*Another way to remove large tangles or burrs is to spray with WD-40 or coat with baby oil and then work through with your fingers or a plastic comb.
*Body clipping your horse in the winter will make grooming and cooling out much easier. If it is warm enough, give your horse a soap bath before you clip him. Do a final rinse with a fabric softener solution. This will make the clippers glide through his coat and reduce the number of tramlines. If it is too cold to bath your horse, a thorough grooming is a good idea. Dirt dulls the blades and leaves the coat looking rough. When you have finished clipping, dip a rag in either warm water and baby oil or warm water and alcohol, ring it out, and go over the entire horse. This will remove loose hair and scurf and leave your horse smooth and shiney. Be sure to keep a clipped horse warm and dry.
*When you give your horse a soap bath, rinsing with white vinegar will help to remove the soap. White vinegar also acts as a natural hair conditioner and fly repellant.
*Put half a cup of pine cleaner and half a cup of fabric softener in a small bucket of hot water. Wring out a rub rag in this mixture and use it to remove dust, dirt, and germs from the coat. This solution will also soften the coat and leave a great shine.
*During the winter months we need to pay extra attention to our horses. Make sure your horse is drinking plenty of water. When the temperature plummets horses often stop drinking which can lead to colic.
*Provide a mineral block for your horse and add to salt to his feed to encourage him to drink plenty of water. Also try offering luke warm water. This does not shock the stomach like ice cold water will and many horses appreciate having the chill taken off. *When spring gets here it is time for booster shots. Flu, tetanus, Eastern and Western Encephalitis, and Rhino. Depending on where you live your horse may also need rabies, Potomac fever and other regional vaccinations. Ask your Vet for the appropriate vaccinations for your area.
*During wet weather, carefully check your horses heels for signs of scratches or cracked heels. Wash these wounds with iodine shampoo and dry with a towel. Using Desitin on these wounds helps them to heal and prevents new sores.
*Is your horse on a regular deworming schedule? If not, now would be a great time to start one. As the weather is still cold and unpredicatable, your horse needs to be carefully monitored so that he maintains his condition. A good deworming program will help your horse get the most from his food.
*Keep a container of Gold Bond powder at the barn. Gold Bond can be used to treat rain rot and thrush. It is also useful in preventing rubs from protective boots. To treat severe thrush try using the strongest iodine solution (7%). As an initial treatment flush out the infected area with hydrogen peroxide. This will kill anaerobic bacteria but also impede healing. Each day after, pack the infected area with cotton and soak the cotton with the iodine solution. A syringe works well for this or even an empty wormer tube. Be careful not to get any iodine on the heels or pasterns as it will blister them. Once the thrush is dried up try alternating iodine with Gold Bond powder. A good prevention schedule for horses that are prone to thrush is to use iodine once a week and Gold Bond once a week.
*To make a broom last longer, turn it 180 degrees frequently as you sweep. This will help keep the broom even. As the broom wears down, tidy up any ragged ends with scissors and remove the top two restraining strings from around the bristles.
*Does your horse crib? To discourage this vice, hang water buckets and feed tubs very low. Just off the floor. This will make it much harder for your horse to use them as cribbing edges. Cribbers often do better outside where there is more to keep them busy. Cribbing is almost impossible to cure, however good management will reduce its frequency.
*A great way to clean saddle pads and certain breast straps and girths is to take the vacume to it! I took a cat brush and used the hard bristles to loosen everything up, then used the small attachment brush that goes to my vacume to clean it all up. Worked great, and soooo much easier than washing it! Less wear and tear also.
*Cobwebs driving you crazy? Once you have them knocked down, wash the walls with a Lysol solution. The mixture does not need to be very strong to discourage spiders and repel flys. One washing should last you all summer.
*When purchasing blankets for your horse be sure they fit properly. Measure your horse from the center of his chest going around his side to a point in the center of his tail. This will be the size in inches that he needs. Be sure that blankets do not press on the withers and cause sores. A well fitting blanket has no pressure points and will remain in place when the horse lies down or rolls. If your horse tends to loose the hair on his shoulders spray them with show sheen before putting on his clothes. Blanket liners also help prevent these unsightly bald spots.
*In order to find a saddle that will fit your horse, it is helpful to make a wire template. To make a template of your horse's withers use flexible wire, such as floral decorating wire. Bend the wire across the horse's withers at the point at which the pommel would normally rest. (To find this point place a saddle on your horse and make a note of where the pommel sits.) Bend the wire downward on both sides, molding it against the horse's shoulders, it should be in contact with the horse on both sides and on the withers. You need to have at least eight inches of wire on each side extending downward from the withers to the shoulders. Once you have made your outline of the withers with wire, trace it onto a piece of 8 1/2 by 11-inch paper. Cut away the excess paper so that only the shape of the withers and shoulders remains. Take this template with you when you are looking for a new saddle. By holding the template underneath the pommel of a saddle it is possible to see how the saddle will fit your horse. A well fitting saddle does not press on the withers nor does it pinch the shoulders. To test this you should be able to slide two fingers between the saddle and the withers.
