When you consider your farm’s size, your budget, available time and physical capability, you might find that hand tools, non-motorized equipment and even help from your real horses are sufficient to keep things clean, trim and tidy around your place.
“Some people really embrace things in a low-tech way,” says extension specialist Garry Stephenson, of Oregon State University. “On small acreage or with many hands, a lot of stuff can be done manually.”
Small-engine power in the form of hand-held trimmers, walk-behind or small riding mowers and even motorized dump carts can combine with management to make upkeep chores less burdensome. On smaller acreage, for example, have your horses “mow” your paddocks, then knock down the weeds and less tasty grasses with a trimmer.
“I visited one small farm in which the owners had two horses and they managed the whole thing with a garden tractor,” says Stephenson. “They loaded their manure in a pulled cart and flung it out with a shovel as they went.”
When you choose not to make that large cash outlay for farm equipment, you pay, instead, in time and muscle, but you may just find the sense of having done it yourself almost as rewarding as the financial savings.