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backwoodsnanny

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We have had a discussion here about the fact that it usually falls to one person to do most of the work here. It seems from the forum that many of you have help with the daily chores or that you turn your horses out for most of the year eliminating alot of the work required for cleanout etc. I would like to know how many of you do all of the work required all by yourself and also do you stall your horses at night requiring daily clean out. Also do you clean stalls to the floor or mats every day or just pick the stalls? Do you feed individually or all together?Any info you can give will be helpful. Do you have hired or donated help either in the form of your children or someone you have hired to help or a boarding stable. Thank you in advance for your replies. I was going to create a poll but the combinations are too varied . The discussion came up because winter is coming and the donated help here is non existent once it gets cold ie:grandchildren disappear.
 

USMCshamusmom

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at our place, the horses are my project, my hobby, my passion, and my responsibility. I would be offended if my kids expected me to spend hours persuing their hobbies of jewelry making or car customization, or if my husband expected me to do the work on his historical research projects. Each of us has our own "thing" and it is unfair of me to expect the others to take the weight of the uncomfortable part of my hobby (cleaning stalls, stacking hay, raking the arena, etc etc) if i have bitten off more than I can chew. Doing it all myself has helped me keep within reasonable limits as far as headcounts in the barn goes, too...


I think it is reasonable to ask family members to help with things that concern them all, such as doing dishes, taking out the trash and cleaning the bathrooms, and making meals, but to expect them to spend their free time taking care of my animals, working with my animals, etc etc is in my mind unreasonable. The horses are my project, not theirs.

as far as setup goes, I have taken care of up to 12 animals here at one time, every one of them having a stall or access to a run in shelter with bedding. we have to use electric heaters in our water tanks in the winter to keep water available, or it all freezes over. I Clean stalls every day, rotating turnouts, feeding twice a day, changing water buckets twice a day, filling tanks,etc. I feel that I can not adequately care for more than a dozen animals due to time constraints, and with 12 here I did little else but work on horse care. I work only a 5 hour a day 5 days a week job besides my horse interests (to pay for hay and vet bills!). Of course I have my numbers way down from the "old days" and getting fewer head here all the time because we will be retiring soon. These days with 6 on the property I spend about 3 hours a day, and will spend about an hour more a day doing chores, etc once things freeze over. Hope this is the sort of info you are looking for... ????? I get the idea you are trying to figure out how much time you will spend doing chores and how much you can handle yourself?
 

backwoodsnanny

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Thank you for responding. We currently have 10 horses. 2 are my daughters, 1 is owned with my granddaughter, 1 is my husbands, one is a joint venture with my daughter the rest are mine. I pay all the bills for hay grain farrier and vet and that is fine . My husband does go get hay but can do little else as he has a bad back we are facing a 4th surgery the 23rd. During the summer there is all kinds of help around but once winter comes the help disappears due to many things and yes you are right I am trying to decide if I can do all of this another winter alone. We do not have heated buckets too afraid of fire hazard. So the breaking of buckets and continuously having to do that is a pain. They are inside more in the winter so cleanout is alot more work. I find myself with little time to keep up all the work in the house and all the work in the barn and still have time to enjoy my horses. I guess I was asking what others do to free up some time that I could have the fun side as well as the work. To be fair my daughter does help when she can but she home schools and goes to school herself so her time is premium.
 

ChrystalPaths

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Oh Nita, you're singing with my choir!

First my prayers will be with your hubby on the next surgery.

Second: man do I know the fear of doing the winter chores alone.

Get a good electrician to install a GFI plug at each stall. I've used heated buckets for years with no harm. many of us do. Mine are not so much heated as warm buckets. They only kick on when the temps go below freezing and don't HEAT just keep the water from freezing. I bought the tiny ones last year from Kim and I
them. So much lighter and easier to dump and clean. I think wal mart carries them now in their pet center. I have 3 big ones I'm selling. Just like new, used one winter.

I also do all the turn out and bring in. I'm very lucky this year. Last winter I had 10. This winter thanks to Ginny I have 3 1/2. Shain just came home. He has been working for his dad since May 1st. I am happy to see him, but did warn that if he did NOT help when asked his butt would be back north asap. I did say it with love and a smile.
But I am dead serious. Shain's tasks will be to load and unload hay, to load and unload sawdust, rebed stalls when needed. Dump and refill the buckets daily. Uload any feed I have and put it in the bin.

I use the wheelbarrow alot for heavy cayying Nita. Hay out to the pasture goes in a plastic sled. Troughs are smaller now so I can dump and clean easier, albeit more often. I used to be so persnickety about cleaning stalls. I used a shovel
for pee spots. Used to take me 2 hrs to do 3 stalls. Now I break chores into small time slots.

I get up and feed them, then put out 2 flakes of hay in the paddock, when they're done with feed I lead them out and lock the gate and pick out the poop. Then I go have tea and check my mail and here, Then I go and pick out pee spots, then I check the forum, then I go stir and smooth stalls, and check the forum
, then I clean out the shed, and check..no have lunch
, then I'm pretty much done until they come in at dark. They get feed and hay and off to bed I go by 9pm usually.

That's my day. My stalls are bedded with Amish sawdust, very granular. Mostly maple and super easy to clean. I used to bed 12" now I do 6". Plenty. I know it is terribly hard for you aloner too Nita. You GOT to ask and drag someone with you. Maine is 10 times worse. Wish I were closer we could use out cleated walkers and do chores together.

Hugs
 

Jess P

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Its between me and my mom. I have been doing stalls and feeding a lot lately, actually all the time. But on weekend or when I can't do it, my mom takes over.

I do all of the conditioning, training, grooming, showing, and preparing the horses. I am getting my mom to show Ammy classes next year, however
 

Mercysmom

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The horses are mine so I do 95% of the work... recovered from knee surgery pretty doggone fast since I had to get out to the barn! Back to work Wednesday.

I am up at 5am - 5 horses now here - everyone is grained inside and go out to the paddocks where I spread the hay out while they are eating grain. Then everyone is out and I clean stalls and then shower at 5:30 and am off to work. At 4-5pm everyone will come in for the night. We have had as many as 9 here...too much for just me to handle. Our winters can be cold and snowy here in upstate NY.

I use bagged shavings now for the minis - have not found a supplier to bring me bulk shavings just yet. Minis are not on mats.

Our PMU filly is on the generic "Woody Pet" - that works best for her. Her stall used to be damp - mats and Woody Pet and re-grading the inside and re-doing the leach fields in our yard helped a lot, which is why we did not show this season.

Dogs come outside with me and "help". They get to run and play hard before they go to the kennels when I go to work.

Denise

Silversong Farm
 

Minimor

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5 "big" horses &, um, 26 Minis....all are drylotted with run-in sheds for shelter 24/7. A few go out on pasture for the day--more will be pastured as we get more fencing done.

Shelters are bedded with straw & cleaned daily. We pick out the manure & any wet spots...clean to the bottom as needed, not daily. Horses are kept in groups of 3 to 6, and we feed 2x a day--preferably small square bales, but sometimes round bales. When we feed round bales it means we fork the hay off & feed just the required amount to each corral--much more work than using the small squares.

"we" consists of myself (& I work full time, 5 days a week, in town too) & my retired mother. She's been doing morning feeds on the days when I work, but as she gets older & has more arthritis problems that gets harder for her (especially in winter, which can be very cold & snowy here). This winter I may be doing some of the chores before work.

Winter time means hauling warm water from the house 2x a day to water the horses.

We do fit in time for training/driving/showing and just playing with the babies!
 

Dona

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Altho my hubby does help pick & strip stalls, I do 95% of the work, including hoof trimming, body clipping, stall cleaning, feeding, vetting, training, foaling, breeding, etc. The stalls are picked every morning & every evening...and sometimes in between. They get stripped to the ground (or mats) when they need it...usually about every 1 - 2 weeks, depending on the horse. We are now using bagged pelleted bedding & love it! Sure is a lot quicker to clean! I get up at 5 each morning & do the barn chores before going to work (I work 3 days a week). Hubby puts the horses out on pasture when he gets home, since he gets home before I do. We put the horses back in the barn before dark. On days I don't work. The horses get to go out for a few hours in the morning (weather permitting) and then again, for a few hours in the evening.

BTW....I don't call any of this work.
It's a LABOR OF LOVE!
 

Loren&Rocky

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I do everything but the vet and ferrier work. I am a slave to my horses.


