Hi Everyone!

We are deep in our usual winter project mode here at the ranch!

We finally finished our year end deep clean on the indoor arena. I can tell you there is nothing quite like the level of clean in any arena, that we have here at the ranch. The arena is a 150×250 building and every inch of the ceiling & walls get wiped down. We make sure the beams, sprinklers, heaters, cross braces, mirrors, rails, and every other piece of the arena you can think of are like new by the time we have finished cleaning. Even the shingles on the top of the tack rooms are vacuumed to remove the layer of dust that has accumulated over the season. The most time consuming portion (other than cleaning the ceiling) of our deep clean is making sure all 34 panels of mirrors are clean and spotless. These always prove to be a test in patience because we battle hard water stains, dirt, and streaking. Just the mirrors took 3 entire days of cleaning to get them sparkling new. Next time you step into the arena, just take a look around and imagine the level of meticulous determination it takes to keep it looking beautiful.

The other major project that is still underway is the deep clean of our cabins, lodge rooms and all of the items within! Brooklynn has been hard at work getting every sheet, bed spread, wool blanket, decorative pillow, rug, towel, and anything else organized, washed, and put away for the year. She goes through every piece of every cabin to make sure it is in good condition to clean and store for next year. Inventory is taken, lists are made of what every cabin has and needs. Every single pillow, rug, mat, and decorative textile gets a year end wash. She even makes a spreadsheet of every wool item that needs to go to the dry cleaners, so that nothing gets lost in the drop off. By the end there’s an entire year end inventory of everything you can think of. Every cabin/room has its washable items neatly folded in a labeled storage bin ready to go for 2024!


Our next major project was washing all 50 5 Star pads, 20 Navajo blankets, 18 Woolback pads, 50 cinches, 20 mecate reins, and 20 neck ropes. Everything can go in the washer except the 5 Star pads and cinches. These have to soak in woolite & chlorohexidine for a few hours. The cinches are all mohair so they are delicate when it comes to washing. So we soak them in the solution to help lift the dirt and sweat from the fibers. The cinches are then put on a soak and spin to rinse them out after soaking. We hang dry them on the rails to help them maintain their shape. The 5 Star pads are a much longer cleaning process! After soaking in troughs, they are rinsed out top and bottom. For many of them this is not enough to get them truly clean. Many need to be spot scrubbed for dirt that is stuck on the wool fibers. These are scrubbed with Woolite on a hard brush, rinsed, and repeated until the spot comes clean. Might I add that soaking wet 5 Star pads are extremely cumbersome, wet, and heavy! These get hung to air dry once we feel they are sufficiently clean and rinsed. This endeavor was a two day project while we multi tasked cleaning our farrier area, veterinary room, and pens in the old arena.

There have been many other side projects going on in the midst of these things, but we won’t bore you with the details. We hope this gives you a little insight into the question. “What do you guys do in the winter?” LOL A LOT.

-The McGinnis  Crew