Looking for a few ways to save time on barn chores and grooming? With the myriad of daily tasks barn life requires, every second counts. We’ve showcased a few tips before, and here are three new time-saving barn tips to streamline your equestrian life.
Cross-picking: Picking hooves daily is a must-do chore. Shave some time off your grooming by cross-picking. Usually any racehorses or ex-police horses in your barn will already know this trick. Just try picking up all four hooves from the left side, swinging the far hooves just a little under the horse’s abdomen so you can reach to knock out dirt. Although not for heavy-duty work or polishing (without your legs to bear a little weight, the hoof gets heavy in a hurry!) cross-picking in the stall or on the way out to the paddock is a great, quick way to keep hooves happy.
Most horses figure out the concept fairly quickly, but some prefer to bring their hind leg out behind them, rather than under their abdomen. Adapt the style to whatever each horse prefers.
Keep Shavings in the Stall: You can keep your barn aisle tidy by always picking your horse’s hooves before you take him out (that’s a good British Horse Society tip, if you’re going for your certification!) but you can also put an easy rubber lip on your stall door to stop shavings from tumbling out. A small section of rubber mat, cut into a strip a few inches high, can easily be screwed to either side of your stall’s door opening, leaving a flexible rubber stopper that keeps shavings inside.
Another option? Install two pushbroom heads, bristles-up, in the doorway to catch shavings on their way out. You might have to shorten one of the broom heads to fit, but when it’s complete, your horse’s stall will have a boot-brush built right into the door! You’ll be saving time sweeping up messes and your barn aisle will look great.
Hay Nets Made Easy: Hay nets are fantastic ways to feed, but filling them can be a time-consuming mess. Make it easy with a feed bag: drop your hay into the feed bag, slide the hay net over the feed bag, then turn the whole contraption upside down and pull the feed bag out of the net. The hay stays in the net, the barn aisle stays relatively tidy — everyone’s a winner! If you’re not a hay net pro (using them only for horse shows or traveling, for example) then give this trick a try to save time.
What are some of your favorite tricks for saving time around the barn?