Things you need around a horse farm - Hammers

Once constant source of amusement and/or horror for me is all the fine people I meet who, upon discovering I live on a horse farm, say something to the extent of "Oh, I would love to buy a place where we could have a couple of horses."  I usually answer politely, the specifics of my answer largely driven by how much experience they have with horses. The more experienced folks I will point out that it's quite a bit of work, with not as much riding as they would probably prefer.  There can be a great deal of value if you find a good barn to board your horse.

I'm a little more blunt with those that have no experience with horses: "No, no you don't".

That being said, there are plenty of people out there who love horses, have had enough experience with them to be able to care for a horse adequately themselves but have never lived on a farm and have no practical experience with farm life. I'm living proof that it can be done, and hopefully you'll be able to learn from my mistakes! So here is a completely non-comprehensive list of things you need if you insist on living on a horse farm:


Lots of them! Unless you're super organized you can pretty much expect that your hand tools are going to walk off on their own.  I call it "barn diffusion".  There is only one solution that I have found: purchase a sufficient number of hammers such that as they diffuse into the property the mean distance from you to a hammer at any place on your property is less than 10 feet.  That's the physicist way of saying buy so many hammers that you're practically tripping over them.  Note that I'm not including the pasture areas, hay fields and general open places. I pretty much mean your house, the barn and the general vicinity around it. For a half acre "work area" that would work out to approximately 10 hammers.
I hear you, "WHAT? WHY DO I NEED 10 HAMMERS?!" Because you do! Keep in mind, there are many kinds of hammers! Here's a list of some of the hammers you will need to make your life easier on a horse farm: 

Claw Hammer

The claw hammer is the physicist of the hammer family - a specialty hammer will be 100% efficient for 20% of jobs, but a claw hammer will be 80% efficient for 100% of jobs. You'll want to have at at least 3 - 5 of these around. Places for your claw hammer:

  • The truck (especially if you have a rail mounted gooseneck plate adapter (or a fifth wheel), or plan on getting one. A more straight claw will help with getting that place loose when you need to. You can use the business end when you have to get the plate back on.
  • Tack room
  • Work area
  • House/Garage

Framing Hammer

Longer and heavier than the claw hammer, a framing hammer is crucial if you're going to build a structure. A good ole fashioned claw hammer will get the job done, but your shoulder and arm will thank you if you get a framing hammer. They're a little unwieldy (and pricey), but completely worth the effort and cost. Note that owning a nail gun does not get you off the hook here - unless you paid a ton of money for it, it's going to perform poorly/dangerously/not at all at some tasks (such as naling joist hangers). You should have at least one of these. Two or three can be really useful if you're going to build more structural things and have friends that will help.

Sledge Hammer

Occasionally you're going to need to smash large objects, drive things into the ground or 'convince' something that's in the ground that it needs to move. Sledgehammers are good for these types of things. You should have at least one, two is even better. Not nearly as effective as a front loader, but significantly cheaper.

Hand Sledge

A smaller, one arm version of the sledge hammer. More manageable on small jobs for folks that aren't a 6'3" 260 lbs dude(tte).

Rubber Mallet

Sometimes you're going to need to beat something to get it into place without totally marring the surface. You should have at least one of these.

In summary: there really is no such thing as too many hammers when you live on a farm. Buy lots and lots of them and you'll be a much happier person, trust me.