34 APRIL 2016 | HorseIllustrated.com
increase your electricity bill by $30
For those of us living in
northern states, insulated bucket
holders, either purchased or
homemade, make barn life easier.
A little bit of insulation means no
more swinging a rubber mallet at
the side of the bucket to break up
the ice every day.
Large, outdoor tanks can be
set inside a heavily insulated
box with a piece of floating hard
insulation on the water surface.
My 100-gallon tank in Maine
11. Bright Ideas
stays amazingly ice-free most
days in the winter. There are no
extra electricity expenses and
no extension cords crisscrossing
If you’re guilty of leaving on lights
after you’ve left the bathroom, tack
room or feed room, install motion
sensors and watch your electricity
bill go down. This, combined with
energy-e;cient LED lights, is
a money and aggravation saver.
Exterior lighting on motion
sensors also saves money.
You may hear that
motion sensors are
unreliable, but if they
are set up correctly, they
work great. I’ve used
them on my farm for
more than 25 years.
No power in an
outbuilding? A battery-operated motion-sensor
LED light is the answer.
The one in my hay barn
has been operating on the
same set of batteries for
12. Shelve It
Roll those grain bins out
of the way. Shop for used
kitchen cabinets with
slide-out bases, or just add
a countertop and mount
your grain bins on barrel
dollies, then roll them
under the counter. You’ll
wonder what you did
without this additional
work and storage space
Metal trash cans are 100
percent rodent-proof, and being
able to move them around allows
you to keep the floors swept clean.
13. Open-Door Policy
Another old-school idea is to put
solid board rails in doorways when
barn doors are open. Fit the boards
into slots so they can be dropped
down easily for people, yet keep a
loose horse from leaving the barn.
Good ventilation is key to your
horses’ health, and these board
rails will allow you to leave the
doors open, even if you own an
14. Save on Salt
Instead of buying small salt bricks
or spools, buy a 50-pound block
and place it in a corner of the stall.
It will keep your horse happy and
provide a source of salt for more
than a year. On a pound-per-pound
basis, you will save $40 or more a
year. As a side benefit, many horses
that chew up the smaller bricks
will just lick the larger block.
15. Nothing But Net
For years, I fed hay outside on
the ground, but when horses
had their fill, they wasted the
remaining hay and trampled it
into the dirt. Hanging hay nets
reduces hay waste, but wrestling
the hay into the nets each day is
At a dressage farm that I visited,
I noticed they had hay-net hoops.
This was the best of both worlds—
no more hay waste and no hassle
putting the hay in the net.
Become an idea shopper!
Hundreds of ideas like this
abound at stables that you visit.
Keep your eyes peeled and look
for them. By sharing ideas and
looking at the ways that others are
doing things, we can all benefit. HI
DUSTY PERIN is a freelance equine
photographer based in Maine.
Put grain bins on
slide-out bases under
a countertop for more
work and storage space.