(I have 4 big ones and one little one + a 2 y/o son)
 
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My mom helps me quite a bit, she actually enjoys picking out stalls. We clean stalls, barn, run-ins, paddocks where ever manur is two or three times a day. I ususally strip the stalls and completly re bed every 2 weeks. I do all of the feeding which is 4 to 5 times a day for my horses (I stick with little and often) We both do grooming (Mom enjoys that too) & then I do all the training and exersizing, buying and selling and so on.
 

backwoodsnanny

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Thanks to all who replied. I am looking for ideas to make winter easier. I am 56 years old and winter is a difficult time with frozen buckets and frozen poo. I have already learned that no one cleans the way I do so may try letting it go a little longer between stripping. I have been stripping daily as long as weather permitted. Again thanks to all who have replied.
 

Dona

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Nita....we have a lot in common.
We are the same age & have the same number of horses. I also have fought with frozen buckets & hauling hot water from the house several times a day every winter for many years....and absolutely HATED it! Well, this year will be different. My husband installed new electrical outlets at every stall this summer so we can have fans on the horses when it's hot & HEATED BUCKETS in the winter! YES!


I have always been one to be leary of fire hazards too. But, these buckets are very safe. They don't get hot...there are no exposed elements....it's all enclosed. The bottoms of the buckets will only get "warm" when necessary & keep the water in them just above freezing. The cords are wrapped in metal & will be run thru holes in the stall walls, right behind the buckets, then up to the outlets where the horses cannot reach them. I "tested" one of these buckets with our Pyranees last winter when we had several days below ZERO....and the water never froze! I was so impressed! Bring it on, Ole Man Winter...I'm ready for ya this year!!!!!
 
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starminis

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WE.. When I say WE..... My two boys , Dustin 16 and Chris 13, and my daughter Jodi 11... an of course the hubby John... ALL of us own horses. So we all have a part in the training ,feeding, condioning and showing. Jodi and I do ALL of the grooming


Dustin does the stall stripping ( once a week strip ) All of us turn horses out , or on the walker. Our personal barn has 8 stalls, the other barn has rental stalls, we have 6 stalls in that one. John grooms the arena. Jodi rides most of the clients horses( AQHA, APHA ect ) and does the grooming. Clients are starting to come in for the winter.... We have 3 stalls filled year round. Our show horses are stalled and we try to keep our numers down to 6 showing. Including client horses....Our horses are a family event.... Rodeo, show minis, show AQHA show APHA... Jodi is wishing for a ASPC pony show she can show in the pony classes.. That is her Christmas wish ! ! !
 
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Loren&Rocky

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O yes. Frozed everything! I hate that too. I feed my horses as far away from the stalls as I can. That way I have less to clean up. I also have a big 75 gallon water trouth with a heater in the bottom of it. I just plug it in top the same outlet as our electric fence.
 

minimule

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All by myself here! Hubby will help with feeding and watering if I ask him but they are "mine" so my responsibility. Hubby is non-horsey but has taken an interest in 1 mule so she is his. He shows her but I still do all the work.


I have 18 minis and 1 QH. They are all feed individually and each has their own stall. Since I have an injured back, the stalls don't get picked daily but they are not indoor stalls. I clean every other day if my back can take it. Hubby will help if I beg. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Each horse has a barn and a run. The broodmares are 6'x9' barns with 9'x10' runs. The QH has a 12'x12' barn with a 24'x30' run. The jack and senior stallion have 24'x16' runs with 3 sided run-ins. The rest of the gang have 8'x16' runs with a 3 sided run-in shared by 2 (if that makes sense). We're working on rebuilding all the runs to a 10'x20' for each and the stallions (all 4) will get a 10'x24'.

They do all get turned out daily to socialize and stretch.
 

Gameela

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I work for a living taking care of horses. When I first started, I spent 49-59 hours a week caring for 18 horses 6 days/week. I'm now down to 15 horses and the BO changed things a little so I'd have less hours there, I can generally get things done there by 4-5PM every day....and i get there at 8:30am every day. Thats feeding am/pm including supplements (dumping grain into trash cans, etc), hay in the evenings and some in the am, cleaning 15 stalls, bedding stalls as needed, dumping water buckets, filling them up, turning all the horses out and bringing them back in (they are mainly inside all day and only out a few hours), sweeping aisle, cleaning out cobb webs, etc. Loading manure onto the 4wheeler trailer and also unloading it by hand.