*In winter smear Vaseline in water buckets before filling them with water. This will make the ice much easier to remove. It should just slide out when the bucket is tipped up!
*Before riding in snow, smear a layer of Vaseline on the inside of your horse's hoof. This will prevent ice and snow from balling up inside the hoof. No Vasoline handy? Then spray a thin layer of cooking spray on the bottom of the hoof.
*Duct tape has many uses around the barn.
*Do you use Duck Tape when your horse pulls a shoe? Applying strips of tape to a barefoot will help to prevent the hoof wall from cracking and breaking away. To make a more substantial pad, wrap a rag around the hoof before applying the duck tape.
*Diapers are also great for temporary hoof protection. Again, secure the diaper with duck tape.
*This tip is for horse lovers who may be intimidated by horses or even afraid of the animals they love. Spend a lot of time with horses. Talking to your horse will help build friendship and trust. Give commands with a strong tone of voice. Spend time with your horse observing his natural moves and reactions from the ground. Take a walk with your horse and see the world as he sees it, begin to learn how he reacts to the world. Gaining your horse's trust and confidence and letting him know that you are in control will help with your confidence level.
*If your horse rubs the hair off a spot on there body and it's winter/cold weather put Petruleum Jelly on the area for protection. (This also works if your horse has a cut that is draining) In summer put sunscreen on the area.
*To make a holder for your fly spray, show sheen, and other products purchase a small saltblock holder or small "milk" crate(like is used on desks and in kids rooms) and mount it on a wall or somewhere convient for you. The holder will keep the containers in this position, preventing wasteful spills.
*An idea for crossties is to take a pair of bicycle inner tubes & loop one end of each around a sturdy post or through a ring. At the free end of each, tie a length of rope and affix a snap. The flexability of the tubes may help if you have a horse that fights being tied.
*To make a hoof-pick holder, buy a double-ended snap & attach your hoof pick's handle through one end of the snap. Attach the snap's other end to your jean's belt loop or to a small D-ring on your saddle.Now you can conviently carry your hoof pick and have it ready to use.
*An easy solution to your hay net falling down when your horse starts eating is to take a double-end snap and hook one end to all the rings on the net and hook the other end to whatever you usually tie the net to.
*For repairs on halters, blankets and like items, use dental floss, a large darning needle strong thimble and leather gloves.
*An alternative way to apply liquid medications to your horses external wounds is to use an old bingo dabber or an empty Asorbine Jr bottle. Be sure to clean the sponge end & bottle. Gently dab the affected area.
*To clean your brushes, wash them monthly with soft Ivory liquid. It's great for sensitive skin. Soak them first, and then wash.
*Use old backpacks or a plastic tool-box to keep track of your horse equipment.
*To keep track of your horses vet and farrier appointments, length and type of rides, chores, training, etc get a plastic folder & write it all down. If you have a computer you can keep track of it on there too.
*If you have an old gas grill you can make a great saddle rack out of it! Remove the actual grill part of it, take a board wide enough for your saddle to rest on it and screw it to the ends. I also added a shelf underneath to store my grooming box and other necessities and screw in a few hooks on the back part and it makes a great place to hang halters, bridles, lead ropes etc.
*To make a crop or longe whip holder, drive two 2-inch finishing nails into the wall in your barn leaving a space between them exactly equal to the diameter to the crop handle. Slip the handle between the nails and let the whip slide down until the knob rests on the nails.
*For extra hanging space in your barn and tack room, buy a multi-hook hat/coat rack, mount it on the wall and you have more room to hang your bridles, halters, leads, longe lines etc.
*Another great way to apply liquid medications is to spray them on. You can get a gardening spray bottle or clean & sanitize Windex bottles & sprayers.
*Use empty, wide-mouthed plastic jugs for many things around the barn. Store lime, salt, feed & supplements to name a few. Great measuring tools too.
*Keep your horses long winter coat clean by using a hand-held vacuum. First loosen the dirt with a currycomb, then run the vacuum over your horses coat. Be sure to let your horse know what the vacuum is before trying to use it!! It's also great for cleaning saddle pads & the padding on your saddle as well as the seat.
*If you feed corn oil to your horse, put it in a well-cleaned squeeze top bottle & with a few squeezes you have the correct amount.
*To make a wall saddle rack, take the handle off of a five gallon bucket, nail them to the wall so that the opening is facing out for storage.
*To remove bands from your horse's mane & be able to reuse them, take a braid hook and pull them out.
*To make your own spray on leather cleaner, use glycerin leftovers in a spray bottle with water and let dissolve.
*Add Kool-Aid to water for a horse that wont drink.
*Bounce dryer sheets works as a great fly repellent! Put one on you and one on your horse.
*Noxema works great to keep gnats, flies and mosquitoes out of horses ears(as long as there not clipped) Just rub it on top of the ears. It can also be used under the throat, chest, belly & inside legs.
*Put liquid soap or run a bar of soap on wood to stop chewing.
