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Chronically Gibbled By Barn Work

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  • Chronically Gibbled By Barn Work

    Hello all,

    I have had chronic back issues ever since children(all grown and flown now). My barn chores for 3 ponies is causing me to become very gibbled quickly. I find the collection of manure in wheelbarrow which I run up a ramp and twist over to empty, plus washing, & dumping large water buckets- well I'm looking like a 100 year old. How do some of you 50+ year olds cope with your barn chores? I am not ready to hire someone yet but since I can't walk very well, kills me to bend over to do horse's feet, any bending for that matter. Those that are back challenged- how do you do the chores?

  • #2
    For the buckets, I use a smaller bucket (supplement buckets are perfect) to scoop the water out first to lower the level to something more manageable. It might take a few extra steps back and forth from the stall to the doorway to dump, but the savings on my back and arms is well worth it. In the washing department, I put the almost empty bucket on an overturned muck bucket, and use a sponge on a stick (found in the grocery store in the housewares) to swish around to get the dirt off. That way, less bending.

    The wheelbarrow thing. . . I rarely use one, I have a Newer Spreader, and spread my stall waste in the field. Not sure if that is an option for you or not.

    No advice for the hoof cleaning, sorry.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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    • #3
      I saw the neatest power wheelbarrow... Have to find the link for it. Looked cool.

      For water , I use automatic waterers, no hose hauling or bucket emptying.

      Cleaning feet, The horse learns to rest back feet on a bucket, and since I'm in a chair I'm seated. You could sit down? Also which would have less bending over...

      Diane Kastama

      Comment


      • #4
        Drugs...

        I occasionally groom for my trainer when his groom doesn't show up so I feel your pain. Getting old is not for sissies!
        Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by cadriver View Post
          I saw the neatest power wheelbarrow... Have to find the link for it. Looked cool.

          For water , I use automatic waterers, no hose hauling or bucket emptying.

          Cleaning feet, The horse learns to rest back feet on a bucket, and since I'm in a chair I'm seated. You could sit down? Also which would have less bending over...

          Diane Kastama

          Found a few of the power wheelbarrows - whew, hefty pricetag on them - I think I saw one in Horse and Rider this month, but can't find the magazine in this mess of an office right now.

          Some links:

          http://www.powerbarrowcompany.com/

          This one is in the UK:

          http://www.mucktruck.com/MUCK-TRUCK.html

          For hoof cleaning, both my farriers (former and current) have these in their trucks:

          http://www.hoofjack.com/v/vspfiles/home.asp
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is the link.. of the one I meant, $300

            http://www.drpower.com/prdSell.aspx?...64825XE2913829

            It was actually recommended by someone who has used it and they had to get some part for it and had great service from the company. I'm thinking about getting it, after I do my taxes if I have any money...

            Diane Kastama

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            • #7
              You could be describing me, ouch! Mine is lower back and RA in my hips. I can only clean one horse's hooves a day or I'm done for...I have a riding lawnmower with a dump cart which has really saved my back while cleaning. My other cart that I had to dump by hand the axle broke so I was forced to buy a new one and spent a little more for the dump cart. I don't use water buckets since I could never lift them in any way shape or form; I use muck buckets for water in each stall. For some reason they stay very clean and if they need to be dumped and cleaned I use a tiny pail to bail water; I sit on my handy dandy stool so I don't bend over. I've finally decided to hire someone to clean a few days a week and groom the horses (8). If I do too much I can't enjoy my horses I'm in the house with a heating pad, bengay and pain meds, no fun. Good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cadriver View Post
                Here is the link.. of the one I meant, $300

                http://www.drpower.com/prdSell.aspx?...64825XE2913829

                It was actually recommended by someone who has used it and they had to get some part for it and had great service from the company. I'm thinking about getting it, after I do my taxes if I have any money...

                Diane Kastama
                I wonder how tricky it is to dump the load from that? I like the power assist wheels, but I didn't see that it has a power dump feature. To me that is the hardest part, the tipping and dumping.
                There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                • #9
                  I use a plastic sled instead of a wheelbarrow--so much easier to drag behind me than push a barrow. Also, the horses live out mostly, they have big troughs that I syphon out rather than trying to push over to empty.

                  I simplified everything hugely a few years ago when I blew my shoulder out. My horses are happy, and I'm still able to care for them.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Working on being less gibbled....

                    Lots of good ideas here. I have started to pick one pony paddock at a time and as much as it irritates me to do 3 separate trips to the manure pile, it is less weight and therefore less strain. I do the paddocks twice daily so the loads are much smaller at dinnertime. I ask the leasers to do barn chores on days they ride, when they come and that does lessen it. Keeping the buckets half full(they are manure size) also helps. Two of my ponies have to have hay soaked so each has 2 buckets) which adds to the work. the fancy $300 wheel barrow is too big, pricey and not practical for my little 3 stall back yard barn.

                    Still taking the Advil in the morning to get started and that helps. Never thought of the plastic sleigh, but then I wouldn't get it up the ramp and there would be lots to shovel/throw up onto the pile.

                    Thanks all....its a 'pain' growing old...I heard this from my relatives that went before me...never gave them much credence....its coming back to haunt me....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Adopt a white trash management style.

                      Do pasture turnout with sheds instead of keeping the beasties in a barn. That way you aren't having to pick stalls and push wheelbarrows full of wet bedding around. Break up the manure piles by dragging an old piece of chain link fencing around. (This is your excuse for hanging onto that old lawn tractor with a bent mower deck. It can't cut a straight line, but it's perfectly good for dragging things around.) Substitute a couple of old Christmas trees lashed together if you don't happen to have old fencing.

                      Use an old cast iron bathtub for water. Pull the drain plug and let gravity take care of removing the water for you. Scrub with a long handled brush and fill with a garden hose. A cast iron bathtub is too heavy for you to move, but it's also too heavy for the ponies to move. The thing will still be sitting in your pasture breeding mosquitoes after the rapture has taken all good rednecks to heaven. If you don't believe the rapture is coming for you, you can instead prop it on end and put a statue of St Francis or the Virgin in it once the ponies cross the rainbow bridge.

                      Keep the ponies barefoot. Less gunk builds up on their feet, so you can get away with picking the feet less often. If pony is really cooperative, you might be able to teach it to stand with its foot propped up on an axle stand padded with an old towel or piece of foam (secured with duct tape, of course.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Or take some tips from old dairy farmers. While they don't
                        pick hooves, they do have to reach the udder a couple
                        times daily. So cows are taught to stand in a raised straight
                        stall so the underside is at a convenient height for the human. A cheaper solution some farmers use is to buy a
                        simple stool which can be strapped to their backsides and
                        they can easily walk with it on and sit wherever and
                        whenever they need to do that to easily reach lower
                        areas.

                        For manure removal, consider the old farm solution. They
                        put up a cable with a bucket suspended on a wheel hanging from the cable. The cable runs from the barn
                        to just above the manure removal or storage site. The
                        bucket is filled and than pushed to the removal site and
                        dumped (often with a device to tip the bucket mounted
                        at the end of the cable. No bending, no lifting, little
                        dumping effort for the human. Fairly cheap and not
                        machines to break down.
                        Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                        Elmwood, Wisconsin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My blacksmith designs a stool that straps to your belt and is always at the ready. If you would like his contact info, PM me!

                          Can you find those wheelbarrows that have the wheel placed directly under the load, not nosed out front?

                          Love that cable/bucket idea. I'm going to remember that!

                          Not to be annoying, but are you able to do exercises to build your core? Would that help at all?

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