Landscaping and getting grass to grow around the buildings has been an on-going project since we moved in - and this summer it ramped up. Brad made huge strides and our sandy landscape is starting to settle and green up.
In July, we had a mold recurrence. Ugh!! An unexpected summer project. I was SO disgusted! The damn stuff re-grew everywhere, including on the surface of my (bagged) custom saddle :( I spent
days & days weeks working to make sure this moldy situation never ever (ever) happens again!! I hope.
I reviewed everyone's advice from our first moldy experience in October 2018. After that episode, I cleaned the mold I could see and thought I took care of the problem. Some items never went back in the tack room. Obviously my cleaning efforts were not enough. This time I took every single thing moldy or not, out of the tack room. Our barn was a total disaster area! I insisted Brad and our daughter go through their tack, figure out what stays and help de-mold. Nothing was allowed back into the tack room, no exceptions. Every single thing had to be cleaned (even if it looked clean) and stored, and pass my inspection. I was one (b) itchy barn manager, but I don't care. I do not want to go through this again.
Besides cleaning tack, and in some cases re-cleaning the semi-cleaned tack (insert eye roll) I wiped down the tack room walls & mopped the floor with a vinegar water solution. Most tack was lightly cleaned with the vinegar solution, even leather. I had to kill the mold. All leather was then cleaned with leather cleaner, and conditioned.
To help find a solution, our daughter loaned us her hygrometer. Brad did some research, ordered a humidifier fan and installed it. I had no idea humidity fans existed. For the longest time we had three humidity readers in the tack room lol. One on the dehumidifier, the fan and hygrometer. Eventually we bought our own hygrometer, they are inexpensive. We checked humidity levels a lot, and still do. Ideal humidity is between 30-50%. Our fan is set at 45%, it turns on if higher.
Fan flaps circulating air out of tack room
I felt better about making a hole in the wall after Brad trimmed it Fan mounted inside tack room wall Digital Fan Control
You set the humidity desired and fan runs automatically.
It also shows room temp & fan speed.
Brad built a tack room shelf for the many totes I bought, filled and labeled. Cardboard boxes used for moving, are no longer allowed in the tack room and nothing lives on the floor anymore. So far so good, even through the endless humid summer days. I am hopeful the sad moldy nightmare is behind us.
Clean tack room
(photo is distorted & makes it look bigger)
We were so happy with our organized tack room, that it led to more barn organizing! Brad built a storage closet on the hay side for larger tack totes, extra buckets, exercise ball and misc stuff. It helps minimize the quickly accumulating barn dust. He also added wall hanging racks.
You can never have too much storage & everything looks better.
See Tank? He is waiting to play, always.
I enjoy making things by hand, altho not very crafty. I sanded, stained and hand painted three barn signs pre-mold discovery and recently finished the fourth sign with our ranch name.
Hidden Cactus Ranch
Plan to hang a pair of my old spurs
and our daughters first pair on either side of the sign.
Maybe something else? Not too much, because of barn dust.
After using our feed area & trying to figure out the best storage solution, Brad built us a custom storage table!! We may add a few hooks or ? to the area. It has been in use a couple weeks and I am loving it so far! The feed table still needs to get oiled, along with the wall.
Our Feed Table has two feed buckets & hoof supplement bucket,
a large storage "drawer" area (top is closed in photo, lifts open & latches easy)
and an open shelf storage for PDZ, salt etc.
A "fly spray" shelf by the entrance went up early summer, and has been so useful that we added another shelf. We now have a phone/beverage shelf, with a hat hook above and use it every day.
phone shelf close-up & my old hat
You didn't think we were done with the barn, did you?! We still have many projects left on our never ending list. To name a few, the wash stall needs trimming, decision on a swing hose holder, dry blanket hooks, human coat hooks, a place to hang a couple wet saddle pads & boots (cuz they aren't allowed in the tack room until they are dry, lol), decide where to mount the PVC whip holder, find/build a hallway bench, build/buy a Saloon garbage container, buy a refrigerator, decide on a cat out/in door, and whatever else makes our barn life easier and more enjoyable!!!
Hidden Cactus Ranch sign
Photo taken today of Brad & Cierra, while the farrier was here.
She has gotten so light, looking like a Buckskin.
With all that said and done, I am SO ready for Fall!!! Time for wrapping up loose ends on summer projects, cooler weather, changing leaves, hikes, outside/inside fires and general winding down. I love changing seasons and all that they offer!