Barn life is a full of challenges, but there are also some amazing barn hacks out there that can make life with horses easier. Some of these you'll discover with time, while others are such great - yet simple - ideas that you'll wonder why you didn't think of them yourself. Whether you're looking to save time or just make things easier, these barn hacks can help.
The 10 Best Barn Hacks for Horse Owners
Always forgetting that you left the hose on? Tired of dealing with paddocks so muddy you never make it out of them with your boots still on your feet? There are barn hacks for that.
Tennis Ball Crossties
Tired of the "clang" your crossties make when you drop them against the wall? Cut two slits in a tennis ball and push the balls over the clip and onto the crosstie. The ball will hit the wall first, protecting the clip and reducing the noise.
Water Trough Reminders
If you often forget that you've left the hose on to fill the water trough, create a water trough reminder bracelet. This can be as simple as a stretchy bracelet with a duct tape tag on it that reads, "Water." Put the bracelet on when you turn the water on, and you'll receive a reminder every time you look down at your wrist. No more flooded paddocks!
Using blanket tags can make blanketing easier on you, your barn owner, or your horse sitter. Buy a dog tag for each of your horse's blankets, and have the tag engraved to include your horse's name and the temperature range when he should be wearing that particular blanket. (Luggage tags can also work for this purpose.)
Just attach the blanket tags to the chest area of your horse's blankets for easier, more accurate blanketing.
Velcro Boot Hangers
Sticky-backed Velcro can transform any surface into a boot hanger that will hold your SMB or other fabric-type boots. Just peel off the backing and press the Velcro to your horse's stall door, the side of your tack box, or anywhere else where you want to keep your boots easily accessible.
You can also pick up one of those handy over-the-door shoe organizers at your local big box store. This can act as storage for leg boots, bell boots, and more.
Makeshift Ice Packs
If you need an ice pack but don't have time to buy one from a store, you can use those diapers you have in your first-aid kit. Wet the diaper thoroughly, put it in a plastic bag, and freeze it.
If you're icing an awkward area on your horse, like a knee, you can often shape the diaper before you freeze it, so it's easier to apply.
Dryer sheets can have multiple purposes in your barn. Store them in tack trunks and bins of equipment that you don't use frequently to help keep mice away. Mice don't like the scent of dryer sheets, so these sheets can help to protect blankets, saddle pads, and other gear. Just be sure to replace the sheets as they start to lose their scent.
Dryer sheets can also help to reduce static electricity when you're removing a blanket from your horse. Rub the sheet over your horse's coat as you pull the blanket.
Broom Heads for Cribbers and Wood Chewers
There are all sorts of hacks for keeping horses from cribbing, but this one actually works. If you have a horse who is cribbing or wood chewing on a stall door (and pulling it off the hinges), mount a push broom head to the top of the door with the bristles facing up. This can keep your horse from being able or wanting to crib on that surface, and can save your stall door.
Lighthoof Panels for Mud Management
If you're tired of muddy paddock gates, run-ins, and other problem areas, Lighthoof panels can help. Lighthoof panels create stability, giving you and your horse a surface to walk on. They're easy to install and can improve the safety and accessibility of some of those toughest areas on your farm that always have drainage issues.
Quickly remove leaves and other debris from your water troughs with a colander. Pool skimmers can work for this, too, but colanders are stronger, which is helpful when you're dealing with ice in the winter.
Consider getting a few different sizes of colanders so you can remove ice and debris from troughs and water buckets.
Need a new polishing rag for grooming? Want to bring out a great shine in your boots? Need to apply fly spray by hand for that spray-bottle-sensitive horse?
A microfiber cloth is the solution to all of these scenarios. Affordably priced and available in large packs, these cloths are super versatile. You're sure to find even more uses for them around your barn.
Making Barn Life Easier
These are just a few of our favorite barn hacks. They're easy to implement, affordable, and they make caring for your horses so much easier. What are your favorite barn hacks?