3 articles Articles posted in Hobbies

How To Make Horse Rugs Last Longer

The maintenance and care of horse rugs is important if you want them to last longer. Horse rugs are an expensive investment which requires careful cleaning and maintenance. If you don’t take proper care of horse rugs, there’s a higher chance of those rugs not fulfilling their purpose and you may have to invest in a new horse rug all over again.

Keeping and maintaining a horse itself is very expensive, so to minimise recurring costs of purchasing horse rugs, it’s important that you maintain them well. Here are some tips on how to clean horse rugs and make them long lasting.

  1. Self Cleaning Tips

If you want to save money and can find the time to clean the horse rugs yourself, then you can easily wash the lightweight, small horse rugs in the washing machine. For more detailed and clear instructions read the washing instructions mentioned on the label of the horse rug.

For the large, heavy horse rugs, lay them out on a flat surface or a fence and using a brush with hard bristles, rub and clean out all the dirt, mud and grass. Turn the rug over and repeat this process.

You can then dip the rug into a bucket filled with hot water and cleaning soap. Once you soak the rug into the bucket, beat it and mix it and leave it to soak in the bucket. After it is done soaking, take it out and lay it out flat and clean it with the bristled brush one final time. Once you’re done cleaning it properly, leave it to dry.

It’s important that the rug be completely dry before it is stored for a long time or even used on a horse. Using a moist or wet rug on a horse might make him sick or cause skin ailments.

  1. Horse Rug Cleaning Products

There are plenty of branded products available for cleaning horse rugs. There are horse rug soaps and conditioners which can be used for deep cleaning of your horse rugs. Since a horse rug washing soap is designed specifically for horse rugs, it will clean it properly without damaging the silicone and fluorocarbon material of the rug, which is beneficial for an expensive and high quality horse rug.

A horse rug conditioner is not used very often, but if you can afford it, try it out on your horse rug. It can be really beneficial in retaining the waterproof ability and durability of the horse rug.

  1. Get Them Cleaned Professionally

If you do not have the time or do not want to make the effort of cleaning horse rugs yourself and if you’ve got the money for it, the best option is to send them to professional cleaners. They will be able to use their products and treatment techniques to clean your horse rugs and may also do some repairs on your horse rugs, if it calls for it.

This is the best choice if you don’t have the time to or don’t want to clean the horse rugs yourself.

Conclusion

Horse rug cleaning can be a time consuming process, but it’ll save you the cost of buying a new horse rug again and again. It’s a great way to ensure that your horse rug lasts longer, in good condition. If you can afford to purchase horse rug cleaning products, then it’ll help in deeply cleaning your horse rug. However, if you cannot afford horse rug cleaning products, even the method described above will give your horse rug a good cleanse.

Finding a New Hobby

I can’t quite believe it, but Burrito Baby starts school this September, which means I’m going to have a LOT more free time on my hands. I’m hoping to up my workload and also have more time for going to the gym, but I’ve also been thinking about how to have a little “me” time, so I’ve been trying to find a hobby that I can start from September. Some of them will be solely for me, but there are also things in there that Husband and I can do together, which will be great for us as a couple. Here are a few of my ideas:

Golf

Ever since I played Tiger Woods Pro Golf on the original Wii about ten years ago, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at proper golf, and Husband and I keep promising we’ll go to a driving range but never seem to get around to it. We’re lucky enough to have a golf club literally at the end of the road, so we’re making a pact to get around to giving it a go once we’re able to find the time. I’ll also need to find some decent  golf footwear for sale.

Dressmaking

When Sausage was little, I went through a stage of making clothes for her, little dresses in quirky fabrics so that she wasn’t wearing the same off-the-peg stuff as everyone else. I haven’t made anything for ages, but I’d love to start making stuff again, maybe even for myself this time! Husband bought me a beautiful sewing machine two Christmasses ago, which I’ve barely used, so it will be a good opportunity to get some use out of it.

Reading

This one is going to sound silly, but I used to read a LOT, but as I’ve got older I’ve found it increasingly more difficult to read when there are distractions around me. Once the girls are both at school, I’ll have no excuses not to read and I have a list of books as long as my arm that I intend to plough through!

Blogging

I started blogging back in 2010, and back then it was a passion project, something I did to air my thoughts. However, since I started writing commercially, I seem to find myself far less inspired to write personal posts. I’m really hoping that when I have more time to dedicate to my blog, the ideas will start to flow again and the balance of personal:commercial content will even itself out again.

