Tips & Tricks
Bits - We clean our driving bits in the dishwasher. They come out like new!
Bot Fly Eggs - Sandpaper will remove bot fly eggs easier than a "knife"
Breeding - This one is for those of you that hand breed. We take bailing twine and tie an adjustable knot on one end. We slip the mare's tail through the knotted end and pull it snug. With the other end we tie it around the mare's neck in a quick release knot (very very important that it is quick release). This has proven to be so much more effective than tail bandaging and is a lot cheaper. I put it on before I breed and if the stallion gets a leg caught I grab the twine and pull, no big deal. It really helps keep the hair out of the way but I always take it off when I am done.
Burrs - For horses that have gotten into burrs, mineral oil rubbed liberally into the burrs will help break them up and slide them out (yes, messy, but much less fighting with the burrs, just bathe afterwards).
Clipping Ears - When clipping ears, pack a bit of cotton into the ear. Not only does it dull the sound of the clippers, but it stops hairs from falling in and causing infection. - A variation of this is to tie piece of light string or thread around the cotton, making a "tail" to get a hold of in case the cotton goes too far in the ear canal. horsie earplugs!
Cob Webs - high powered leaf blower to get them all! Much easier...but make sure all your horses are out of the barn before doing this as it DOES stir up some dust for a while! Also...someone told me last fall that if you scatter some "road apples" in your barn (and hayloft, if you have one) spiders don't like them & will leave....greatly reducing your cobwebs. I have them scattered all over now & it HAS seemed to help!
corn oil - a washed out dish liquid bottle or sports drink bottles work really well.
Enemas - We now make our own, we've saved the bottles and mixed water with mineral oil, just shake well before using. We clean the tips well and lubricate with a bit of mineral oil
Flies - If you hate flies, here is what we do to get rid of them: We feed our horses apple cider vinegar. Just about 1 tablespoon a day per cup of grain supplement per horse is all you need. If you choose to feed this, it has to be APPLE CIDER vinegar. Not plain vinegar. - Actually you can add the vinegar to their water and this works great if you show in an area where the water may be less "tasty" you get them used to the apple cider vinegar and can disguise the water in other areas.
Foaling - 1. When our foals are born I dip the umbilical stump with iodine. I have found that the easiest way to do this is with a shot glass. The size is perfect and it is so easy to use. 2. a shot glass is great, so is a 35mm film canister, just the right size for minis.
Halter Training (show) - I use a cheap ($20.00) show halter and keep it in my barn for training a halter horse. This way you are not using your good show halters and your show horse is getting lots of practice and getting used to having a chain under the chin. Also when you have someone over to look at your horses, show them off proper with your cheap show halter rather then a barn halter.
Hoof Trimming - If you trim bridle paths and feet at the same time, the hair and feet grow back at the same rate. So when you see the hair grow back 1/4" or more, it's time to trim the feet! - An empty plastic cat litter bucket with the handle makes a great thing to carry your hoof trimming tools in
Hooves - Putting oil in cleaned out hooves keeps snow from packing in.
Itchy Tail - Itchy tail remedy..1/3 baby oil, 1/3 apple cider vinegar, 1/3 Listerine.
minerales (loose) - I put it in those new plastic shake out pace salsa bottles, works great.
Plastic Twine - Don't throw all that twine away....braided polyester twine makes great halter shanks for everyday use. Loop it through a snap and braid away! They are very strong and last forever. Prevent the ends from fraying by running them over a candle to melt them. Careful it will catch on fire if you leave it too long.
Rain Rot - 1. My little gelding had bad rain rot no matter what I did. She told me to add a couple of capfuls of Listerine to about a gallon of warm water and to rinse my boy with that after a good bath. You can also add a capful to a spray bottle of water and just spray it on. Diluted like that it won't burn, but is still strong enough to zap those nasty fungi and bacteria! It is also great for sanitizing water buckets when you are at shows. - 2. For rain rot....mix PINE-SOL with just enough water to turn it white, then dab it on the scabs with a sponge or washcloth. The scabs will fall off in about two weeks.....works GREAT!
Ringworm - Toothpaste works great on ringworm
Showing - 1. For those that use baby oil as a highlighter at shows, mineral oil is exactly the same, just without the perfume added, and much less expensive. 2. Baby wipes kept in the door of a trailer at a show are great for anything from removing manure stains to cleaning boots for a class.
Storage - I use a hanging shoe holder- (the kind with pockets) I hang it near my grooming area It is a great place to store brushes, bandages etc they all fit and stay dust free!
Water Buckets - 1. To keep the water in your bucket from freezing in the winter, float a tennis ball in it. 2. To clean water & feed buckets, use a NEW~LOL toilet brush...there's nothing better and you won't bark your knuckles on the edges of the bucket!
Water Hauling - For hauling water on the road, slip a garbage bag in a bucket, fill with water and tie the top of the bag shut...no spills, just untie and pour into a smaller bucket to water horses. Great for hauling water to the barn also.
Water Tanks - 1. To help keep water tanks cleaner between scrubbings, I use a large aquarium fish net to skim the bigger particles out. 2. I use the great big kitchen strainer for getting debris out of water and it also works for taking ice out of a bucket in winter when you don't want to FREEZE your hands. 3. I use a ice fishing scoop. It has a longer handle and a deeper scoop. Works fantastic. 4. We keep old soccer ball's in our 50 gallon water tanks so we can keep an eye on the water level. I think it may help with ice to.
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