You probably already keep your stable stocked with the obvious tools of the trade that keep it running smoothly—stall picks, brooms, muck buckets, etc. But there are a few tools that can make your barn chores even simpler and give you more time for the important things in life—like riding, grooming, and hanging out with your horse! Here are four handy tools that might be missing from your arsenal—do you have any more to add to the list?
1. Two-wheeled wheelbarrow
Sure, you already own a wheelbarrow. And it has one wheel, right? But let me say, from personal experience, that trading in that old one-wheeled wheelbarrow for a two-wheeled version is one of the smartest time-saving swaps you can make. Not only are two-wheeled wheelbarrows steadier and easier to maneuver (say goodbye to losing control and toppling heavy loads), they also allow you the handy convenience of being able to manipulate them using only one hand. Try one out—you’ll never want to go back.
2. Vacuum cleaner
A vacuum in the barn? You bet. A garage or shop vacuum—especially one with a long hose—can be a real help in the barn. Besides cleaning out the usual cracks and crevices that a simple sweeping might miss, a vacuum can be put to valuable use for clearing away the invariable cobwebs that occur in a stable environment—no more waving a broom in the air, knocking dust everywhere. And being that cobwebs can be a fire hazard, clearing them away with the right tool is always a good thing.
3. Cordless drill
Your stable’s components get a lot of use—and take a lot of wear and tear on a daily basis. So it’s no surprise that parts and pieces will wiggle loose and break over time. A rechargeable battery-powered electric drill is just the thing to make quick work out of loose doors, bucket hangers, and other components of your barn. Get yourself a kit with wide range of bit shapes (flat, Phillips, square, star) and sizes so that you’ll be ready to tackle any job. You’ll want to pick a drill that’s comfortable for you, but since it’ll be used for barn work, it needs to be strong. Don’t choose a drill with voltage that is too low—14.4 volts or higher is likely what you want.
4. Hose reel
You might have automatic waterers already installed in your stable—if so, congratulations on being ahead of the game! If not, you probably use a hose setup of some variety. A smart move is to put that hose on a hose reel located somewhere near your water source. Not only does this allow for faster roll-up times, it’s also a safe way to get your hose up off the aisle floor and neatly out of the way of horses and people.
What are your favorite stable tools?
Daniel Johnson is a freelance writer and professional photographer. He’s the author of several books, including How to Raise Horses: Everything You Need to Know, (Voyageur Press, 2014). Dan’s barn is home to Summer, a Welsh/TB cross, Orion, a Welsh Cob, and Mati and Amos, two Welsh Mountain Ponies. Follow him at www.facebook.com/foxhillphoto.