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View Full Version : Using a "Blower" To Clean Your Barn Aisle?



monalisa
Oct. 25, 2009, 09:50 AM
Does anyone use a small blower to "blow" their barn aisle in lieu of sweeping? I have a bank barn with six stalls (not a huge barn but spacious) and was wondering if this would work or if it would just blow all the dust around and accomplish nothing.

If this works, what size of blower do you use?

Other ideas or is just old fashioned sweeping the way to go?

deltawave
Oct. 25, 2009, 09:56 AM
Yup. Toro electric leaf blower, a cheap one. I do it when the horses are out (which is 99.9% of the time) and it makes quick work of a dull job. You do wind up with bits of stuff flying all over, but there's a trick to doing it efficiently without making a gigantic mess, you'll figure it out in about 3 tries. :lol:

I have a broom, too, and use it if there are just one or two quick spots to sweep up. But although barn-aisle cleaning is one of my least favorite jobs, there's NOTHING to make a barn look nice than a clean aisle. :yes:

chai
Oct. 25, 2009, 09:58 AM
I have boarded in barns where a blower was used in the aisles. I know it's easier for the staff but I would not board in another barn where this method is used. It's not a problem for the horses at the end of the aisle where the blower starts, but the horses at the other end wind up with all the dust from the aisle churning into the air, even if it's only fine particles.

dalpal
Oct. 25, 2009, 10:01 AM
I have boarded in barns where a blower was used in the aisles. I know it's easier for the staff but I would not board in another barn where this method is used. It's not a problem for the horses at the end of the aisle where the blower starts, but the horses at the other end wind up with all the dust from the aisle churning into the air, even if it's only fine particles.

Agree. I just came from a barn who used blowers and lawn mowers to clean the aisle ways....it stirred up so much dust, not to mention fumes...not to mention the noise. My horses were always in (on night turnout) when they came through to clean the aisles...drove me and the horses absolutely insane...one of those "grit your teeth" for 10 minutes until it was over.

ddb
Oct. 25, 2009, 10:04 AM
yes - I have a blower for my small 3 stall barn. I worked at a large barn and they blew twice a day. I only blow when needed - about 3 times a week, and I blow everything... aisles, stall wall, grills. door tracks. You'd be amazed at how much dust gets into those places. I never blow when horses are in the barn and only with the breeze to my back. Kicks up a mess, but done fast and sweeping makes a lot of dust fly too only your in it longer.

For size blower - I have a small electric bought at Home Depot. Really it's not size you want (can be heavey) - you want durability for the job at hand. If your small and private (only you using it) cheap is fine because you'll take care of it and it should last. Mine is working fine 1 year into it's job.

Chall
Oct. 25, 2009, 10:07 AM
The lesson barn I was at did this, while horses were in their stalls. As it was winter the doors were shut, so the gas exhaust hung in the air. It bothered my lungs and I did not think it was a smart idea for the animals. Personally I'd have lived with the mess and kept the air quality.

Guilherme
Oct. 25, 2009, 10:20 AM
Our barn uses and electric blower so no fumes issue. It does a good job of cleaning. It's done with the doors open (all of them) so air exchange is pretty quick. It's also mostly done when most of the horses are turned out.

Sweeping, also, raises quite a bit of dust if it's done "vigorously." I don't see the blower being a really big deal under most circumstances.

G.

Rubyfree
Oct. 25, 2009, 10:20 AM
I LOVE using a blower to clean the aisles, and have brought that method with me to several barns. However, I always use/invest in a small electric one, and I'd NEVER do it while horses are in. That just doesn't make sense to me. If they have to stay in, just sweep.
It makes the job a heck of a lot more fun.

WendellsGirl
Oct. 25, 2009, 10:22 AM
A barn I taught at in college insisted we use a blower in the aisle. I hated it. It was so loud! I would rather broom the whole thing than use that thing.

Bluey
Oct. 25, 2009, 10:32 AM
Some barns I was in had aisle sweepers, that you then emptied the large canvas bag outside.

Pookah
Oct. 25, 2009, 10:45 AM
I like them if they are used when the horses are out. They are great for blowing dust off of stall bars, ledges, etc. Do plan to scrub water buckets after as they will raise a lot of dust. I would, however, suggest at least occasionally sweeping first. If you blow out the dust continuously, you will end up with all of the dust at the edge of the barn, and it turns into a muddy mess. We ended up having to dig out the "apron" of our barn years ago, and put screenings in, because it had gotten so much dirt built up from blowing the aisle.

LaBonnieBon
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:01 AM
I use a blower for my barn aisle. I will even do it when the horses are in without any problems.

The key to it is to lightly mist the floor first with the hose. That way the dust stays down but you get the aisle just as clean!

