Did that long, dry spell of a delayed summer here in Oregon lull you into putting off your fall preparations of your horse property? Suddenly these past few weeks of precipitation have snapped you to attention about all the tasks that need to be done – yesterday! Here’s a list to get you off and running to make up for lost time and still be ready for the season to come. Grab your boots and get going!
• When leaves are crisp and dry, they flutter gaily in the wind. When they are wet they stick and pile up on everywhere, especially in your barn gutters. Get that ladder, scoop and bucket and clean out your roof’s drainage system.
• Got hay? Double check your barn for leaks or your plastic covers for wind-proof lashings. No hay yet? Get that order in and delivered before you have to haul wet bales and worry about spoilage later.
• Does your dusty driveway leading up to your horse property turn into a skating lane when the rains come? Now is the time to add a truckload of gravel so your vehicles can get a grip. Schedule delivery sooner rather than later as many companies will not deliver when the route is slippery and dangerous for their heavy trucks. This could be as late as May 2013!
• How’s that roof doing? Is there a vague recollection of a leak from last winter that you meant to address once the rains ceased? Well, they’re back and now’s the time to get those repairs going while we have intermittent weather. Check the roof and siding of each building for possible projects. It’s not too late to think about surface water drainage such as a French drain around the foundations. Keep your barn floor from additional moisture by running a gravel-filled trench away from the source of water.
• Would your horse appreciate a clean and patched turnout for the winter? Get those items repaired before everyone else realizes they need to do it too and the wait time lengthens. Your horse will love you for it!
• People aren’t the only creatures who head for the house when it gets cold and wet outdoors. Those little rodents who keep busy in the fields will find your barn a cozy alternative to the wet pastures and forest around your property. Set out bait and traps, as your pest principles dictate, to reduce the population before their infestation becomes too complicated and destructive.
• Charlotte and Wilbur may have viewed cobwebs as useful, but in your barn they can pose a fire hazard if touched off by an electrical spark or hot light bulb. Get a long-handled broom attacking those sticky webs and clean up your rafters, beams and dark corners for a safe and bright winter.
• Barn chores will go more smoothly when the tools you use are in proper working order. There’s nothing more frustrating than mucking stalls with a tooth-diminished rake or hauling a wheelbarrow of manure on a flat tire. Repair, clean up or replace anything that will impede the speedy completion of those daily tasks and you’ll have more time for the activities you really enjoy!
Now that you’ve readied your horse property for the season, turn your attention to the more enjoyable aspects of the holidays and winter projects. You’ll be snug and smug, just like the ant!
Don’t currently own horse property in Oregon, but would like to? Let’s find you the right place.