Thursday, 28 June 2018

Making Fyna-Lite Work of Mucking Out


A job that all non-livery horse owners have to do every day, & for some of us multiple times.. I'm fairly confident that it would be one that we would all eradicate if we could... Mucking out. So an investment in tools, equipment and techniques that make easy work of keeping our horses beds neat & tidy, as well as help us speed up to spend more time pampering our neddies, is a much welcomed thing!

Preference is everything. We all have that favourite yard brush to sweep away every spec of dust possible, or turn into mean machines with a short 'D' handled fork, flying through our straw or shavings beds in no time at all.

Louie is a wet & messy horse in the stable, so a thorough muck out is essential every day, and when he is stabled more, this can often be twice a day. So it was a welcomed message that I received via my blog's online form from Equestrianco, reaching out to find out if I was interested in working with them to support their Fyna-lite forks & gathering reviews on the products.


HAND UP straight away! A light weight fork designed to make easier work of mucking out - who wouldn't be interested...?


Product selection


I chose the Fyna-Lite 4-prong fork with a 'D' handle. I also chose pink (from a selection of green, pink & purple). Almost everyone at our yard has green handled forks, so at least this colour would be easy to recognise which was mine in a crowd!

The fork promised to be lightweight yet highly durable, made from one one piece of steel, meaning that the fork is less likely to snap or bend when in heavy use.

As I have just one horse a day to muck out, I decided to review the product for 3-4 weeks before writing my review overall. And what better time to put it through its paces than when Louie is on 24 hour box rest! 

Delivery

It was certainly well packaged!! With a sharp knife and pair of scissors, it took me about five minutes to wrap my fork, which was uncannily disguised as a shovel by the way the prongs were protected! I'm really glad that it was well packaged as the prong are razor sharp - I was looking forward to seeing how well they carved up Louie straw bed!



The best part was that once it was unwrapped, it was ready to go - no assembly or handles to screw one. Literally straight out of the bubble wrap & straight into the straw...

I also spotted on the Equestrianco website it offers fast & free delivery to the mainland UK, as well a quick & easy returns. So if you do purchase, make sure you check that out!

Forking a review

OK, so from time to time, Andrew helps me with the mucking out, but like me, he wants a top notch job done in as quick as possible. So this review is based on the two of us using the product.

Sophie

On an evening, I tend to skip out, and I could instantly feel the difference using this product, mostly because of how sharp that the prong were. it made lifting out droppings from a deep fresh straw bed simple, without taking a load of new straw with you (I know this really gets on yard owners' nerves!)

I also noticed a difference in using a 'D' handle to the usual yard forks, sporting 'T' handles - I found the 'D' handle much easier to lift, twist and throw the muck into the wheelbarrow. Even though it doesn't have any flex in it, it felt like it enabled you to twist the fork more within the same grip over a 'T' handled fork.


When I lay Louie's bed, the fresh straw goes on the bottom with "recycled" straw on the top. With the sharp prongs, better leverage from the secure handle and the lightweight-ness overall, I could literally carve my way through the under layers of the bed to hunt out muck and wet areas, feeling the difference in weight easily. 

My only frustration, almost on the flip side, was it was quite easier to get the prongs stuck in my rubber mats, which isn't great wear on those, but once I was in the swing of it and more used to the sharper fork prongs, it happened less. Just mind your toes!

Andrew

With Louie being so wet, sometimes Andrew finds it more difficult to sift through the straw to recycle and the straw for the muck heap. But with the sharper prongs, Andrew found it easy to lift out the wet much easier, and even noted that it was much easier to lift any haylage that hadn't been eaten from the bed as the prongs glided through what was left.

Andrew too noticed that the prongs often came into contact with the mats, but agreed that as you got used to it, it happened less so.


Andrew used the fork to get the straw from the bale too - our yard always has a fork next to the bale so I tend to use those. He noticed that it cut through the straw much easier and pulled it away from the bale cleaner, leaving less mess to clean up. Hooray!! 

Proof is in the pudding...

Would I now purchase this product?

Yes, I would! The Fyna-Lite 4-prong fork listed on the Equestrianco website for £31.99, which for a tool that is long lasting, lightweight and makes any part of mucking out easier, it worth spending that much money on. 

It is worth pointing out the Equestrianco offer a best price guarantee, so if you find that they aren't the cheapest stockist, it would be worth opening a conversation with them.

We both liked the design, especially the handle, as well as how much of an impact that the sharp prongs had on the overall performance. 

Who knows, if mucking out can be this easy, I may just do it a bit more often... 

Make sure others know how to make light work of mucking out every day and share this post - just click to pin it using the image below!




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