*For your itchy horse, buy a push broom head with stiff bristles and drill a hole through the wood about 2 inches from each end. Mount somewhere convient with counter sunk screws in a vertical position (about the height of their shoulders) and you have a great scratching post.
*To keep static down, take fabric softener dryer sheets and wipe your horse. They remove surface dirt from your horses coats without stirring up static.
*For an in-expensive horse & saddle cover use a 7-by-9 plastic tarp. Just throw it over your horse and secure it by threading rope or twine through the holes in the tarp and tye it under your horses neck, belly and tail. Make sure to desensitize your horse to the tarp's crinkling sound by rubbing it all over it's body until comfortable with it.
*Instead of buying hoof polish that is hard to get off and drying, use hairspray. It washes off easily and therefor is not as drying.
*Put some creamy baby oil on a clean rag and it will take any dirt off your horse without making them too slippery.
*Synthetic fleece car wash mitts are great for bathing your horse! They are also great for applying fly spray and coat conditioners.
*Another great tool for bathing your horse is a loofa sponge that women use. The mesh texture gently cleans dirt and other materials from your horses body.
*To give your horse a boost of coolness or for leg rubdowns, put Vetrolin in a squirt bottle and spritz it on your horse.
*Be sure and keep disposable plastic gloves around the barn to rub in anything your skin shouldn't come in contact with.
*Bailing twine can be a lifesaver!!
*Diaper Rash Cream is great on hairless areas and "burns" or "rubs" on your horse. The hair grows back faster and it's also a great way to prevent sunburn. Do not use on open wounds though.
*To prevent shoes being pulled by dew in the summer, use hoof polish over the nail holes to seal in moisture and keep them from coming loose.
*A quick cool down and refresher is to put white washcloths in a small cooler full of ice and water and a sealed container of baby wipes.
*Listerine helps in getting rid of fungus.
*Cut up old sheets for rags.
*A wet chamois will help prevent your saddle from slipping. Wring out the chamois and place it under the saddle pads, directly on the horses back. *Put a poultice on insect bites to reduce swelling.
*Combine water and viniger to cut through dirt and sweat after a work out.
*Save the dispenser tops from liquid dish detergent bottles & sport drink bottles. Clean them thoroughly, then use them to replace the lids on rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other medication bottles with same-size openings for one-handed, no-spill application.
*Liniments work as a thrush remedy.
*Give your horse a refreshing bath with Absorbine, rubbing alcohol or Witch Hazel.
*Baby powder sprinkled in your boots keep them comfortable and easy to get off.
*Use spray get when braiding your horses tail to keep them tight with less fly-aways.
*Use baby wipes for tack touch ups, messy legs and field boots and that lovely horse slobber.
*Gatorade added to water is a great source of electrolytes.
*Add jello(the powder) to your horses feed to improve hooves, tail and mane.
*Use white cream hoof moisture on tails.
*Tie a gallon plastic jug in your horses stall for a toy. Tie it a little longer than eye level. Drop some treats in it and put a small hole in it for them.
*Mix vinegar and water to repel every type of bug. Your horse may be a little smelly, but it will be much happier!
*Another scratching post for your horse is to cover posts (or put a square on a wall somewhere) with carpet. Measure length and diameter of area to be covered, and cut the carpet to the desired length. TAck the carpet around/on the area and then spray it with fly repellent to keep away flies.
*To disinfect your horses stall, mix 1 part Nolvasan disinfectant with 3 parts water in a bucket. Using a scrub brush, clean the entire stall frequently dampening the brush as yougo. Clean feeder and water buckets also, but be sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water.
*Use panty hose to shine boots.
*Tomake your own tail wrap, take a pair of tube socks and cut them down the middle(makes 4 wraps). Start at the dock of the tail and wrap down. When you run out put another wrap on top of the one you just finished. When you get to the last one, tuck the end up under.
*To make a revolving horse blanket hanger, screw a heavy-duty bicycle hook into a barn rafter and loop the end link of a piece of chain onto the hook. Make sure the chain's length should be long enough so you can reach it when it's suspended from the hook. Next, attach a swivel snap to another chain link, and secure a sturty 4-prong tack hook onto the snap. You can adjust the hook's height to prevent the blankets from dragging by moving the snap up & down the chain's length. This will prevent the blankets from dragging. The swivel snap allows the hook to rotate, for your convience.
*To make a protective leg bandage for your horse, but 6 yards of quilt batting from a fabric store and four standard-sized pillowcases. Stuff a batting section in each case, and sew shut the open ends. Next, sew a pattern completly through each leg wrap to secure the batting. These roll on smoothly and are easy to secure with a stable bandages or duct tape.
*To make a handy storage container for stable equipment, get some of those three-tiered wire hanging baskets and hang them where convient. Air circulates throught the baskets, drying equipment quickly and without mildewing. Hang from the ceiling or an L shaped bracked on the wall.
*Buy some twisted tassel trim from a fabric store and zigzag-stitch it to the flymask or halter. The tassels swish away flies without hampering eating and drinking.
*Keep a bucket around filled with old clean socks for rags.