spiders and "spring" cleaning

The past week or so, I’ve been bitten by the cleaning and organization bug.  This bug usually hits about twice a year, and it makes me go into a cleaning and organizing frenzy.  Most of the year, I’m a semi-organized person.  I have a method to my madness, and can always find what I need, even though it may not look the neatest or cleanest.  (Except for my closet.  That’s my designated black hole that gets a thorough gutting out about once a year, when I get sick of the mess and fear I’m risking my life just by trying to enter it.)

This time, the bug was directed at two locations: the corner of the garage that serves as a “tack room” of sorts, and my corner of the tack room down at the barn.  For years, I used my horse trailer as a rolling storage closet.  It was easier, kept everything close at hand, and I usually worked out of the trailer more than I did the barn.  With the departure of the trailer this spring, I had to pull everything out and find a home for it.  Needless to say, there was a complete lack of enthusiasm for this task, so everything got shoved willy-nilly wherever it fit.

Last weekend, I tackled the garage.  Pulled everything out, sorted it into piles, rewrapped leg wraps (how many sets of leg wraps does one person need???), threw tons of stuff out (Anyone wanna know what 4+ year-old  EasyFoam looks like?  Not pretty…and I had four or five packs of the stuff floating around.  Don’t miss those messy days.), and rediscovered stuff I thought had vanished into the ether, including a pair of Equipedic splint boots, which Mimi and I are in the process of thoroughly testing.  But I digress.  I’ll talk about the splint boots later.

It was an all-day project (18 years of being in horses means I have a ton of stuff), but at the end of the day, I had an organized garage, with stuff stored in crates and stacked neatly on shelves.

Yesterday, I tackled the barn tack room.  Again, stuff had gotten shoved haphazardly into the corner and dutifully ignored for the past four months.  And something I forgot to mention: The tack room is the preferred location for overly-enthusiastic, fast-reproducing black widows (and other toxic AZ spiders of note).  For those of the spider-leery inclination, I very intentionally did not take pictures.  Six years of being at this barn has me mostly immune to the sight of the black widows anymore.

Still…yesterday was an exercise in caution, gingerly picking buckets up, using a long sweat scraper to get rid of the worst of the webs, and stomping on spiders as they scuttled back to sanctuary.  They really like to lurk under the edges of buckets and containers, which was the impetus for this cleaning binge…I had chased a few spiders (black widows and non-toxic) out of the crevices of my HoofJack and from the recesses of the box where I store my trimming equipment.  Sooner or later, one was going to discover the inside of my rasping gloves…

So the goal was to make enough room inside the cabinet (complete with bug-deterring closing doors) to store my trimming stuff.  And get rid of a few dozen bottles of old meds, shampoos, and the like.  I did it.  Everything I have down at the barn now fits inside a four-shelf cabinet and my tack trunk.  And I don’t have to pick sticky-clingy spider webs off my stuff anymore.

And that was on the heels of managing a whole hour and half of very active riding yesterday.  45 minutes of intense arena work, half of which I made myself do without stirrups (my thighs and I are not on speaking terms today), then another 45 minutes of meandering out around the neighborhood.  Well…as much as Mimi ever meanders.  She had to be peddled out to start, but once we got halfway around, she was much more willing to move out.  The faster we go, the happier she is…everything is going to eat her when we’re quietly walking along, but once we’re trotting, we rule the world.  *eye roll*  I love that goofy pony.

And on a totally different note…it’s Man Against Horse weekend, and for the first time in six years, I’m not up there.  Definitely bummed about missing it…I love being up there, even if I’m not riding, but my vehicle had the final say in matters, what with developing a slow but persistent oil-and-other-fluids leak. 195,000 miles…I guess I can cut her a break.  But a road trip didn’t seem like the best of ideas, either.

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