• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Brag-share: Ingenious ways you are saving $ around the barn

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Brag-share: Ingenious ways you are saving $ around the barn

    Not incredibly ingenious, but it helps save a few bucks --

    Each week DH brings home trash bags full of shredded medical records from the hospital. These are teeny tiny shreds the size of rice grains. We mix them with our Equine Pine pelleted bedding to help bulk it up on cold wintry days. Its consistency is compatible (unlike shavings) and we chortle at the ultimate re-cycling when it all ends up in the compost pile.

    In these tough economic times, surely the endlessly resourceful COTH community can pass along some invaluable tips and advice to the rest of us...

  • #2
    Not so much a barn thing, but I do something similar to extend the life of litter for my cats. I mix pine pellets I've "prepared" (add water, stir to fluff and break up, let dry) with regular scoop litter. The litter still clumps and is easily scoopable and the cheap pine pellets means I don't have to use as much litter to fill the boxes. It also cuts the ammonia smell a lot better than the litter. Unfortunately the kitties aren't too fond of straight pine or I would have gone that route.

    There's a local dairy farm that uses paper shreds to augment the bedding of their cows in a similar way you do, MediaMD -- it's a very good idea as long as the animals don't eat it.


    • #3
      Paper shreds

      I always wanted to try this but how do you make sure there are no staples or plastic in the shreds?

      I buy my sawdust from the amish when they log nearby properties. Cost $30 to fill a dump trailer. If it is muddy or they are far away I buy from the mill at $350 a large load.

      I used to bag my own shavings free from a local company that made cabinets.

      I also buy most of my equipment at local tack swaps or auctions. I bought most of my racing tack from people going out of business. My saddle towels, buckets and stall guards are all different colors but my horses don't mind.

      I was thrifty when thrifty wasn't cool. I look forward to learning about more money saving ideas.
      My mom didn't raise no jellybean salesman!


      • #4
        Originally posted by lpcutter View Post
        I always wanted to try this but how do you make sure there are no staples or plastic in the shreds?
        That is my concern too.


        • #5
          I make homemade fly spray that costs pennies on the dollar compared to store-bought. That said, it's not as effective (if I'm being totally honest)

          But since it's basically free, I'll use it more liberally (and it's all natural and smells great!)

          Also, around the ranch, we get free mulch/wood chips brought in and it keeps my stable/trailer-turnaround-area nice with good footing
          Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
          **Morgans Do It All**


          • #6
            I haven't bought a garbage bag in 5 years! I use any plastic shopping bag (grocery store, walmart, etc) as my garbage bags in my kitchen and bathroom. When they are full I tie them shut and put them in empty feed grain bags I keep in garbage cans outside. When those are full I take them to the dump.

            If I have plenty of plastic bags from previous shopping trips I then use my fabric bags next time I go shopping to prevent wasting plastic.

            It works perfect for me as it prevents me from keeping a lot of trash in my kitchen that can attract farm rodents and bugs.

            I also use my empty dog food bags (50lb) as where I put my recyclables. The bags are lined with plastic paper and prevent any leakage of stuff out of the bags.
            Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:


            • #7
              I was going to start a thread about my dollar store haul last week. I go to one that is attached to a local drugstore & it is full of delightful stuff.

              this list includes only what I got for the barn, that I remember.

              applicators for car wax are the best thing, ever, for applying oil to tack
              lots of microfiber cloths for cleaning horse & tack
              package of toothbrushes for tack (not horse)
              tack cleaning bucket thingy
              sealable plastic containers to organize small stuff in tack locker
              spray detangler for mane/tail
              baby wipes
              triple antibiotic ointment
              saline for rinsing wounds
              rubbing alcohol
              paint brush & container for Keratex hoof gel
              yarn for braids
              peppermints (packages of candy canes after Xmas go down to 90% off)
              extra hair elastics to keep at barn (for me)
              extra stocking cap to keep at barn in case I forgot mine
              visor for same reason as above

              and lots of other stuff that I forgot (not to mention the candy I bought for myself).


