Tricks of the Trade

Sometimes in our horsey lives it’s the little things that make all the difference. That’s why I thought I’d share a few of my “little things” that I appreciate each day and find helpful for getting chores done easily and painlessly.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Tricks of the Trade
Blanket clamps hold a water hose in place, freeing you up for another chore while the tank fills. | Photo: Alayne Blickle, Horses for Clean Water

Sometimes in our horsey lives it’s the little things that make all the difference. That’s why I thought I’d share a few of my “little things” that I appreciate each day and find helpful for getting chores done easily and painlessly.

Clips on watering tank.

I learned this from a fellow horse friend. Just take a couple of blanket clips to clasp your water hose in place and viola! No more crazy monster hose flipping out of the tank and spraying you and scaring horses. While you’re at it, set the timer on your cell phone for how long it’ll take the tank to fill. That way you can go get another task done and not accidentally forget about the filling water tank until two hours later when pastures and all else are flooded.

kiwi latch
Kiwi latches are clever little hooks that allow you to open and close gates with one hand. | Photo: Alayne Blickle

Kiwi latches for gates.

Gotta love ’em! These clever little gate hooks, supposedly from New Zealand (hence the name!) are wonderful for gates. They are the most horse proof thing I’ve ever come across, plus you can effortlessly open and close a gate with one hand — while holding your morning coffee in the other hand! These are very inexpensive, less than $4/each, and you locate them on the Internet or at your feed/hardware store

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

19 Responses

  1. Great ideas. The kiwi clip will not work, since I own Houdini’s little sister, and she can escape from anything, including the vet rooms at the hospital. The surprise comes when they open the big doors and she walks out past them to just go on a “walk about”. But they will work on all my other horses. I like the blanket clips. and a kids ball but I believe a small horse ball would work. Thanks so much!

  2. The Kiwi latch for gates is great, until I saw my horse and 3 donkeys grazing in my front yard. I have one donkey that can figure out every doorknob, latch, etc… So I now soak all latches in Tobasco. He leaves them alone now. Also, I double latch all gates.

  3. re: Tricks of the Trade

    Tire iron to break out ice in winter; I keep rubber gloves on hand to stay dry when pulling ice out of troughs; I  use a metal strainer with handle to get all the loose ice out in winter and it’s great for getting grass, etc. out in warm weather.

  4. re: Tricks of the Trade

    I use a cut to fit automobile shade fabric on top of the water tank.  The material is a sandwich of shiny mylar and bubble wrap.  The reduction in heat is huge in the summer time.  The horses just push it down to drink with no problem an

  5. re: Tricks of the Trade

    I built a beautiful new barn for my horses. Soon after the cold weather set in I put the horses in their stalls at night. My Belgian started kicking the door so hard he bent the metal and broke the wood. I investigated all the possible causes and solut

  6. re: Tricks of the Trade

    I love the blanket clip idea and the Kiwi clips.

    In summer, we put a float on the hose in the water trough.  That way, it refills itself and I just need to check it quickly and then scoop off any debris.

    In winter, we have a heated,

  7. re: Tricks of the Trade

    To keep water in trough accessible,( in case you forget or it re ices over), use a childs size playball…large enough so not a danger to horse, but not too large to fill trough, the horses soon realise that they can dip the ball and find fresh water u

  8. re: Tricks of the Trade

    To keep water in trough accessible,( in case you forget or it re ices over), use a childs size playball…large enough so not a danger to horse, but not too large to fill trough, the horses soon realise that they can dip the ball and find fresh water u

  9. re: Tricks of the Trade

    ALWAYS carry a pocket knife with you, and I also keep an extra one in my grooming tote for an emergency.  There are also less expensive ‘Leatherman’ type pocket knives available at most Wal Marts, and they have just about every tool available that

  10. re: Tricks of the Trade

    Since keeping them drinking is more important in winter, I put a small salt block in the feeder to entice water consumption. It has the added benefit of slowing down grain consumption for grain bolters.

    Warmed carrots in my pockets make great po

  11. re: Tricks of the Trade

    Audio books are great for replacing the radio , if you are so inclined.The boss at an Appaloosa breeding and training ranch in Indiana was the author of this idea,for me, anyway.

  12. re: Tricks of the Trade

    The same 2×4 that will save the squirrels can be left in your trough through the winter. When you need to break up the ice you can use the lumber for leverage. Rough cut lumber works the best.

  13. re: Tricks of the Trade

    use a rubber truck bed mat under a feed tub to catch dropped grain.  horses can clean up their leftovers without eating dirt.

  14. re: Tricks of the Trade

    I have geothermal waterers but I will still get a layer of ice on the surface when the temps get below 15 degrees. I use a hammer to crack the ice and use a cat litter scoop get out the chunks. It saves water and keeps your hands dry.

  15. re: Tricks of the Trade

    I bought a pool skimmer to use in between water tank cleanings.  It works great to remove leaves, bugs and the occasional quid that ends up in the water trough.  Saves big on water!  

    I also have had several summers where I had to

  16. re: Tricks of the Trade

    I have four horses with 24/7/365 access to shelters with rubber mats. I use a plastic snow shovel to scoop the poops when the horses have used the shelters in bad weather.

  17. re: Tricks of the Trade

    Old worn-out hoof knife for a safer way to cut baling twine – blunt tip and a clear sharp and dull edge. The curved tip is also handy for unearthing the twine when it’s not clearly visible.   Cheapo ones are also fine for this task, you can often

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you begin to prepare/stock up on products/purchase products for these skin issues?
105 votes · 105 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!