Hey everyone, this is the Other Half. I am going to give you guys some things to think about if you are new to owning or renting a horse property. If you are a regular follower of the blog or Facebook, you know that our little horse farm keeps me busy. Below are some tools that will help you in maintaining your property, and keep your significant other off your back, and on the back of her horses. This is not an all inclusive list, this is just a quick, down and dirty of things you should buy sooner rather than later.
If you have recently purchased any amount of land, or are renting a property with land, this should be your first purchase. You should buy this fairly quickly. It’s not a matter of if you will need this, it’s when. Two things that are a must when buying a chainsaw: 1. Get one big enough to chop down the largest tree in your pasture or on your property. 2. It must be a Stihl.
If you have any questions, go to a Stihl Dealer and tell them you want one for storm cleanup and felling smaller to medium size trees. My Stihl is a MS250 with a 16-18” bar. This model has plenty of power to do a variety of things. If you plan on cutting a lot for fire wood, this is not the model for you. I have cut numerous trees up ranging from a cedar around 14” in diameter, to cutting a log in half that was 26” in diameter. My saw out performed a generic( Tractor Supply or Lowes brands) saw that was twice as big and had twice the power. Of course don’t forget the gas, bar oil and sharpener. Just ask the dealer to hook you up.
Another quick buy for yourself is a set of Bugz-Eye Mesh Safety Goggles. These are a must have. They don’t fog up, and you won’t get a splinter stuck in your eye for a week, ask me how I know.
Your significant other WILL ask you “Does the tire look low?” To which you will respond with “Let me check.” Nothing too fancy here either. Don’t get a pancake style compressor, they are too small. Get the digital tire gauge too, that way there is not question on what the actually pressure is.
Air Compressor, this size minimum:
Fence Repair Kit
Pretty simple and cheap kit depending on your choice of tools. All you need is: hammer, speed square, chalk line, small pry bar or Cats Paw, drill or impact and bits, and a handsaw or saws-all. I also highly recommend using Grip Rite screws, they use a Torx bit instead of a Phillips, which leads to less stripped screws. Don't forget extra fence materials too, don’t think that stringing a lead rope across two fence post is a “fixed” fence.
Grip Rite Screws:
Flashlights are great to have multiples of, they are cheaper and higher quality than the MagLites from the 90’s. You should only purchase LED lights from this point on, and again have multiple types. One flashlight I highly recommend is a Streamlight 88047 ProTac HL 3 1100 Lumen. This flashlight will light up an entire pasture or shine through a forest. I swear I could stand on a rocky point with this light and pose as a light house. Don’t shine it in the house in the middle of the night, the light reflecting back will blind you. The batteries that this take are special, they are CR123A. Get a bunch of these because the light does go through them on the highest setting. This is not your all around everyday light, this is responding in the middle of the night to something entering your house or messing with your horses. I do use this light fairly often on the lower setting but I want this light fully charged from when I need to see something or everything in the woods. Anything Streamlight.
For everyday lighting needs, get two or three. Your significant other will steal yours, even if you bought her one with special functions. Your significant other will also never charge the headlamp either, why should they when they can just take yours? This is your job now, keep the headlamps charged or batteries fresh. Get the brightest ones you can afford, anything in the $40-60 should be good enough.
A heated hose is necessary if you life somewhere cold. This does not make the water hot, this is just to melt the ice in the hose. Plug it in, wait ten mins and turn the water on. It will blow ice chunks out and you can use the hose for filling up the tank or mixing with your beet pulp.
Portable Hot Water Heater
This made an appearance last year in the blog. It's a tankless water heater that runs off propane. The pressure comes from the pressure of your water supply. I installed this on a dolly to make is easy to transport. Should be pretty easy for you to duplicate off the picture, if not hit me up on Facebook.
Get you and your significant other some muck boots for cleaning pastures, mucking stalls, etc. Don’t buy a specific “Horse Owner Boot.” You will soon find out that companies will slap the word horse on anything and charge you twice as much for a product that has the lowest quality. Get hunting style muck boots, these will last us forever. I laugh when I go to horse barns and see the latest style trends in waterproof boots that only last a few years.
