HI Spy: What item of tack or barn gear would you invent?

Life improved for stall-muckers everywhere with the invention of the lightweight manure fork. What invention would you create to revolutionize the horse world? Photo: Leslie Potter

As a horseperson, you’ve likely come to depend on certain items of tack or barn equipment. If you’ve ever mucked a stall with a heavy, metal shovel, you understand the beauty of lightweight manure forks. Battling moldy leather in a humid climate might lead you to celebrate synthetic tack. For those in the northern climates, what could be better than heated buckets to keep your horse’s water in a liquid state through the coldest nights?

Riding and horsekeeping have come a long way since the dawn of equine domestication, but there are still headaches that all riders and horse owners deal with every day. If you could invent one item to make your life as a rider or horse caretaker better, what would it be? It doesn’t even have to be completely realistic. Use your imagination, and come up with the horse world’s next must-have product.

Share your invention by clicking “Submit a Comment” below. Some responses may be selected for publication in a future issue of Horse Illustrated!

One selected response may be selected by the editors to win a monthly prize! If you would like to be eligible for the prize, please include your email address in the comment form (email addresses are not publicly displayed.)

See all HI Spy questions >>


  1. I would invent a clone of me (I know this sounds funny) so I could always be with my horse! Then I could always hang out with my baby and love him that much more!


  3. My horse wears special shoes for navicular disease, and when it’s muddy, the mud sticks to his shoes terribly. The mud on his shoes makes it harder for him to walk. So, I would invent some type of magic shoe cleaner, kind of like a windshield wiper to wipe all the mud, manure, and other debris off the bottom of his shoes!!

  4. I think mucking stalls is lots of fun,but sometimes it can get a bit tedious bringing the wheelbarrel up and down.So I would invent a lever that you would pull so that all the shavings would come down and all I would have to do would be spread out the shavings.

  5. I would invent a way to teach people to enjoy horses truely, not just to use them as a business, but to love them as a part of the family, or as a best friend. I would use it to help parents and their kids to come together through horses and to keep families from fighting or breaking apart over them.

  6. I guess if I could invent something it would be something useful like a tool to clean hair and mud out of brushes during shedding season; and leaving them looking like new.

  7. I know exactly what I would invent! Do you ever get an itch under your helmet, and you try everything short of taking off the whole helmet and hairnet, and you just cannot itch it? Well, I would invent a type of helmet where the top opens so you can scratch your head. But somehow it wouldn’t look bulky or ugly, just like a normal helmet. That would make my life so much easier. I’m always on the hunt field or at a show hitting the top of my head, trying to itch it, and making people look at me like I’m insane.

  8. i do a lot of jumping and always want to be on time,so i would invent a watch with a tape measure built into it so me or my trainer wanted to know how hi i jumped that day.All you would do is pull the measuring tape out and measure away!!!

  9. if you do dressage, show jumping, or cross county you usually need to memorize your course.That is why i would invent a saddle with a see through pocket.All you would have to do is put a copy of your course in the saddle pocket so you could look down if you think you forgot a part of your course!!!

  10. when ever i jump my pony,Flicka i always have to get off and raise the jump.Thats why i would invent a remote controll jump raiser so all you’d have to do is type in how ever many feet or inches you want to jump and it will atomaticly raise it to that exact height!!!

  11. whether i’m doing my flat classes in a show or practicing at home i almost always am on the wrong lead or diagnol. that is why id invent a special speacker type earing.the earing would “whisper” to you telling you if your on the right lead or diagnal!!!

  12. have you ever wanted to know what mood yor horse is in. then get him a mood saddle pad,bell boots,or a halter.The way this invention works is,the pad,halter or bell boot can sence through heat your horses mood.That way you can know if your horse is mad or happy

  13. I would invent a way to train the horse to manure in the wheel barrow and then invent a way to make the wheel barrow empty itself

  14. A pitchfork with the technology to not startle my green Arab and could sort through the messes in a stall would be mighty helpful.
    But who am I to just rant? I’ve got NASA bloodlines in me, so watch out world, here comes the Pitchfork Supreme!

  15. Did you ever want to know what your horse is saying it its head? Well I would make a certain halter that lets horses talk to you. So you will know whats wrong and whats going on.