It's very time consuming and as the weather gets worse (winter), I'm sure it will take longer to do some things.

Then I come home and take care of my horse (clean stall, feed, groom, etc). It only takes me about an hour to do everything for her every day, maybe a little longer and them my dogs and now kitten I rescued a couple days ago.

Roughly at work, I spend 2 hours total turning horses out and bringing them in, I spend 2-3 hours cleaning 15 stalls, longer if I need to do a lot of shavings. 2 hours doing feed/clean up and water every day.
 

keeperofthehorses

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Sigh... yes, summer is fading fast...

I do all of the daily horsekeeping chores myself. We have 2 big horses, 3 shetlands and two goats. The shetlands and the goats are easy. All of the equines sleep in the barn at night. Daytime turnout depends on weather, bugs, irrigation and such, but they are usually out 5 or 6 days per week. They are all fed individually. Stalls are picked daily and stripped every week or two as needed. We have excellent drainage in the stalls, so if I'm really diligent, I can even stretch out the stripping to once a month. We have bucket heaters in the barn; each stall has it's own grounded outlet. I still have to bust ice outside and in the goat pen. Breaking a thick layer of ice can be somewhat theraputic at times.

I find chores are actually easier in the winter, as my time is not split trying to take care of the garden and land like it is in the summer. I love summer-time weather, but the workload... eeegads. Hubby helps fix fences and used to do all the trimming, but the heartattack & hip injury have laid him up pretty much all summer. I also have a full-time job, which is physically tiring in the summer months, plus we sell our fruits and veggies on the weekends.

C'mon winter!!! I'm ready!!!
 

Shari

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They are my horses, but my family does help out as they know how much they mean to me.

My son earns time for his computer games by cleaning out the mini's stall every morning, checking/filling or keeping the water buckets clean (takes him about 20 minutes to do a good job) and picking up manure the smaller pastures out once a week.

In the winter we have heated water buckets up so it is easier to have clean non frozen water for the horses to drink.

Also have stall matts down on the cement floor. The minis were taught to go in only one area/corner of the stall for easy clean up and they are very good about it.

We keep shavings down in only that area.

DS can earn extra time if he helps me brush, which he seems to enjoy as much as the horses, if the photos I have taken of him are any indication.


Hubby does the fencing and building of things. He will also help out grooming when needed.

Normally getting the minis to pasture, and feeding everyone their Vitamins is my job. But because I hurt myself, I have set it up so my son can help.

Then excerising and training is my job.

Though right now the horses are on a Vacation, but they have more than enough pastures to play in.

The horses are doing their other jobs, keeping the pastures around the house mowed.

In a number of years when my son gets old enough to move out, Hubby has oftered to take over my son's chores. Though I keep hoping that I will heal enough by then to be able to do more.
 

Mona

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Well, I do almost all of the work here, but I also keep the "work" to a minimum. The only time my husband helps is in the Fall/early Winter while I am working, or if I am away somewhere, then he'll feed for me.

So when I am here, I do all the work. I feed the grain, I feed the hay, and fill the water troughs. Actually, in winter, I have hubby do the water, as it has to be hauled out in 5 gallon jugs, so I put him to work for that also. He helps with the farm upkeep...fences, etc.

Anyway, I feed....I feed grain once a day year round(weanlings and the occassional "hard keeper" get twice a day) and feed hay twice a day from late Fall until the pastures are in good enough in late Spring, not any later than the end of May. Do not feed hay at all all summer, except to any horse(s) that may be being kept in the barn for some reason.

I feeed hay in several piles on the ground and in a couple of box feeders, always putting out more piles than horses in that pen/pasture.

I feed grain in a row of over the fence feeders attached to one fenceline, again putting out more grain than horses, in case someone gets chased off. Normally, they do not fuss, as they soon learn the more time they spend running around chasing others off, the less time they have to eat, and someone else will eat theirs if they are not going to.


The only time I keep horses in the barn is during foaling season or if one needs to be kept confined for some reason. I put mares in barn a few weeks before they are due. They are let out into a round pen just off the barn during the day, and are put into their stalls each night. I pick out their stalls each time I am out there after I put them in for the night, and before I go to bed, then clean thoroughly the next morning after I let them out.

Yes, I try to keep it as simple and as natural as I safely can. I trim all their hooves myself, and do any and all halter/lead training of the foals, vaccinating horses etc.
 

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