              • Original Poster

                Oooooooooo I may have to go back to the Dollar store. That's quite a haul Hippolyta!

                Regarding the concern about plastic or staples in the shredded records, I'm not sure why, but there aren't any. Trust me, I sift through every bag with my fingers and they have been consistently soft as clouds. If anything, the biggest problem has been its lack of weight--it would billow in the air if not mixed with the Equine Pine bedding. Maybe they only shred the papers and not the actual files..

                We're a huge fan of the multi-use plastic bags too Blume Farm--especially because we go to Aldi's for groceries and can use them there. Fancy That, how do you get free mulch/wood chips brought in? That's a great deal...We live in the Land of Perpetual Mud and that would be lovely to help dry things up a bit.

                I like that comment Ipcutter--thrifty before thrifty was cool. It sure is in style now!


                • #9
                  We use a lot of your tips. My own greatest savings was to re-home the unemployed member of our yard. No feed, wormers, shoeing, vets, teeth,
                  emergencies, etc. I bask in his success and how he is loved.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                  • #10
                    They sell paprika at my dollar store. That saved some serious $ versus buying at Kroger or Smartpak. Also I'll get asprin for my Uveitus horse.

                    There is also a thread going on about making your own treats. YOu can make them cheap, cheap, cheap!

                    I also call my farrier as needed this time of year since I'm not riding and their feet are growing slower. I can usually go 6 weeks on the mare with shoes and 8 weeks on everyone else.


                    • #11
                      One more: coumpounded Omeprozale.

                      50 days of treatment does - $140. I had to push my vet to get this for me, but she's a believer now and is putting more and more of her clients on it.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MediaMD View Post
                        Fancy That, how do you get free mulch/wood chips brought in? That's a great deal...We live in the Land of Perpetual Mud and that would be lovely to help dry things up a bit.
                        One of the private barns I boarded at got free mulch – there was a company contracted to come around and clear the roadways / power line right of ways. She stopped and asked them if she could get their mulch – and they agreed! And dropped it off for free – several hauls of it.

                        Now, when the rains were light, the mulch was great. Made walk ways, the area around the shelter in the pasture etc much nicer.

                        But when the rains became heavy, oh no – that same mulch kept moisture trapped, didn’t allow the ground to dry under it between rains – and created some horrible mud pit areas. It was horrible, and all of the areas that did not get mulch, recovered and dried out much quicker.

                        In my experience mulch is not the greatest (unless you have never ending truck loads to use) as with most organic matter, it traps moisture, and can actually make the mud worse.

                        Gravel, while expensive and a PTA, does a much better job with mud.
                        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                        • #13
                          to go along with Appsolute's warning-as well as the shredded medical record concern for staples- I remember reading a story many years ago about a huge facility (in VA?) who contracted for mulch on trails all over their huge farm- and after the fact it was discovered that the mulch was shredded pallettes! There were nails mixed in all of it and the farm was basicly ruined.

                          Also- just a note to be careful when getting shavings and sawdust that it doesn't contain WALNUT woodshavings. Low end wood plants (like pallette making sawmills) use low end woods and wouldn't ever have walnut- but a fine cabinet maker might- so always ask!


                          • #14
                            My biggest money-savers by far are not stuff, but management choices.

                            I keep my horses out as much as possible. It saves me about $300/month in reduced bedding costs to keep them out 24/7, as opposed to 12 out/12 in which I will do but only if the weather is extremely nasty. I spend about $500/year on recycled concrete to reduce mud issues, so keeping them out 24/7 does not lead to scratches, muck or other such problems.

                            I only blanket the ones in work. This year the entire herd is naked, since I'm pregnant and barely riding at all. The blankets last longer and the horses are happy as clams with their big fluffy teddy bear coats. No body clips for them this year.