  16. A girth that tightens as soon as your horse gives up on trying to be a balloon in the cross ties. It would be nice not to have to keep tightening in the arena.

  17. I would love to have a circular poop vacuum that I would just set in the stall and it would pick up the poop,and when it was done it would also put bedding in the stall too. For now that’s my job!

  18. A robot assistant to set up and take down barrels, poles, jumps, etc., as well as fetch my water bottle or retrieve that whip I dropped. I could just about live my entire life on my horse that way!

  19. I would invent a special spray that on hot summer days you put on. This spray would prevent you from getting hot at all, and it would even work on your horse when you are in close proximity.

  20. I would invent an electronic stall cleaner. It would be able to muck, sweep, and scrub out each and every stall with a click of a button. This would insure that instead of cleaning stalls, I could spend quality time with my equine friends.

  21. I would invent a new variety of little wasps that would kill Horseflys. It seems nothing deters them and it would relieve the horses from nasty bites and welts that are so painful!

  22. I would invent an english saddle with cupholders for water bottles or even to store your camera! I hate having to get off my horse to get my water or if I see something neat, to get my camera so that would help alot!

  23. I would invent a little collar you could put on horses so that they could speak. Then I could ask my horse what things I should improve on in my riding, ask him other questions, and we could both understand each other in our conversations. That would be so cool!

  24. I would have an arena set up with a grid underneath that moved and changed the jumps. It would all be controlled by a touch screen and you could lower or raise jumps and switch out flower boxes with the touch of a screen.

  25. A low-profile, lightweight, ventilated ASTM/SEI approved hard hat with removable/washable hat covers fashioned to look like a straw or felt cowboy/cowgirl hat. Head protection, sun protection, for schooling, trails, or the showpen. I think it would encourage more Western riders to wear helmets.

  26. if there was one tool to clean your horse like a pocket knife that would make my life easier in stead of having to go back and forth to get grooming supplies.

  27. I would love to have self cleaning stalls! That would save so much time and money! Imagine never having to dig through bedding to try to salvage the good stuff and never pushing a heavy wheelbarrow again!

  28. I would invent a device that would allow me to communicate with my horse! That way, she could tell me if she was sick, or if I was pulling to much on the reins, or why she jumps at paper bags while out on the trail, instead of me having to guess for myself. And think about it. I’d make millions!

  29. If I could invent an item of tack or barn gear, I would create a clear wrap that would custom-fit to my horse’s hooves’ and prevent them from laminitis, cracking, and abscess.

  30. I would love to see some sort of rolling device that would tear up horse manure and mix it with the soil as you push or pull it along. Raking it in just seems to leave the “muffins” intact lots of times and I have to resort to stomping then raking, and it just seems there should be an easier way.

  31. I wish there was a devise that shows you what your horse is thinking. For example, you would always know what makes your horse nervous, or what he’s spooking at!

  32. I would invent a halter that would have a small device hidden somewhere in it that read my horse’s thoughts, so i could know what he wants or what he sees from his point of view. I think it would my life and my horse’s life so much easier to know how he thinks.

  33. A helmet that I could put on the lesson kids that made them actually listen to the instructors do exactly what they were saying. That way they’d finally start riding better and the horses wouldn’t get jerked around by bouncy hands or anything like that. I always feel so bad for the lesson horses, they look so unhappy.

  34. My invention would be an automatic muck device. It would roll around and fork up manure. I think everyone would rather spend time with their horse than muck a dirty stall of clean a big pasture.

  35. I would invent the “Pasture Plucker,” a weed-pulling device for pastures. All you would have to do is set it in your pasture, press the button, and watch the machine go to work plucking all the weeds that damage your grass, storing them in its little tank as it rolls across the entire field. When it’s finished, just dump the storage tank, and it’s ready for the next job. Then I would have more time to spend riding my horse in my beautiful green pasture without having to pull a single weed!

  36. I would invent a tool that could do multiple things like muck your horse’s stall, fill water buckets, clean troughs, and read your horse’s mind so that you would know if your horse was hungry or in pain. It would do things for riders, too. It could heal sore muscles from tough practices and help pick out the perfect practice and show outfit.

