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A Husband Review: Troy-Bilt Horse XP Riding Mower + GIVEAWAY!

NOTE: I have had this post in my back pocket FOREVER because I wanted to add a little action video of the product in use. But with the severe lack of rain, Will has only cut the grass a couple times in the past couple months, both times when I was at work. So…lawnmower video eventually? I want to do an obstacle course and stuff! He will grumble, but FUN, right?!

We did a little lawnmower trading this year. We passed down our 3 year old Craftsman to my parents (perfect timing, since my parents’ house is on a hill and my dad just had knee surgery, so pushing the mower was getting not so fun). And what were we able to replace it with? This puppy: the Troy-Bilt Horse XP Riding Mower. (Note: We opted to NOT get a zero-turn, despite their sexiness, because we have a fairly large slope in the front yard and they’re not good (or safe) for those situations.)

troy bilt horse xp

Here, horsey horsey.

The Craftsman was still doing OK (we wouldn’t have given my parents a piece of junk), but we have more grass than them and this one offers a larger cutting deck. We’ve been using this one since the spring and are very happy with it so far. (OK, I should say WILL has been using it since the spring, since I have cut grass here only a handful of times.)

So first, the complaints. Will’s not a huge fan of the molded seat. Apparently they “tried to make it comfortable, but everyone’s butt is not the same and so it just feels like you have a wedgie.” Fair enough. He would also prefer that the speed control be on the right side. It’s what he’s used to from past mowers, so moving it to the left (other stuff is on the right) is something to get used to for him. He supposes that they expect you to steer with the right and adjust speed with the left, but (though he’s a righty) he does the opposite.

And now the good stuff! Versus our old 42″ Craftsman, this one surprisingly has a better turning radius and drives smoother. It cuts around our small crape myrtles out front without requiring a bunch of extra weed whacking. Value-wise this seems to be a good buy. Lower-middle of the pack price-wise and has a decent feature set.

Will wants to do this as a nice, long-term review, so check back later and we’ll keep you posted on how we’re liking the mower. We’ll update then on any maintenance issues, as well as how easy it is to complete maintenance (change blades, oil, etc).


And now for the GIVEAWAY!

You have a chance to win one TBC57 Cordless / Battery-Powered Cultivator! I have not personally used this one (they no longer make the model I have), but it currently gets 4.5/5 stars from other reviewers. I also love that it’s battery powered. Even though gas starts really aren’t that hard, they’re always a bit intimidating. Battery powered is super easy for anyone to handle and gives you one less hurdle to get over in getting the job done.

To enter, please leave a comment below telling me why you want to win it. I’ll pick one winner on Saturday, September 22, 2012 (at approximately 12:00PM Eastern). You must leave a valid email address (since that’s how I’ll contact you if you win!) and be a US resident in order to win. I’d also greatly appreciate you “liking” jennahsgarden on Facebook and sharing the contest with your gardening friends there, but it’s not required to enter.  Contest void where prohibited. You can get extra entries as per below…

  • Post a comment below – make sure to use a valid email – first entry!
  • Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment stating that you do – extra entry!
  • Like Jennah’s Garden on Facebook and leave a separate comment stating suck – extra entry!

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I have been compensated by Troy-Bilt to be a part of the Saturday6 program and provided with various Troy-Bilt items to test, free of charge. All opinions here expressed are my own. I would never participate in anything for a brand I don’t believe in and would never review something disingenuously, as I rely on honest reviews myself.


  1. The community garden could use this. *We* have gotten an insane amount of rain here this year and the weeds are driving us insane.

    Thanks for all your garden info!

  2. kate yNo Gravatar says:

    My hubby and I are looking to buy a home in the not-so-distant future. I will finally be able to have my own garden, and having an awesome piece of machinery to get it going would be wonderful!

  3. Since i do not have a yard where I could use it, this would be a great gift for my parents. They are getting older and this would make working in the flower beds a lot easier for them.

  4. JeannetteNo Gravatar says:

    OH man do I need one of these! My garden is so overcome with weeds it is crazy!

  5. LonaNo Gravatar says:

    Troy-bilt always has the best giveaways. I think one of those cultivators would be just the thing for a small garden.

  6. Aunt DebNo Gravatar says:

    So she’s driving now, too! Or is she just in training? Love the instagram pics. Cute sandals and I’m jealous that you’re at the coast. Lucy looks like a good traveler. And I’m guessing there is a disclaimer about family members submitting pleas for the cultivator. Ha! So I won’t even go there. May the one that needs it most be the winner.

  7. What gardener *wouldn’t* need one of these? Ha! This would be awesome for my small gardens, not sure what else to say. :-)


  8. Following you on Twitter now too (humm, I thought I already was)

  9. I already follow you on FB (as Get Busy Gardening), not sure if that counts or not. :-)

  10. I’ve been REALLY EAGER to get rid of my front lawn and put in a short grass prairie. After our 3 months of only 0.7″ of rain this summer it seems the best thing to do. I’ve been wanting to document such a change for others, too, step by step how, mistakes, and that it CAN be done. But I can’t afford to even rent the equipment I need. So that’s why I’m in!

  11. And I’m following you on twitter.

  12. And why not, following you on FB, too. :)

  13. Jackie CNo Gravatar says:

    As I’m planning to tear up lawn space to enlarge my garden, this would be an AWESOME tool to have! Especially as it’s battery powered! Happy Gardening!

  14. JennahNo Gravatar says:

    Loving everyone’s ideas for using the cultivator! And yes, if you already follow me on FB or Twitter, just leave a comment stating such for an extra entry.

    And family members who aren’t my mom, husband, or 8 month old daughter ARE allowed to enter :)

  15. Id like to surprise my husband with this. He would love it! My husband has to bang our mower to get it to start and has the deck strapped down. Very sad.

  16. Ive been following you on FB!

  17. PollyNo Gravatar says:

    Would be nice to have a new cultivator for my garden next spring.. I enjoy following you on Facebook..

  18. LOL Im a dork. I was on my cell and thought it was for the lawn mower.. Now that Im on a computer Id still like to win the cultivator lol

  19. saltgrainNo Gravatar says:

    Wondering how this beast has performed now that you have owned it for a while. I bought the same mower at lowes right around the same time you did. So far, all bearings spindles have had to be replaced. The deck engage cable gave out at the beginning of this year.. AND just did it again! The muffler went bad. The mower only runs well in the semi-choked out position. The deadman switch is starting to fritz out causing the mower to shut off randomly. The “one bolt” single point of failure has caused me to almost wreck several times when it has vibrated loose.. now check it every time I use the mower. Also had to repack the front steering with grease. Seriously disapointed with the quality of this mower.. wish I had bought a Craftsman!

    1. JennahNo Gravatar says:

      I would say it’s been OK. We’ve had a recurring oil leak problem – professionally serviced once, and maintained by us since then. We previously had a craftsman that had some problems of its own. With regular maintenance (oil checks/changes, replacing blades, tightening stuff up once or twice a year), the mower is still going strong and we have no current plans to replace it. Sorry you’ve had more issues with yours :/

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