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Horse Illustrated Clean Barn Contest Results

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Thanks to everyone who entered our clean barn giveaway sponsored by Country Vet. The winning entry receives a barn protection package valued at $200 that includes an indoor/outdoor mosquito and fly control system country home kit; an ECO-Stall natural stall, barn and trailer odor neutralizing foam kit; and a CV-ECO dairy aerosol spray metered air freshener.

Congratulations to winner Rebecca M. of Atascadero, Calif., who sent us this entry: I keep my barn clean by sweeping out the walkways every day after I feed. I also keep two separate calendars (one for each horse) with vaccination, shoeing and deworming dates. On the calendars are the horses' personal schedules and the vet and farrier's phone number. To keep my tack organized, I have plastic bins with the horses' names written on the outside. Only one horse's tack, wraps and blankets go into each box. In the winter when our horses wear their blankets every night, I brush off all the mud before I take them off in the morning. At least twice a year, I clean all the leather tack I have and sweep out the dust bunnies. In our tack room, there is a first-aid bag with all the important supplies on hand. After I read "The Organized Horsekeeper" (March 2011 issue), I started getting an evacuation plan and kit put together. I'm going to put this in our trailer so it will be ready if the unthinkable ever happens.

Runners-up receive a Country Vet ECO-Stall natural stall, barn and trailer odor neutralizing foam kit. The runners-up were Sandra W. of Lunenburg, Mass.; Seva P. of St. Louis, Mo.; Sydney V. of Elkins, Ark.; and Carole B. of Onsted, Mich.

Sandra: The best way to keep a clean barn is to start with a good clean barn. Some ways to start with a good clean barn: get the dirt out of those hard to reach places by using a blower. Address issues especially involving safety (for humans and horses alike). Ensure water and food buckets are cleaned properly as they will be easier to clean once scrubbed thoroughly. Thoroughly clean the windows and check for any cracks. A fresh coat of paint if possible will also make you want to keep it clean. If able to stain the walls, do so as the more beautiful the barn looks, the more you will want to keep it this way. Once you have a clean barn, maintaining it will be easy. Don't allow clutter to accumulate. Have a designated room for extras. Label and properly store everything, that way anyone can put anything away and there will be no question as to where it belongs. Have a Lost and Found area and when not claimed donate to charity. Make sure to have a backup supply of cleaning supplies in case of breakage, by having the proper cleaning tools readily accessible, people will be more apt to use them. Post the barn rules for all boarders and lesson takers, primarily to clean up after themselves. The harder you work to start with a good clean barn the easier it will be to maintain.

Seva: Keeping your barn clean can be a big task but is made easier with just a few items. We keep our tack room clean and organized with a separate bridle/saddle rack for each horse. The grooming supplies are kept in a tote by the cross ties, and the halters and leads are hung on the stalls. Our feed room is equally organized. All supplements are kept together, sweet and senior feed are stored in separate bins, and pitchforks and shovels are hung on the wall. The stalls are stripped once a week, the aisle is raked (our aisle is dirt) once a month, but "picked" every weekend, and the feed and tack rooms are swept every weekend.

Sydney: I keep my barn clean by cleaning every room and stall. First, I clean all of the stalls. I do this by taking out old straw, and putting new straw in. Then I clean the water buckets and food buckets. I refill the hay net and wash the walls if necessary. When I am done with the stalls, I give the manure to my neighbor, and she uses it for her garden. Then, every week, once a week, I clean the tack room. I take the tack out and clean it first. Then I clean the racks for the tack. Then, finally, I dust off cob webs and spider webs. Then, twice a week, every week, I clean the feed room. I check the food and hay for any signs of rotting. I also check the feed bags for holes where mice could eat the feed. I also put mouse traps in when I do find holes. I also dust cob webs and spiderwebs away. Then, I also sweep the entrance, exit, and stable aisle. I also wash the walls if necessary. I pick up metal, wood, and nails if I can find any. I clean the shoeing room too. I clean up the used horse shoes and keep some of them for good luck. I also check the roof for holes or weakening. I fix holes in the roof, and I put in new nails every three months. I also check for holes where dogs, raccoons, or mice can get in. If I find one, I fill it up with dirt again. And that is how I keep my barn clean!

Carole: I keep my barn clean by mucking the stalls, scrubbing the water buckets, and raking the aisle daily. The hay and straw is kept neatly stacked on pallets in a corner, and each horse has their own peg for their halter, bridle and lunge line. In front of each stall is a saddle stand for the horse's winter blanket and tack, which is cleaned monthly. I use a pitchfork to clear out the cobwebs whenever necessary. After cleaning each stall, I spritz a little fly spray in it to repel flies and mosquitoes, and I try to use bedding that keeps the stalls smelling fresh. Because the fly spray and bedding can get expensive, it would be great to have the Country Vet Barn Protection Package to help maintain a clean barn and healthy horses.

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