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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    2,088

    Default MONEY SAVING BARN TIPS...YOURS?

    My main one is using bulk shavings this year...found a very good quality chippy type (with very little or no dust) that cost $335.00 for 30 cubic yards. This equals approx., 150 bags of shavings, which here in upstate NY are $5.95 a bag. I go thru about 80 bags a month. The bulk will be a huge savings for me. I will still use some bagged shavings for my second barn that has 2 stalls, but still a several hundred dollar savings a month. And I was also able to store this first load inside so it is not that big a hassle to move to the stalls.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,142

    Default

    I buy feed from a local mill rather than premium brands. The feed is just as good as Purina or Pennfields and the horses in my barn thrive on it. They all have gorgeous coats and are in great weight. This saves me about $3.00 a bag and since I buy 20+ bags of feed at a time every few weeks it adds up.

    Also, I'm very conservative with how we use electicity in the barn. We only use lights when necessary and I've also bought those energy consaver bulbs. I've seen a difference in my electricity bills too.
    Visit my farm at www.hiddenrockfarm.com



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2007
    Location
    Down on the Farm
    Posts
    3,059

    Default

    Two yrs ago we rented out some fields to local farmers, they grew soy and corn... and we ended up having to buy hay (lots) to feed our horses thru the winter... we had a terrible drought throughout the summer and were feeding hay in July like it was January...

    So we "reclaimed" our fields, and grew plenty of hay and straw for this year... we put up almost 2000 bales of hay, and almost the same amount of straw.

    Also, I'm on a quest for cheaply priced winter blankets...I've decided not to spend more than $60 for a heavy weight turnout... and I'm finding brand new ones thanks to Ebay and Tackoftheday!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2006
    Posts
    1,410

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Applesauce View Post
    I buy feed from a local mill rather than premium brands. The feed is just as good as Purina or Pennfields and the horses in my barn thrive on it. They all have gorgeous coats and are in great weight. This saves me about $3.00 a bag and since I buy 20+ bags of feed at a time every few weeks it adds up.

    Also, I'm very conservative with how we use electicity in the barn. We only use lights when necessary and I've also bought those energy consaver bulbs. I've seen a difference in my electricity bills too.
    My BO uses Pennfields and just mentioned the feed had gone up $.50 per bag recently - where are you located? might want to try your mill depending on location - we're in MD

    Thanks



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,158

    Default

    since it is getting harder to make ends meet, extra attention to good maintenance is more imperative than ever. instead of having a spreader grow rust, make a point of keeping it clean and well greased. instead of throwing a fork on the garbage heap, fix the handle......



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,142

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by galwaybay View Post
    My BO uses Pennfields and just mentioned the feed had gone up $.50 per bag recently - where are you located? might want to try your mill depending on location - we're in MD

    Thanks
    I buy my feed from the Augusta Co Op in Staunton, Va. They deliver to other co ops in Virginia but I'm not sure how far north they go. I can find out if you like. I'm good friends with the feed rep there.

    ETA: My grain prices have gone up too but they are still cheaper than the premium feeds and it has saved me from having to raise my board rates this year.
    Visit my farm at www.hiddenrockfarm.com



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2004
    Posts
    1,806

    Default

    We have a guy nearby that grows really nice Mattua grass hay. We get it in large round bales and break off however much each horse needs each feeding.

    Shavings were getting ridiculous, so we switched over to straw. Before, we were spending over $200 a month on shavings, and the price was going to go up after the company got sold, but now we spend about $75 a month with the straw.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2008
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Buy grain from the local mills, also buy minerals and salt blocks from the mill.

    I get grooming tools from the dollar store Twelve pack of combs for a dollar? I'm on it!

    I also use cheap shampoo on myself and my horses.

    No stalls for me, no sawdust needed

    Buy blankets from friends who no longer need them.

    Hit the tack sales I cannot stress that enough! I go in with $50, I walk out with 3 bits, 2 blankets, bell boots, reins, and a new girth.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    646

    Default

    Definitely the consignment blanket section. I recently got 2 (yes TWO) triple crown blankets with that sheepskin type lining. Their perfect blankets for the first few nights after clipping and they were $25 each.