                            I only shoe the one who needs it for navicular management, the rest are barefoot. Navicular horse only has fronts. In the summer, the horses I ride get shoes as needed.

                            I use Nibblenets and Cinchchix nets outside and in the stalls. Outside I feed hay in the covered areas to reduce waste. My annual hay bill is half what it used to be when I fed the same hay in piles on the ground (I have picky horses so if a morsel was wet, touched dirt or was otherwise unpristine they would not touch it). If yours clean up their hay then you might not save a thing.

                            As for the rest, I haven't needed much of anything in years so I'm not a good source of tips for grooming supplies, etc. I buy those apple wafer treats in 50 pound bags for 412.99. That lasts so long I can't imagine making them myself for less once I factored in time and aggravation.

                            I agree that the last thing in the world I would want to put in my muddy paddock areas is mulch. Anything biodegradable will degrade -- and degrade = more mud in the long run. I try to pick out all biodegradable stuff from my paddock areas because if I keep it out, I notice the "barn smell" stays to a minimum. However, the mulch might be nice for walkways/trailer areas like FancyThat uses it -- I can see that working a lot better.


                            • #15
                              We just have the mulch nice and thick in our trailer turnaround area/stable area. YOu can call all the tree service places in the yellow pages and ask for mulch - they just dump it at your place. Best to get the good kind though (chipped wood) Some loads are better than others.

                              For the high-traffic-horsie-areas - rock is best. Our paddocks are done in base rock with sand on top. And lots of stall mats in and outside the stall shelters

                              The mulch is great for where we have it though.

                              Another tip - free carpet remnants to use as geotextile fabric to save your expensive rock (crushed/fines) from sinking into the earth
                              Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                              **Morgans Do It All**


                              • #16
                                A word of caution RE: ground up tree trimmings for mulch. The trees can be infested with termites, and they are small enough to survive the mulcher. Also, the trees can have poison ivy on them and that can really make you itch when ground up in the mulch.


                                • #17
                                  I don't buy any new tack unless I have sold something I know longer need and then I use that money to pay for the new stuff.

                                  With all things in my house now we have to sell something to buy something unless an item has die and can not be brought back to life.

                                  I shop with the sales and we are on a cash budget. Only have a set amount of money each week to spend on food, gas, other things.
                                  My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

                                  Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by MediaMD View Post
                                    Oooooooooo I may have to go back to the Dollar store. That's quite a haul Hippolyta!

                                    Regarding the concern about plastic or staples in the shredded records, I'm not sure why, but there aren't any. Trust me,!
                                    maybe because the records are electronic? a little bit does go a long way


                                    • #19
                                      I reuse the feed bags for garbage bags. Ours are plasticized bags, and in the barn no real wet stuff goes in them. I also use them at home in the kitchen - wet stuff goes in the can, but all the other stuff goes in the feed bag. I use the shopping plastic bags for the small trash cans in the bath and bedrooms. No purchasing trash bags in this household!!
                                      My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                                      • #20
                                        IO agree about the comments about mulch and surprised that people put that down outdoors. Just the spots where hay is put down become inordinately muddy - anything that decomposes will create mud, and I always dig the mud out to the hard ground beneath and remove it. I then take care to always remove leftoever hay and always remove manure, and my muddy areas stay hard and dry. A little crushed stone over the hard ground doesn't hurt, but doesn't work if you don't dig the mud out first. But never, ever, ever, put down mulch or anything biodgradable. Its like growing mud! I remember one barn I rented, the mud in front of the barn was knee deep. It took me an entire three seasons to dig that mud out by hand and dump it in the manure pile. However, when done, the barn area around the barn was clean and dry. The owner was gob-smacked! How'd you do that, she asked, I told her, no degradables and dug away the mud. Keep it clean and free of manure, and there you go! So no mulch for me, by gum! Saves you mulch money, right there, heh heh heh
                                        My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods