Sweeping the barn aisle – broom or leaf blower?


When it comes to the barn aisle, you have a few choices on how to tidy things up. You can go for utter denial and avoidance, sweeping, or using a leaf blower to get things done. Surprisingly, there’s not a whole lot of information about leaf blowers and horse health on the internet.


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  • Why does it matter? The respiratory health of your horse – plain and simple. And also your shelves, stalls doors, window sills, all of it stays cleaner if you can keep the dust to a minimum.


close up of broom stitching

Bristles stored pointed down and off the floor for storage will make your brooms last longer.


  • I’m personally a big fan of avoiding things, hoping they will miraculously clean themselves, and going into deep states of denial about how messy the barn aisle is. Never cleans itself, though.


Team broom


  • Blisters be damned, there’s a bit of hypnotic meditation to getting the barn aisle swept.


  • I like to sweep the barn aisle with a broom because you can really control the dust. The best way to do this is to sprinkle the aisle with water. Watering cans sprinkling the aisle keep the dust clumped up.


  • You can also add a touch of cleaner to the water, Pine Sol seems to be the fave. Or you can use some lemon or vinegar. Much less dust in the air.


snow blower for the barn aisle



Team leaf blower


  • I’ve tried the leaf blower with a sprinkled floor, doesn’t work as well as a broom. The wet parts don’t catch the wind well, and the remaining dust goes everywhere!


  • I also wonder about grease, oil, or gas dripping out of the blower’s motor. Not like a horse is going to lick it up, but still. Ideally, there should be no items in the barn with grease, oil, or gas. Store them in a totally separate building!


  • You do, of course, have the option of leaf blowing the barn aisle with no horses in the barn to keep the dust out of horse lungs.


Use a vacuum to sweep the barn aisle?


  • Some blowers are also vacuums, and some shop vacs also act as blowers. Do what you need to do for your horse’s health. And if that means blisters, so be it.


camel curved broom


  • I also asked my Vet what she thought about this leaf blower vs. broom debate. “It depends”. Not super scientific, but relevant. In some cases a leaf blower works, in other cases it doesn’t.



  • OH WAIT – one more thought….avoid blisters by using some golf or cycling tape around your barn cleaning tools. Squishy, non-blister forming, grip.



snow shovel and manure fork

Much better! I think this is tennis racket tape? Or golf? Or bicycle?


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