    Also, making my own jumps out of the scrap that the old owners of the place left. There were old fence posts that work perfectly as 8' jump poles and a bunch of 2x4's that I use for the feet of the 4x4's I bought for the standards. All together, 3 sets of standards and 6 jump poles cost me $50 including paint. Can't beat that!
    Who needs wings when you've got a jumper?
    http://darkstr.webs.com



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2006
    Posts
    1,410

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Applesauce View Post
    I buy my feed from the Augusta Co Op in Staunton, Va. They deliver to other co ops in Virginia but I'm not sure how far north they go. I can find out if you like. I'm good friends with the feed rep there.

    ETA: My grain prices have gone up too but they are still cheaper than the premium feeds and it has saved me from having to raise my board rates this year.
    Applesauce that would be great - I'm pretty sure we get our feed from Tri-County feeds in or around Leesburg, Va

    We're also keeping the lights pretty dim these days as well. For anyone thinking about putting in a hot water heater- what about those on demand hot water tanks? does anyone have experience with those? I think they are much more expensive than a regular tank but am wondering about the cost savings of that. my barn has also ordered a couple of automatic waterers for the paddocks. Apparently the ones they're getting will not freeze above a certain point so the owner is hoping this will cut down on electricity by having a heater in the trough - they pull alot of electricity. And I totally agree w/ keeping things maintained



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2005
    Posts
    2,813

    Default

    Quillin has Amish blankets on clearance. www.quillin.com, said they have most sizes and colors available.

    You can use baling twine to braid lead ropes and lunge lines.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    2,639

    Default Hay

    Here's one thing I do. Our horses are stalled overnight but the tank heat to the pastures has to be left in overnight in the winter. To conserve energy, I cover the tank with the heater in it with a large piece of plywood. Keeps the heat in rather than heating the world.
    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
    Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    646

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by galwaybay View Post
    Applesauce that would be great - I'm pretty sure we get our feed from Tri-County feeds in or around Leesburg, Va

    We're also keeping the lights pretty dim these days as well. For anyone thinking about putting in a hot water heater- what about those on demand hot water tanks? does anyone have experience with those? I think they are much more expensive than a regular tank but am wondering about the cost savings of that. my barn has also ordered a couple of automatic waterers for the paddocks. Apparently the ones they're getting will not freeze above a certain point so the owner is hoping this will cut down on electricity by having a heater in the trough - they pull alot of electricity. And I totally agree w/ keeping things maintained
    I think I have one of those "on demand" water heaters. It seems like it. It's a small box (maybe 2-3 ft sides) mounted on the wall and the water is continually heated as it runs through. It rocks! Not sure about the cost as this is the first barn we've had with hot water but the guy who did the plumbing/electric suggested it as a cheaper option to the hot water heater tanks.
    Who needs wings when you've got a jumper?
    http://darkstr.webs.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
    Posts
    6,119

    Default

    Supposedly these on-demand water heaters are very popular now w/ home renovations and "going green" one would think they would be wonderful for barns as well. Good to know yours rocks.. will have to do some research now...I think they're also TANKLESS water heaters - can anyone else let me know if they have experience w/ these



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    2,929

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VarsityHero4 View Post
    I think I have one of those "on demand" water heaters. It seems like it. It's a small box (maybe 2-3 ft sides) mounted on the wall and the water is continually heated as it runs through. It rocks! Not sure about the cost as this is the first barn we've had with hot water but the guy who did the plumbing/electric suggested it as a cheaper option to the hot water heater tanks.
    I think the only thing to watch for with the on-demand heaters is what kind of flow rate/water pressure you get. You just have to make sure the one you install is suitable for your purposes- one that's enough to supply warm water for washing your hands in a bathroom might not be able to supply water as fast as you'd like to fill up a bucket, for example, or wouldn't be able to provide enough water pressure to spray off a horse. So when you're picking one out, you need to be aware of what it will be used for. (Same as with a tanked hot water heater, you need to get one of a reasonable size.)

    In the UK, the choice between one or the other often comes down to how many baths are taken in the house vs. showers- tanked hot water heaters work better for baths because they can supply a relatively large amount of hot water pretty quickly, since it's just sitting there ready to go. So you don't have to wait for ages for the tub to fill up.

