Barn life is amazing, and sometimes you need to come up with a clever solution to a problem in a hurry! These are my favorite barn hacks to save time and money at the barn!
- Keep a can of cooking spray in the barn. Spray it on the bottom of hooves in icy, snowy weather to keep them from getting packed with balls of ice.
- Need a place to hang blankets to dry? Hook your cross ties together for a quick clothesline! Just be careful that you don’t run into them when you’re walking through the barn. (I’ve done this a time or two after I forget that I clipped them together!)
- Cut an “X” in two tennis balls and put them on the ends of your cross ties so the snaps don’t “CLANG” when you drop them. If you have large clips, you may need some larger than standard tennis balls. We did this at our barn but the cross ties have really large clips and if the ties aren’t dropped just-so, they’ll still make a loud noise.
- Tired of your horse stomping during fly season? Buy a pack of knee-high socks for humans, cut the feet off, and pull them over your horse’s feet to make DIY fly boots! If they come down too easily, get silicone caulk from the home improvement section of the store, turn the socks inside out, and put a few lines of silicone around the top to help them stay up better.
- Does the belly strap on your horse’s blanket keep coming undone? Wrap a braiding band or two around the post of the surcingle buckle to hold it tighter and keep the strap from coming free.
- If your horse’s blankets have a small rip and you have basic sewing skills, you can repair it yourself! Use a heavy-duty needle and waxed thread (or dental floss) to stitch the tear closed. You can also get iron-on blanket repair patches. (Affiliate link)
- Buy baby wipes from the dollar store and keep them in your grooming kit! They’re great for wiping your horse’s face off, or getting dirt off your own hands. Our horses always have crusty eyes, so we keep wipes on hand to get their faces nice and clean. (Also handy to have in your kit for a show- wipe your horse’s face off before going in the ring!)
- If your pony has chestnuts or ergots that have gotten completely out of control, slather them in Vaseline to soften them up. After a bit, you should be able to pull them off by hand. Might take a few applications, depending on how big they’ve gotten!
- Empty feed bags make great trash can liners. You already buy feed, no reason to buy trash bags too!
- Keep menstrual pads and baby diapers in your first aid kit. They’re great for wrapping feet or for putting on wounds to soak up blood. Bonus: if you have a period and it starts unexpectedly at the barn, you have back-up supplies!
- If you’re clipping your horse and need to make sure you have the cut even on both sides, measure using a piece of baling twine! Hold one end of the twine at the spine or crest of the neck and pull down to measure one side, then go to the other side and do the same to make sure you have the perfect clip.
- Speaking of baling twine, if your knife has grown legs and wandered off, you can use a piece of baling twine to cut open a bale of hay! Slip the loose piece of twine under the twine that’s holding the bale, then grab both ends and pull them in a quick sawing motion, making sure to stay in one spot on the intact twine. Once you get good at it, this only takes a few seconds to cut through the twine!
- Use the “flat” or “angle” setting on your hose nozzle to quickly rinse shampoo from your horse’s coat. Start at the top of their body and move down so that you use the water to “squeegee” the soap out of the hair.
- Use pool noodles to cushion your wire saddle racks! Over time, a wire saddle rack can leave indents in your saddle’s panels. Cut pool noodles to size, then cut a slit in one side to the hole in the middle. Slip the piece of pool noodle over the wire rack so the saddle sits on the noodle instead of on the metal rack.
- Speaking of pool noodles, they also make great boot trees! Cut to the length of your boot, then simply slip the pool noodle into your boots when they’re not being worn.
- Getting rid of blankets that are too small or have too many rips to be repaired? Cut the buckles and snaps off them before trashing them! Now you have extra buckles and snaps for emergency blanket repairs or if you need them for elsewhere.
Those are just 16 of my favorite barn hacks. What hacks do you use around your barn to save time and/or money? Let me know in the comments!