Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Barn Cleaning 101

I don't know about the rest of you, but I know my barn gets to be pretty out-of-control by spring. I haven't figured out if it's because I just don't see all the cobwebs from the long dark days of winter or because it's just too cold to do any cleaning or a combination of both. My barn tends to turn into a storage area by the time warmer weather comes around. I have a 4-wheeler stored in the aisle, old carpet that a friend gave me to use for the dogs next winter that hasn't made it to the rafters yet, and I also have loose hay all over the floor. I have good intentions to keep the floor clean but it just never happens the longer the winter goes on. I try to keep the stalls clean too but by the time March comes around, I tell myself that I will need the manure for the garden so I'll wait until later to do it all at once. This is not the best way to keep things clean through the winter, but this is how it usually goes for me.

Here are some before shots:

So in the spring, I go out ready to tackle this project like every other year. I go after the cobwebs first since they will be all over the floor by the time I'm done cleaning them. I use a big broom or the leaf blower if it's really bad. Then I go after the stalls because really, why would I clean the stalls and then the cobwebs? I don't like to do things twice but sometimes I need to. Once I have the stalls clean, I throw in all the fresh sawdust. Wow, do I love that smell when I walk in to do chores!! Plus, I just love the clean look once these things are done. Once those two things are done, I go after the aisle. I just use the scoop shovel or big broom to clean off the concrete floor. I throw it all out in the barnyard and then when my husband gets a chance, he uses his tractor and blade to scrape the extra out of the barnyard, making it nice and level to try to prevent excess mud puddles that seem to build up over the months. I also grab whoever is available to clean out the lean to. This is a job that everyone seems to be too busy for!!! It gets pretty deep and smelly before the warmer weather comes in. That goes on the garden and makes great fertilizer for my veggies. Then when it gets warm enough, I give all the water tanks a good scrubbing with just a stiff brush and the hose. I don't use any chemicals for fear there would be some left over and taint the water. After all that is done, I stand back and admire my/our work. Then I saddle up one of the horses to go for a ride and enjoy the fresh air and scenery. It really is a great feeling when you go out to smell and see the freshness that comes with a good cleaning. What a sense of accomplishment!!!

The finished product:

View after cle...JPG in slide show

View after cle...JPG in slide show

Linda Fish

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Do your saddles and tack look dingy?

It's springtime and if your saddles and tack look like mine do, it's time for a good cleaning. Here are my favorite cleaning supplies and how I clean my saddle: I like to have a detail brush that comes with two size heads that attach to it. One smaller and a little stiffer for the tooling and hard to reach areas. Then a bigger, softer head for the larger smoother parts of the leather. I also like a very soft round headed brush for the suede seats if you have one. You will also need to have a good supply of old rags or socks on hand for wiping all the cleaners off. You can never have enough rags I find.
For the silver pieces, if any, I love the Hagerty Silversmith's Spray Polish. ( All you have to do is spray it on the silver and rub until it shines. How easy is that! You don't have to worry about the over spray that will get on the leather. It wipes right off without discoloring any of it. It's nothing like the white residue that is left by some of the other silver cleaners.
Hagerty Silversmiths' Spray Polish 85-6379

Farnam Leather New ln032601 Lexol Neatsfoot Formula lcjt009

For cleaning the leather, I use Farnum Leather New ( It cleans the leather better than anything I've found so far and is easy to use too. Just spray it on to a smaller area, not the whole saddle, and with the brushes you have, scrub in a circular motion until you get a good lather. You may need to do this a couple of times, depending on how dirty your saddle is. Once you have a good lather, then wipe off with the rags you have on hand. If you have a lot of tooling or deep tooling you may need to use one of the detail brushes to get the lather out of all the tooling. Once you've gone over your whole, I always finish with Lexol Neatsfoot Formula Oil ( to give it a final shine and protectant. You really should oil your saddle quite a few times a year to help keep the leather soft and pliable. Spray the oil onto a piece of fleece or something of similar material and rub it all in the leather. Don't use this on rough out or suede. The fleece works very well for this because it gives the leather a good even coat and doesn't absorb all the oil itself. This will help save on your saddle oil supply greatly.

Whala!! you now have a shiny clean, beautiful saddle that will be the envy of the trail.

Linda Fish
Used Saddle Dept.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Yak Saddle Shop - Our newest venture

We have been dropping lots of news bombs lately----lots of new products, a brand new retail store in Bremen, and now we're ready to unveil what might be our most exciting venture yet. Due to high demand and constant pestering of our customers who own yaks, we are launching That's right. You'll now be able to dress your yak in style and ride in comfort. Forget riding a plain, uncomfortable yak. Your yak can now shop leisurely for horn wraps, forehead bows, noserings, and the most comfortable saddles imaginable. While you're freezing in the mountain terrain, you'll have the warmth that comes from your yak looking great.

(crickets chirping)