Have you discovered a way to cut down on chores and spend more time with your horses? Thousands of EquiSearch visitors entered their best tips in three contest periods in hopes of winning Tractor Supply gift cards.
Nancy Black of Willseyville, N.Y., won the first contest period and the grand prize for this tip: "To keep flies down and the odor level normal, add lime to each wheelbarrow of manure you take to your pile. Works like a charm and settles it nicely. I also add composter starter to really activate it, and it makes a wonderful garden add-in."
Check out these other great barn chore tips from the first contest period:
"I have recreational horses and feed in the mornings at 4 a.m. I prepare all my feed portions the night before so I just need to dump and run in the morning. Each horse has its own labeled or specific colored bucket, so it's easy to remember who gets what."
--Chip Watson, Walden, N.Y.
"Listerine in a spray bottle is an all-in-one liquid cleanser (use on that nasty bit or dirty fingers), disinfectant and brace or liniment."
--Susan White, Elkridge, Md.
"When I clean stalls I put a pile of extra shavings in a corner of the stall where the horse doesn't urinate. Then I pull from the extra pile of shavings each day until it is gone. It usually lasts three days."
--Kathy Herring, Portland, Ore.
"For spring cleanup help, I contact the local Boy Scouts who like to work on projects as a group to make money for their summer camp. That helps them pay for the camp, helps me and is charitable deduction."
--Barbara Cerio, Meridian, Idaho
"I use those plastic-covered bike hanging hooks to store my pitchforks and shovels. The bigger hooks, side-by-side, about two inches apart keep multiple tools neatly out of the way yet still handy at moment's notice."
--Sharon Nicko, Aitkin, Minn.
"To fight flies, bees and wasps in the barn, get a small jar with a lid and fill it 1/4 full of sugar water, soda or syrup. Punch a small hole in the lid so insects can enter. Hang with wire or leave on shelves. No more costly, messy fly strips!"
--Andrea Kuhn, Glen Easton, W.V.
"I spray the aisle with a light mist from a horse before I use the blower. This allows me to blow the aisle clear while keeping the dust in the air down for the horses and people."
--Jessica Deutsch-Corr, Goshen, N.Y.
"I use gentle, non-scented baby wipes for everything--cleaning bits and tack after use, cleaning around the horse's eyes, ears, nostrils. I even use them on green or dirty spots on the horse's coat or saddle pads. They are also great for cleaning your hands after working in the barn or riding."
--Diana Wilstermann, San Marcos, Calif.