BarnManager’s Favorite Summer Barn Activities

Summer is a wonderful time to hang around at the barn. There are also lots of productive and fun jobs you can do with your friends while enjoying the warm weather. Keep reading to learn about BarnManager’s favorite activities to do at the barn during the summer.

Paint Jumps

Summer is a great time to repaint jumps. Start by gathering your standards, poles, and planks together so you can easily make a plan for the colors and patterns you want for everything. Set aside any wooden boxes or jump fill that need touching up as well. This is a great activity to do at the end of the day when everyone is done riding. You can order a pizza and make it an afternoon painting party. Also, remember to check the weather forecast so your freshly painted jumps can dry safely overnight.

Revamp Flower Boxes

Flower boxes often take a beating in the ring. Begin by checking to see if any need repairs. Wash them thoroughly by removing any flowers that can be separated from the boxes. Do your cleaning in the wash stall or outdoors so you can really scrub off dirt and footing from the larger pieces. If the boxes are wooden, it may be a good idea to repaint them.  Consider purchasing some new fake flowers online or at a discount store to replace any that are getting old. It’s also a great time to replace old and worn-out green felt or turf that covers hunter poles or boxes.

Take a Group Trail Ride

Take advantage of the warm weather and plan a trail ride. This a great barn family bonding activity and a nice opportunity for the horses to enjoy time outside of the arena. You can also organize a group lunch or picnic after the trail ride back at the barn.

Plant Flowers Around the Barn

Spruce up the outside of the barn by planting some flowers. You can either purchase pots to put them in or plant them in the ground if you have a nice area in mind. If you really want to go all out, consider setting up a vegetable garden. Of course, make sure to plant a lot of carrots for the horses!

Plan a Photoshoot

Pick a nice summer afternoon to stage a photoshoot with some of your barn friends. Although hiring a professional photographer is an option, you can also take turns going behind the camera yourself. Even if you do not have professional equipment, iPhones can take great photos with proper editing.

Make Horse Popsicles

It’s always nice to have a cool popsicle waiting for you after a ride in the summer heat. This summer, try creating this treat for your horse to enjoy too. Popsicles for horses are easy to make and a great way to help them stay hydrated. Be sure all of the ingredients you use are safe for horses to eat. There are many variations of horse popsicles online with easy recipes to follow. Check out a few horse popsicle recipes HERE.

Summer always goes by too fast so make sure you are taking full advantage of the warm weather and sunshine and enjoy the time with your horse and barn friends.

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10 Tips for Fall Photo Shoots with Your Horse

Fall is a great time of year for photo shoots with your beloved horse. Not only is the weather such a nice temperature in most parts of the country, but the foliage is so beautiful it just demands to be photographed. Follow these tips if you want to schedule a photo shoot this fall!

1. Head to social media to find a great photographer near you.

Photographers like to share their best content on their social accounts, so browse through a few to pick the style you like best, choosing from those who can easily come to you. Asking in Facebook groups is another good strategy; photographers will often comment, and you can quickly check out their work to see what you like best.

2. Look at the weather for the week to minimize your chance of rain.

This can get tricky if you plan too far in advance. The worst thing is to schedule a photo session and have the rain come pouring down at that exact time. It doesn’t need to be bright and sunny, but try to look ahead as best you can to avoid rainstorms when scheduling your session. Most photographers will gladly reschedule in the case of rain.

3. Do your research to find out when the foliage will be at its peak where you live.

Each area starts showing signs of fall at different times. If the reds, oranges, and yellows of the fall season are important to you, look up online when your area’s fall colors will be the brightest and try to schedule in that time frame. If the leaves don’t change color in your area, you have much more flexibility.

4. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty!

Not only will you be subject to the dirt that comes with being around horses, but sometimes photo shoots can be laborious, especially if your horse is a handful. Wear something easily washable, as you may end up with some green slobber or a little sweat on your clothes.

5. Try to stick with solid-colored clothes.

This is important if you’re aiming for a colorful background, but often busy, patterned clothing can overwhelm an image. Pick a hue that complements your horse’s coat, and avoid bright hues, as sometimes these can become oversaturated if you want to enhance the background colors.

6. Groom your horse really well.

This may seem obvious, but arrive early to make sure your horse is as clean as possible. This is especially important for white and grey horses; try to clean them up as if they’re going to a horse show.

7. Aim for late evening for the best lighting.

The sun will be setting earlier in the fall, so pay attention to what time the sun starts to dip behind the trees each evening. You can still take lovely pictures even after the sun has set.

8. Identify the prettiest spots around your farm ahead of time.

The light won’t last long, so you don’t want to waste any time pondering where to head next for more photos. Pay attention to the way the light hits in certain locations on your farm during the later evening hours. Your photographer can also help you determine which spots are best but try to have a few in mind before the session begins.

9. Bring peppermints with you.

Not every horse is going to naturally find something to occupy its attention while you take pictures. If your horse tends to be more difficult to entertain, give the photographer (or a third person) peppermints in wrappers to crinkle to get your horse’s attention and ears forward.

10. Lastly, smile!

The best horse portrait sessions really capture the unique bond between horse and rider, so try to show off your love for your horse and how happy he or she makes you. Go for some cute poses, funny shots, and affectionate ones, as well. Hopefully, it will be a fun experience with beautiful photos you can treasure forever!