The Five Reasons Cleaning Stalls is Actually The Best September 16 2015 4 Comments
As equestrians, we are all familiar with the unfortunate task of cleaning stalls. It’s physically hard, it smells, and the smell inevitably sticks to your clothes and boots (not to mention you yourself - like an equine stink bomb). But what we don’t often think about are the many advantages to spending your mornings cleaning stalls! Let's look at a few.
It gets you IN SHAPE!
As we've written about before, horses make us as humans healthier. You burn about an average of 422 calories per hour cleaning stalls…. 422. Move over treadmill! Not only does it elevate your heart rate to the optimal fat burning level, but it also tones the crap (haha) out of your shoulder and arm muscles, while shaping up the most important riding muscles of all, your core.
It let’s you know your horse's’ habits
If you are a professional, be it a professional horse trainer or someone that just has a job outside the horse industry, you probably don’t have a ton of time to just sit around and get to know EVERY horse that crosses your path on a deeper level. But here’s the thing: what your horses do in their stalls is a definite indicator of why they do other things in the arena. While we all know that a rare horse will be absolutely NUTS in their stall and a complete angel in the arena, cleaning your horse’s stall will let you know about their eating habits, if they need toys like jolly balls to keep them entertained, or if they need some more outside time.
It’s great time to think
While you may have a really busy day ahead of you or a horrible day still lingering in your mind, there is no time like stall cleaning time to meditate your way through whatever is bugging you. Let’s face it, sifting through shavings for poop nuggets and pee spots isn’t exactly MENTALLY taxing as much as it is physically taxing. That’s the perfect rhythm for quiet time in that racing noggin of yours! It’s also the perfect time to brainstorm. If you have a big project coming up at the office or want to think of a more effective way to staff your farm, stall cleaning is the perfect time to think it through. While you are putting your shoveling muscles to work, put your thinking muscles to work!
It’s a great time to make friends
If you are lucky enough to clean out with assistance, cleaning stalls is a perfect time to let off steam, discuss your woes, your joys, and maybe get some assistance in all that brainstorming you're also doing *nudge nudge*. There’s nothing like joint stall cleaning to bring unlikely and even likely friends closer together.
It’s the perfect time to snuggle
That is, unless you are really pressed for time. You will irritate the crap out of your stall cleaning partner if you arepressed for time and all you do is snuggle every horse who’s stall you walk into. However, there’s nothing like a morning snuggle with a horse to really start out your day full of love and peacefulness. It may be better than a morning cup of coffee, but I’m certainly not brave enough to test that theory.
So get out there and clean some stalls! Have any stall cleaning stories? Let us know in the comments down below!
k. robertson on November 19 2015 at 02:13PM
This kind of exercise is actually good for you in improving bone density. The lifting, even small fork or shovels full, is a stressor for you body. As women, it is better to do many small loads than try to move everything in only a couple shovels full that weigh so much more. Repetition is what strengthens, not big heavy loads. The bones need stress, like daily walking, lifting loaded tools, things that happen naturally during stall cleaning. Think of stall cleaning as a bonus, you get stall cleaned which you have to do anyway. Side benefit of impact exercise making bones dense for no extra time or work! Do get tools that are easy to use, have good leverage thru the handle so they are more ergonomic and energy efficient in moving loads. I have a collection of tools that were “OK” but got set aside when I found another tool that seemed to be easier to use, work better for me in their design.
sandy on September 17 2015 at 10:47PM
I enjoy the time in the barn with a shovel and rake. nothing smells quite as good as fresh clean straw- well almost- nothing smells as wonderful as that spot under my horses’ mane.
Pat Sherrer on September 17 2015 at 04:41AM
My doctor agrees… With 2 torn rotaterculf, if I didn’t have the horses and my daily chores, I would have no straight in my arms. I can pick up 50 lbs from ground level, but I can’t lift over my head.
I enjoy the quiet time and you do learn the habits of your horse.. You notice a lot of things.. Sometimes you notice things you should notify your vet on before you have a real problem.
firstname.lastname@example.org on September 16 2015 at 08:07PM
Cleaning stalls is nobel and peaceful work if you really love a horse.