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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2008
    Location
    Region 1, Area 2, Zone 3
    Posts
    630

    Smile Helpful At-Home Horse Tips

    Hey everyone! So the big day of moving my horse to our barn on our property rapidly approaching, hopefully in september!!!) He is going to have a goat as a friend until I can find another event horse to keep him company.

    So I want to know what kind of tips everyone who keeps their horses at their house has to keep everything running smoothly, looking great, saving time and saving money. Anything you have to offer would be appreciated!!
    Thanks



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Hay

    1. I use a colander to scoop debris out of my water tank.

    2. Also use the colander to put wet sponges in. I have it hanging from the ceiling over a drain. I put the wet sponge in there and it's dry for the next use.

    3. Get all your winter stuff figured out now rather than waiting until it's 0 degrees to figure out how to install a heating tape.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2007
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Figure out a schedule that works for you and stick to it. It is very easy to not do something because they are so close to you and the "I'll get to it later syndrome" creeps in.

    Don't expect you barn to look like a trainers barn- Clean and neat all the time. Sometimes it is more important that your horse is feed and clean than the barn is spotless.

    Make sure you have water close by. I hate dragging the hose to our bottom pasture.

    Try to find someone you trust to feed and check on them when you are gone.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2008
    Posts
    352

    Default

    Be ready! Get your hay now, not later. Be all set when your horse arrives with feed, bedding, buckets, etc.. Be sure you have a safe fence. When you think you are all ready, have a friend come over and check it out for a second opinion. Its amazing what you don't see when you live there!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,874

    Default

    The biggest time saving factor is the water. Think it out carefully, and then think it out again. Plan your watering for the worst winter weather. You want to make it so you are not slogging out to East Cupcake with pails or hoses. Some people run tubing along the fence line or beneath the ground that a hose or hydrant can be connected to so the water can be run out to the tanks. also think out hose storage, if need be, and get a hose reel to help wind up the hose and drain it out at the same time. If you have a heated room in the barn, make room for the reel so you won't have to deal with frozen hoses. If, for whatever reason you DO have to slog out to the pastures, Strongid C pails, lined with trash can liners can be filled with water, the liners tied off, containers capped, and then placed on a sled and brought out to the field that way. If you have a horse that can quietly pull the sled for water and hay, so much the better.

    Between the barns I have run and the ones I have farm sat for (and that's a LOT), only one farm took the time to really plan it all out and make the changes needed to make the watering run smoothly. The remainder have all ended up being a hassle one way or another, adding a lot of time to each and every day of horse care.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2007
    Posts
    349

    Default

    Hang a piece of baling twine beside or on the water faucet. When you turn on the water to fill the water trough, put the baling twine around your neck. That way you will remember the water is on and will go turn it off before you run the well dry or at least before you leave it running all night. I've done this--trust me, it will happen if you don't use the baling twine.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2008
    Posts
    1,808

    Default

    It's all going to depend on your set up. A few generals.

    Plan for the worst of everything. Have spot so that if the horse must be on stall rest, or a new horse in quarantine, can stay.

    Check out any possible drainage issues. Maybe your riding arena has a hillside next to it, or the paddock slopes towards the barn. Easier to correct now then in the middle of winter.

    Water is the most important thing for an animal to have. I like auto waterers for 1 reason. If you can't get there (winter storm strands you at work, bad car accident, etc), the horse still has water. THey can live a lot longer w/o food than w/o water (I heard of a horse who's kidneys failed when his owner was stuck away in an October blizzard. The water tank froze over.. no one expecting it to freeze in October, and the horse was w/o water for 2 days).

    How will you feed? Where will you keep manure? What kind of pest control will you need? Do you prefer chemical or natural?

    All ?s you'll have to ask.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    If you can swing it, get an automatic waterer put in the area where your horses spend the most time. I have one in the sacrifice paddock where mine live or have access to virtually 24/7/365. NO buckets, NO hoses, ever. Get one that's suitable for your climate--mine is insulated and heated by necessity.

    Get your hay put up now, and figure out how much you're going to keep right on hand for feeding vs. "put away" somewhere to be moved in periodically.

    Have all your little tools ready: mucking tools, GOOD wheelbarrow, enough buckets, clips, crossties, gate fasteners, hooks to hang things, etc. etc. And figure out where you're going to store everything and start being fanatical about putting things in their proper place right from day one.

    If the place is looking ragged and you don't have time to clean up until the weekend, just sweeping (or leaf-blowing) the aisle of your barn does WONDERS for how the place looks.

    Don't forget to RELAX. Of course you're going to want to go check on your horse 29 times a day that first week or so, and by all means you should enjoy it, but he'll probably settle in long before you will.
    Click here before you buy.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2002
    Location
    Cow County, MD
    Posts
    6,930

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by imaginique View Post
    Hang a piece of baling twine beside or on the water faucet. When you turn on the water to fill the water trough, put the baling twine around your neck. That way you will remember the water is on and will go turn it off before you run the well dry or at least before you leave it running all night. I've done this--trust me, it will happen if you don't use the baling twine.
    Flipping brilliant!! I can't tell you how many times I've left the water on.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Hay 2

    A weed wacker is always a good thing...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,318

    Default

    A small tool box with hammer, screwdrivers (reg and phillips and a couple different sizes of each), pliers, saw, drill and assorted drill bits, nails, screws, bolts, etc. You get the idea. Sometime or other you will need them.