Huntertwo
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:01 AM
Yup. Toro electric leaf blower, a cheap one. I do it when the horses are out (which is 99.9% of the time) and it makes quick work of a dull job. You do wind up with bits of stuff flying all over, but there's a trick to doing it efficiently without making a gigantic mess, you'll figure it out in about 3 tries. :lol:

I have a broom, too, and use it if there are just one or two quick spots to sweep up. But although barn-aisle cleaning is one of my least favorite jobs, there's NOTHING to make a barn look nice than a clean aisle. :yes:

PLEASE tell me the trick...lol

I work at a barn that is floored completely in rubber pavers. Great for the horses, but a #itch to sweep!!

I love my electric blower, but I have to go over it several times.

The horses got used to it the first day. I used it on a lower and quieter setting for a bit before turning it up. Beats sweeping - hands down.!
And the floor is spotless. :yes:

saddleup
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:08 AM
I use a leaf blower in my six stall barn. I have doors on each end of the aisle, and it's done in a minute or two. I don't see dust as a problem, but then, my horses are outside when I do it 99% of the time, so they're not an issue.

Makes everything look great.

Zu Zu
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:43 AM
I use a leaf blower in my six stall barn. I have doors on each end of the aisle, and it's done in a minute or two. I don't see dust as a problem, but then, my horses are outside when I do it 99% of the time, so they're not an issue.

Makes everything look great.
Ditto what saddle up said - except for ten stall barn.

marta
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:59 AM
horses are out when blower is used so by the time they come back in the dust has long settled.

msj
Oct. 25, 2009, 12:04 PM
Having a horse that has ROA (heaves), a blower is the very last thing I'd use EVEN when the horse(s) are outside. My hay storage is on the same level as the stalls which means I'd be blowing loose bits of debris into my hay. If I tried blowing the other direction (North), it would all blow back at me and defeat the purpose. :confused:

I've got a 100' barn aisle, of which ~ 55' is stalls and feed and tack room and the remainder 45' is storage. The first 55' is covered in rubber mats and not hard at all to sweep at least once/day and often twice/day. The remainder is stone dust over clay and get raked a couple of times/wk.

Now admittedly I'm retired and have the time to leisurely sweep the aisle, but the first 14 yrs I was here, I worked a full time job that took me away probably 55-60 hr/week and I still managed to have time to sweep.

Now, those with rubber pavers, as lovely as they look, I knew from hearing 2 other people that put them in their aisles, what a PITA they were to sweep. When it came time to cover the clay floor, it was a very easy decision to use rubber mats rather than the pavers. :)

SpringOakFarm
Oct. 25, 2009, 12:27 PM
Yes, that's exactly what I use - 6 Stall barn with big doors at both ends.

We ONLY use it when the horses are turned out. I would never do it with the horses in the barn - ever.

That said, we also blow the aisle at least every other day and therefore I don't get big clouds of dust.

Also, we change their water every day (we have automatic waterers, so this is veyr simple), as well as, wipe out their feeders daily so that any dust settling there is also removed.

It is very convenient, much easier on the back, faster, and does a better job than the broom.

CatOnLap
Oct. 25, 2009, 12:48 PM
we bought one and used it for a couple of years but have gone back to sweeping, which raises less dust.

Dust got everywhere with the blower-even with the doors closed, the tack room and everything in it would need to be dusted off weekly. You had to be careful to blow before you emptied the water buckets and refilled them, because otherwise the horses wouldn't drink the dustblown dirty water. And it meant that the buckets needed scrubbing everyday due to settling of the dust debris even if you waited til after blowing to change the water- the airborn dust settled into the clean water. I am also coughing and sneezing a lot less when sweeping rather than blowing.
We only ever used it with the horses outside due to respiratory concerns. Yes, its lots faster, but our barn floors are smooth and sweep easily, so its not that much faster in our situation and the constant dusting off the tack in the tack room, scrubbing the buckets and cleaning of the windows took a lot more time with blowing daily, than with sweeping.

deltawave
Oct. 25, 2009, 01:01 PM
PLEASE tell me the trick...lol


I dunno, it's sort of just a way of doing it. :) I keep the thing on its lowest setting, keep it low and sort of parallel to the ground, work with the breeze at my back (there is ALWAYS a breeze here) and if there's a lot of stuff piled up in the corners I kick that out into the center first rather than aiming a blast into the corners to clean them.

sid
Oct. 25, 2009, 01:02 PM
I use one too. Morton barn, cement aisle with two large end doors...100'+ feet long.

The trick is to not wait until the floor is bad to do it, then you're really kicking up dust. Or if you have to wait for some reason, keep the horses out.

I have horses that were born here, now many 18-20 yrs. old and never a respiratory problem. I owned a mare that I bought with mild heaves so I've always been very attuned to that issue. Of course, I never had her in when I would blow the aisles, even if it didn't kick dust around..:no:

If you have small aisle doors and little ventilation, I wouldn't recommend using one though.

Ghazzu
Oct. 25, 2009, 01:11 PM
I have boarded in barns where a blower was used in the aisles. I know it's easier for the staff but I would not board in another barn where this method is used.


Nor would I.

