The summer is quickly passing us by, and so is the time to get your summer barn projects done. If you haven't yet started in on your summer projects, now is the time to get working on them. As you take a look at your checklist, make sure that you've included these summer barn to-do's.
Top Summer Barn To-Do Guide Items
Focus on getting these five summer barn to-do's done this season.
Clean Your Hayloft
As the hay cuttings come in, you'll want to start focusing on filling up your hayloft again. Before you fill it, though, put in the time to give it a good cleaning.
As you clean, remove all of the old hay from last year, minus any bales you'll still be feeding. Pull up your pallets and sweep out any loose hay underneath them. Don't forget to remove cobwebs from the rafters, and dust off any light fixtures once you're done.
Removing this old hay can help to cut down on dust and mold. It also eliminates the chance that the hay will be accidentally fed. Just be sure to only clean your hayloft while your horses are out of the barn, or you could stir up lots of dust that could irritate their respiratory systems.
Evaluate Your Electrical System
In the fall and winter, you'll introduce water bucket heaters and trough heaters, which can add a significant load to your electrical system. The summer is the perfect time to have your electrical system checked over to make sure it's prepared to support that increased load.
An electrician can assess your electrical system and identify any changes or enhancements that may be needed to keep it safe and functional. Be prepared with the voltage of each of your heaters and your recent electricity bills on hand, which can help the electrician to understand your energy usage. The electrician may recommend other safety improvements, too, like wall outlet covers and updated GFCI outlets, if you don't have them already.
Paint Fences and Jumps
Fences and jumps with flaking paint aren't just unsightly, but the wood is also more exposed to the elements. To protect your investments, take some time to paint those fences and jumps this summer.
If the task is too big or time-consuming to handle on your own, consider having a painting party. Order pizza and have riders and boarders over one afternoon to paint and eat.
Assess Your Ring Footing
The summer means that your ring will see more intense use, and your footing may need some extra help to keep up with that increased foot traffic. In addition to establishing a regular dragging and watering schedule, you may need to bring in additional footing.
If your footing is more than about five years old, it's probably time to revive it. You can do that by bringing in more of your original footing and mixing it in, or you can purchase a footing additive. Options like fiber and rubber additives can enhance your footing with features like better cushioning and less dust. To choose the right option, it's important to research what's available locally, as well as how much you'll need for your ring size and what your delivery options are. Prices can vary by region and availability, so be sure to call around to suppliers for quotes to get the most accurate information.
Install Lighthoof Panels
Summer storms can bring significant rainfall in short periods of time, and that can make for mud and drainage issues around your farm. Installing Lighthoof panels can help.
You can install Lighthoof in the problem areas of your farm, whether that's in the runouts in front of your stalls, by the gates of your pastures, or somewhere else. Lighthoof stabilizes the ground, so you, your horses, and even your machinery won't sink down into deep mud. Even after heavy summer thunderstorms, you'll still be able to negotiate those areas.
Working on Your Summer Barn To-Do List
If you haven't yet added these items to your summer barn to-do list, now is the time to start. Getting these projects done this summer will make your coming fall and winter chores easier, too. There's still plenty of summer left, so start planning those projects so you can get them all done by fall.