  37. A arena that vaccums the water when it rains, but you can set it to where it will let the arena be moist, to eliminate dust. I would call it the ” No Mud Arena”

  38. I would invent a little machine that makes an intresting noise or a smell of their favorite treat that they couldnt resist. then they would come to you out of curiousity. that way you dont have to chase them all over the pasture before going on a ride

  39. In my perfect world there would be something that pops out of the arena floor when you fall off your horse! 😉 Because it’s no fun having the wind knocked out of you and being sore in the morning. 😐

  40. I would invent a stall hanging hook system that is adaptable to any width stall door. The hook system we have fits some doors, but is too narrow for thicker doors, and unusable at some show barns. I would add a cup holder too for that hot latte for cool mornings!

  41. My family uses a wheelbarrel to move the poop, but one day it would be nice to have a poop bucket with wheels and a handle, like a suitcase.

  42. I would make spray bottles that won’t let my expensive sprays evaporate out. I hate wasting the sprays that are important to my boys well being:)

  43. I would make a saddle that would fit every horse! It’s such a pain in the neck (not to mention in the wallet) when you own multiple horses and have to have a different saddle to fit each of their backs.

  44. I would want to have a device that would make snow go “poof”, so if you wanted to go on a trail ride during the winter, the snow would clear on the pastures, walkways and trails, but would be everywhere else, so you have the prettiness of snow without the snowballs in my horses’ hooves and clumped on their legs.

  45. The Tack Or Barn Equitment I would invent would be a Two Person Saddle. So it is kind of like, A western saddle with another on the back but smaller and with out a horn.

  46. I would invent a hat for the horses to wear. And the hat would automaticly form an invisable connection to the horses brain and tell us what the horse i thinking. I would be helpful because when riding we could find out why the horse isn’t responding or why the are rushing jumps and ect.

  47. I would invent a disposable horse diaper! So when you’re on trail rides u don’t have to worry about leaving a mess behind. 🙂

  48. I would invent some type of device that would allow horses and humans to communicate in a special language, to understand horses better!

  49. The large horse water tub needs improved (50 or more gallons) in SO many ways. My horses poop in it, take the heater out of it, it freezes if there isn’t a heater in it, and its difficult to drain when it needs it done. I would like to see a water tub that could accomodate these needs.

  50. I would love to have heating massage leg wraps! After a long workout wouldn’t be lovely to give your horse a nice warming leg massage? I know my horse would love it – and maybe a massage pad for her back as well!

  51. Automatic stall cleaner. Push a button and the stall gets perfectly mucked out. 🙂 Whoever manages to invent that is a genius in my book!

  52. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve spent hours grooming and braiding my mare’s mane and tail for her to go and roll in the dirt or rub her neck against a tree. It would be incredible if there was a machine that you could attach to the mane and it would perfectly re-groom it and add all the finishing touches. Of course the horses would probably spook at the machine, but one can dream!

  53. I would invent a memory foam tack and appearel set to solve the problem of soreness and rubbing! A memory foam halter, lead rope, bridle, saddle with memory foam seat, saddle pad, shirt, jodphurs, helmet with memory foam inside and tough outside, and boots with memory foam inside. It would make you and your horse so comfortable! You might even be able to ride longer!

  54. I’m never really sure if my horse has a sickness. I don’t know if those bumps on her stomach are hives, or if her runny nose is a fever. I would have a scanner, similar to that in an airport, you could scan over her body, and it would read THRUSH or COLIC or ALLERGY. That would save me a lot of time!

  55. I love to spend time with my horse but he makes a lot of poop and it takes a while to shovel it. A manure-picker-upper robot would be great. It would vacuum up the manure and then dump it in the right place. It would be programmable so that you could set it to pick up the poop at certain times everyday, and it would be completely quiet.

  56. I would invent clippers that don’t make noise and turn invisable. It’s hard to clip a horse that rears up and breaks halters every time you turn the clippers on. One can only dream though.

  57. To be realistic lol I would love to try asnd invent a blanket that every horse could wear that doesnt rub the shoulders. Kinda like the hug blanket but better as they rub too just are a little easier for those pointy narrow shouldered horses lol. Thats the bain of my existance. My horse is sensitive to bugs and needs a fly sheet but he is allergic to the laytex in the shoulder sleezys and its hot so he sweats under it. Plus he is really hairy in the winter and I show all winter long so blankets keep him from getting really fuzzy lol. I have literally spent well over $500 on blankets and fly sheets that dont fit his shoulder and rub him raw. Im seriously looking at trying to MAKE my horse a blanket lol One that has darts in the RIGHT places and conforms to his back instead of being HELD in place by the shoulder buckles! Darn it lol

  58. A super downy bareback pad so fluffy that when press your legs against your horse, they are almost covered in the pad. It would be extremely comfy and durable.