Mary in Area 1
Oct. 25, 2009, 02:30 PM
We have a big, battery-powered Parker vacuum. Does a great job, no dust (until you empty it), fast and easy. I don't know why more barns don't have them. We got ours off Ebay and it wasn't that expensive.

My horses aren't afraid of it either. It isn't that noisy or scary.

FindersKeepers
Oct. 25, 2009, 02:41 PM
The barn that I ride out of uses a blower to do the aisleways. To help keep the dust down, they take a watering can and wet the aisleway before they go. It really does reduce the dust a great deal.

Though I certainly understand that its easier, and they always do it when horses are out, I am really glad my heavy mare no longer lives there...

MistyBlue
Oct. 25, 2009, 02:46 PM
Gets the aisle really clean because the dust settles everywhere else.

I use a shop vac or broom after dampening the aisle. Or just spray the aisle with a hose...but my aisle is made for drainage so that might not be a common option.

Leafblowers are great for repelling birds though. Or the shop vac on blow. ;)

Not sure how to get a paver aisle clean without a blower though...everything settles into the grooves and spaces. But I have to admit they do look beautiful.

WorthTheWait95
Oct. 25, 2009, 02:47 PM
I usually sweep when I do the aisle but the BO's groom uses an electric blower (I like sweeping though...prob b/c I don't have to do it everyday). It works great but he does only do it when the horses are out and we always water the aisle with a watering can full of water and a glug of pine sol before hand. I will say that it has really made our fans last a long time b/c it's so simple to just blow the dust off them and prevent them from burning out. We've had the same fans for two summers now and all of them were still running great when we took them down this year. We usually replace 50% of them every year.

Sancudo
Oct. 25, 2009, 02:52 PM
I use an electric blower. We have rubber mats, so sweeping it not really feasible.

I dunno, but it doesn't seem to kick up dust to me. We have shavings and just a few hay pieces that would be dropped, and none of that kicks up clouds of dust. It's not like I'm blowing a dirt floor. And the shavings roll on the ground, not fly in the air. I blow half the barn one way and half the other.

pippa553
Oct. 25, 2009, 03:04 PM
I dunno, but it doesn't seem to kick up dust to me. We have shavings and just a few hay pieces that would be dropped, and none of that kicks up clouds of dust. It's not like I'm blowing a dirt floor. And the shavings roll on the ground, not fly in the air. I blow half the barn one way and half the other.

Same thing here. :yes:

ReSomething
Oct. 25, 2009, 04:12 PM
The barn that I used to be at blew the aisles and it was nasty. The aisle floor would be clean and every other surface coated with dust and hay particles. Including the horses that were inside when they did it.

They got a new guy in and he sprinkled and quick broomed - made dirt crumbs, then blew those and it was far nicer.

I think there are a lot of habits/floor plans that reduce the amount of dirt on the floor in the first place. A big lesson program with lots of horses coming inside and crosstieing in the aisle is going to be full of hoofpickings and pasture mud by the end of the day. A private barn with stalled horses or a separate grooming area, not so much. Blowing couldn't help but make a huge dust cloud in the first place, whereas in the second dust mightn't be an issue at all.

LauraKY
Oct. 25, 2009, 04:27 PM
Only use a blower for spring cleaning when the horses will be out for at least 12 hours. Then we blow and vacuum everything out. That way, not a lot of hay in the loft, etc. I would never use a blower with horses in their stalls. Even if they don't have a preexisting respiratory problem, you may cause one!

msj
Oct. 25, 2009, 04:28 PM
Leafblowers are great for repelling birds though. Or the shop vac on blow. ;)



Hm, how about the shop vac on suck for birds in the indoor? :D Now, where is that emoticon with the evil look and horns? :D :D :D

I guess though I'd need a REALLY LONG HOSE!!!! :D :D

MistyBlue
Oct. 25, 2009, 05:03 PM
LOL...that might work too msj! But I wouldn't want to clean the vac filter after that! :winkgrin: :lol: :winkgrin:

Ghazzu
Oct. 25, 2009, 05:10 PM
Hm, how about the shop vac on suck for birds in the indoor? :D Now, where is that emoticon with the evil look and horns? :D :D :D

I guess though I'd need a REALLY LONG HOSE!!!! :D :D

Maybe you could adapt one of those prairie dog vacuums?

SarEQ
Oct. 25, 2009, 05:39 PM
I dunno, it's sort of just a way of doing it. :) I keep the thing on its lowest setting, keep it low and sort of parallel to the ground, work with the breeze at my back (there is ALWAYS a breeze here) and if there's a lot of stuff piled up in the corners I kick that out into the center first rather than aiming a blast into the corners to clean them.

I loved the electric cheap-o blower at the last barn I worked at. 12-stall, rubber mat... and I never noticed a lot of dust in the air. I would keep both ends open and blow with the wind... but it never seemed that dusty! I would go down and blow out/off everything (tack trunks, fans, aisle, corners, blankets, storage, etc) and would even blow out the tack room and bathroom. I did it 2-3 times a day. The place looked great and no one complained. I think the key is to keep it on low and keep the blower parallel to the ground... so that you aren't 'blasting' any of the dust. I'd try to do it when there were no horses, but I did do it a few times with horses and they never had any issues!

