following up on not so recent posts

For some reason I haven't been able to gather my thoughts enough to write anything in-depth, so here is a collective follow-up on some not so recent posts:

Our Barn mystery about Nemo's shavings becoming dark and damp remains unsolved. Now that it is Fall, his shavings are lasting a week and stay relatively normal. Until they don't. It happens overnight, typically on a rainy day. I believe it's due to a combination of his churning in his stall and some form of dampness. Since the mats aren't wet, and the shaving aren't heavily wet either (his soiled shavings are, those are closer to black/dark brown), we are going to move onto the other zillion things we need to worry about. 

Every horse is different, but I still find the difference in shavings extremely odd. I should have taken a photo of the clean shavings in the stalls, the dry vs damp color is more extreme. We may dig into this mystery in the Spring.

Nemo's damp shavings fill the wheel barrel.
Koda's pee saturated shavings added on top right.

As far as our moldy Tack Room and First Aid  inquiry 
I haven't added much to our First Aid supplies yet, other then I bought a new thermometer.

After I posted, our unexpected mold showed up in unusual places, like our bulletin board GASP! It isn't anywhere near tack, and right by a large entrance that remains open all day. Apparently fresh air doesn't faze mold, at least not when humid.

I threw the moldy calendars away, wiped the cork down and made an essential oils (EO) spray with whatever I had. My mix included Tea Tree, Rosemary and a Good Samaritan blend with Cinnamon, Clove etc. Our barn smelled great for a few days, altho my horse was a snort machine upon entrance. The other two horses just looked wonky at the board. I think they found it offensive, or at best different. I sprayed the board pretty heavily, and the mold has not returned. I used this good EO reference to stop the mold from growing on our board:

My mold fighting arsenal
We bought a dehumidifier for our tack room. It runs 24/7 and the humidity has lowered, although we don't have a door yet so its not as effective as it could be. The small blue bottle is my EO mold spray mix. I bought Black Rock cleaner/conditioner per Linda's suggestion. I think it will work similar to the combo we used, although ours was a spray. Once I received it I laughed out loud at how small the jar was, thinking "well, that will do one saddle"! Guess I didn't notice the size I bought was only 4oz duh. It's a great size to try it out, and I bet it will go further then appears.

I also bought Arlines recommended Ho-Cho-Line leather dressing (another small jar lol) for a few pieces of tack to store, and a couple older donate-able items. I also bought some silica gel packs & and an inexpensive brush for cleaning only. 

I am waiting on saddle storage covers, and then it's game on! Everything will get cleaned again, more thoroughly. I check the important tack daily, and the only re-offender so far is my old Circle Y saddle. Which is banished to the corner of the barn. After the initial cleaning, I wipe whatever starts growing again and keep hauling it out in the sun. When we have sun, which is seldom these days. 

Speaking of sun, our daily morning summer fog has subsided. This year the norm has been frequent cloudy/rainy days, but I am still in awe with our sky views. The weather patterns are so different now that we live north of a large river. The biggest difference I've noticed are the clouds. They are SO much closer! I like to think we are a little closer to heaven. 

On sunny days the clouds look like huge powder puff cotton balls floating just out of reach, in a sea of sky blue. Whatever Mother Nature reveals overhead, seems to surround us. The sunsets wrap all the way around overhead, and so do hints of sunrise colors. 

When we moved, I left behind a beautiful wide open (very distant) Eastern sunrise view. Imagine my surprise to see my first sunrise reflecting high above our trees, coloring our cloudy sky! Who knew?!! 

Our beautiful Western tree line also lights up with color. Sunset here is much closer, and intense. It surrounds you in a way that draws you in. We cannot see either horizon from our land, but who needs to when the skies light up like this:




Grey Horse Matters said...

I hate mold! It's a living evil thing that's so hard to get rid of. But I think you've got it pretty much under control. What we all need is some sunny days. It's been rainy and miserable here the whole Spring and Summer and this Autumn isn't so hot either.

The shavings are a mystery but eventually I'm sure you'll figure the problem out.

Those pictures of the sunset and sunrise are gorgeous. What a beautiful sight to see from your farm.

Linda said...

Wow!! Those photos!! The sky does NOT look like that here. That's unique and quite breathtaking. Sorry about the mold. I have a heater in my tack room that helps, but we live in a dry climate anyway. That's funny about the BlackRock. It reminds me of when mine arrived and I thought, where's the rest?!? I had purchased two containers at that time and was able to do all my saddles, bridles, and boots. It would be nice if they sold it in larger quantities. If you find some, let me know. I keep a tub out in the tack room and tub in my husband's boot shine box. That's what I'll be doing this winter, polishing up all my tack.

aurora said...

It has been an unusually wet 2018, making it extra difficult to combat mold. It caught us by surprise, especially in a new barn. We bought my first saddle (Circle Y) used in good condition, but it's an oldie. Who knows where it's been. The hard part with Western saddles is there are so many places mold can hide, unless you completely tear the saddle apart. I've seen it done, but I'm not so sure about my skills in putting it back together correctly. We know a local guy who restores saddles. I may end up asking him to work on if I can't get the mold to stop growing. I'm planning on using the Ho-Cho on it, after a more thorough cleaning.

Linda, I've been told the sky views here have something to do with the river. Our old house isn't that far away, even during colorful sun rise/set the sky and the clouds looks nothing like they do here. I will let you know if I come across larger jars of BlackRock. Photo's don't show size very well, my jar is maybe 2-3" W? It is so tiny, it's funny. I don't care, as long as it works. We may end up putting a heater in the tack room during the winter.

I prefer not to leave things plugged in running for safety reasons, but we can't let our tack be destroyed. I am hopeful we can get rid of the mold for good as the wood walls dry out and a door is added to help to keep moisture out.

Linda said...

My jars are the same size as yours--teeny. But it does go a long way. I just ordered two more so that I can do all of my projects. Like you, I'm taking my saddle in to the saddle guy this winter. I want him to give it a thorough tune-up--maybe replace some of the straps. My worst nightmare is a latigo breaking on the trail. I have no idea if mold has accumulated in my saddle. We had a very wet year two years ago and that was the first time I'd ever seen signs of mold on my tack. Of course, at first, I didn't even know what it was. I thought it was dust.

Mrs Shoes said...

Snort machine, hah!
In brand new building and wired to code, I personally feel safe plugging in fans, or dehumidifier, or fridge... the cats have a heated water bucket in the winter too.
It's in our 100+ old house that I do not, ever, leave power on when I'm not in there (with it's lath & plaster walls & knob & tube wiring, the upstairs housing many precious memories of our kids' childhoods, etc).

Shirley said...

Young Living Thieves cleaner is really good for cleaning moldy anything and deterring it from returning.
Beautiful sunsets!