Now the beautiful (typical ) British summer time is here, it is the perfect time to get your tack room organised and ready for summer. Over the warmer and drier months most of us like to get our horses out and about to competitions, long distance rides, the beach etc which means we need a different set of kit to what we were using. Also as our horses/ponies tend to sweat when we ride it often means a clean saddlecloth / saddle pad is needed for every ride, and we have to clean our tack more frequently. It also means we are now into bathing and sloshing off after work. So whilst we can discard of all those winter rugs and wellies, we now need fly rugs and buckets. So what can we do to make life easier for us, and give us more time with our precious animals enjoying the summer.
Start with the winter rugs, drag them all out and check them over. If you need to get them washed etc get that organised now. Any rugs you are not keeping put in the bin or on selling sites. Dig out those fly masks too. Also look at how you are going to store the rugs you are keeping. There are many different ways of doing this. You can get a big trunk form any DIY shop or eBay, Amazon etc and pop them all inside. These boxes are great because they are relatively cheap to buy and you can lock them, however the downside is that they are not rat/mice proof. They can still chew through the plastic, and although all the rugs are away they are still jumbled in together which makes it difficult when you come to use them. However we have a solution for that too – our rug storage bags, they fit in these boxes very well and with the labels keep all your rugs organised and to hand, as well as adding an extra layer of protection.
If you have shelving then again our rug bags can be used on this too, again they protect the rugs from dirt, dust and water as well as bird poo etc
Once all the winter rugs are packed away it is time to dig out the lighter weight summer rugs, fly rugs, hoods, summer sheets etc. Check them over to make sure they are not broken / damaged and then store them in an easy to reach place, ready for use, we can help with this, with our range of bags specially designed for lightweight summer rugs. Also check over your travel boots, make sure they are clean and ready for use. We also have a handy waterproof storage bags for travel boots here. Next its time to look at the saddlecloths. Have a sort through and check for rips or damage, make sure they are the right shape and fit for your horse and they are clean. Get rid of any you wont use again and wash any dirty ones. Then look at how to store them for ease of use. The saddlecloth / saddle pad i am using i put over my saddle and the rest go in a storage bag on my racking. I have different bags for each type of saddle cloth to make it easier to find the one i want. When i have used a saddlepad and it needs washing i take it home and use the laundry bag for washing that and the bandages, i also get the next one out over the saddle ready for my next ride. I also like to have my boots and bandages to hand. I store all mine in a wraps bag which are fantastic for organising and protecting everything, plus they hang up making it super easy to find the matching boots or bandages for your matchy set.
Now have a look at your tack, thoroughly check it all over including any tack that has been stored away or not used very much. Also have a look at your cleaning kit, do your sponges need replacing? Is your soap running a bit low? Now is a really good time to take apart all that tack and clean and check for any damage, loose stitching etc . Once that is all done pop it all back on its pegs and hangers. If you are short on hanging hooks grab some wreath holders from the pound shop to use, they do not need fixing to the wall, meaning you can place them anywhere and dont need tools either.
Next look at your vet kit, make sure all the lotions and potions are up to date, and that you have all the essentials. A guide to what to include in your vet kit can be found here. Remember to move anything that needs to be kept cool into the fridge. I like to store my vet kit in a brightly coloured easy to grab grooming bag, that way it stands out and is very easy to grab when needed, it also makes it easy to pop it on the lorry or trailer for taking on trips out etc, and it makes it very easy to direct someone to, if you have sent someone else to fetch it for you.
Make sure you get your clippers out (if you have them) and check them over and oil. Do your blades need sharpening? a new set of blades for the trimmers? if so get those sorted out now ready for the next use.
Moving onto your grooming kit, get everything out and give your brushes a good wash, you can do it in a bucket of water with some horse shampoo, just remember to change the water before it gets too dirty, also make sure to thoroughly rinse off the shampoo. Give the box/bag a good clean out and then check if you have all the summer essentials?
Plaiting spry / gel
Slosh for after work
Finally give everything a really good sweep out and dust down, remember to de – cobweb the walls and ceilings too.
If you need to stock up on anything write a list and get it in now, so your are prepared – we all know how changeable the weather is in Britain!!!!!!!!
You might want to pop up some fly catchers and also look into wall planners, to help you keep organised and on top of entry closing dates, vaccinations, height certificates and membership renewals.
Most importantly remember to have fun 🙂