The horse with the permanent trach, of course, was always out when the blower was on. He did get sick once, when someone else was working. They had the blower on high and blew the sawdust, hay, etc into the horse's stalls... and poor trach boy was in. I was pretty angry as there were signs TAPED to the blower, over the power switch, to never run it when that horse was in. But I blamed that on an idiot problem, not a blower problem.

Huntertwo
Oct. 25, 2009, 05:58 PM
I use an electric blower. We have rubber mats, so sweeping it not really feasible.

I dunno, but it doesn't seem to kick up dust to me. We have shavings and just a few hay pieces that would be dropped, and none of that kicks up clouds of dust. It's not like I'm blowing a dirt floor. And the shavings roll on the ground, not fly in the air. I blow half the barn one way and half the other.

Same here too...The barn is quite immaculate (so there is no accumulation of dust and dirt), when I'm done cleaning stalls I use the blower to blow out the pieces of shavings and hay out the back door, then rake it up.

I top off the water before I leave and there is nothing that is blown in the water nor feed buckets.

Huntertwo
Oct. 25, 2009, 06:02 PM
Not sure how to get a paver aisle clean without a blower though...everything settles into the grooves and spaces. But I have to admit they do look beautiful.

Trust me, they are a pain in the arse to sweep! You can sweep and sweep and sweep, turn around the shavings and hay are still sitting there...:confused::mad: It's like the darn things are possessed or something..

Thank goodness for the leaf blower..:yes:

sid
Oct. 25, 2009, 06:17 PM
That's what I didn't like about pavers, though lovely, when I was deciding about my barn aisle. Not just the crud that can accumulate in the crevices, but the bacteria and moisture hiding in there...with a breeding barn that is the kind of environment that are not the best for neonates because they cannot be seen or successfully disinfected.

There is a reason that most horse hospitals have cement aisles and painted cinderblock walls...;).

Again, the trick is sweeping/blowing as matter builds up during the busy day, before the debris builds up that results in a dust storm that can be so deliterious.

Typically, we start at the top, about 12' up from above the stall bars down, then last the aisles. EVERY NIGHT. There is never that much dust because we sweep up when a horse or anything else leaves debris in the aisles througout the day.

I think it depends upon how well the barn is kept during the day to determine the use of a blower. It CAN make a fast job of sweeping if you only sweep up at the end of the day. Otherwise, I think it would be a health hazard for sure.

I used to flip out at employees who would leave the aisles trashed all day when I was not here to watch, then think they could just blow it all out at the end of the day and I wouldn't know. Really ticked me off.

LMH
Oct. 25, 2009, 06:24 PM
Yup. Toro electric leaf blower, a cheap one. I do it when the horses are out (which is 99.9% of the time) and it makes quick work of a dull job. You do wind up with bits of stuff flying all over, but there's a trick to doing it efficiently without making a gigantic mess, you'll figure it out in about 3 tries. :lol:

I have a broom, too, and use it if there are just one or two quick spots to sweep up. But although barn-aisle cleaning is one of my least favorite jobs, there's NOTHING to make a barn look nice than a clean aisle. :yes:

I have that blower! You can skiing off the back of that thing it is SO powerful!:lol:

But it BLOWS. NOTHING can survive the Toro electric.

msj
Oct. 25, 2009, 06:52 PM
Maybe you could adapt one of those prairie dog vacuums?

:lol: I like that idea. :D

coloredhorse
Oct. 25, 2009, 07:24 PM
Just an FYI to those who prefer a broom to a blower: OSHA did a study a few years ago to determine particulate exposure of workers in certain industries/environments. Surprisingly, the difference between dust/particulate matter being stirred up by sweeping and by using a leaf blower or similar contraption was so minimal as to be insignificant (we're talking just 1-3 parts per million difference, depending on the particular industry/environment). The point being that sweeping may seem less "dusty," but when scientifically measured ... you and your horses are exposed to virtually the same amount of particulate debris.

The best way to minimize dust exposure, if you have a particular case of heaves or human allergies/asthma that warrants special care, for instance, is to vacuum.

As sid noted, whether sweeping, blowing or performing the naked barn-cleaning whirlwind dance, the main factor in how much particulate matter gets airborne is how long the mess sits before being cleaned up.

Personally, I alternate between a ShopVac for big cleans (including cobwebs and other stuff up high) and a blower for the quick routine cleans that happen at least once a day, and as often as 4 times in a day if there is a lot of activity in the barn creating a mess. When "life happens" and I allow more mess to accumulate, I just expect it will take longer and be messier to clean up.

This system worked equally well at the two huge boarding/training/breeding operations where I worked, the mid-sized boarding business that I ran, and my own personal farm that I don't share with anyone.

lauriep
Oct. 25, 2009, 07:28 PM
If you wet the barn aisle down lightly with hose or watering can, you virtually eliminate the dust problem and only the big stuff is carried down the aisle.

