Skip to Content

25 Ways to Save Time on Barn Chores

It is no secret that owning horses is a lot of work and barn chores, required to care for horses, can be very time-consuming. The more horses you have, the more time we spend doing barn chores instead of riding.

It’s no surprise if you find yourself searching for some tips and tricks to make barn chores go quicker – speeding up these necessary chores can give you more time for the fun stuff – actually hanging out with your horse!

So, in this article we have rounded up some time-saving barn chore hacks, designed using crowd-sourced data from comments, to make the everyday work a bit easier for you.

The following suggestions are categorized so you can find the topics you need the most help with, while also checking out some useful ideas you may not have thought of before. Everything from simplifying the feeding process to making cleaning go quicker, there is something here for everyone. 

Ways to Save time Feeding Horse

  1. Prep meals in advance– Prepare as much of the feedings ahead of time as you can so you can just grab it and go when it is time to feed.
  2. Try feeding every horse the same – Of course, this is not always possible as some horses will require added supplements, medications, or specialized diets. However, if the feeding can be as uniform as possible for all the horses it will cut down on a lot of the prep time and also the worry of accidentally feeding something to the wrong horse.
  3. Horses fed together should get the same amount – This will help them to finish eating at roughly the same time, so the ones on the lower end of the pecking order are less likely to get pushed away from their food.
  4. Use trough heaters in winter – These are especially useful in areas where it freezes often. You will save a lot of time by not having to break and remove ice from the water troughs. It will also encourage the horses to drink more when it is cold out. If you don’t have electricity, try my no-electricity needed bucket insulation method.

Ways to Save time on Maintenance and Cleaning Part of Horse Chores:

  1. Minimize landscaping – Having flowers and plants around the property looks nice, but ultimately you will have to decide if the upkeep is worth the time. Also keep in mind that horses are not generally picky about what they eat, and all of your landscaping work just looks like a snack to them.
  2. Minimize mud – Gravel may be a better alternative for high traffic areas as it will decrease the likelihood of wheelbarrows or vehicles getting stuck. 
  3. Make sure all farm equipment is in good working order – This involves everything from pitchforks and wheelbarrows to tractors and plumbing. Maintenance is generally easier and cheaper than repairs.
  4. Stall matsRubber stall mats are great, but only if installed properly. Otherwise, they may not lay flat and bedding will start filling up underneath them, leading to uneven ground and trip hazards. This leads to needing to readjust them frequently, which takes up a lot of time.
  5. Good fencing – Using good, solid fencing that won’t require constant repairs will save you time and worry. 
  6. Quick cleanup – Finding ways to do basic-cleaning barn chores faster will give you more time for bigger projects. Some suggestions could be using a leaf blower to clear aisleways instead of sweeping, and installing a sink in the tack/feed room for rinsing out buckets or soaking the feed.
women doing barn chores on a horse farm.

Organize Your Way to getting Barn Chores done Faster

  1. Storage – Storing your hay and shavings as close to where they are needed as possible is a big time saver.
  2. Easy access for frequently used items – You’ll want the items you use every day to be the easiest to grab when you’re in a hurry. Items that are more rarely used can be kept out of the way.
  3. Keep all grooming supplies together – This will decrease the likelihood of losing something, and also save time because you won’t need to go searching.
  4. Consistency – Always keep your tack and grooming supplies in the same place, whether it is in your tack room or your trailer, it will help you avoid having to remember where you left them last.
  5. Return it where you found it – Make sure there is an expectation of everyone to return any borrowed items to where they found them. Nothing is more frustrating than going on a scavenger hunt around the barn because you never know where things will be left.

How to Save Time on Stalling and Turning out Horses:

  1. Frequent turnout – If your horse spends most of their day in the pasture, then stall cleaning will be a breeze. You will also go through far less bedding in the stall this way.
  2. Tandem turn-out – If you can turn out two or three horses at once, try it- it will save you multiple trips across the property and significantly shorten time spent doing barn chores. This isn’t always possible for everyone – or every horse – but it does save time.
  3. Self-stalling horses – This will obviously depend on the barn set up; however, if you can teach your horses to find their own stalls at feeding time and put themselves up it will save you from having to catch each one and bring them in yourself.

Grooming Trips to Get Horse Grooming Done Faster:

  1. Minimal blanketingVets agree that most horses in most climates are fine without blankets. Blanketing and un-blanketing daily adds a lot of time, so reserving it only for the horses that really need it will save you quite a bit- your time spent cleaning horse blankets at the end of the season will be faster too!
  2. Fly spray over fly masks – Spraying fly spray every couple of days is a lot quicker than putting on masks/taking them off daily. It will also prevent you from having to hunt all over the field for the mask when one of the horses inevitably finds a way to get it off.
  3. Order supplies online – Ordering online can be particularly helpful if you do not live close to a good feed/supply store, plus the added bonus of not having to make multiple trips to the store if you forget something. 
  4. Blunt cutting over mane pulling – When preparing for a show, you can save a lot of time by doing a blunt cut of your horse’s mane on the opposite side to which it falls instead of pulling the mane. When you flip it back over it will have the same look as pulling without nearly as much hassle. However, this trick will not thin it, so if that is the goal you will still need to pull it or just keep manes braided in pasture braids.

Other Ways to save time on barn chores

  1. Multi-task as much as possible – Whenever possible, avoid making multiple trips. This can apply to working multiple horses as well. You can saddle two and keep one tied in the arena while you work the other, then switch. Or even pony one behind the other if it is just a matter of getting them both some exercise. 
  2. Location – Keep in mind where you are keeping the horses in regards to geography, climate, and environment. Horses living in an environment where they can live primarily outside can get by with more minimalized care (less need for shoeing, bedding, etc.). Horses in a harsher climate are going to require more specialized care to keep them healthy.
  3. Hire help – If you have a lot of horses, or even just a few but are short on time, there is always the option to hire some help with the daily care.

Barn chores are a necessary part of owning horses, but they do not need to take up all of your time. Finding the right tips that work for you and creating a routine will have you cutting down the hours spent doing chores in no time.

Click to share: