You Know You`re Horse Mad When …

… you can have a half hour conversation with someone else on the yard about wheelbarrows.

Embarrassingly enough, this happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

It was a late Wednesday evening and upon finishing work I found that the local feed merchant had delivered my Christmas supply of feed that afternoon. Now they drop off all orders at the car park end of the stable block, so individuals have to find their order (sometimes easy, sometimes not so, depending on the number of orders delivered) and move it to their feed shed. Easily enough, my feed bags were the last there, so I went to the back of the stables where all the sheds and tools are kept, almost tripped over a brand spanking new wheelbarrow of a friends and decided I`d borrow it to shift my feed.

I was amazed at how easily it manoeuvred, even with the dead weight of pony nuts and alf-alfa. It was a large wheelbarrow, but the handles were bent which meant it was much easier to push.

Thus I was led to commenting on it`s ease of use when I passed it`s owner the following morning, and then we proceeded to discuss the pros and cons of various barrows.

To surmise, here are a few barrows available and why you should or should not use them.

 An excellent wheelbarrow for the one-stable owner. One or two trips to the muckheap and you don`t strain your back. Unfortunately, it`s small capacity means it`s a pain in the bum when mucking out a row of stables. Plus it`s quite easy to lose a bit en route to the muck heap.
 This wheelbarrow has a low centre of gravity, is very heavy duty, and drives like a barge. However, six stables mucked out and one trip to the muckheap … just make sure there`s a strong bloke to help you push it! Preferably tall and handsome too … It also helps to have a bit of height when emptying the wheelbarrow so you can comfortably get your fork into the barrow without impaling yourself or taking out your back teeth!
 Our favourite wheelbarrow at my old yard. We used to fight over who got to use it. Big enough for two stables, small enough to still push easily, nice deep sides mean you can`t stack it without risking spillage … the only down side is you can`t store it easily because the boat like prow means it falls over if stood up on it’s wheel.
Perhaps one of the worst designed wheelbarrows: it`s very shallow and you need three trips to the muckheap to muck out one stable. And that doesn`t include what you have to sweep up with spillage afterwards!
This is the wheelbarrow we were talking about! Notice the bent handles, so you end up pushing rather than lifting and pulling, meaning you can fill it to your hearts desire and not need the tall handsome bloke … unless it`s absolutely necessary of course 😉
At work we also have some similar to the last photo but with straight handles, which works OK, but you have to be careful loading it as it can get front-heavy and tip over: as seen below. There`s also a low bar between the two handles which, should you choose to drag the barrow behind you can result in heavy bruising to the back of the ankles. But apart from that they`re the better type of barrow to get!
So, you see, there is easily thirty minutes of conversation to be had just on the subject of wheelbarrows! Tomorrow morning I expect it will be the forks.

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