For those with the rubber pavers, blowing is about your only option. I love a swept aisle, but ours is very long and wide, so we blow, after wetting. Works great.

LauraKY
Oct. 25, 2009, 07:35 PM
Yup, we sweep after wetting the aisle.

EventerAJ
Oct. 25, 2009, 09:59 PM
Agree with Deltawave. Proper blowing "technique" really makes a difference in reducing the dust.

Keep the blower LOW and parallel to the ground-- pointing it down simply shoots particles back up into the air. Raise it periodically (keeping it level) to knock dust back down, and work side to side briskly to keep the mess (esp. mud clumps) moving forward with momentum. Quickly and lightly gloss over horizontal surfaces as you go (tack trunks, stall edges, fans, etc).

I used an electric blower on a relatively short, wide aisle (6 stalls long) for many years and the dust was minimal. Currently using a high-powered gas blower, but with straw stalls there is MUCH less dust. With hurricane-force wind the straw and mud bits are gone in a hurry. :winkgrin:

Definitely prefer to blow when the horses are outside, but with if you are careful it really isn't too bad. Used to have one horse who LOVED the blower-- he'd hang his head out over the door begging you to blow his face head-on...ears pricked, forelock waving, lips flapping, tongue wagging, it was the highlight of his day. :winkgrin:

Sancudo
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:19 PM
Definitely prefer to blow when the horses are outside, but with if you are careful it really isn't too bad. Used to have one horse who LOVED the blower-- he'd hang his head out over the door begging you to blow his face head-on...ears pricked, forelock waving, lips flapping, tongue wagging, it was the highlight of his day. :winkgrin:

My horses don't mind, but my dog LOVES it. She jumps in front and barks at it, trying to chase the wind, I guess, lol.

Horseymama
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:57 PM
Our aisle is covered in rubber mats. We blow it, but not when the horses are in the barn or even anywhere close. We blow it out the door and then to the left into the cow pasture next to the barn. Works great for us!

bludejavu
Oct. 26, 2009, 12:13 AM
I've been using an electric blower in our 12 stall barn for about 14 years now; some horses are in and some out as it varies due to the daily turnout schedule. None of our horses have ever been affected by it, even the oldest guy who was 33 when he passed away last year from Cushings complications. None of the horses are scared of it because they are so accustomed to it. I do as Deltawave does and keep it on the low setting, low to floor and I do it frequently - nearly every day to keep dust from building up. I do occasionally blow the block walls but will only do that if no horses are on a particular side to keep dust from blowing on them.

I had a John Deere blower with a scooped nozzle that was the best I've had but it wore out. Now I'm using the good ol' Toro electric blower - still going strong at 6 years old now :D.

For the poster who had trouble with it blowing under doors - put a rubber seal on the bottom of your doors to keep out the dust. You can buy sealing material at Lowes or Home Depot. It wears off after a few years but isn't very expensive so you just need to plan to replace it here and there.

RiverBendPol
Oct. 26, 2009, 07:43 AM
My daughter loves the blower. She uses it a couple of times a week, not only for the floor but all the ledges and cobwebs too. The place looks wonderful when she's done. Yes, it is loud and creates a whirlwind but it really makes a difference. She would NEVER run the thing when the horses are in the barn-that's just crazy. She also flips all the buckets over so they aren't full of dust when it is time to water and feed. She has a small electric blower......sorry, can't remember the brand.

redBerry
Oct. 26, 2009, 10:42 AM
Reduce air pollution, fight obesity, use a broom!

Using a blower uses fuel - either fuel directly for the blower, or fuel to create the electricity. Using a broom uses muscles, burning calories, and keeping someone fit. Are we really in so much of a hurry that we need the speed of the blower?

deltawave
Oct. 26, 2009, 10:44 AM
Are we really in so much of a hurry that we need the speed of the blower?

Sometimes, yes. :) I have a broom and use it often, but the blower is a tool like any other--used when it's the right tool for the job. And my BMI is perfect, thanks. :winkgrin:

msj
Oct. 26, 2009, 10:56 AM
Reduce air pollution, fight obesity, use a broom!

Using a blower uses fuel - either fuel directly for the blower, or fuel to create the electricity. Using a broom uses muscles, burning calories, and keeping someone fit. Are we really in so much of a hurry that we need the speed of the blower?

Wow, good, no -GREAT reasoning! :yes:


:D :D :D :D

Of course that's easy for me to agree as I'm retired but truer words were never written. :yes:

jn4jenny
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:05 AM
Wow, good, no -GREAT reasoning! :yes:


:D :D :D :D

Of course that's easy for me to agree as I'm retired but truer words were never written. :yes:

...because someone who just mucked multiple stalls, lugged around hay bales, emptied water buckets, pushed wheelbarrows, and who knows what other kinds of physical work needs to be Soapboxed about their physical health.

bludejavu
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:11 AM
Reduce air pollution, fight obesity, use a broom!