This is not a pro or anti gun discussion. I don’t care if you are think everyone should have the ability to buy any type of gun, or if you think they should all be melted down and they all should be illegal. I will only suggest these questions to you: If an animal is attacking your horses, what do you do? If you see a poisonous snake in your pasture, what do you do? If you find a wild animal suffering, what do you do? If you have your own kind of answer to these, then do that.
What would I do? Glad you asked! I have a few different guns to handle a few different scenarios. If something is chasing the horses, I have either a Glock, AR or a lever action 30-30 to choose from. If I see a coyote in the pasture and it is not actively chasing a horse, my AR or Lever Action. If I see a poisonous snake, well depending on size, Glock, a decided Revolver with Snake Shot (shoots tiny BBs instead of a single projectile) or a 12 gauge shotgun. I am also armed all the time, especially when traveling with the ponies across the country or to a horse show. What would you do to protect your four legged children?
One of Manny's personal favorites, obviously.
NICE TO HAVES:
This might move to the must have list depending on the trees you have on your property. DO NOT BUY one from a department store. These suck, the saw doesn’t work that well, the pole is cheap and never goes high enough. I bought mine from a Stihl dealer, works like a charm. Goes to 18 feet, I have used it all the way extended and have cut some large limbs off quite a few trees.
I bought one of these when we first got to our property, I used it and I do like it, but I don’t use it very often. Don’t make the mistake I did and purchase one that can’t be towed behind a riding lawn mower. I hate lugging this thing around the pasture, and if the ground is wet, forget it.
Buy yours used, if you buy one and find you use it all the time, upgrade to a new one. Again I would stay away from department stores if you do purchase a new one. Department stores ask companies to make equipment to a certain price point which results in extremely poor quality. Just like if you buy a Husqvarna chainsaw from a department store, it will be drastically different from one purchased from a dealer.
If you notice a theme with most of these, its quality. Buy something once and have it forever or cheap out on it and look forward to buying it again in a few years. A quality axe and handsaw is great to have around because it saves you from grabbing your chainsaw, pole saw, etc. I have a Husqvarna 19” Carpenters axe and a Silky BigBoy Handsaw, these will last you a long time. The Silky handsaw makes quick work of trees and limbs around an inch but it will cut a lot bigger trees, not that I would know of course.
Another quick hack if you have a battery saws-all, they make pruning saw blades which work great just make sure the battery is charged.
Pruning Saw Blades:
Stacey had this crappy, cheap plastic drawer system that she kept her brushes and hoof picks in. Well, a mouse decided to live in one of the drawers and chew her brushes. First of all I can’t describe how much I hated that plastic drawer setup she had. So I I surprised her with a Lowes tool box in her favorite color. This will last her forever, unless Wes discovers it and decides to mess with it. This will also keep the mice out.
Like I said, this didn't include everything but should get you started. If you don't have things on the must have list, Christmas is coming soon. Make your Horse Hubby read this, he should enjoy it because its all about tools and guns.
I can’t stress quality enough on these items, but if you cant afford it, buy used of the same quality or buy as best quality products you can afford. If there is one thing I cant’t stand, it’s rebuying things because they broke after only having a short time.
Speaking of quality Horse Hubby and Horse Rider, pay attention. DO NOT buy stuff that says it is for horse people. Case in point, the hot water heater. They make a horse owner specific hot water heater and guess what? It’s terrible and more expensive than an RV hot water heater. Same thing with horse bags for holding, horse things like brushes and cleaning supples. You know what also does the something for 1/4 of the price, a regular bag.
Horse Plastic Trunk ($220):
Plastic Trunk ($40):
Yes, there are some things you need to buy that are horse specific like hay nets, jump cups, hoof picks, horse brushes, tack, etc. Just before you purchase something for the barn, trailer or horse, Google it and see if there is something else that will work. If it says horse or equine, it’s probably a really expensive low quality product.
Oh and dressage letters are expensive, right? Not if you make them.
Hope you guys enjoyed this, and maybe even got some ideas for Christmas. I will answer any questions you guys have and also welcome suggestions on equipment I should buy too. Not bad for a first time posting on the blog right?