    Box of kleenex, paper towels, plastic bags (large and small), plastic buckets with lids, assorted sizes of plastic containers for supplements.

    Gardening tools, extra buckets for washing horses, cleaning sheaths or udders and latex gloves. Plenty of towels - 10 times more than you think you need.

    Hay nets, hay hooks, knives/scissors for cutting baling twine, wire cutters for cutting wire.

    I don't know where you live but if in the cold north, insulated buckets from Country Supply are a godsent. I'm working on 19 yrs and they are still going strong. They're great in the summer too to keep water cool. Uh, if you go the insulated bucket route, go thee to Home Depot and pick up a 4' x 8' piece of styrofoam because the horses will pull the styrofoam floats out and break them. I still have about 5 that I haven't used.

    If possible, pick up manure as often as possible - it will save shavings/sawdust.

    Babywipes are handy.

    Haynets - ya never know when you will need them.

    Always save baling twine! That, duct tape, and WD-40 keep everything working well.

    A list of pertinent phone #'s. Vets, farrier, fence fellow, electrician, plumber, and friends. You'd be surprised how often this comes in handy. Don't forget the pizza shop either! You'll have more nights than you want that you'll need fast food.

    Keep extra halters, and leads and lunge lines handy as well as a complete extra set of turnouts by weight (lite, med, and heavy) for each horse. If you can't afford or find turnouts then get a couple of stable blankets with nylon exterior and spray with Camp Dry to waterproof in an emergency.

    Have a wonderful time and enjoy every minute you have with your horse(s).
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,318

    Default

    Also, rubber bands, at least one flashlight and extra batteries, all sizes, hose reels, at least one extra pitchfork. I personally prefer a snow shovel in the barn rather than a heavy metal one. A couple of brooms, corn and wide one for aisles. Always keep several extra pr. of winter gloves in the barn-they get wet fast.

    A regular shovel for digging, a pick or maddox or both.

    Extra light bulbs, the fluorescent kind are best and last a long time.

    Of course a wheelbarrow and at least one muck basket.

    Bandaids and gauze and wound treatment for yourself as well as the horses. Loads of bug repellent.

    You've probably noticed you need a bigger barn already!

    I could probably go on forever but I'm sure you get the idea. At least one of everything you can think of.
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2007
    Posts
    575

    Default

    Plan ahead to try to make your day to day maintenance and care as easy as possible. Have adequate lighting and water close by so that you can see when it gets dark early in the winter and so that you dont have to haul water. Keep hay and a shavings and other supplies close to where you will need them, every step counts! Check and re-check fences, stalls and run ins for anything a horse could get hurt on, cuz they will find it and hurt themselves! Think about how you're going to deal with mud and remedy it before the mud season gets here. Entrances to barns, stalls and run ins are always muddiest, so are gates and water areas. Buy hay early. In the winter dont let your supplies run too low, you never know when a storm will prevent you from getting feed, shavings, etc. Plan a safe area to groom and tack up your horse thats out of the weather, and dont forget an area for the farrier and vet to work when they come. Also line up your vet and farrier ahead of time so that you know they will come when you need them. LAstly, keep things simple!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2008
    Posts
    1,808

    Default

    A good emergency first aid kit is essential, for humans and horses both. Make sure you have some colic stuff in there, gauze, liniment, thermometer, wound spray, etc. Just stuff to help you get by in an emergency til the vet arrives. Having a phone in the barn (I prefer a real corded one) is really nice too. Cordless can die, cell phones can die, but corded phones (unless phone is out) is pretty reliable, and it's nice to not have to run up to the house to call, or shout to your significant other, while trying to describe and injury/ailment the horse is having.

    Barn cats. You need barn cats.. lol.. no stable should be w/o them. Most humane societies won't adopt them out, but some areas you can talk with the trap/neuter/release programs, and they'll release them at your barn. They are feral cats (neutered and stuff), so they are good at mousing.

    Fire extinquisher. It's a necessity. Things can happen. Get one rated for all types of fires.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2006
    Location
    The not-so-frozen North
    Posts
    1,662

    Default

    * First aid kid is a MUST! For both humans and horses - bandaids, Neosporin (important in a barn ha) and assorted gauze and things. For the horses, vetrap, gauze, a SPLINT (cannot tell you how important this becomes when you find Pookie out in the field with a broken something - trust me, I know), cotton bandages and wraps, wound spray or powder, Furacin, saran wrap, an extra hoof pick, and assorted other goodies.

    * Water has obviously been made into a big deal already but I can't impress upon you enough how important that is!! Hauling buckets of water SUCKS especially when you have to make multiple trips. I'm from MN and it gets COLD for a long time so we got pretty good at figuring things out. We put water in large (sterilized) trash bins via hose run out to the barn for some 30 minutes (no freezing that way) and dropped heaters in them. Had to refill maybe once a week. Water kept clean, easily accessed, voila. We would still haul buckets but not at the same rate - just 2 or so (as much as a human can carry - our house is uphill and down a sharp curve from the barn and anytime we tried to haul a sled with it more often than not the buckets would tip over - now there's some good times in -10 degree weather!). Get heated buckets or auto waterers. We used buckets with the heater built in the bottom and insulated with rubber.

    * Poo is always easier to pick when it's frozen

    * If you're in the Far Nord keep a snow shovel and assorted snowblowing items in the barn. You will need them to carve a path to the pasture/paddocks, manure pile, house, civilization, etc.

    * Before you bring em home look at the way the groundwater runs when it rains and check the foundation of your barn. In my barn, which is rather old, we had a few cracks in the foundation, and in the spring when the snow melts water tends to pool around the edges of the barn. A whole bunch of spray foam insulation took care of that problem but boy I sure wish I had checked that out BEFORE I found the stall mats floating around! (Thankfully no horses indoors!)

    * Teach your horses to be on a flexible schedule - it will save their and your mental health if you should get caught up somewhere or have a work schedule that requires different hours all the time. My horses got fed in between 6:30 and 9 AM every day and turned out in that same time frame. They were brought in and fed dinner anywhere from 5 to 8 pm. They had hay or grass available to them at all times during the day, but the times of breakfast and dinner were reflective of my work schedule or the caretaker's schedule. Due to this there were no snotty horses screaming in their pastures and being pissy - they were excited to eat, yeah, but not rude.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Posts
    2,251

    Default

    If you tend to have senior moments (no matter what age) a check list in an area that is the last one you see is a big help. Water off, gates closed, door shut....etc.? And an erase board-for notes to yourself, Hubby or anyone who may be in the barn or tack room. And don't forget the duct tape.......
    Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Posts
    659

    Default

    And if you are buying new water buckets - let them soak for a few days. When I first brought my horses home they wouldn't drink. Someone asked me if I had new buckets - I guess they didn't like the "plastic" taste. Thank goodness I ran into that person.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2005
    Location
    Ojai, CA
    Posts
    1,074

    Default

    Think functionality, not pretty. When I first brought horses home to my "own" barn, I couldn't wait to make it all picture perfect, with cute little things everywhere. Fast forward -- anything that doesn't have a functional purpose is not to be found at my barn. This doesn't mean you can't the functional stuff attractive-- I have matching leather halters and black lead ropes hanging outside each stall; all fly sheets and blankets match so they look nice hanging outside stall doors; buckets all match, trunk covers and director chairs all match with my logo.
    But all the cute little plaques and decorations are long-since gone. It's already a losing battle against dust and dirt so minimize what needs to be cleaned.

    But do put flowers somewhere if you can. It's amazing what they do to perk up a place. I have hanging baskets with geraniums and also mini-trees in large pots alongside some of the support poles on the edge of my aisleways. Not where the horses or shoers will knock them over, of course!

    Good luck. You'll have a blast, once you get the hang of things. As someone else said, make friends with your feed store.

    Oh, and slip-on barn shoes are ESSENTIAL. I keep a pair of merrell clog-like shoes outside the door up at my house. Easy to get on quickly.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2004
    Location
    Bluffton, SC
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    As mentioned, keep a first aid kit for you and the horses. Make sure it is labeled brightly and easy to find. It won't do any good if say a neighbor finds your horse in need of first aid and it's tucked away in a dark corner.

    Have a list of phone numbers for vet, farrier, yourself too, on a wall in the barn. Should the neighbor from above, come in and bandage a gaping wound, and you're at work, or shopping, or whatever, you want them to be able to get a hold of you, the second in command for your farm, and a vet.

    Put together simple feeding instructions such as what time the horse(s) eat, what each gets, what supplements they need, and anything special. Might sound silly when you only have 1 or 2, but if something happens to you, and you are injured and your SO or neighbor or friend, has to fill in for a few days, it's so helpful to know exactly what each horse needs, rather than you having to worry about it. Trying to remember what even your own one horse eats everyday after spending a day in the ER and sent home on pain pills is no easy chore...trust me. We have ours taped to each horses feed scoop. (we only have 2, so they each have their own scoop.)

    Also, if you don't have a trailer, figure out who you can call that is close by and can help you out in an emergency. Also find a couple local resources for feed, hay, and bedding, in case your usual person can't help you out.

    Get your horse a little tag for his halter (we got ours at the pet store...just got a dog tag) that has your phone number on it, so should they decide to take themselves for a walk one day through the boards they knocked down in the fence, someone can get a hold of you.

    Always plan for the worst and hope for the best. Congrats on the move home!! You will hopefully never even need the things I suggested, but better to have them than not...
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Hay 3

    Another thing that I would not do without in my barn is this thiing I bought at Home Depot...It is a long stick with a 1 foot by 2 inch magnet on the end. When I have to repair something and a loose a nail (I know!) in the stall, I can just go over the area with that magnet and pick the nail right up. In the past, I have sifted the entire stall by hand looking for that nail!



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