Using a blower uses fuel - either fuel directly for the blower, or fuel to create the electricity. Using a broom uses muscles, burning calories, and keeping someone fit. Are we really in so much of a hurry that we need the speed of the blower?

I am at the moment chief stall mucker, groom, exerciser and doer of all things for 18 horses. Our hallway is a concrete 28' wide by 70' long hallway and I think the blower is just about my best friend for keeping a nice looking barn at the moment. However...if you would like to help by utilizing a broom - come on over :D.

msj
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:55 AM
...because someone who just mucked multiple stalls, lugged around hay bales, emptied water buckets, pushed wheelbarrows, and who knows what other kinds of physical work needs to be Soapboxed about their physical health.

Yep, and I know a gal in her 30's that has ~22 horses in her care and she is so incredibly overweight by probably 70-100 lbs easily. So yes, in spite of all the 'physical work', some people do need every calorie-burning exercise possible. :confused: Course a better diet might help some too.

I rather imagine that those people that are 'soapboxing' also muck multiple stalls, lug around hay bales, empty water buckets, push wheelbarrows, and all kinds of other physical work. I know I sure do. :)

CatOnLap
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:56 AM
our aisleway is a modest 50 feet x 12 feet wide. If I had to fill a watering can and sprinkle the whole thing before blowing, it would take as long to blow as to sweep. Now that we have abandoned the blower to its original use- blowing leaves outside, I sweep while my water buckets are filling, so in fact it takes me LESS time to sweep than it did to do the blower, which required blowing first, then filling buckets last, as an extra step.

Fuel consumption is not an issue- we use an electric blower and our electricity all comes from waterfalls, not carbon based fuel.

But my hearing is an issue. I used ear mufflers yesterday as I spent 3 hours blowing the lawns clear of leaves and my ears still rang for a few hours. Plus, even though I changed hands frequently, moving the blower for 3 hours did tire me out, so I am not so sure that blowing uses that much less energy than sweeping.

coloredhorse
Oct. 26, 2009, 01:20 PM
Reduce air pollution, fight obesity, use a broom!

Using a blower uses fuel - either fuel directly for the blower, or fuel to create the electricity. Using a broom uses muscles, burning calories, and keeping someone fit. Are we really in so much of a hurry that we need the speed of the blower?

Waaalll ... MY blower is a rechargable that plugs into one of my solar clusters. Here in sunny SC, I've found that ample use of solar power is a powerful cost-saving strategy! So it's not eating any other commercial energy beyond that required to manufacture it.

And yes ... I AM often in that much of a hurry, with three businesses to run and family obligations, and I'm sure I'm not alone!

klr
Oct. 26, 2009, 01:37 PM
Didnt read this thread but I believe this is how a ferriers nail got into mares stall last year--she had it embedded in her frog--was on three legs when I got there-- one of the scariest moments of my entire life.

The shoer had been working in the aisle and barn guys regularly blow out after cleaning stalls.
klr

jazzrider
Oct. 26, 2009, 01:43 PM
I have a 14 x 60 concrete aisle in my six stall barn, and I consider my leafblower one of my most important tools (second to the tractor :)). It the last thing I do after all my chores (mucking, buckets, troughs, haying, etc.) each day.

99% of the time all the horses are out. It seems common sense to me to do it when the horses are out. I'm so surprised to hear that some boarding barns do it when they are in. :confused:

If you blow the aisle every day, it's much less dusty. I notice a big difference if I skip a day. And you need to blow in such a way that you keep the dust and debris low to the ground. I use an electric one, plugged in at the wash bay which is in the center of the barn. When we first built the barn I used a gas powered one -- but got mucker's elbow and had to switch.

jn4jenny
Oct. 26, 2009, 02:44 PM
Yep, and I know a gal in her 30's that has ~22 horses in her care and she is so incredibly overweight by probably 70-100 lbs easily. So yes, in spite of all the 'physical work', some people do need every calorie-burning exercise possible. :confused: Course a better diet might help some too.

And are you implying that sweeping the aisle, which is an extremely low-impact activity that is highly unlikely to raise her heart rate, is going to help people lose weight?

"Fat but fit" is almost always caused by diet problems (as you acknowledge) and a lack of cardiovascular exercise. Tell her to take those 30 minutes that she spends sweeping the aisle, cut it down to an 8-minute job with the blower, and spend the next 22 minutes jazzercising. She'd lose a helluva lot more weight than she would from sweeping.

msj
Oct. 26, 2009, 03:28 PM
And are you implying that sweeping the aisle, which is an extremely low-impact activity that is highly unlikely to raise her heart rate, is going to help people lose weight?

"Fat but fit" is almost always caused by diet problems (as you acknowledge) and a lack of cardiovascular exercise. Tell her to take those 30 minutes that she spends sweeping the aisle, cut it down to an 8-minute job with the blower, and spend the next 22 minutes jazzercising. She'd lose a helluva lot more weight than she would from sweeping.

