Helpful Horse Care Tips
Hot Horse Tips!
* Dental floss is great for making temporary repairs on rugs, halters etc.
* For a really glamorous show tail, spray a little Mr. Sheen (you know…the furniture polish) through it. Helps separate the hairs and really makes it glisten.
* Use an oven mitt as a stable rubber…your hand fits neatly inside. For that extra shine on your horse’s coat, sew a piece of silk or velor to one side.
* A great way to make white socks and stockings snowy clean is to shampoo thoroughly, rinse, dry and rub through some chalk or talcum powder.
* When buying a crop, cut off the loop at the top. Many put their hands through it but this can be dangerous. The loop is only there to hang the crop up when not being used.
* Round nylon mesh body scrubbers available at chemists and supermarkets (the kind sold with liquid soap) are great for washing horses. You can suds up using less shampoo and they easily remove stains. Best of all, they are really cheap. Also, Ordinary tomato sauce does a great job of cleaning copper bits. Rub on with a clean rag, then rinse. Not only does it make copper shine like new, it’s non-toxic.
* Keep an old strainer near your horse’s water trough. It’s handy for scooping any leaves or twigs that may have fallen in.
* When you are finished working your horse and are bringing him back to the paddock, don’t just send him running off. Walk him inside and leave a lead rope around his neck. Scratch his favorite spot, then release him. This gives your horse a reason to want to be with you instead of instigating a predator/prey relationship where you, the predator, are always trying to catch your horse, the prey.
* For an effective and natural fly repellent, use 20 drops of citronella in 500mls of water. Shake well and spray on your horse
* If you have a chestnut horse, feeding him pumpkin can really improve coat color. Chop up a piece of pumpkin including skin and seeds and microwave around 8-0 minutes, until it is soft. Mix in with feed.
* If you have trouble removing your horse’s chestnuts, smear them with Vaseline every day for four or five days and they will peel right off. For itchy tails, mix equal parts of Listerine (original formula) and baby oil in a spray bottle. Spray on and comb through to the roots with your fingers. This really works and seems to get rid of dandruff too.
* If you want to take your own water supply to a show but don’t have a bucket with a lid, put an ordinary plastic garbage bag in the bucket first, fill with water, twist the top closed and tie with a knot. This stops spills and splashing.
* To get your stirrup leathers to wear evenly, swap them from left to right (and vice versa) every couple of weeks.
* To make silver parts of your saddlery really sparkle, rub over with a pencil eraser and buff off with a clean cloth.
* When braiding up and rosetting a horse for a show or event, smear heaps of any type of hair gel through each clump of mane and watch your braids instantly become neater, easier to do and have stay together and the hair sticks to your fingers to help you braid right down to the ends.
* Try using shaving cream on your leather to make it really supple. Its what a lot of baseballers use on their catching mitts. Be sure to use the foaming type of shaving cream and NOT the gel!
* If your horse needs to have a cold pack applied in a hurry, you can raid your freezer and use a pack of frozen vegetables.
* When you speak to your horse, always remember that he doesn’t understand English! He won’t respond to what you say, but how you say it.
* Wash saddle blankets and washable girths regularly as dried sweat can cause chafing. To avoid buckles scratching the washing machine, place the girths in a pillowslip and tie closed before washing.
* If you tie a knot in the end of your lead rope, it won’t slip all the way through your hand if your horse tries to make a run for it!
* Wrap some duct tape around your hand with the sticky side facing outwards to remove hairs from your riding coat and saddle blankets.
* Make cheap hoof dressing by mixing a little stockholm tar in with some vegetable oil.
* To help you learn a dressage test, take an old sheet and mark out the letters on it. This gives you a portable arena you can ‘trot’ and ‘canter’ around while memorizing the test.
* When braiding, comb some hair gel through your horse’s mane first which helps give a neater finish.
* If your horse gets bored in the stable, hang a turnip from some strong twine and suspend it someplace where it will swing. This makes it hard to catch and nibble, which will keep your horse amused for hours!
* For really stained white tails, spray through some Preen pre-wash stain remover and leave to penetrate for around 15 minutes, then shampoo and condition as normal.
* Grooming your horse every day (even if it’s just a quick ‘once over’) will keep you familiar with what’s normal…and what’s not, which will help you spot signs if illness, lumps, bumps etc. quickly.
* A fork is great for cleaning the fluff off all those velcro straps on rugs and boots.
* A disposable baby diaper makes a great wound dressing…..and appl y with duct tape.