Friday, May 23, 2008

My Top 15 Horse Tips - part 2

Tip #9 The best darned latch in the universe
That upside-down J hook thing on the chain? Haven’t met a horse yet who has figured out how to open it, yet it couldn’t be simpler for a human to un-do with one hand. And I’ll give a shout-out here to my barn-builder, Ed Lucero. He welded horseshoes onto the doors at the back of the barn to make them easier for me to slide open. The doors are lined with deck plating for stability.

Tip #10 Horse Panels
The insides of the stalls in my metal barn are lined with what we call “horse panel” out here. It has a 2” x 4” welded grid. If a horse should kick it, his hoof can’t go through the grid, and the stuff is so tough, the wire just bends.

Tip #11 A little organization sure makes life easier
I try to hang my tools where I need them, yet where Lyle can’t get at them.

Tip #12 Recycle
As heavy as these stall gates are, Lyle swings them shut when the mood strikes, and he seems to take great pleasure in closing his buddies into their stalls. I’ve searched for a better-looking tie-down to hold the gates open, but nothing works as well as a piece of baling twine and a slip knot. Lyle can gnaw on it to his heart’s content, and I’ll always have more to replace it.

Tip #13 Strategically placed hydrants
Most barns have a water supply - the tip is to locate it someplace where the horses can’t get near it. They’ll use it as a butt scratcher, or learn how to open the handle, or otherwise wreck it. Replacing these hydrants is not fun, as it usually involves digging a very deep hole and shutting off your well pump or water supply for long periods of time. Which is why this hydrant has a shut-off valve next to it, under that white pvc cap.

Tip #14 Water tanks
Shallow water tanks like this can be placed under a panel for access to horses on both sides; they’re easier to dump and clean than the big, deep ones; and the barn cat can drink out of it without falling in and drowning. This one holds about 70 gallons. My life would be easier if it were placed closer to the hydrant, but having to use a hose to fill it is a good thing for me: it forces me to stand still for a few minutes while the tank fills and there’s never a danger that I’ll turn the water on and forget to turn it off. How many of us have come home to a lake in our barnyards?? Since I have no life outside the fenceline, I have time to fill it every day, and the water stays fresher than if I used a bigger tank.

Tip #15 Cowgirl Curtains
Life is too short to sew curtains and hang curtain rods in the horse trailer, but if you haul your horses around and sleep in your gooseneck, a little privacy is nice. That’s where peel-and-stick velcro comes in.

Tip #16 Don’t follow this one!
But if you’ve got a tip for how to re-stick the rubber strips on your trailer, I’ll take it! The duct tape holds it up but it looks really bad, and none of the glues I’ve tried seem to work.


  1. for number 16 - have you tried gorilla glue? It seems to hold just about everything I've tried it on.

  2. Okay Linda, here's what you have to do to fix the rubber on the trailer.No glue will work by the way.
    Go to an Auto Supply store, get super sticky two-sided adhesive tape. Apply one side of the sticky tape to the rubber, position the rubber EXACTLY where you want it and then pull the other side of the tape along the trailer and it will stick wherever it lands, you only get one shot at this because it will stick. This is how the auto makers apply rubber these days. Good Luck. Great tips by the way.

  3. More great tips! I gave up on the big water troughs. I actually use a couple of buckets that are the same size as my muck buckets. It's easy to dump them and keep the water clean. And I have two small buckets in each horse's stall. I fill them all each time I feed. I'm obsessed with the horses drinking enough, so I monitor their water in-take and keep the water clean.

  4. We have that latch on our back gate - may switch them all over to it. More great tips!