Uh, the gal is in her 30's - not 30 minutes sweeping.... Go back and read thoroughly. :confused:

I believe she already does a fair amount of cardio(has a treadmill anyway) and she used to go to the gym 3 times/wk. Primarily it's her diet that is her problem and she knows it and refuses to do anything about it unfortunately. And, to be honest, the more you bug someone about either their weight, smoking, drinking etc. the less they are bound to listen. :(

Any amount of exercise will help, even those that are in good shape. But then I would imagine that any fitness instructor would tell you that.

Huntertwo
Oct. 26, 2009, 07:47 PM
Reduce air pollution, fight obesity, use a broom!

Using a blower uses fuel - either fuel directly for the blower, or fuel to create the electricity. Using a broom uses muscles, burning calories, and keeping someone fit. Are we really in so much of a hurry that we need the speed of the blower?

Are you serious??? I sure hope that you don't drive a car, that you live off the land, grow your own food and certainly don't own a horse. Do you realize how much fuel/electricity goes into owning a horse? Do you grow your own hay? Cut and bale it by hand? Do you walk to the barn or ride a bicycle? Oh wait, I'm sure fuel and electricity were used to make your bike and heaven forbid, a trailer truck was used to deliver it to the store you bought it at....

Are we in a hurry? Well yes, when it is my job and I have to be done by a certain time... sheesh..:rolleyes:

sid
Oct. 26, 2009, 08:22 PM
HunterTwo...yes indeedy..:lol:.

I think the bottom line on this thread is that for those who use blowers, the majority use so to cut their time, but are doing so with a deep concern about using them in a very judicious way -- to make darned sure they are not contributing to a possible deleterious respiratory affect of doing so on the horses in their care.

And as Martha Stewart says.."that's a good thing".;)

jn4jenny
Oct. 26, 2009, 08:38 PM
Uh, the gal is in her 30's - not 30 minutes sweeping.... Go back and read thoroughly. :confused:

I do read. I read carefully enough to know that your friend has a 22-stall barn. I happen to know people with barns about that size, and it takes 8 to 10 minutes to blow an aisle in such a barn. It takes about 30 minutes to properly sweep such a barn.


Primarily it's her diet that is her problem and she knows it and refuses to do anything about it unfortunately.

Which makes the suggestion to sweep the aisle "to improve fitness" all the more inane.


Any amount of exercise will help, even those that are in good shape. But then I would imagine that any fitness instructor would tell you that.

Yes, and they'd tell you that higher-intensity and/or more difficult exercise is even better. Spend 30 minutes sweeping the barn or spend 8 minutes blowing the barn aisle and 22 minutes doing higher-intensity exercise...guess which one would burn more calories overall?

Hony
Oct. 26, 2009, 10:41 PM
Labour is the single largest expense when it comes to keeping horses, bigger than hay, grain, or bedding. The blower reduces labour hours significantly and I love it! It was the first thing I bought for our boarding farm. $40, Electric, works like a charm.

Acertainsmile
Oct. 26, 2009, 10:51 PM
We use a blower everyday. The horses are always out and we open the two double doors at each end, and test which way the wind blows. If you do this it will eliminate the dust. Great for blowing out cobwebs too! Water buckets are always filled after the aisle is blown.

rideapaso
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:20 PM
I love my electric leaf blower! Not only do I use it to clean out the barn, but I also use it on my horses. Works great blasting dirt out of winter coats. Just make sure you take the horse outside before blowing dirt off of them. My guys were initially surprised by the blast of air, but were totally unconcerned after a few seconds. (2 Arabs, a QH and a Paso Fino). :yes:

OkLurchers
Oct. 27, 2009, 01:50 AM
I use my blower every day. My husband got me to go over to the dark side--I was initially afraid it'd make more dust, but it's awesome. Takes only a few minutes, & I blow walls & fans too, as well as blankets on racks in the aisle.

redBerry
Oct. 27, 2009, 02:36 PM
Are you serious??? I sure hope that you don't drive a car, that you live off the land, grow your own food and certainly don't own a horse. Do you realize how much fuel/electricity goes into owning a horse? Do you grow your own hay? Cut and bale it by hand? Do you walk to the barn or ride a bicycle? Oh wait, I'm sure fuel and electricity were used to make your bike and heaven forbid, a trailer truck was used to deliver it to the store you bought it at....

Are we in a hurry? Well yes, when it is my job and I have to be done by a certain time... sheesh..:rolleyes:


Yes, I am serious. OP asked for what other people do, including " or is just old fashioned sweeping the way to go? ". I have a barn with just a few more stalls than OP, and I sweep for the reasons I stated.

And yes, I am acutely aware how much fuel goes into owning a horse. Just because I am using some fuel does not mean I shouldn't conserve when I can.

