It’s been raining and blowing wind for months (maybe years?) now. The mud is deep, a tree (or at least branches) have fallen and the gutters are full. Here is a quick list of items to address to maintain your Oregon horse property, preserve it’s value and make your life a little easier next winter.
- Walk your property and take assessment of the damage. Are any fence posts loose? Sagging fences? Fallen branches or leaning trees? New drainage issues exposed by torrential downpours that you hadn’t noticed before?
- While you are walking the pastures, watch for new rodent holes in the ground-moles, gophers and ground squirels can be quite pesky. I say get them now before they multiply this spring!
- Note the wear and tear on your ground from overly used pastures. Wet, sometimes poor draining soil is just a fact for Willamette Valley horse and land owners. Is it possible to rearrange your fence lines or cross-fence existing pastures to give excessively muddy spots a much needed break? I know this is alot of work, but using temporary fencing will make the job easier.
- Identify 1 or 2 pastures that you can live without for at least 6 months and reseed them. Better yet, have a square 24 foot area at the gate excavated, bring in rock and sand for drainage and avoid the swampy gate areas next year!
- Check for missing t-post (if you use them) caps and replace any broken insulators.
- Clean out all barn and lean-to gutters. Spring may be here, but the rainy season isn’t over yet.
- If your roads are gravel, grade them and add gravel where needed. Chances are you have a pot holes or washouts from the winter.
- Trim any sagging branches near fence lines, roofs and driving areas.
- Dig up any tansey or other poisonous weeds you see sprouting NOW! Get them now long before they go to seed, reducing your work load next year.
- Tighten all loose hinges, bolts, screw eyes, latches, etc.
- When the weather allows, have all of your turnouts cleaned and bagged for storage. You will avoid the fall rush when they are needed again.
- Empty and scrub the tack and feed rooms. Dust, sweep, scrub down, empty out, wash the sinks, wipe out the cupboards, add new mice traps…similar to spring cleaning the house. For some reason when my tack room is clean and organized, I feel like everything is in order and easy to locate.
- One last item, where ever you store your hay, clean it out too, shake out the pallets if used, rake out the floor, remove cobwebs full of hay on the wall, what ever you have. Got to get ready for the new hay!
Owning acreage around Salem Oregon can come wtih it’s own unique challenges, but a little effort and pre-planning can go a long way. If you don’t already own acreage for you and your horse, visit my website HomesWithHorseSense.com to explore your possibilities.