Barn maintenanceIf you own your own property, you know maintenance and upkeep expenses never disappear. But whether or not you own a barn or board your horse at someone else’s, there are some steps you can take to help ease the pain of general upkeep costs:

- Turn off lights and small appliances
- Regress back to sweeping aisleways with a broom, rather than using a leafblower
- Take the time to groom your horse rather than using a vacuum.
- Install energy-saving fluorescent lights.
- Switch from an electronically-heated waterer to, say, a ball waterer.
- Don’t leave water running, and install water-saving spray nozzles on all hoses.
- Compost manure to use as a free fertilizer, and encourage neighbors and gardeners to help themselves to your “mulch” for removal. (Composting is a great practice – click here for more information.)
- Purchase barn and fence repair supplies when you come across a great deal: you’ll need them eventually.
- Join forces with neighbors on large projects such as painting, road paving, fencing, etc., as many contractors will give you a deal for volume business in one locale.

Another aspect of farm maintenance that you can quickly find yourself spending lots of money on: Fly and insect control. I’ve come across countless methods of managing these pests, but the most cost-effective (and effective) that I’ve heard about seem to be using garlic, vinegar, or hanging bags of water (many people swear by this tactic and will also add a few pennies to the bag). See TheHorse.com’s recent reader poll on fly control.

 Read the most recept housing excerpt on barn and fence maintenance here.