Securing Water Buckets

You know how some horses tip their water buckets over in their stables? Making a soggy mess of their bed and going thirsty overnight.

Phoenix isn’t a serial offender, but it happens frequently enough for me to look into alternative options.

Most people who don’t have automatic drinkers have buckets with handles, which are filled by carrying smaller buckets to it, using a hose pipe, or filling it at the tap and carrying it to the stable. But once these get empty they can be tipped over easily and played with. Plastic tub trugs are the most common ones.

I had a scout round the yard to see what other people use as a water container, and saw that some people have containers on wheels, which they fill at the tap and roll into their stable when full. They are called “rolling garden carts” online and are widely available. The useful thing about these is that a normal sized water bucket will fit within.

Now this is great for your back, but how can I use this to stop Phoenix knocking the bucket over? Well there’s a handle at the top of the cart which I could attach to the wall.

I didn’t want to faff around with string on a daily basis, so I asked my chauffeur for some ideas.

I’m really impressed with his solution. Using an old leg strap from a rug, sewn onto the handle of the cart, we now had a clip to fasten to the wall. Then we (the royal we) screwed an eye plate to the wall to clip the cart to.

It’s very easy to use, unclips easily and it’s nice not breaking my back carrying water in the morning. So here you are, a little stable life hack for you!

Life Hacks

We`ve all seen the web articles about life hacks – such as using potties instead of cavaletti cubes. Well, I came across a fab idea by one of my clients a couple of weeks ago.

You know some stirrups, such as the T-bar leathers which have to be physically shortened, or the Pro-jump stirrup irons which don`t run up very easily. You run them up and by the time you’ve walked from the arena to the stable, they`ve slid down again and are banging around their elbows.

Well one of my clients has Pro-jump irons and they are the bane of my life! I seem to be forever running them up. Anyway, when I took the saddle cover off the other week to ride, I found a length of cloth over the seat of the saddle, with the stirrup irons tucked into it. It took me a moment to realise, but the cloth was an oven glove.  You know, the double oven mitts? Each stirrup was tucked into the hand part. Genius – pure genius!

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Since seeing this, I`ve come across stirrup socks, which are fleecy drawstring backs in which you place your stirrup iron – perfect for when you come back from muddy rides – and good for protecting saddle flaps from damage.

The two ideas are actually quite different in that one tries to protect the saddle from dirt or damage, and the other is a way of keeping stirrups out of the way. But perhaps the stirrup sock company could further the oven glove idea; making it more ergonomic to fit stirrup irons in, or a better length to accommodate the excess stirrup leather. Either way, I think my client should patent her idea!