Handy Shovel

Right now is the best time to buy an economy shovel that will not only save you money but also be more convenient than a standard shovel in such space-challenged areas as your trailer or grooming stall.

Before winter finally gives way to spring, check out the area in the front of your supermarket where they stash winter supplies like scrapers, ice melt and snow shovels. There you can find dainty shovels such as small snow shovels or ”car-trunk” shovels with retractable handles that are a half to a third of the size of a standard heavy-duty barn shovel. They’re also 10 to 25% of the price of a larger shovel.

A mini snow shovel, which costs about $5, is perfect for the limited use it would get in a horse trailer. It takes up less space than a regular shovel and can easily hang out of the way on a hook without nicking the paint the way a heavy metal shovel would.

If you want something a bit more substantial, try a retractable-handle snow shovel that’s designed for the trunk of a car. It’s even more compact, but costs around $10. Again, it can hang out of the way on a hook.

While these shovels are obviously not going to hold up to heavy-duty use like cleaning stalls, they have the virtue of lightness and are easy to store. With limited use in trailers and wash stalls, they should last for several years.