I’m about to retire the best light-work gloves I have ever owned. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty but last year I bought a pair of Justin light leather gloves from Tractor Supply. I’ve used these gloves nearly every day for a year and the only reason I’m retiring them is due to some holes they’ve developed. It’s time. I used these gloves exclusively for barn work and riding, etc. No working on cars, no gardening. I like them so much because of the way they feel, tight enough for me to easily grip whatever I’m grabbing but not too tight to be comfortable. I think I paid $20 for them and they’ve been worth every penny. They will be replaced with the same exact Justin glove model, if I can find them. Definitely a “buy” recommendation from me.
Neither Justin nor Tractor Supply paid me anything to say nice things about these gloves. 🙂
It doesn’t take long to figure out what products and procedures work well for horse chores. Last night while shoveling horse stalls (it’s more like forking horse stalls), Mikki grabbed the manure fork I normally use and I, in turn, took hers. After a few minutes, we happily swapped back again. Neither of us found it easy to work with a manure fork weren’t familiar with using. That might sound silly but we each use a different size and style fork and that makes more of a difference than I would have thought. Mikki uses a smaller fork purchased at a tack shop for around $20. It’s the typical style you see for manure duties, with a nice smooth aluminum handle. We bought the fork I use specifically for use with pellet bedding such as Woody Pet and Equine Pine. In fact, I think it’s actually manufactured by the Woody Pet people (I think they call it their “Fine Tines Fork” – around $26 at Tractor Supply). Its tines are closer together for catching small manure pieces. It’s also quite a bit larger than the one Mikki uses and as a result picks up a LOT of horse manure, which makes it quite heavy to use. For those who use sawdust or pine pellets, cleaning stalls is partly scooping big chunks of horse manure and part sifting to separate the good bedding from the little pieces of manure. The larger fork does a great job as a “sifter” since it’s deep and the sides adequately keep the payload from prematurely escaping the fork. The smaller fork Mikki uses doesn’t work as well as a sifter because the payload keeps falling off the sides. At least it does for me. Mikki has it down, though and much prefers it over the larger stall fork.
Here’s what they look like. Even though the larger one looks like it’s carrying less horse manure, remember it’s deeper. You just can’t see the depth in the photo.
On the left is the smaller fork, with the larger Woody Pet fork on the right. While shooting these pictures, I lost some of the horse manure from the fork on the left.
Incidentally, we’ve been using both stall forks for at least 6 months without any of the tines breaking. They’ve fallen down in the barn and used as rakes and shovels (not recommended) and have proven to be durable, despite being plastic. The bolt holding the fork onto the aluminum handle of the smaller one needed tightening once.
Part of our evening routine is for Mikki and I to feed the goats, clean horse stalls and feed our horses. Ever since daylight savings time ended in early November, its been dark while we’re doing this so we’ve had to bring out a flashlight. The barn has pretty good light and we’re going to expand our lighting system someday but for now Moonshine’s stall requires supplemental lighting so I can see to scoop. Until last month I had been using a portable fluorescent light that came with a Craftsmen tool set. It works really well for the most part and with a 19.2 volt power pack, it does last a long time. However, I found myself stepping in front of the light often which defeated the purpose. Then I got the idea to try this headband light I bought for camping and working on my Jeep. It’s an LED light that’s attached to a head band so you can use it hands-free. By strapping it to your head, the light follows wherever you look, which is just perfect for stall cleaning at night. This particular model, the Energizer 6 LED Headlamp, has 4 light modes but I really only use the first one, which powers only two LEDs through a magnifier to produce remarkable amount of light for such a little thing. Three AAA batteries are supposed to keep it running for 50 hours. I’m still on the original batteries after a month so that seems pretty economical. Oh and the light tilts down at the base so you can easily adjust it to shine wherever you want. The only downside is how it looks on your head. We’ve kind of taken to calling it my “geek light” because it makes me look (more) geeky. Because it uses multiple lights, you will find yourself looking less like a coal miner and more light a robot with this on. But it does the job. And the horses don’t mind it either.
So where do you get this? Aha! You knew there was a catch with this recommendation, right? Actually there isn’t. Just go to Walmart. I think I paid $10 for it. No affiliate links and this isn’t a sponsored review. I just really like the product and want to recommend it for nighttime horse duties.