We may refuse to clean our houses or cars, but darn it if our barns don’t look amazing.
We’ve all seen that memes about spending hours at the barn cleaning our tack, mucking out stalls and sweeping aisleways. If you haven’t seen them, they look something like this:
There are more, but you get the idea. Even without the memes, as an equestrian, you get the idea. We would much, much rather do barn chores than, like, literally any other chore on the planet. In fact, it’s not only that we choose to do barn chores over other chores, it’s that we find them incredibly satisfying. There’s something about getting the barn in order that folding laundry just doesn’t compare to.
It makes no sense, really. In both cases, the chores are just going to be undone again. But that doesn’t matter. Equestrians like their barns and riding areas just so. Therefore, we bring you, the six most satisfying barn chores.
1. Cleaning Tack
We’re not sure whether it’s the smell of leather, the smell of the saddle soap or the knowledge that cleaning tack means (usually) that you have been using tack. Whatever the reason, there’s just something about freshly cleaned and oiled leather that gives equestrians an extreme feeling of satisfaction and peace.
2. Raking the Arena
Whether you do it by hand or with a machine (yes, I am jealous of those of you with machines and arenas big enough to use a machine), there is nothing more fulfilling than a freshly raked arena. It’s almost too nice to ride in… almost.
3. Cleaning Stall Fronts
Stall on the left, uncleaned and an excellent example of before. Stall on the right, cleaned and coated in linseed oil… and an excellent example of after. Jo is dubious about the whole process. Photo by DeAnn Long Sloan.
This is actually the barn chore (and photo!) that inspire this article. An outlier, this barn chore likely wouldn’t have made the list, except that I am in the midst of cleaning my stall fronts. And, man, does it feel good to see clean stall fronts and really appreciate the rich colors of the wood! Granted, this particular chore is taking days as I accomplish it in between feedings and the obligatory home chores, but it has earned its spot on my list of satisfying-to-complete jobs.
4. Cleaning the Stock Tank
Okay, let me back up. Cleaning the stock tank actually isn’t all that satisfying. However, managing to get the stock tank clean and sparkling is. If your horses are watered like mine, that means emptying and scrubbing water tanks on a regular basis. Get behind just once during a summer month, and the stock tank will let you know. Especially with fresh, mineral-filled well water. Therefore, it’s quite satisfying to get the water tank clean and clear (and if you want tips on how to keep it that way, check out our article that covers just that!).
5. Stacking Hay
Like cleaning the stock tank, it isn’t the act of doing this that makes it satisfying. No, it’s the act of having done it and looking at all your bales of freshly stacked hay that is just so, so satisfying. At least until you remember that a barn full of hay means the inevitable approach of winter. Sigh…
6. Sweeping the Aisleways
Adobe Stock/Terri Cage
There’s something magical in that moment when you sweep away the last pile of sawdust or the last sprig of hay, put the broom up and turn off the lights. It’s that moment that you know that your time was well spent and you’ve had the privilege of enjoying another day with your horses.
Did we miss any? What barn chores do you find the most fulfilling? Let us know in the Facebook comments!