Perhaps not the most exciting subject but this is a large part of looking after horses. This means that having the right tools which will make the job as easy and efficient as possible is essential. As my horses are in their stables at night in the winter and in during the day in the summer this is a daily task. I bed the horses on shavings and use a weekly deep litter system due to time limitations during the working week. This means that I skip out (just removing the droppings) during the week and then at the weekend I will remove all the wet shavings and clear under the banks.
Having tried to use a shavings fork in the past I have decided the quickest and most effective method for skipping out is using rubber gloves and a skip. I use a rigid box (designed for storage) as I find this the easiest to carry. Once this is full I empty it into the wheelbarrow for taking it to the muck heap.
Once I have cleared all the droppings I will then quickly level out the shavings bed with the fork and brush any shavings back out of the doorway. I will be posting a skipping out video on my vlog channel later this week.
For levelling out the bed I use my 'normal' fork - which is one of my favourite things!!! I have had it for quite a few years and it was a present from my Grandpa. It is just the right size for me and light enough to gently move the top layer of shavings to make it look smart.
You may notice I have 2 brooms, 1 has lovely soft bristles and is brilliant for tidying up the dry shavings in the stable and making a really smart job when used on the yard. Unfortunately it is no use in the wet so I have another broom with stiff bristles for sweeping out the wet shavings and for sweeping the yard when wet.
I also have a yellow plastic shovel. This is the second plastic shovel I have had and it is great. Being plastic it is light and I find this a great advantage when shovelling piles of wet shavings. Metal shovels are that bit too heavy to lift and make the job much harder. Unfortunately the plastic makes them less durable but I am careful about not using it to scrape on the concrete so find they last pretty well.
I have to admit that none of my tools get much care and attention, they get replaced when needed, although I probably keep my brooms longer than most people and the bristles are pretty non-existent when they are replaced. The two I have now are relatively new because Chesney has a tendency to grab the handles (which are hollow metal) in his teeth and squash the metal so they are no use. You can't get new handles for this type and so I have to buy new ones. I do try to keep them away from Chesney but every now and again when I forget he gets one!
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Until next time!