One Month Spring Cleaning List

I emerged from my April of hell to have a lovely birthday weekend…and then run smack into a nasty virus that flattened me for most of a week. I still had to go to work, of course, because working for nonprofits is an exercise in human misery sometimes, but the barn was not happening.

Thankfully, I started feeling significantly better on Saturday and then the urge to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS kicked in. I had made a very, very tentative start on this before I got sick, but now I am in full blown spring cleaning mode.

So I made a list. Here’s a month long spring cleaning challenge for horse people.

Week 1: Tack Trunk

  1. Completely empty and scrub out your tack box. Throw out incidental pieces of trash that have collected in corners, wipe down every surface inside.
  2. Pair up all boots, roll up all polo wraps. Scrub out any that need it, inspect for loose stitches, set aside any that you don’t use regularly.
  3. Lay out and clean all grooming tools. Inspect for signs of wear, replace anything that needs it.
  4. Organize incidentals in tack trunk: pens, paper, fiddly things.
  5. Review your first aid kit and replace any and all necessary supplies. Check expiration dates on meds, check batteries in thermometers and flashlights.
  6. Lay out all your saddle pads. Clean them thoroughly, inspect for loose stitching, decide whether you really want/need all of them.
  7. Wild card! What else do you need to do? Fill it in here.

Week 2: Laundry

  1. Go over all your blankets, coolers, and sheets for loose stitches, missing pieces, unnoticed holes. Make arrangements to get them fixed, fix them yourself, or just make a note to keep an eye on them.
  2. Lay out all your gloves. All of them. Match them up. Clean them, repair them, or toss them.
  3. Try on your breeches. All of them. Sort them into keep & get rid of piles. Really focus on whether you wear them and love them, or they’re taking up space.
  4. Thoroughly clean and condition your saddle(s).
  5. Thoroughly clean and condition your bridle(s).
  6. Thoroughly clean and condition your other strap goods.
  7. Wild card! What else needs to be cleaned and gone through, for your horse or yourself?

Week 3: Paperwork

  1. Review your emergency contact information at the barn, for you and for your horse. Update as necessary.
  2. Update all your horse’s medical records. Take a new TPR baseline, write it down, and put it in a prominent place.
  3. Do you have any magazines or catalogs lying around and taking up space? Out they go.
  4. Organize all your show/registration/membership paperwork. Make sure you have some kind of good ID sheet in case of emergency or theft – take some photographs from all sorts of angles of your horse, put them together with a careful description.
  5. Make a list. Any list. show prep, future projects, goals, items to replace, future purchases – something. Organize your horse-related thoughts.
  6. Borrow a label-maker and go to town. Buy a new sharpie and go over your horse’s name on all relevant things. Make sure it’s clearly visible.
  7. Wild card! What else needs to be organized, paperwork-wise?

Week 4: The Great Beyond

  1. Write a nice note to someone who has helped you out recently – your trainer, the barn staff, a fellow boarder, your vet.
  2. Volunteer to do something around the barn that’s on the longterm to do list. Walk the fenceline, attack the cobwebs, scrub out the grain bins.
  3. Make plans to volunteer at a show or event.
  4. Find an equine-related charity and make a donation.
  5. Do you have a will specifying what will happen to your horse in the event of your untimely death? Do you have a few people who will explicitly be part of that planning and decision-making? Create that if you don’t. Update it if you do.
  6. Do one thing you’ve been putting off for a really long time. Whatever it is, just do it.
  7. Wild card! Anything else on your plate?

So, what’s on your list? Anything I forgot that you always do? Anything I added that you never thought to do?

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