Thursday, May 22, 2008

Someone stole my idea! (Just kidding)

For quite some time I've been kicking around the idea of blogging about household items that can be used in place of fancy-schmancy equine products. I kept a little list of items to recommend, but it was a teensy list. So, my clever little idea languished on the vine. But someday, I thought, I'll write it up...

Well, didn't EquineInk go and write a great article on just this topic! For this, I give her the Great Horse Tips award. Kudos EquineInk, not only for this article but for a consistently interesting and helpful blog. Looking forward to reading more. It does happen that there is not much overlap between her list and my little list. So I'll share my items.

Some common items that come in handy at barns:

SHOWER CAP. Do you prep feed ahead of time? Or do you cover your water buckets when you muck a dusty stall? A 99 cent shower cap is great! I stretch one over my grooming box too.

DESITIN. When Harv had surgery on his face, and his surgical wound was draining ickily, his skin was getting scalded. My mom suggested desitin. Great idea! It is amazing how it protects the skin from wetness.

PLACEMATS. If your barn aisles are spread with dirt, sawdust, or stonedust, it can be hard to keep their feet clean while you're grooming. Vinyl placemats are great to put under your horse's foot while you're painting his hooves, or you can put it under your knee. Or, you can keep them in your tack box to protect the bottom.

NEOSPORIN GENERIC. Whether you use it on yourself or your horse, it comes in handy for small scrapes and dings. Keep in mind, the tiniest scrape can be an entry point for infections.

BLEACH. Oh, let me count the ways you can use bleach in varying concentrations -- cleaning grooming supplies and buckets, sure. But I also found diluted bleach very effective against rain rot, and I no longer buy the $20 bottle of Equyss.

Shower cap in action

Share your money saving substitutes!


  1. love the shower cap idea - hadn't thought of that one, but i'll be stocking up on them!

    i love desitin too - i use it for everything. i have several white legged horses who are prone to scratches/mud fever, and i coat them with the stuff after every bath to keep their skin protected after the oils are stripped away, or if i know they are going to be in wet, muddy conditions for long periods. we haven't had a case of scratches in years...

    hadn't thought of using it on weepy wounds though - that's great advice!

  2. Thanks, Stacey!

    I must say that several times I've thought of a topic and found that you've already covered it, and done it well. It's hard to stay ahead of you.

    It's also nice to know that someone is actually reading my blog. I've never had the chance to write about something I really enjoy and just hope that the topics appeal to a few other equestrians too.


  3. I use tough acting Tinactin for thrush. It goes way further than the "feed" store kind and you can get generics. I also keep baby wipes on hand at all times, they are great for just about anything. My newest find is Pine Tar as hoof dressing only 4.99 compared to "feed" store name brands at 17.99 and up.

  4. All great tips. I use desitin too for scratches. Like the vinyl place mat idea.
    In case equine ink checks back it is impossible to leave a comment on her post, if you don't have a word press account. Anyway she had a lot of good tips too.

  5. I am so proud - I actually have a tip to contribute! I have the kind of stirrup irons that hang perpendicular to the horse's barrel, and consequently when I run them up when untacking they scratch the saddle leather. My solution - potholders! $1.99 each at HEB. Fit over the irons like a charm and they're nice and thick.

  6. Wow, I just bought the perpendicular irons (cheapo kind, not the $200 kind) and I was having exactly that problem! If I tie the potholders together, they won't drop down on the saddle...

  7. And the potholders have those handy little loops to thread a cord through for hanging.

    Man I love those colts - and their dad. Glorious.

  8. Great ideas! I always used cornstarch to whiten white markings before shows. You pat it in, rub it in a little, pat it down again and whisk the excess away with a soft finishing brush. It works surprisingly well and is very cheap.


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