The best barn hacks – the beginning of a series
Save money and time when you can with these barn hacks, and make annoying tasks a bit easier.
- If you are breaking in a new pair of riding or paddock boots, wear slightly wet socks to soften the leather and mold it to your leg and foot. You can also spray the inside of your boots with water to soften the leather. I wish I had a tip for making the swampy feeling disappear when you do this, but I don’t.
- To create hot towels in the cooler weather for stain removal and warming up the bit, use a (supervised) crockpot with water and small dish towels. You can also use an insta-hot kettle. Hot toweling is a great way to clean your fuzzy winter horse! Also nice to add hot water to your horse’s meals, or if you need to dissolve some meds into his food.
- When you need to crush pills and make a paste for your horse, try this instead of mixing a paste in a cup and then trying to spoon it into a syringe. Put all of the pills into your dosing syringe, then suction some water into the syringe. Shake and wait for your pills to dissolve in the syringe. No mess to clean and all of the medication is ready to go!
- Hang a safety mirror in your horse’s stall and trailer if he gets nervous alone. This is also good for horses that are on stall rest or weave. This usually helps a horse generally feel better when they can see another horse. If your horse is food aggressive, hang the mirror away from his hay pile so he doesn’t pick a fight with himself. These are also great to use in the horse trailer for shows or in your tack room, too.
- Use a lingerie bag to wash and dry your polo wraps. This prevents the dreaded “spaghetti” effect of untangling your polo wraps.
- Speaking of polo wraps, use a pair of scissors to cut a design into the ends of matching polo wraps. You will always be able to match up the correct pairs, even after they are rolled. You can cut a notch out, clip off one of the corners, create a zig-zag, etc.
- Have a stash of diapers on hand at the barn! Size fives work well for most horses. Diapers can be great bandages for wounds, they serve as wraps for hoof poultice or packing, and can be wet and frozen for icing weird horse leg areas, like fetlocks and knees.
- Use some detangler, grooming oil, or shine product on your horse’s clean body before clipping. This helps the clippers slide through the hair and prevents some of the hair from landing all over you!
- If you have a horse that cribs or chews his water buckets, you may be able to secure a toilet seat to the top of the bucket. The width of the seat prevents most horses from being able to grasp it and crib. Painting his chewable universe with gross-tasting bar soap also helps.
- Hang a hoof pick on your horse’s stall door to pick his feet before you exit the stall! This keeps your barn aisle tidier and creates less mess to sweep later. Hoof picks are also great for installing screw eyes at horse shows and leveraging open tubs.
- Invest in some shelving for horse shows. This allows you to see all of your items without digging through a trunk. Boldly labeled buckets also help you stay organized and prevent you from mixing a mash in the soapy tack-cleaning bucket.
- During bath time, use your sweat scraper to remove excess suds and shampoo before you rinse. You will save water and time!
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