Finding horse care items at a reasonable price and convenient locations can be challenging. However, they might be more readily available than you thought. Take a look around your home for products you can use on your horses.Finding horse care items at a reasonable price and convenient locations can be challenging. However, they might be more readily available than you thought. Take a look around your home for products you can use on your horses.
Finding horse care items at a reasonable price and convenient locations can be challenging. However, they might be more readily available than you thought. Take a look around your home for products you can use on your horses. Following is a partial list of items that do double-duty. As with all horse care methods, exercise your own good judgment and talk with your veterinarian to help you safely use non-horse specific items on your horse.
1. Baby Oil
– Squirt some baby oil on your horse’s mane and tail to comb through tangled hairs much easier. It’s also great for easier removal of those stubborn burrs horses pick up in the fall.
– Rub some into the roots of the mane and tail to help repel ticks and keep skin moisturized.
– If your horse is prone to mud cracks, rub some on the back of clean, dry pasterns to repel water and mud and moisturize the skin.
2. Baby Powder
– Brighten up white leg markings or cover stains on white horses quickly by rubbing into the hair.
3. Avon Skin So Soft
– Dilute one part Skin So Soft to two parts water to repel certain types of flies. Used full strength, it offers extra fly-fighting power.
– This oily liquid is very good for repelling ticks.
4. Hair Products
– Bathe your horse with your own shampoo. Look for popular brands of shampoo plus conditioner in one. The added conditioner helps to keep needed moisture in your horse’s skin.
– Try your styling gel, conditioner and hair spray for taming down flyaway manes and tails.
5. Hair Brushes
– Your hairbrushes can make all the difference in combing your horse’s mane and tail. They are often much easier to use and cause less hair breakage.
6. Hair Dryer
– A hair dryer prevents a sweaty horse from getting chilled in the winter. Hold it a safe distance away from your horse so you don’t burn his skin. Use while brushing with a metal curry comb to dry hair more quickly.
7. Zinc Oxide
– This white stuff you used to see on lifeguards’ noses is great for protecting pink muzzles from sunburn or soothing sunburned skin.
– Shield your horse from UV rays, especially sensitive pink areas. Make sure your sunscreen is marked “PABA free.” PABA refers to a chemical ingredient that blocks UVB rays. PABA may cause sensitivity or make your horse sick.
– Rub some on the coronary band for hoof moisturizing.
– Coat the bottom of hooves in winter for easier removal and prevention of ice balls.
– For horses prone to mud cracks, coat the back of clean dry pasterns to help repel water and mud and keep the skin soft and moisturized.
– Not just for your bad breath anymore, this antiseptic liquid remedies a multitude of horse ailments. Mix half and half with baby oil (to prevent drying) and apply to rainrot. Use enough to cover the affected areas.
– Toughen up a horse’s hide by dousing skin with Listerine. Good for horses that are really sensitive to fly bites and who get saddle sores because their skin is tender.
– Use it as a liniment/brace/tightener.
11. Rubbing Alcohol
– If you have trouble crushing ticks, just drop them into a small container of alcohol.
– Apply under wraps for a mild liniment. The winter green rubbing alcohol is excellent for this.
– Rub some on to soothe minor aches and pains and relax muscles.
– An alcohol rinse helps to cool an overheated horse.
– Clean and disinfect stable items with alcohol.
12. First Aid Topicals
– Many items you use on your own cuts and scrapes work well on your horse’s. Some are iodine, antibiotic ointments such as Neosporin, A&D Ointment, Bag Balm, peroxide, and ichthamnol.
13. First Aid Bandages
– Gauze pads, cotton, bandages and tape will protect your horse’s wounds.
Another great bandage for larger wounds are sanitary napkins as they are easy to apply and very absorbent.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar, Orange Peels, Garlic Powder
– Essential ingredients in homemade fly sprays, vinegar and garlic stinks but works. Use the following recipe: Boil 10 orange peels (the thicker the peels, the better) in a saucepan with enough water to cover the peels. Add 1 to 3 more cups water (depending on horse sensitivity) and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Strain water, pushing peels down on strainer. Add 1 to 3 cups apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons garlic powder. Mix well and put in a spray bottle. Use the maximum amount of apple cider vinegar for a stronger spray and the maximum amount of water for a milder spray.
15. Graham Crackers/Cereal/Molasses Cookies, etc.
– Feed your horse a variety of treats right from your kitchen at half the price of commercial treats. Offer sugar cubes, peppermints, lifesavers, cookies, a handful of any oat cereal, molasses, honey or graham cookies, or vegetable scraps such as corn husks, cobs, and watermelon rinds. As with any treat, give sparingly and don’t make sudden, large changes in your horse’s diet.
16. Corn Oil
By adding this to the daily grain ration you can:
– Put weight on you hard keeper
– Add a show ring shine to your horse’s coat
– Get rid of flaky, dry skin
– Boost calorie intake to help keep your horse warm in the winter
– Make shedding out in the spring quicker and easier
17. Baking Soda
– Aside from absorbing stable smells, this is good for cleaning bits, washing down stall mats and similar items.
– Put a half cup in your wash load to soften saddle pads.
– Chlorox bleach is an easy, effective way to treat thrush. Mix three parts water to one part bleach and apply to hooves daily. If you cannot apply it daily, use the bleach undiluted. Old shampoo bottles with the squirt kind of top work well for applying the bleach. Be careful that you don’t get the hoof too dry from overuse.
– Pour bleach over the soles of soft hooves to make them harder.
Disinfect trailers, stalls, brushes, tack, etc. with bleach.
19. Duct Tape/Masking Tape
– Layer it to stabilize hoof wraps and make them more durable.
– Wrap a piece of masking tape around the top of your horses’ leg wraps and over the Velcro to keep him from pulling them off.
Many more home product are appropriate for use on your horse. Talk with other horse people and keep your eyes and ears open for more tricks of the trade.