Winter is often a slow business time around a horse farm or riding stable, but it is a great time to prepare for the spring rush. Spring is a time of transition for many stables. Longer days and warmer temperatures mean clients are returning to the barn more frequently or new clients are joining your programs. Now is a good time to evaluate the facility’s infrastructure before the spring rush and the summer lesson, show and riding season is in full swing.
This is a good time to check your barn’s water pressure according to Larry and Marnye Langer. Larry is the president and CEO and Maryne is chief financial officer of the Burbank, California Langer Equestrian Group.
“Check to make sure you have sufficient water pressure throughout your property,” Larry said. “Also inspect faucets and pipes for any drips or leaks.”
Can you locate the emergency shut off valve on your property? In the event of a water main break, it’s imperative to have the ability to turn off the water source before flooding occurs. If you only have one emergency shut-off, Larry recommends adding others.
“Make sure you have the ability to shut off water to portions of your facility so you don’t have to shut off the water to the entire place while you fix one broken pipe,” he said.
Keep in mind that spring is also a good time to evaluate how the arena footing fared after heavy winter rains or snows. Material might have been washed away and the surface might have become uneven. If you have had pooling and poor drainage during the year, that indicates the base needs work. Now is a good time to assess and plan for repairs and perhaps put aside some funds for that project.
When you are thinking of spring in the dead of winter, you might think back on the barn’s or farm’s landscaping. You might want to plan to trim any trees that have become overgrown or sustained damage. Again, you might need to plan and set aside funds to replace plants that didn’t survive the winter and add plants or trees to beautify the facility and offer shade.
“Always make sure any plants you add are not toxic to horses,” Maryne said.
For advice on landscaping around your barn, read Safe Plants for Horse Stable Landscaping. For a list of plants to avoid, check out this article Plants to Avoid in Your Horse Farm Landscaping.
Winter is a great time to think ahead to spring and summer. But go beyond thinking by planning and saving for projects that you want to get done!