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Using a "Blower" To Clean Your Barn Aisle?

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  • Using a "Blower" To Clean Your Barn Aisle?

    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?

  • #2
    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.

    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.
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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by chai View Post
        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.

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              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.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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              • #8
                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.
                bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
                free bar.ka and tidy rabbit

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    Some barns I was in had aisle sweepers, that you then emptied the large canvas bag outside.

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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!
                        They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                          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.

                          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.
                          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.
                          MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
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                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Ditto

                              Originally posted by saddleup View Post
                              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.
                              Last edited by Zu Zu; Oct. 25, 2009, 10:45 AM. Reason: forgot color !
                              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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                              • #16
                                we use an electric one.

                                horses are out when blower is used so by the time they come back in the dust has long settled.
                                http://www.eponashoe.com/
                                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

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                                • #17
                                  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.

                                  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.
                                  Sue

                                  I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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                                  • #18
                                    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.

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                                    • #19
                                      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.
                                      "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

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                                      • #20
                                        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.
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