I don’t know about you guys, but I have a few items at the barn that I haven’t really reviewed that get a lot of use and not a lot of praise.
After having my double wheeled wheelbarrow lose a wheel, I hunted everywhere in town for a new wheel only to find that apparently none of the replacement wheels fit the axle for that wheelbarrow. I was hesitant to order a wheel online because I didn’t want to fool with return shipping if they too didn’t fit, so I did the perfectly reasonable thing and bought a whole new cart! I still have the old wheelbarrow in the barn because I’m a hoarder and one day I might buy a new axle and two new wheels, but alas, that day has yet to arrive. Ever since purchasing it, I’ve used the Gorilla Cart for cleaning stalls and the dump bed has been really handy as it takes a lot of the work out of dumping the manure.
The Gorilla Cart serves other purposes as well though. I can more easily use it to move things to and from the truck (think bags of shavings and grain…) without having to do the lift and push of a traditional wheelbarrow. I will never have another ONE wheeled wheelbarrow after having a two wheel and especially not after having the Gorilla Cart. One handed movement for the win. The other super neat thing about the Gorilla Cart is that the handle can be configured to hitch to the back of a riding lawn mower/golf cart. Apparently I can’t find the one picture I have of it hooked to the golf cart, but trust me when I say that arrangement is helpful. I’ve had this cart for two years now, and outside of being dirty from hauling manure, it looks like new.
At first I didn’t like this fork for whatever reason. I preferred my standard type basket fork, despite that the basket part is cracked. I also have a pink standard fork that tries to break on me regularly as well. I swear I don’t think I’m that rough on manure forks but the evidence says otherwise…
At some point during the winter I just started using the Wave fork instead, maybe because it was closest to where I was standing at the time. I have forks scattered everywhere (though they’re in a variety of using conditions…) so I just grab whatever. Well, apparently I like the Wave fork because I’ve been using it solely for the duration of Copper’s stall rest lately, which has been daily cleaning of two stalls for a month. True, not comparable to a lot of people’s situations, but that’s a ton of stall cleaning for me!
I didn’t realize how much I preferred this fork until I tried my big red basket fork when I was stripping Paige’s stall the other day. It just felt so flimsy in comparison to the wave fork that I immediately started using the Wave fork again. I also somehow managed to pop a piece off my Wave fork and was immediately freaking out that I broke it and was sad…then I realized the piece simply pops right back on. I think its just the piece that holds the tines in place. Phew. So I realized that I’m more attached to my Wave fork than I realized. If I ever manage to break any of the tines, I want to swap that orange out for purple. So naturally now I’ll manage to break all the blue tines and none of the orange ones. 😉 I didn’t pay full price for it either since I caught it on a great sale at Southern States randomly. I think I paid like $20 for it. My favorite feature is the cushy foam piece on the handle that is soft on my hand when I’m cleaning stalls.
Despite the fact that I never ride in gloves, I’ve generally always got a pair of work gloves on. This pair of work gloves to be specific. I desperately need a new pair because these are falling apart after three years of near daily use. They’re so comfortable for me though and have saved my hands from many a splinter moving boards. I wear them throughout the year unless it’s below freezing and generally stay pretty warm unless I manage to get my hands wet and keep moving. The thin cloth on the backs of my hands keeps them from getting too warm in the summer when I’m out working in the sun and the elastic around the wrist keeps them from sliding around or falling off.
I used these gloves for most of my winter chores as they have far more insulation and allow for more tactile ability than most winter gloves. RW has them on closeout now, so you could grab a cheap pair for next winter with their 15% sale that’s running right now as well. Just fyi. 😉
Watering Trough Hack
Okay, so this isn’t really a product review, but I’ve always wanted something to hold my water hose in the tank so I can scurry around and do other things while the trough fills. I’ve looked at clamps and other hardware parts but I’ve never seen something that I thought would work…until this winter…
This winter, I randomly used this hook from an old corral panel to bust the ice on my water trough and a couple days later was inspired to give it a try and my magical need was fulfilled! I’ve been using it for this purpose ever since!
Unfortunately I have no idea where to tell you to find one of these magical hooks minus buying a whole corral panel…which is far from the cheapest solution to this problem I’m sure. If you have one of these hanging around your farm somewhere, this is the best use I can come up with for it. When I’m done filling the trough, I just slide it between the trough and the barn to keep any horses/donkeys from stepping on it. I need to hunt a second one for my second trough.
As you can see in the above picture, I have several of these barrels laying around. I have two at the main barn, this hoard is in the lower hay barn. I use one of these to store all of my grain in. I never generally buy more than one bag at a time because I rarely have more than one horse eating grain and a bag will last two weeks, but since Copper and Joey have been being grained lately, I’ve been going through a bag a week and have managed to squeeze two 50lb bags of Omelene 100 in one of the big barrels plus Cheddar’s big bag of cat food and a medium sized bag of horse treats. I also still have room at the top of the bin for everyone’s prepped breakfast for ease of feeding before work in the mornings. And that’s with about 12″ of space blocked down in the bottom of the barrel to keep the bags high enough that I can more easily scoop out of them. So pretty efficient way to store grain.
The hoard of barrels in the hay barn could be of much more use than they are currently, but that’s where the project comes in…they’re each mostly full of ancient grain that Dad had on hand for bribing cattle. Or I assume it was once grain, regardless, it isn’t edible anymore. Every year I say I’m going to clean the lower hay barn up and get this stuff in more usable condition (empty and clean…) but so far I haven’t. Anyone want to come help? 😉