I do walk and bike to the barn, and to many other places, though not as much as I did prior to kids/jobs/other responsibilities. And I worry that my lifestyle, with horses as a hobby, and some years as a 2nd job, is a bit selfish in regards to using the resources of this planet. So I do try to use the low fuel, labor intensive methods when I can, and sweeping, raking, snow shoveling are all done manually. If I thought a blower was essential, I would conserve in some other area.

It was nice to hear everyone's responses to my post, and I was especially interested in the person in SC who charged her blower via a solar cluster. Maybe the best of both worlds!

rmh_rider
Oct. 30, 2009, 01:33 PM
Yup, I use one for my barn. I blow with horses in or out. They don't seem to mind at all. I have a 4 stall barn, 2 stalls with horse stuff in them (hay) and two that have rubber mats, no shavings, and a run for each stall. I blow the concrete aisle, and I also blow the stalls out. The stalls are dusty, some with left over hay. It does get messy, but then I just reblow the aisle. Easy. We have a concreted area where we keep the tractor and lawn mower, and that is also blown out too. Get a light weight one if you get one.

I also pressure wash too. I do this usually in the summer so it dries fast. I do the aisle, and the mats in the stalls. Also the sides of the inside and outside of the barn. I have one horse who LOVES the pressure washer. He stays in the whole time. I do the wood sides of the stalls (inside and out), the rubber mats, the feed bins, water troughs, everything! Overhead too. Nothing escapes the pressure washer. This one horse likes the mist I guess. I do NOT use it on him or any other creature, just the barn. I guess it keeps the flies out, and it is cool feeling with the mist. Crazy horse. He has a choice to stay in or go out. ha ha. Horses adapt to most everything. Amazing all the dirt that comes off stalls. I also pressure wash the trailer, and the mats in it too. We have a fairly cheap pressure washer, and a fairly cheap blower too. The blower is electric, gas on the pressure washer. There is nothing like the joy using the pressure washer when you see ALL that dirt and dust just flowing off the wood work in the barn. Love it. Sure beats using a broom.

I do use a broom for chores. It is good exercise, but the blower does a really good job, and so does the pressure washer. Wow.

I blew the barn out yesterday when it was pouring down rain. Now it is nice and clean!

Unfforgettable
Oct. 31, 2009, 10:29 PM
No blower for me....I use one of these, which works great. Pretty much an upright, industrial vacuum for the barn. No dust, picks up everything, and it is reasonably priced. Gets all the cracks and crevices, and right up to the wall edges.

http://www.amazon.com/Shop-Vac-405-00-10-Industrial-1-25-HP-Outdoor/dp/B00018ALEQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1257038888&sr=8-1

CatOnLap
Nov. 1, 2009, 12:28 PM
I am going out right now to use my blower...













...to blow the leaves! How novel is that? Hahaha

bludejavu
Nov. 1, 2009, 01:34 PM
Haha CatonLap - we : occasionally : actually use it for that as well, but it's only about once or twice a year.

Lord Helpus
Nov. 15, 2009, 01:32 AM
I don't see the problem with dust. I blow the aisle and feed room twice a day. I keep the "nose" of the blower about 12" off the floor and pushing the little bit of shavings and hoof dirt ahead and down. I blow the edge of the aisle and then immediately "sweep" inwards so I do not keep the air going straight by the horses' stalls.

The highest that any dust rises is about 16" high and the air is clear by the time I have turned the blower off.

But, as I said, I keep the aisle very clean by blowing it twice a day. I think that anything that is left for too long so that dirt/dust builds up, can cause a problem.

ponies123
Nov. 15, 2009, 11:12 AM
I also don't see the big debate between blowing versus sweeping. If you prefer to sweep fine, but don't get on a high horse thinking it is such a wonderful physical activity for fitness or claim that you're doing so much more for the environment.

I use a blower (electric) and love it. 9 stall barn plus wash stall and tack room with rubber mats everywhere. We do it daily right after we do stalls (when horses are out) and I don't notice a huge amount of dust. The waterers are at the back corner of the stall away from the aisle and there is not much dust in them at all afterward, but we do clean those daily or every other day especially in the summer. There is a separate hay barn so we are not worried about blowing dust or allergens into the hay, I don't agree with storing hay in the barn anyway, IMO one of the most dangerous things you can do!

And yes I do need those 10-20 minutes that it saves versus sweeping. I take care of the horses, am a nursing student with 18+ credit hours a week, work full time, and take care of the house with the S/O including 2 dogs one of which is a 10 week old puppy. There is NO time left at the end of the day, especially if I want to enjoy the horses by riding.

JackandMo
Nov. 15, 2009, 07:48 PM
Yep! My barn uses one. The ASBs are the only horses that don't freak out when it's used!

starkissed
Nov. 15, 2009, 11:06 PM
The barn where I board does it (one is like a 25 stall barn, and one 8 stall)
I personally don't like it, especially when there are horses in the barn. It just makes so much dust for them to breathe.
But in a huge barn, sweeping is a LOT of work. If you go the blower route, try to do it when the horses are turned out and wear a mask yourself!