Cycling

At the beginning of the year, Husband (who is a life-long mountain biking enthusiast) bought himself a new bike, and it’s ignited a bit of cycling-fever in the whole family. We’re lucky enough to all have decent bikes and Husband has been letting me tag along with him (when I say “tag along”, I mean he goes on his usual route but has to go about 60% slower while I’m huffing and puffing along to keep up with him!). We’re hoping to get a bike rack when we get our new car, so we’ll be finding some new routes and riding together more.

Do you have any hobbies?

How to Store Your Motorcycle Correctly

Woman on Motorcycle

There are several reasons why you need to store your motorcycle for an extended period of time. You may be going on a holiday and you will not be using the motorcycle for a while. Winter and the bad road conditions at certain times of the year are also a reason why you may want to keep your motorcycle tucked away in the garage.

Storing your motorcycle for a long period requires some basic preparations. You want to keep the motorcycle protected and well-maintained so that you can use the bike again when the time comes. Here are some of the tips on how to store your motorcycle correctly.

Fill Up the Tank

One of the first preparations to make when you want to store your motorcycle is filling the fuel tank to the brim. After filling the tank, turn on the engine for a few minutes to allow fuel to cycle through the system.

A full tank is the way to go for two reasons. First of all, a full tank leaves no room for gas and other residue to build up inside. You can also add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from deteriorating inside the tank.

The second reason is engine health. With a full tank, you will be able to start the engine when you want to use the motorcycle again without having to bleed the system or worry about muck clogging the carburettor.

Change the Oil

Another important step to take before you store your motorcycle is changing the engine oil, especially when you have used the current engine oil for more than 1,000 miles. Engine oil deteriorates at a much faster rate than fuel, so it will turn from the golden and clear form to black and mucky faster than you can anticipate.

Replacing the oil filter and doing a quick oil change is great for keeping the engine clean and healthy while the motorcycle is in storage. You can also consider filling up the brake, clutch, and coolant fluids before storage.

There is another approach you can consider, and that is draining the fluids altogether before you store the motorcycle. Many mechanics believe this is the best way to store a motorcycle, but you’ll have to top everything up before the next use. Some additional maintenance steps may also be required before you start the engine again.

Take Care of the Battery

Most motorcycle batteries require minimum to zero maintenance these days. You don’t need to fill the battery compartment with distilled water or recharge the battery regularly to keep it healthy. Before storing your motorcycle for an extended period of time, however, you should disconnect the battery from the rest of the motorcycle and use a trickle charger to keep the battery healthy.

Of course, you can also keep the battery on the motorcycle with some extra steps. You want to minimize the discharge rate by switching off any electronic component on the bike. It is also a good idea to charge motorcycle batteries at least once a month especially with the lightweight motorcycle batteries that have a smaller capacity.

One more thing: apply petroleum jelly to the connectors or battery terminals to prevent rusting. This is a handy trick to use whenever you need to store your motorcycle over the winter.

Preparing the Tyres

For tyres, your best bet is to store the bike with the tyres off the ground. You can use a stand or a temporary jack to lift the entire motorcycle. There is no need for big equipment for this job; you just have to keep the tyres a few inches off the ground, so the weight of the motorcycle and the floor temperature aren’t damaging the tyres.

If lifting the motorcycle is not possible, then fill the tyres with nitrogen until they reach the optimum air volume or pressure. Nitrogen is much better than air because it is more consistent and isn’t as prone to changes in temperature and pressure.

Wax and Dry

Last but not least, do a thorough cleaning and make sure the motorcycle is completely dry before you store it. Any moisture can quickly cause rust, especially during the colder days of winter.

Similar to the battery terminals, you can use petroleum jelly to protect certain areas of the motorcycle from corrosion. WD-40 and other solutions work just as well, especially for protecting things like the exhaust pipes and joints or bolts.

Waxing helps because the wax will also prevent moisture from penetrating the motorcycle. Before you tuck the bike away for an extended period, do a quick wash and wax and you will prevent many common issues from ruining the motorcycle.

Proper Storage

Now that you have completed the necessary steps to prepare the motorcycle for storage, it is time to store the bike properly. Make sure you store it in a dry and warm place if possible. Avoid exposing the motorcycle to the weather directly and invest in a good motorcycle cover for extra protection. Your bike will be ready for you by the time you want to ride again.