio area, Equus Now is doing their annual tack swap April 18-19!