    In a stable, since you are not often filling up something the size of a bathtub, plus you're not likely to want a large amount of hot water at short notice all times of the day, I would suspect that an on-demand heater makes a lot more sense than wasting energy keeping a tank of water warm in an uninsulated barn.

    If you DO already have a tanked system- INSULATE the tank. In the UK you can get specialty tank blankets just for the purpose, but I'm sure there's some way to do it without a ready-made product. But I am told that adding extra insulation to the tank really makes a big difference in terms of running costs.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2007
    Posts
    538

    Default

    Use a fine-tined fork for cleaning the stalls. You will remove less bedding since you scoop and shake.

    For those of you using pelleted bedding - it's awesome!

    It costs about $30, but you'll be so glad that you have it. I have only one and when someone helps me clean stalls, I get so irritated with the regular pitch forks. Plus, I hate poop chips...the fine tines keep them on the fork - I have the cleanest stalls!

    And - I agree about keeping everything in good operational condition - for ex. don't forget to use your grease gun on the joints around your tractors, loaders, etc. Add fuel additive for diesel engine for the winter...etc.



  17. #17
    turnandburn Guest

    Default HUGE sale...save $ in VA

    Tri-County Feeds, Etc... (in Marshall, VA) is having a great sale right now. Their prices are always very good. They have EVERYTHING under the sun and it is a beautiful store. BTW, I like the free coffee and cookies Well worth a trip!
    http://www.tricountyfeedsetc.com



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2008
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Applesauce View Post
    I buy my feed from the Augusta Co Op in Staunton, Va. They deliver to other co ops in Virginia but I'm not sure how far north they go. I can find out if you like. I'm good friends with the feed rep there.

    ETA: My grain prices have gone up too but they are still cheaper than the premium feeds and it has saved me from having to raise my board rates this year.
    This is where we get feed as well!! I love it there! We call ahead and they set everything aside. Most of the grain we get is around $11 a bag, some months its up and others its down. We were spending $20 a bag on Triple Crown Complete, buying fewer bags and still spending more money. plus, it didn't seem to keep the weight on our horses.


    We also put stall skins in our stalls rather than mats. Most of the urine goes through the stall skin rather than consuming all of the bedding. I do have a bedding question though. We've been getting a HUGE dump truck load of saw dust for $200 and it lasts us 2 months or more.. I don't have a problem with the saw dust as it isn't completely "dusty" it is still pretty chunky and clumps together where it is wet. Not to mention it is really easy to get the dirty stuff out. Does anyone have any preferences when it comes to particular types of bedding??



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2005
    Location
    Harrisonburg, VA
    Posts
    2,322

    Default

    No need to buy horse shampoo--what a waste... we use dishwashing soap (Ajax) it does a marvelous job on. (We do buy Quicksilver if needed) but even if that is the case--the first bath with Ajax cuts down greatly on the amount of Quicsliver needed. Ajax is about $1.00 to $1.20 a bottle.

    For tail conditioning -we buy Suave human conditioner.

    I do not buy cheap blankets any more because in the long run they cost more.
    I would rather buy a Rhino or Rambo and have it last for 6-8 yrs, than buy a cheap one and have to replace it the next season. If you follow sales and watch closely like this time of year--you can get even the nicest blankets on clearance price.
    Windswept Stables-Specializing in Ponies
    Sales, Breaking,Training,Showing, Stud Service

    Home of 2008 Sire of Year Reserve Champion
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    www.EmpiresPower.com



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gottagrey View Post
    Supposedly these on-demand water heaters are very popular now w/ home renovations and "going green" one would think they would be wonderful for barns as well. Good to know yours rocks.. will have to do some research now...I think they're also TANKLESS water heaters - can anyone else let me know if they have experience w/ these
    I looked into this for my home when my ancient water heater died, and found that, unless you can go with a natural gas or propane model, they are not nearly as efficient as they sound. If you have natural gas or propane at your barn, which most probably don't, then great but otherwise the newer more efficient tank models are better.

    Also, the tankless heaters require frequent servicing to prevent buildup in the lines, which adds costs.
    "Horses give us the wings we lack"



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