  59. I would invent a self- grooming horse system. It would look like a small football goal but upside down. It would just blow all the dust and dirt off in a few seconds.

  60. I would invent a special blanket. It would have a sunpowered heating and cooling system. I would have it where the horse could hardly feal it. It would have water and wind proof outside,gel for the middle,the heating/cooling system, and a soft fleecy inside.

  61. I would invent an automatic grain distributor. It would be mounted on a wall and would have six or seven ‘grain holders’ on top all connecting with a tube on the bottom. All you’d have to do is put any amount of grain in each compartment and then type in your horse’s rations. After you place a bucket under the opening at the bottom, it would spit out your horse’s grain. After it was done, all you’d have to do was pick up the bucket and feed.

  62. I wouldn’t invent anything! Sure there are things that are annoying to do owning a horse like mucking stalls and cleaning tack, but it’s all important things that makes you want to care for your horse as best you can. You wanted a horse so be prepared for the work that comes with it!!

  63. I would invent a brush for the spring time when a horse is shedding that gets off the winter hair in one brushing. Even a few would do!

  64. I would invent some kind of strap that would keep my elbows in when I’m having my dressage lessons. That’s my biggest horse petpeeve.

  65. I would invent retractable stirrup leathers! No more fussing to change your stirrup length while mounted, just press a switch and lock it on what length you need! Would also make mounting a cinch… pull the stirrup down to where you need it, then reset the length once you’re in the saddle! Sighh… if only.

  66. I would invent some kind of laser light with a rope/lasso on the end, so when my horse is being a BRAT out in the field and won’t let me catch him, I could point the light at his bratty neck and a loop would fall over it!!!!

  67. If I could make something to improve the horse world and make my life better it would be an automatic shower for your horse. You would lead your horse into the stall and then use crossties to hook him to the wall and then you would shut a door and hit the START button on the shower key pad and it would calculate where everything is on your horse so it could get every area and know where everything is. Then it would wash, scrub, shampoo, condition,do the legs, and then dry without missing a spot and it would all be done in about 20 minutes. Plus you could use it in the winter too. I call this the next best thing in washing your horse.

  68. I would make a machine that would dry up all the pasture mud and make it solid dirt again. No more uber muddy horses, and no more boots stuck in the ground!

  69. I have four horses and the only one who doesn’t mind getting fly sprayed is my 34 year-old Quarter Horse. The others just don’t seem to understand that after I spray them, the flies somewhat stay away from them. Apparently they can’t connect the two things together. haha. Because of this I would invent a type of fly spray that actually keeps ALL the flies away. Plus, since my horses always seem to freak out when I try to spray them, I would invent a fly spray dispenser/sprayer that wouldn’t spook them so that I wouldn’t have to take a washcloth and wipe them down for an hour everyday.

  70. i love brushing my horse, but no matter how long i brush i cant seem to get All the dirt out. so i would invent a brush that completely cleans the horse in a smaller amount of time. so u will still have the pleaser of brushing and bonding with your horse without the trouble of spending 3 hours for nothing!

  71. I would invent a solar powered heating/cooling horse blanket. It would have a nylon outside, gel middle and soft material on the inside. I would have it be lightweight and waterproof and be very comfortable. There would be invisible solar and control panels. You could regulate the temperature and it would be easy to take on and off.

  72. I would invent a rolling saddle bag to cary saddles. My dressage saddle is too heavy to cary everywhere. A rolling saddle bag would help a lot of people.

  73. I would invent a lightweight dressage saddle with a hand-hold built in for therapeutic riding with alpaca wool as the flocking. Dressage saddles are too heavy for disabled riders to carry themselves.

  74. I would invent an adjustable mounting ramp, so special needs riders will be able mount their horses by themselves or with a little help. I would also invent an anti-stupidity spray for horses, dogs, cats, and humans; it will replace the stupidity with common sense.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here