All equestrians know that having a horse and working at a barn is hard work. Feeding, watering and turn ins/outs are time consuming. To save some time I made a list of time saving barn hacks I used myself.
Brush on a string
For buckets in paddocks and pastures keep a brush on a string attached to the bucket. Without the string it wanders off… For stalls a dishwasher brush works perfect.
Keep a skimmer handy
For big water buckets that are not emptied daily, keep a skimmer at hand to take hay and leaves off of the water surface. Works much faster than using your hands and in winter you keep your hand dry and warm.
Use a leave blower to sweep the isles
Needless to say that you can only use a leave blower when there are no horses inside. It causes a lot of dust to fly around. Wear a dust mask and earplugs.
Teach all the horses how you want them to behave
This is a time investment but well worth it. Teach them all that they have to keep their heads low while haltering, put their noses into the halters themselves and walk with you without pushing or pulling.
Teach them some food etiquette
Rule about safe and desired behaviour around food is not innate. It is taught.
When I worked at a barn in the weekends it only took me 3 weekends to teach the horses that hay and grain where only provided to horses who kept 4 feet on the ground and stepped back & looked away so I could throw in the flakes of hay in their stalls (which saved time and increased my safety). I hate the noise 15 horses can produce when they are kicking their doors simultaneously.
Master the hay nets
If you need to fill hay nets I hope you use square slow-feeder nets. They are a bit more expensive but you can fill them up in a few seconds.
If you have to fill old fashioned hay nets use a plastic roll-up sled to keep the opening of the net open. They are a $3 -$10 dollar investment and save a lot of man hours.
Key ring knife
When I was a barn help I bought a small key ring knife to open up bales. You can also cut through baling twine with another piece of baling twine and use it like a saw. Or attach a pair of scissors to the wheelbarrow you use for feeding.
Do you have useful barn hack? Please share it with us! We would love to hear about them.
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Happy Horse training!
Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
I help horse owners get the results in training they really, really want with joy and easy for both horse and human. I always aim for win-win!
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