Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
Every day can (and should) be a new and exciting adventure. It’s all in the perspective though – because of course there are the seemingly mundane tasks and chores that must be accomplished on a daily basis. But I find that I like finding small things to get excited over in the midst of a routine day. It’s the little things in life, after all.
Even on a day that is a combination of dreary, muddy, icy and cold as can be, there is something good to be found. I might be slip sliding down to the barn, but it makes me smile when Roo nickers a morning greeting. While it might be freezing outside, but I’ve got my heated vest on to keep me toasty. And while I’m not thrilled to be up and about before the sun is even up, there is something so lovely about early morning, when everything the world is oh-so peaceful.
I find that looking for the little joys in life gives me a much more positive outlook. There is just so much negativity in the world at this point. People seem to like complaining and grumbling about all of the things that go wrong, but I challenge myself to point out all of the things that go right. And I will take every bit of good that I can find.
While the task of mucking can seem to be dull and mundane, I like that it is a simple and honest task that I feel good after accomplishing. I am pretty sure that some of the non-horse folks that I know do think that I’m insane for waking up in the wee-hours of the morning in order to clean out horse stalls…but I find enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment in caring for my own horses.
Mucking obviously creates the need for some tools – namely, a manure fork and a wheelbarrow or cart of some sort. And because no one wants do anything eccentric like trying to pick up waste from a stall by hand (not a good picture in my mind), mucking cannot begin until these two essential tools are available.
Manure forks come in many shapes and sizes, all of which will get the job done in the end. When I think of the most basic fork, one with a plain wooden handle and a flat plastic basket comes to mind. In fact, I have one of those that I normally tote around with me when I’m trailering. But over time, things happen – mostly, tines can break.
I’ve definitely used a number of different forks for stall cleaning – and I find that each has it’s own set of strong points, which can make them good for particular types of mucking. Recently, I’ve found myself having some great luck while using the Wave Fork from Noble Outfitters to complete my stall mucking chores.
The concept behind the Wave Fork is actually a pretty interesting one…instead of being constructed using a basket that is one piece, the tines are all individual pieces. The first time I saw the Wave Fork, I was mesmerized by the alternating colors of the tines, not realizing that they are actually each separate pieces that are assembled to create the basket.
When the Wave Fork arrives, it actually ships in separate pieces – there is the handle, which is made out of aircraft grade aluminum, so that it is nice and lightweight. Then, there is the sturdy feeling I-beam, which attaches to the handle and also functions as the anchor for the tines. And last (but certainly not least), there are the tines.
The tines are made out of a co-polymer plastic resin in order to promote durability – and they have a pretty nifty looking curvy, or really more of a wavy shape to them (thus making the name of the Wave Fork it oh-so appropriate). But what I find to be really cool is that the tines themselves are available in a number of colors. And, when ordering a Wave Fork, you can pick up to two colors alternate, to create your own custom look.
It might seem like a small thing, but I think it’s pretty neat to be able to customize colors on my manure fork – it just brings a little creativity to something that is normally so mundane. The wave-y shaped tines of the Wave Fork are also more than just for looks. Because when I use the fork, I notice that the tines feel especially sturdy to me.
Even when I’m picking an especially heavy scoop out of the stall, the Wave Fork gives me the impression that it can handle it. And I really work it over pretty hard some days. I use pine pelleted bedding – which starts as a bag of pellets, and then breaks down into a nice fluffy foundation of bedding. I have to say, even when I’m stripping out the lovely wet spot in the corner of Roo’s stall, the Wave Fork doesn’t seem to flinch at the weight one bit.
Another great feature is the soft foam grip on the handle of the Wave Fork. I like that this grip is nice to hold on to while mucking, and makes the whole experience a little more comfortable (which hopefully translates into less calluses on my hands over time). And, the soft grip is actually adjustable, so each individual can move it to just the right spot for them.
While I’ve had no issues with tine breakage during my time using the Wave Fork, I also like the concept that replacement tines are also available for sale separately. So whether I have a broken tine that I end up needing to replace, or even if I just get tired of the colors of the fork, I can just pick up another pack of tines rather than buying an entire new fork.
And I have confidence in the Wave Fork also, because it is even backed by a 5 year warranty. Plus, I like the fact that it is MADE IN THE USA, which if you’ve been following some of my previous reviews, you will probably recall that I am a huge supporter of all things MADE IN THE USA.
The Wave Fork is available from Noble Outfitters, and has a retail price of $54.99. You can also purchase additional packs of replacement tines for just $13.75. And you can check it out here.
Go Sturdy and Creative Manure Forks. Go Noble Outfitters. Go Eventing.