Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

I am a big believer in keeping things around the barn uber clean.  Like, OCD clean.  Or CDO, as my friend Kappy says.  I have had many eyes rolled at me for sniping about making something more perfect, especially as many times it makes no sense why I want something put away or cleaned up the way I do.  I have a motto: Everything has a home.  Everything.

In the barns I consider it a safety concern, sometimes small though it may be.  There are the simple rules: needles in a sharps container, easy.  More difficult to understand are things like why I want the aisles as cleaned up as possible of hay, shavings, etc.: it's a lot easier to see the nail that fell on the ground or thumbtack that came out of the wall when it's not covered by hay droppings.  The broom that is left leaning against the wall next to the crossties isn't a problem until someone bumps into it and it falls over, startling the horse enough to break out of the ties and hurt someone in the process.  In my two horse side by side trailer even my most-trained Quincy doesn't go in until the chest bar is up; I've had horses try to fit through the escape door.  Maybe I'm overthinking, maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm ok with that so long as it keeps my students, employees, and horses safer.  Practice safety constantly and you're much likely to be safer.  If you keep your barn in the same clean order every day then you will notice that one day that a door is unlatched, or a wire is hanging from the fan, or a bucket is ripped enough to cut through skin.

I also believe in cleanliness as it results in less time working, and time is money.  It takes the same amount of time to put a manure scoop back in the wash stall bucket as at the end of the hall, but since the wash stall is it's home, the next person won't spend ten minutes looking for it.  My farm is large, with items spread over four barns.  I have spent hours walking from barn to barn looking for a manure fork, or broom, or lunge line, or clippers.  My time is limited, and it's incredibly frustrating when I am spending what little time I have looking for an item that has an established home place.  I'd like to think my system of organization carries over to my life and those of my students.  To my parents, please know that this is why we spend ten minutes of your child's lesson putting things away in the right place and the right way.  In a stables this large efficiency is key, and keeping things uniform, clean, and customary helps encourage efficiency of time and effort, which always makes for a more pleasant barn experience.